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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Xyza Cruz Bacani: We Are Like Air, Solo Exhibition in NYC Opens May 3

Image: Xyza Cruz Bacani, We Are Like Air Skyline, 2013, giclée print on Hanehmühle Photo Rag Paper, 16h x 20w in or  24.75h x 33w in, edition of 5 + 2AP

A Mother and Daughter's Unlikely Journey 

New York - Christine Park Gallery is pleased to present We Are Like Air, a solo exhibition of photographs curated from a similarly titled book, by Hong Kong based Filipina artist Xyza Cruz Bacani. It is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. At its core, We Are Like Air is a visual metaphor for the way migrant workers are often treated in every society – an ever-present necessity of production, but often permanently unseen. Through documenting eight inter-woven stories of migrant worker families, which also includes the journey of her mother, Georgia Bacani, the artist drives to the heart of this conversation in an extremely personal and relevant way through the images she has created. A video will accompany these photographs alongside a prayer area to allow guests to quietly spend time as they explore the gallery.

In addition to the images depicting the stories of these migrant workers, the exhibition will also feature an installation of cross-stitch embroidery, which was created by migrant workers in Hong Kong. Inspired from her photographs,, the embroidery serves as a physical representation of how society operates  through the work of the invisible hands,performing multiple kinds of labor. Every Sunday, the artist witnesses’ women migrant workers creating beautiful patterns with cross-stitch on their rest day after working six days a week. A tradition of migrant worker families, normally done by the women of the household, cross-stitching is used to embellish and personalize household linens and dishcloths.  It has now become a popular expression of creativity for women to hang on as decorations on the walls of their home. Similar to their experience as migrant workers, the process of creating a cross-stitch is also unseen and only ever acknowledged as a final product, separated from hard work put into it . This is similarity is not new as the parallels between the cross-stitching and labor they create flow through their hands like the air they have come to personify.

This exhibition and the artist talk are generously supported by WMA Commission, Hong Kong and FUJIFILM North American Corporation.

Artist Talk & Book Signing: Saturday 4 May, 6-8 pm
Exhibition: 3 May - 8 June 2019
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm & by appointment

Artist Talk & Book Signing with Sheila Coronel, Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, New York.

Venue: Christine Park Gallery, 515 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011

Xyza Cruz Bacani talks about her book, We Are Like Air, her journey as a photographer, and her photography projects with Sheila Coronel, Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism at Columbia University. The event starts at 6pm with a cocktail reception and ends with a book signing by the artist.

Places are limited but free admission. Please RSVP at

About the Artist 

Xyza Cruz Bacani (b.1987) is a Filipina documentary photographer whose works and story has been featured in the New York Times Lens Blog, CNN, BBC and other international media. Having worked as a second-generation domestic worker in Hong Kong for almost a decade, she is particularly interested in the intersection of labour migration and human rights. Through photography she was able to raise awareness about under-reported stories on migrants and human rights issues. She is one of the Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellows in 2015, has exhibited worldwide, and won awards in photography. She is also the recipient of a resolution passed by the Philippines House of Representatives in her honour, HR No.1969. Xyza is one of the Asia 21 Young Leaders (Class of 2018), the WMA Commission grantee in 2017, a Pulitzer Center grantee, and an Open Society Moving Walls 2017 grantee. She is one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the World 2015, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2016, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016, and a FUJIFILM Ambassador.

Monday, April 29, 2019

President Duterte highlights significance of human cooperation, migrant workers

GREATER CONNECTIVITY FOR GROWTH. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte pushes for greater infrastructure connectivity to sustain the country’s high-growth trajectory as he delivers his intervention during the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the China National Convention Center in Beijing on April 26, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

BEIJING, China — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday, April 26, recognized the contribution of migrant workers to the development of home and host countries, advocating their protection and welfare during a forum here. During the High-Level Meeting Session I of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Duterte underscored the importance of creating human connections.

“In pursuing connectivity, we should not merely build roads and bridges but we should also create human connections. It is through these connections that we facilitate grand exchanges of skills, ideas, and experience. It is also through linkages that we forge and build trust and understanding,” the President said in his speech at the China National Convention Center.Migrant workers serve as nodes of these connections, according to the President. “Through their hard work, they continue to contribute to the development of both their home and host countries,” he said.

According to President Duterte, it is our shared responsibility to protect the rights and promote the welfare of migrant workers, adding that “these are the essence of people-centered cooperation. The Philippines is one with every responsible member of the international community in building a future that would be the envy of history – one that promotes global cooperation yet upholds and respects national sovereignty; where national honor is married with the interest of humanity; and where the great challenges that transcend national borders are collectively addressed,” he said.

During his speech, the President also reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to the collective vision of common prosperity through cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and as equal sovereign states. In the past, President Duterte said belts and roads established lines of commerce, contact, and connections. “Humanity’s experience, however, has been mixed. Some networks spurred progress; other networks ushered decline,” he said. “While some societies benefitted, others paid a heavy toll. We should learn from the lessons of history,” the President said.

President Duterte also acknowledged how multilateralism allowed “us to undertake global governance through cooperation,” from building a global free trade regime to laying down the rules that govern the use of oceans. “We built the current rules-based order because nobody wins in a zero-sum game. This brought us sustained peace and [unparalleled] prosperity,” the President said. “This part of the model is truly to transform our world for the better. Yet even before multilateralism and the new globalization matured, we in Southeast Asia already envisioned a community that promotes shared prosperity and mutual respect,” he said.

“Through ASEAN, we have achieved regional peace and common development. We have become the fulcrum of the regional architecture, respected by all powers for the leadership that only we – nations with no strategic design but that only of peace – can provide,” he added. ASEAN centrality, according to the President, has been a positive force in Asia’s rise and continue to be so as the region’s architecture evolves. “This is the premise of the Philippines’ engagement with the world. In pursuit of our independent foreign policy, we will uphold and defend the open and rules-based international order,” he said.

