All posts by lorna

Notes on “How To Facilitate A Meeting”

FPACC President Marie Cunning as Facilitator
FPACC President Marie Cunning as Facilitator

CompassPoint NonProfit Services provided these wonderful tips on how to facilitate a meeting. The San Francisco Bay Area is fortunate to have this non-profit organization as a valuable resource for helping us become more efficient and savvy communicators and leaders in the non-profit organizations we belong to.

There are many Filipino American non-profit organizations in the Bay Area that are not aware of CompassPoint’s existence.

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Looking Back: New America Media’s 2012 Ethnic Media Awards

Lorna Dietz, Runner-Up, Community Blogging category, New America Media's Ethnic Media Awards for 2012, Northern CA & Central Valley (no winner)
Lorna Dietz, Runner-Up, Community Blogging category, New America Media’s Ethnic Media Awards for 2012, Northern CA & Central Valley (no winner)

I don’t make a habit of posting my achievements (correction, other than my LinkedIn) — but my sister, Noemi Dado, said that I should do it BEFORE I forget.

Here is one of my proudest moments when I was awarded as one of the “best of the best” in ethnic media in Northern California and Central Valley. It’s like receiving an Ethnic Pulitzer Prize. The category was COMMUNITY BLOGGING. I had done a content curation on the Define American advocacy of Jose Antonio Vargas, the Filipino American journalist who had “outed” himself as an undocumented immigrant in 2011. However, during the time I submitted my entry, many journalists didn’t really understand the power of content curation. Thus, my humble award of Runner-Up. I recall that the other honoree received an Honorable Mention. It’s all right. More media practitioners are doing more content curation nowadays. I’m just an regular blogger having done my share in community blogging in the Filipino American community.

At this time, has been archived. The original content curation is stored in my Storify account.

Here is the announcement that came with the honors.

NAM Honors Best in Ethnic Media at NorCal & Central Valley Awards Gala!

Last night, NAM hosted its 2011/2012 Northern California & Central Valley Ethnic Media Awards Gala at the KQED Studios in San Francisco.

Over 150 people, including ethnic and mainstream media, judges, honorees, and NAM founding members, attended the event.

The awards ceremonies recognized the exceptional work of winners from over 100 entries competing in print, broadcast and online categories. They comprised a diverse range of ethnic and youth media outlets in the region: African-American, Latino, Middle Eastern; and Asian communities including Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Hmong, South Asian, and Fijian-Indian.

President of KQED Public Media, John Boland, welcomed the guests to the awards ceremony and NAM California Awards Chair Odette Keeley introduced the emcee for the evening, Bay Area journalism icon and multi-awarded TV host of KQED9′s “This Week in Northern California,” Belva Davis. Keeley also thanked the event’s sponsors for their valuable support, including founding sponsor PG&E, co-host KQED, the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State, the East Bay Regional Park District, Julie Adams of New York Life Insurance Company, and the University of California Office of the President.

Keeley also cites that the awards event could not have been possible without the dedication of all the NAM staff, as well as support from the NAM Board, funders, and partners — many of whom comprised the distinguished panel of judges this year.

In addition to recognizing the exceptional work of the awards winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions, NAM Executive Director Sandy Close presented NAM’s first Chauncey Bailey Community Advocacy Award to Willie Ratcliff, publisher of the San Francisco Bayview. PG&E’s Ezra Garrett presented the Diversity/ Inter-Ethnic Relations Award to KTSF 26 and the San Francisco Chronicle for their collaborative reporting about the evolving Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood and Hmong TV Network was also recognized with the NAM Emerging Media Award.

The evening concluded with Vernon Whitmore, former publisher of the Globe Newspaper Group “passing the torch” as a publishing veteran to publishing upstart Malcolm Marshall of the Richmond Pulse, one of NAM’s youth hubs.

Runway Manila: Faster Travel Time Made Simple

Last June 1, 2017, my sister, Noemi L. Dado, and I were invited to a walk-through of Runway Manila and NAIAx. The dinner invitation was for 8:00 pm. Our Runway Manila field trip started sometime after 9:00 pm. Afterwards, we stayed at the lobby of Maxims Hotel, Resorts World Manila, until we were off to our next field trip, the NAIAx inauguration somewhere on the expressway.

