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Thursday, October 27, 2016

New York City Launches Groundbreaking Sustainability Initiative For Film And Television Industry

“NYC Film Green” Program is the first of its kind in the country and the most extensive governmental film and television sustainability program in the world

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin recently announced “NYC Film Green,” a first-of-its-kind sustainability designation program for New York City’s $9 billion film and television industry. The voluntary initiative will encourage productions to engage in sustainable practices, including waste reduction, energy conservation, and staff education, in order to reduce their environmental impact and create a sustainable production environment for New York City. NYC Film Green will be the first green production designation program in the country administered by a government entity, making New York City the nationwide leader in setting environmental standards for the film and television industry.
“As a global leader in the film and entertainment industry, NYC must lead by example when it comes to sustainability and waste reduction on sets. NYC Film Green will give production crews the tools and incentive they need to reduce their carbon footprint and be good neighbors in their communities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“There is currently more filming activity in New York City than ever before. While this provides countless reasons to celebrate, we also want to be mindful of how this impacts our environment on both a local and global scale,” said Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. “NYC Film Green makes New York the first governing body in the country to implement a sustainability program for the entertainment industry. We believe it will make a significant and quantifiable positive impact, and pave the way towards industry-wide adoption of eco-friendly practices.”
Last season, there were a record-breaking 52 episodic television series in production in the City, and over 300 films over the course of 2015. To qualify for the NYC Film Green program, a film or television series must have at least one day of production or post-production in the City. Productions enrolled in the NYC Film Green program that successfully implement the program’s sustainable practices will be recognized with a certificate and receive a seal, which they will be able to place in their end credits and in any marketing and promotional materials associated with their project.
The environmental impact of producing just one film or episode of television can be extensive. Much of this impact comes from the creation of sets that are built and then quickly discarded, waste from on-set food catering, and the massive amount of energy required to power lights, cameras, and other equipment. According to a study conducted by UCLA, film and television production is a large source of carbon emissions, on par with industries such as clothing manufacturing and hospitality. Given the major impact that productions can make on both the local and global environment, NYC Film Green has the potential to set a global standard for the entertainment industry, benefitting not just New Yorkers, but the world at large. Moreover, the initiative will provide an opportunity for productions to formally highlight their green efforts and receive public recognition.
Based on data provided by six feature film productions that voluntarily worked to reduce their environmental impact, an average NYC Film Green feature production could divert over 60 percent of its waste, and prevent over 380 unnecessary tons of waste from going to the landfill. Similarly, based on data provided by five eco-conscious episodic series, an average NYC Film Green TV production could divert over 60 percent of its waste, preventing almost 45 unnecessary tons of waste from going to the landfill.
Using sustainable best practices in filming reduces productions’ negative impact on the environment, and as an added bonus, has been found to benefit productions’ bottom lines. According to a 2014 report from the Producers Guild of America, by eliminating disposable plastic water bottles and instead providing water coolers, reusable bottles, and compostable cups, a production can save approximately 50 percent on its total water budget over the course of a shoot. Donating set materials, rather than discarding them, can have a similar benefit. When the NBC television series 30 Rock broke down its set, it donated approximately 10.7 tons of material and in doing so, saved nearly $20,000 in hauling expenses.
A number of major New York City-based television productions have already engaged in voluntary sustainability efforts and reported great success in waste diversion. For example, over the course of production for the second season of CBS’s Madam Secretary, crew and staff successfully diverted 71 percent – or 62,495 pounds – of the show’s total waste. While 16,540 pounds of waste went to landfill, a total of 31,670 pounds went to compost, 8,324 pounds were recycled and 5,961 pounds of materials were donated. Madam Secretary donated over 4,500 meals to local shelters, and their paper diversion efforts saved the equivalent of 35 trees. The production also greatly reduced the use of disposable water bottles, eliminating waste from over 104,000 plastic bottles.
There is also a great amount of potential for waste diversion in feature film production. According to independent consultant Earth Angel, the “Made in NY” production The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was able to divert 52 percent of its waste from landfills, donated nearly 50 tons of materials for reuse on future productions, and donated nearly 6,000 meals to shelters and food banks. In total, the production saved approximately $400,000 due to its sustainability efforts.
MOME’s NYC Film Green will begin as a pilot program on November 1, comprising a limited number of episodic television series and feature film productions. Results from the pilot will inform the development of the program and engage additional stakeholders to help with expansion of the program by early summer of 2017.
Productions that enroll in NYC Film Green will participate in a number of sustainable practices and will be audited in order to receive designation. The program has three categories of sustainability practices: core, elective, and extra credit. The core practices to be met in order to receive a seal include, but are not limited to:

  • Tracking and making a plan to reduce a production’s carbon footprint; 
  • Waste diversion, by means of donation or resale of usable items;
  • Practices to increase recycling on set and clearly identifying how to sort landfill from organic waste from recyclables;  
  • Cutting down on transportation-related emissions by renting fuel-efficient cars when available, and encouraging crew to use public transportation;
  • Implementing a plan with a production’s lighting department to reduce power and electricity use;
  • And providing education opportunities to crew and staff on the importance of responsible eco-behavior, and training on sustainability best practices.

Productions that have met the requirements to receive a seal may choose to go above and beyond. For taking on “extra credit”, these productions are eligible for special recognition and other promotional opportunities for exceptional sustainability practices. 
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability will support MOME’s NYC Film Green by designing the tracking tool for productions to measure their waste output, purchases of sustainable items, and donations of materials. Additionally, the Office’s experience with creating educational plans and greening industries will be informative in shaping NYC Film Green’s materials for education and sustainable best practices.
The Department of Sanitation will also play a key role in MOME’s initiative. The agency’s programs involving waste disposal, recycling, and organic material processing will be essential to inform particular plans for productions’ waste management programs. The Department will also assist with coordinating and tracking donation and reuse of set materials through its donateNYC program.
MOME will introduce NYC Film Green to the industry through outreach to the City’s longtime partners at soundstages, studios, industry associations and guilds, as well as environmental and community-based organizations. To track waste reduction and diversion efforts, MOME will also coordinate with a number of relevant City agencies, including the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the Department of Sanitation. NYC Film Green will utilize tracking tools developed by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability that were refined as part of its Zero Waste Challenge, developed to help reach a number of the City’s zero-waste goals laid out in OneNYC, the City’s comprehensive sustainability plan. NYC Film Green will also incorporate Department of Sanitation’s donateNYC, a digital platform that allows businesses and individuals alike to donate goods for reuse instead of discarding them – allowing for significant waste reduction, energy conservation, and distribution of resources to New Yorkers in need.

Boracay Voted as Best Island in the World 2016 by International Traveler Magazine

The powdery white sand and shallow azure water of Boracay Island, ideal for swimming and snorkeling, is the main draw for travelers.

Boracay, Philippines was named the Best Island in the World by international traveling magazine Condé Nast at an awarding party held at the 1 World Trade Center in New York City. Ms. Zenn Pallugna of the Philippine Department of Tourism in New York (PDOT-NY) was on hand to accept the recognition on behalf of the country.  

This year, two other Philippine island destinations landed on the coveted list of Condé Nast’s Top 20 Best Islands in the World: Palawan (#2) and Cebu (#5).   

"This itty-bitty island (10-square mile) in the Western Philippines is as close to the tropical idyll as you’ll find in Southeast Asia, with gentle coastlines and transporting sunsets. Add in a thriving nightlife scene, and you have one of the top tourist spots in the region," Condé Nast Traveler wrote. 

Condé Nast further said that, “The aptly named White Beach is Boracay’s main draw, with powdery white sand and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkeling.” 

Zeny Pallugna receives the plaque of recognition from
 Conde Nast’s Publisher Brendan Monaghan.
Ms. Pallugna said that the international recognition of the Philippines’ top three island destinations is a big boost to sustained tourism efforts aimed at encouraging more travelers to visit the Philippines to experience its unique beauty and culture. "The prestigious destination awards we garnered this year from the readers of American travel publications, such as Conde Nast Traveler and Travel+Leisure, reinforce our destinations’ image and ignite curiosity and interest of the affluent American travelers to visit the Philippines," she added.          

Some 300,000 plus travelers took part in the 29th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards Survey of Condé Nast, a premiere media company in the US renowned for producing the highest quality content for the world’s most influential audiences, and voted Boracay as the Top Island in the World for 2016, followed by Palawan and Cebu.  

For the last 2 years, Boracay did not make it in the top 10 of the list (#12 and #13, respectively).   This year, Boracay out ranked other world-famous islands such as Bali in Indonesia (#10), Tahiti in French Polynesia (15) and Santorini in Greece (#17).  This is the third time, after Palawan was voted #1 in 2013 and 2015, that one of the Philippines 1,107 islands was named as the Top Island in World by Conde Nast readers. 