We are with (from left to right) our Runway Manila hosts: Benjamin (Ben) Diokno, Secretary of Budget and Management of the Philippines, Mark Villar, Secretary of DPWH (Public Works and Highways), and Arthur (Art) Tugade, Secretary of DOTr (Department of Transportation)
We are with (from left to right) our Runway Manila hosts: Benjamin (Ben) Diokno, Secretary of Budget and Management of the Philippines, Mark Villar, Secretary of DPWH (Public Works and Highways), and Arthur (Art) Tugade, Secretary of DOTr (Department of Transportation)

“The Pedestrian Bridge between Newport City and NAIA Terminal 3″

When the project partners of a 220-meter (722-feet) air-conditioned, elevated walking bridge — that connects the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (NAIA) Terminal 3 and Newport City, its neighboring 25-hectare (62-acre) residential and commercial area — welcomed their first pedestrians on April 21, 2017, they answered every airport traveller’s frustration. Commute time between NAIA T-3 and Newport City was notoriously slow for incoming and outgoing private and public transportation, averaging an hour each way. The enclosed bridge is roughly a 3-minute to 10-minute convenient and secure walk in each direction. Rising 65 meters (213 feet) above Andrews Avenue and the new NAIA expressway (a.k.a. NAIAx, pronounced neigh-ah), moving walkways and elevators are available for the public’s convenience 24/7 — in consideration of the elderly and differently-abled. The bridge can accommodate 2,000 persons at any given time. Entrance is free in each direction.

Domestic and international passengers as well as daily commuters can realistically lessen dependence on motor vehicles that travel the short distance between the two tourist hotspots. Through Runway Manila, travelIers can use Newport City as a convenient jump-off point to reach other parts of the metropolis. Newport City is accessible to City Link buses and other forms of public transport. Information about free shuttle services in Newport City can be found at

Alliance Global Group, Inc. (AGI) funded the project to the cost of PH1.5 billion as part of its commitment to work with the Philippine government, represented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr), in promoting Philippine tourism by providing tourists and visitors with a convenient and seamless travel experience in the country. As the project proponent, AGI manages and maintains Runway Manila.


TO GET TO NAIA, TERMINAL 3: Runway Manila is located between Belmont Hotel Manila and Resorts World Manila, close to McDonald’s on the Belmont Hotel side. After passing through the security gates, with personal belongings going through the required X-ray machines, take the elevator to the fifth floor. Walk on the bridge. After you pass the LED bulletin boards, proceed toward the right section of the bridge. Use the moving walkways for convenience. Turn left. At the end of the bridge, you will see a “Welcome to Runway Manila” sign. Check in your personal belongings at another X-ray machine while you go through the security gates. Proceed to the first corridor just as you make your exit. You will walk by some restaurants and food stalls. Look for the KFC outlet as your point of reference and turn right at the hallway. Proceed to the left side of a wider hallway where a rice-noodles express restaurant is located. Keep moving toward the entrance of the departure area at the ground floor.

We are with (from left to right) our Runway Manila hosts: Steve Reilly, COO of Resorts World Manila, Benjamin (Ben) Diokno, Secretary of Budget and Management of the Philippines, Mark Villar, Secretary of DPWH (Public Works and Highways), and Arthur (Art) Tugade, Secretary of DOTr (Department of Transportation)
We are with (from left to right) our Runway Manila hosts: Steve Reilly, COO of Resorts World Manila, Benjamin (Ben) Diokno, Secretary of Budget and Management of the Philippines, Mark Villar, Secretary of DPWH (Public Works and Highways), and Arthur (Art) Tugade, Secretary of DOTr (Department of Transportation)


John and Vonny Oei
John and Vonny Oei

Serendipitously, in 2002, I met a dynamic couple who are trailblazing entrepreneurs in the Indonesian American community, John and Vonny Oei, at their April Financial Inc. office in San Francisco, California during a political campaign’s phone banking activities. It would be three years later that John offered me a marketing position at their insurance brokerage and Intero Real Estate San Francisco Sunset office.

There were other interesting endeavors that attracted me as I worked side by side with them in the office where Bahasa and English were the languages of choice. In 1998, John Oei helped organize the Indonesian-Chinese-American Network (ICANet) as a result of the violence that was aimed at Indonesia’s eight million ethnic Chinese. This non-profit organization is dedicated to the advancement of universal human rights for all people, with a focus on Indonesians. ICANet’s strong interest in the development of a bright future for Indonesia a well as the promotion of cultural appreciation and friendship among Indonesians, Chinese, Americans, and other groups in the global community resonated with my personal advocacies.

In 2006, I transitioned to a part-time consulting position at their office. When I shared what I was doing at Filipinas Magazine, where I had a business development position, and what most Filipino American media enterprises nationwide were doing to being effective publicists and champions of their communities in mainstream USA, these entrepreneurs took notice. There just wasn’t enough in-language and intercultural information exchanges between Indonesians in the motherland and Indonesian Americans.

One day, John mentioned to me that they were inspired to create their own in-language Indonesian print and internet-based publication,, because of their observations about my ethnic media experiences in the Filipino American community. Metaphorically, I was elated that Indonesia, a neighbor of the Philippines, both members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), would strengthen its media presence in the US. There were very few Bahasa media organizations in the marketplace.