The awarding event was attended by over 100 awardees, Condé Nast executives and travel company representatives.  One of the premiere traveling promotion companies in the U.S., Condé Nast attracts over 164 million consumers across its 20 print and digital media brands, including The New Yorker, GQ, Golf Digest and Vogue.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ma-Yi Theater Company Presents AMONG THE DEAD, A Dark Comedy by Hansol Jung

Previews November 9th, Opens November 11th

Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning MA-YI THEATER COMPANY
Presents this World Premiere at HERE 

AMONG THE DEAD, a new play by Hansol Jung, will be given its world premiere by the award-winning Asian American Off-Broadway MA-YI THEATER COMPANY at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue, NYC), with previews set to begin November 9th prior to its official opening night on November 11th. AMONG THE DEAD is directed by Ralph B. Peña. This limited-engagement will conclude on November 26th, 2016.  
AMONG THE DEAD is a dark comedy about a family broken apart by betrayal. Ana is a Korean American who travels to Seoul in 1975 to retrieve her dead father’s ashes. Luke is a young American soldier fighting in the jungles of Myanmar in 1944. Number Four is the name of a Korean comfort woman camping out on a bridge in Seoul in 1950, waiting for the return of the young American soldier who fathered her daughter. Three separate time periods collide in a small hotel room in Korea, mediated by a shape-shifting Jesus who first shows up as a bellboy. AMONG THE DEAD is about a family finding each other through SPAM, journals and Jesus. Mostly Jesus.

Directed by Ma-Yi Theater Company’s Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña, the AMONG THE DEAD cast features WILL DAGGER (THE CONVENT OF PLEASURE), JULIENNE HANZELKA KIM (METAMORPHOSES, Broadway) 


Scenic design for AMONG THE DEAD is by REID THOMPSON; Costume Design: BECKY BODURTHA; Lighting Design: OLIVER WASON and Sound Design: KENNETH GOODWIN. 

This production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: Co-op, HERE's curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.
Scheduled through November 26th, AMONG THE DEAD will perform Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:30PM; Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 4PM. There is no performance on Thursday, November 24th.  -- Added performance on Monday, November 21st  @ 8:30pm -- All Tickets are $25. For tickets and information: visit, or call 212-253-3101. Information is also available at

Hansol Jung
Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Plays include Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville), No More Sad Things (co-world premiere at Sideshow Theatre, Chicago and Boise Contemporary Theatre), Wolf Play, and Wild Goose Dreams. Commissions from Playwrights Horizons, the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation grant with Ma-Yi Theatre and a translation of Romeo and Juliet for Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Her work has been developed at the Royal Court (London), New York Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, O’Neill Conference, Sundance Theatre Lab, Lark Play Development Center, Salt Lake Acting Company, Boston Court Theatre, Bushwick Starr, Asia Society New York, and Seven Devils Playwright Conference. She is the recipient of the Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellowship at the Lark, 2050 Fellowship at New York Theater Workshop, MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, and International Playwrights Residency at Royal Court (London). Her plays have received the Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award (Among the Dead), Honorable Mention from the 2014 Arch and Bruce Brown Playwriting Competition (Cardboard Piano), and was named 2014 finalist for the Ruby Prize (No More Sad Things). She has translated over thirty English musicals into Korean, including EvitaDracula, Spamalot, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, while working on several award winning musical theatre productions as director, lyricist and translator in Seoul, South Korea. Jung holds a Playwriting MFA from Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Theatre Writers Lab.

Ralph B. Peña (director) is a founding member and the Producing Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include the world premiere of A. Rey Pamatmat’s HOUSE RULES for Ma-Yi; a new translation of THE ORPHAN OF ZHAO for Fordham Theater; Nicolas Pichay’s MACHO DANCER: A MUSICAL for the Virgin Labfest 11; Lloyd Suh’s THE WONG KIDS IN THE SECRET OF THE SPACE CHUPACABRA GO! for The Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis (where is was named Best Play of 2013),  Ma-Yi Theater in New York (winner of the Off Broadway Alliance Award), Arts Emerson in Boston, and The Cultural Center of the Philippines, Joshua Conkel’s CURMUDGEONS IN LOVE (EST Marathon); and Mike Lew’s MICROCRISIS (Youngblood, Ma-Yi). Ralph is the recipient of an OBIE Award for his work on THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO, and is a member of The Ensemble Studio Theater and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab.

MA-YI THEATER COMPANY recently enjoyed great critical and popular success with Nandita Shenoy’s WASHER/DRYER and A. Rey Pamatmat’s HOUSE RULES.  The company won the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for its critically-acclaimed production of THE WONG KIDS IN THE SECRET OF THE SPACE CHUPACABRA GO!, which recently made its international premiere at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila. Founded in 1989 and now celebrating its 28th season, MA-YI is a Drama Desk and OBIE Award-winning, Off-Broadway not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers. 
Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew’s BIKE AMERICA, Qui Nguyen's THE INEXPLICABLE REDEMPTION OF AGENT G and SOUL SAMURAI (with Vampire Cowboys), Mike Lew’s MICROCRISIS and the revival of Ralph B. Peña’s FLIPZOIDS. Other productions include: RESCUE ME by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh's AMERICAN HWANGAP and THE CHILDREN OF VONDERLY and THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO. Through successful programs such as the Writers Lab, Ma-Yi emboldens a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences, while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American playwrights for its own performing repertory. New works developed at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country, at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth, and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few. Ma-Yi Theater Company productions have earned 10 OBIE Awards, numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play and the Special Drama Desk Award for "more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”
Ma-Yi Theater is under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Z. Ortoll.

Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of Campaign to Raise Awareness on Addiction

#CombatAddiction Public Awareness Campaign Emphasizes Effects of Addiction and Resources Available 

View Public Service Announcements Here and Print Ad Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the launch of five public service announcements as part of a campaign to urge New Yorkers to join together in the fight against addiction. The statewide #CombatAddiction campaign emphasizes the far-reaching effects of addiction and connects New Yorkers with information and support services through social media, bilingual public service announcements and a print ad that will be posted on the New York City Subway system and on the Staten Island Ferry. 

"This campaign seeks to educate New Yorkers of the full impact of addiction and how get help for themselves or their loved ones," Governor Cuomo said. "Addiction knows no bounds, and its devastating effects can be felt in every community across the state, but we must stand together to combat this disease and to build a stronger, healthier New York for all."

The ads direct individuals to a #CombatAddiction webpage, which includes informational sections for individuals, families, friends, medical practitioners, law enforcement, educators, and community organizations. Resources are available to help raise awareness about addiction and provide assistance and guidance on how everyone can help. The site also includes links to helpful websites and videos with real New Yorkers sharing their stories about their progression to addiction, from alcohol to other drugs, along with their path to recovery.

The #CombatAddiction campaign comes on the heels of the listening sessions held by the Governor’s Task Force to Combat Heroin across New York State and is a continuation of the Governor’s ongoing efforts to fight addiction. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that 1.4 million New York State residents suffer from a substance use disorder. According to SAMHSA's 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 21.5 million adults had a substance use disorder in the past year. However, estimates show that only around 11 percent of those who need treatment receive it.

In June 2016, Governor Cuomo signed a package of bills that includes wide-ranging initiatives to address the state's current heroin and opioid crisis, including provisions to limit the over-prescription of opioids and remove barriers to access for inpatient treatment and medication. The legislation ensures that issues and concerns raised by individuals in recovery, families, and treatment providers across the state are proactively addressed.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction or whose loved ones are struggling can find help and hope by calling the State’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369). Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found on the NYS OASAS Treatment Availability Dashboard or on the NYS OASAS website

Visit the Combat Heroin website for more information on addressing heroin and prescription opioid abuse, including a Kitchen Table Tool Kit to help start the conversation about the warning signs of addiction and where to get help. 

For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the State’s Talk2Prevent website.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Consul General Mario L. De Leon Jr., Thanks Filipino Community and NaFFAA Leaders in Northeast US for their Strong Partnership that Helped Pave the Way for Imminent Passage of Congressional Gold Medal Bill

New York Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr. and several Northeast U.S. Filipino community leaders met with various legislative officials starting 2015 up until recently, lobbying for the passage of the Congressional Gold Medal Awarding Act for the Filipino-American World War II veterans, in this photo with Representative Kathleen Rice (D-NY, 4)

New York – The Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015 pending before the US Congress is closer to passage after having been unanimously passed by the US Senate last July and subsequently receiving the required number of co-sponsors (at least 290) in the House of Representatives, according to a press statement of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. recently.

“The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. welcomes the development,” the press release dated 28 September 2016 further stated.