Kabari News (i.e. Kabari is Bahasa for “news”) launched its maiden issue in early 2007 to a hungry “Indo” population in California. The magazine was partly responsible for publicizing the popular Indonesian cultural festival, Pasar Senggol, which started as a “block party” in 2004. It is considered as one of the go-to festivals featuring the Indonesian community in the West Coast.

In the past 10 years, John and Vonny enthusiastically kept living their publishing life like an experiment. They tracked their “numbers,” organically growing Kabari News’ online presence by producing short video documentaries and interviews while nurturing an untapped worldwide audience that enjoyed their stories, homesick for news from Indonesia. There was no lack of news leads, considering that Indonesia is the fourth largest populated country in the world. The result was Kabari TV on YouTube.

Like any other publishing company, the number one challenge was about tapping more advertising and sponsorship support. John and Vonny continued to cross-promote Kabari News as a community-focused news magazine, sometimes creatively packaging its advertising opportunities with other enthusiastic Indonesian-owned businesses’ marketing and public relations programs.

In mid-2013, John Oei decided it was time to expand their publishing horizons to include the rest of the ASEAN community. The couple wanted a bi-monthly printed and digital magazine that would draw attention to the lifestyles, triumphs, achievements, and celebrations of these 10 nations in an encapsulated, content curation format.

“It’s an information and intergenerational bridge for these ASEAN countries,” John stated, “yet we want people to know that we are not related to ASEAN, the organization. We support them!”

John tapped me to be the magazine’s editor-in-chief. His directive was simple: “Find a way to get a team of writers to work on your editorial calendar for every bi-monthly issue. The graphic design and layout will be done by our creatives in Indonesia while website development will be done in the US. Distribution will also be concentrated in the US. We will find the ASEANs in the US communities.”

ASEAN LIFE: Letter from the Editor
ASEAN LIFE: Letter from the Editor

I turned to the Philippines for help in recruiting writing talent. Once the writing assignments were submitted electronically to me, the graphic designers in Indonesia worked on our “Look Book,” laying out the editorial and advertising pages. The first cover and its accompanying story had to be special. We chose to shine the spotlight on the One World Institute, a private foundation headed by Dr. Tom Stern and Yolanda Ortega Stern, Ph.D. The couple’s philanthropic work was mostly done in areas of conflict, from Southern Philippines to Cambodia and Myanmar, where the poorest of the poor were not adequately served. Butch Monserrat was credited for shooting the cover photo of Yolanda Ortega Stern who wore a typical Yakan* attire, accessorized by a kris*. We launched the magazine in newsstands where Kabari News was also welcome.

Yolanda Ortega Stern, President of
Yolanda Ortega Stern, President of

The ASEAN LIFE magazine’s entrepreneurship model was so ambitious that it would eventually find a reincarnation with another business partner. John and Vonny continued the same editorial process. By then, I had moved on to other projects. The lessons I learned about editing a magazine will always stay with me because I succeeded in developing a model operation of collaboration among three countries: US, Philippines, and Indonesia.

Today, ASEAN LIFE is waiting for another incarnation. I know that John and Vonny will be willing listeners to a potential business partner’s proposal.

Do you think John and Vonny’s “ASEAN LIFE” story is about to evolve — again? You betcha! Vonny is waiting for me to finish editing the marketing copy of their newest business endeavor: a wholesale travel company with a niche market — Japan, South Korea, and Bali (Indonesia) — for outbound land tour operations marketed in the US.

Who knows where I will be writing my next ASEAN story?

“Bali, please, Vonny!”



*Yakan – A major Muslim tribe in the Mindanao region of the Philippines
*Kris – A dagger with a wavy-edged blade

I wrote this story as a contribution to Noemi L. Dado’s blog writing project. I really want ASEAN 2017′s memorabilia!

Noemi said:

I am holding a blog writing project and a chance to win an ASEAN memorabilia. Here are the   guidelines:
1. The contest is open to all bloggers worldwide.
2. Follow  @asean2017 on twitter or
3. Write a blog post of your own personal story with a minimum of 500 words on the theme #MyAseanStory” and post it on your blog platform (self-hosted blog, facebook, tumblr, wordpress)
• What are your life experiences: challenges, great memories?
I will even share it on my social networks.
4. Use the hashtag #MyAseanStory #Asean2017 when sharing your post in social media.
5. Contest will start May 9 and end May 31, 2017. Cut off of entries is 11:59 PM on May 31, 2017.
6. The post that is creative and interesting will receive an ASEAN memorabilia

MANILA TRAVEL DIARY: Electrosurgery on My Milia and Flat Warts

My sister, Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas, dermatologist extradordinaire
My sister, Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas, dermatologist extradordinaire

TRAVEL DIARY: March 7, 2016 – No pain, no gain! My dermatologist-sister, Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas, made me “Plastic Woman” by putting cellophane tape over the facial anesthesia applied to areas of my face and neck. The tape was placed so that the anesthesia would be absorbed for an hour before she performed electrosurgery, zapping my many “milia” on my face (those tiny white bumps are cysts made of keratin) and flat warts on my neck. This particular procedure was almost painless, that is, you could smell some minuscule burnt skin, feel some slight needle pricks and heat as she zapped the milia. Afterwards, she placed antibiotic on all the zapped areas and told me not to wash my face and neck until noon tomorrow (24 hours after the procedure). The total waiting time from anesthesia to electrosurgery: Possibly three hours, not including the traffic.