The U.S. House measure, HR 2737, already gained more than 300 co-sponsors, above the two-thirds threshold met by previous Congressional Gold Medal bills, according to the website of the U.S. Congress ( The U.S. Congress must formally approve the bill before President Barack Obama signs it into law.

With Maine Senator Susan Collins

The final passage of the bill into law would ensure that 200,000 Filipino-World War II veterans, most posthumously, will be collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.  Only 16,000 to 17,000 soldiers remain in the U.S. and the Philippines.  The award is a significant step towards honoring veterans for their bravery and sacrifice in the Pacific Theater of World War II.  Among the minority groups in the U.S. that have already been awarded the Medal are the Japanese American Nisei Soldiers, Puerto Rican Soldiers, Navajo Code Talkers, Women Air Services pilots, Montford Marines and Tuskegee Airmen.

The Consulate General in New York has been actively rallying the support of the Northeast U.S. Filipino-American community to lobby for the passage of H.R. 2737/S. 1555.  Since Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr. assumed office in 2011, he has also been working to promote the cause of Filipino-American World War II veterans, with the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), and the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) which was launched in 2014. The campaign for the Congressional Gold Medal Award Bill for the Filipino-American World War II veterans was launched by FilVetREP, led by Major General Antonio Taguba (United States Army, Retired).

Lawyers Merit Salud, JT Mallonga, ConGen Mario De Leon Jr. with senior legislative officials of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker
In all, Consul General De Leon met with officials of 23 Representatives (out of the current 58 Northeast U.S. House bill co-sponsors) in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. In his calls, he was accompanied by community leaders, including National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) officials Attys. JT Mallonga and Merit Salud; New York community leader Mr. Mon Villongco, Dr. Emilio Quines, and Mr. Rene Ballenas; New Jersey community leader Ms. Gwen de Vera; Pittsburgh community leader Ms. Teodora Schipper; Philadelphia community leaders Drs. Rommel and Aida Rivera, Mr. Ernesto Gange and Mr. Brad Baldia; Rhode Island community leader Captain Armando “Doy” Heredia; Boston community leaders Mr. Frank Celoza and Mr. Rudy Hermosa; Maine community leader Tess Cardona; New Hampshire community leader Ms. Jocelyn Santiago; and Vermont community leader Father Julian Asukan.  

From 2015 to 2016, Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr. has recognized the significant contribution of community leaders in the U.S. Northeast, NaFFAA, and FilVetREP who helped secure the Congressional targets and personally followed up with the district offices of senior legislative officials such as Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ); Senator Susan Collins (R-ME); Senator Jack Reed (D-RI); Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R, PA-8); Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D, NJ-6); Rep. Kathleen Rice (D, NY-4), Rep. Michael Doyle (D, PA-14), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D, ME-1), Rep. David Cicilline (D, RI-1), Rep. Donald Norcross (D, NJ-1), Rep. Peter Welch (D, VT), Rep. Tim Murphy (R, PA-18), and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) all of whom have respectively signed on to co-sponsor S. 1555 (the Senate version of the bill) and H.R. 2737.     

With Representative Michael Doyle (D-PA, 14)

As Consul General De Leon winds up his term this mid-October, he thanks the Filipino community for their strong partnership and in conveying our message to US Legislators and lobbying with them for legislative enactments that promote Philippine interests in the US and more robust US-PH relations.  He hopes that the passage of the Congressional Gold Medal Bill can still take place within the month of October, which is celebrated as Filipino-American History Month, and would signify another milestone in commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of Philippine-U.S. diplomatic relations. 

In Photos | Erik Santos and Angeline Quinto Concert in New York; King & Queen of Hearts at The Town Hall on Times Square

Erik Santos and Angeline Quinto Live at The Town Hall on Times Square. Presented by Promdi Productions in cooperation with TOFA NY, Starmedia Entertainment, Philippine Airlines, Fast Boy, Western Union, Lewis Law Group, Belo Medical Group, Castelvi Productions and Novo Nordisk. Featuring guest performers, Ms. Louanne Cuenco, Jared Martin, Angel Ram, Christopher Corro, Michelle Michelle, Geo Ed Rebucas and Chapter 2 Band, hosted by Ferlie Almonte. Ambassador Mario De Leon Jr. with his wife Eleonor were in attendance. October 9, 2016. New York.

Photos by Lambert Parong © 2016 Kababayan Media.

Photos by Lambert Parong © 2016 Kababayan Media