Lorna, Plastic Woman
Lorna, Plastic Woman

You can see some redness on my face. In a couple of days, I will see some dots (scarring) which will then just fall off. The milia inside those dots will also jut out and fall off. The others will be easy to scrape off during my next facial (just like blackheads and whiteheads). My sister had used a needle on one of the larger and harder milia above my left eye. My gain is that I can now put on my eye make-up without having tiny bumps. The only downside is that I have to keep wearing sunscreen (SPF 50 to SPF 70) forever.

Lorna, after electrosurgery
Lorna, after electrosurgery

This procedure was done at QualiMed, FMAB Building (Faculty Medical Arts Building) at PGH (Philippine General Hospital). The cost? It is easier to estimate it this way: Zapping up to 10 milia is PH1,000. So, if you have 20 milia, it is PH2,000 (or $42.55, PH47=US$1). It could be less. This is just a good ballpark figure to remember.

I will have more work done during my next trip this October. I need to tighten my chin and my neck so this means saving PH20,000 to PH30,000 ($426-$638.30). Belen would like to use laser on some of my darker freckles so they would look lighter.

Pricing, as always, is subject to change without any notice.

Does anyone want to join me for a skin care medical tourism journey this late October/early November? This is a personal invitation since I am such a believer…

There are many doctors to choose from — depending where you will be staying. Belen has many dermatologists she can recommend us to — especially since most of them are her former students.

There are other clinics such as Clínica Manila (Dr. Hernan Delizo’s “baby” and the visionary behind the ONE HEALTH CARD) that can help you. I have experienced the services of Clínica Manila and QualiMed — and I can share with you that medical tourism in the Philippines is such a good experience with value-packed pricing.

I look forward to what Cebu has to offer!

One day after Lorna's electrosurgery
One day after Lorna’s electrosurgery

TRAVEL DIARY: March 8, 2016 – One day after the electrosurgery on my face (performed by my dermatologist sister at QualiMed-FMAB at PGH) to zap the tiny milia (the cysts made out of keratin). The scabs will fall off before I leave for the US next week.

You need to know how to walk with confidence. I wasn’t even aware that people were staring at me politely. I bet you they couldn’t decide if I had chicken pox scars, right? LOL

Customer Relationship Management: About Top Producer® CRM — with a Follow Up Coach Advantage

This is a CRM recommended for real estate professionals.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software Introduction

This is an almost 31-minute overview of why CRM is important in any business that wants dynamic growth. CRM also allows METRICS so management can do resource allocation.One of the questions raised in this talk was about AUTOMATIC SYNCHRONIZATION OF CAPABILITIES — if your data would automatically migrate to your MS Outlook or your smart phone, for example, for the most up-to-date information.

The NEW “Top Producer,” Revolutionizing Real Estate CRM Full Video

“We are reinventing the way we connect with our clients.”

Top Producer® CRM — a whole new follow-up experience

Top Producer CRM Set Up

You can customize your salutation or how you close your letter to your prospects and clients.

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The Basics of Backpacking for Women and Girls

As a real road warrior, lessening the “carbon footprint” is a matter of necessity. I travel by plane, train, bus, and automobile. One of my mentors say, “You get to see places many of us don’t!” It’s true!

I hope you enjoy this content curation!

Ro Khanna – The Book, Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future

The first time I met Ro Khanna was sometime in early 2012, when NaFFAA Region 8 was busy helping out in a Santacruzan event at Seasons Marketplace at Landess. I recall meeting a gentle, personable young man who was interested in helping us, Filipino American advocates, make this cultural event a success. I have some of my small videos on this event somewhere in my files. When I make the time, I will include them in one of my blogs.

I have yet to have my book (I bought it at autographed by Ro.

Google+ Hangouts is a PLUS for Meetings, Conferences, and Online Broadcasts

In preparation for Federation 2013, I reminded Noel S.V. Omega, the FPACC Vice President for Conferences, that using Google+ Hangouts would work well with the planned panel discussions. Noel has been busy experimenting with fellow Filipino American Chamber members. I promised him that we would host our own google+ hangout and chat about his passion, VOICE OVERS.

In the meantime, check out what I’ve curated.

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.”