He likewise stated that the Philippines shall continue to participate, contribute, and cooperate to the extent the Belt and Road Forum complements ASEAN and our national development initiatives, including the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity, and creates an environment conducive to productive bilateral undertakings. “The belts and roads of the past facilitated cross-[civilizational] exchange. The belts and roads that we now seek to build must fuse our ideas towards a common objective. Our destination must be the fulfillment of our peoples’ aspirations,” he said.

With regards to development assistance, the President said this should be based on reciprocal benefits, motivated by keen interest in partner states to bring about real progress. “This should be the new normal. And it is in our interest to work together to make this a reality,” he said. He further noted that this should build on capacities of nations and should never foster dependence.

“We must remember: Development assistance must be used as a genuine tool to bring about positive change in the lives of our peoples. And it must be a purposive decision of partner-states, taking into account mutual respect and mutual interests,” he said.

President Duterte also expressed gratitude to President Xi Jinping for hosting the forum.

He said the forum is an opportunity to redefine international cooperation. “This is the key to sustained growth,” he added. Prior to his participation in the High-Level Meeting Session I, the President attended the opening ceremony at the China National Convention Center.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Presidential Memorandum on Combating High Nonimmigrant Overstay Rates

Presidential Memoranda 
Issued on April 22, 2019. 

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Policy.  (a)  My Administration is committed to securing the borders of the United States and fostering respect for the laws of our country, both of which are cornerstones of our Republic.  Nonimmigrant visa (visa) overstay rates are unacceptably high for nationals of certain countries.  Aliens must abide by the terms and conditions of their visas for our immigration system to function as intended.  Although the United States benefits from legitimate nonimmigrant entry, individuals who abuse the visa process and decline to abide by the terms and conditions of their visas, including their visa departure dates, undermine the integrity of our immigration system and harm the national interest.

(b)  The large numbers of aliens who overstay their period of lawful admission, failing to comply with the terms of a visa or the Visa Waiver Program, place significant strain on Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security resources, which are currently needed to address the national emergency on our southern border.

Sec. 2.  Addressing High Visa Overstay Rates.  (a)  The Secretary of State shall engage with the governments of countries with a total overstay rate greater than 10 percent in the combined B-1 and B-2 nonimmigrant visa category based on the Department of Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2018 Entry/Exit Overstay Report.  This engagement should identify conditions contributing to high overstay rates among nationals of those countries and methods to address those conditions.

(b)  Within 120 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall provide to the President recommendations to reduce B-1 and B-2 nonimmigrant visa overstay rates from the identified countries.  With respect to any of the identified countries, the recommendations may include, as appropriate and to the extent consistent with applicable law, a proclamation, relying on authorities such as sections 212(f) and 215 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a)), suspending or limiting entry of nationals of those countries who hold B-1 or B-2 visas; targeted suspension of visa issuance for certain nationals; limits to duration of admission, to be implemented by the Department of Homeland Security; and additional documentary requirements.

(c)  The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall immediately begin taking all appropriate actions that are within the scope of their respective authorities to reduce overstay rates for all classes of nonimmigrant visas.

(d)  Within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide to the President a summary of the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing efforts to reduce overstays from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program, to include any recommendations for additional action necessary and appropriate to ensure the integrity and security of that Program.

Sec. 3.  Admission Bonds.  The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take steps to develop measures required for imposing admission bonds as a means for improving compliance with the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant visas.  The Secretaries shall provide a status report to the President within 120 days of the date of this memorandum.

Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)    the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof;

(ii)   the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals; or

(iii)  existing rights or obligations under international agreements.

(b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 5.  The Secretary of State is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Maria Ressa: “You are seeing a precipitous death by a thousand cuts of democracy as we know it.”

“For the first time fantasy is made into reality. It seems like an escalation again of attacks on free press and on independent journalists.”

“You are seeing a precipitous death by a thousand cuts of democracy as we know it. And it’s time for us to stand up and say, we want the constitution, this must be protected and demand accountability and an end to impunity.”

- Maria Ressa, on the ‘Oust Duterte Plot Matrix’, at a recent "Kapihan" forum by the Filipino American Press Club of New York.

Maria Ressa is the CEO of Rappler (a social network news website), veteran journalist, one of Time magazine's 2018 Person of the Year and one of Time’s 100 Influential People of 2019. 

The "Kapihan" forum with Filipino community members was attended by artists, educators, authors and media practitioners. It was held at the Asian American Writer's Workshop. April 26, 2019. New York. Photos by Lambert Parong © 2019 Kababayan Media

Thursday, April 25, 2019

President Duterte commends LGUs, NGOs for quick quake response; national government in action

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a situation briefing with the members of his cabinet and local government officials at the Provincial Capitol in San Fernando City, Pampanga on April 23, 2019 to discuss the disaster response measures on the aftermath of the earthquake. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

SAN FERNANDO CITY, PHILIPPINES —  President Rodrigo Roa Duterte praised the quick response of government agencies, local government units, and non-governmental organizations in Pampanga following the 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit the province last 22 April Monday.

“First of all, I’d like to thank the various local government units and the NGOs who are in the place for the excellent camaraderie shown during the crisis,” President Duterte said during a situation briefing at the Pampanga provincial capitol on Tuesday, April 23. “I arrived last night, 2 o’clock, and I would have wanted to visit here but I was not allowed by the provincial commander. I was given the thumbs down because there was no sufficient light to guide us even on going around,” he added.

In the briefing, the President asked about Chuzon grocery store that collapsed during the quake, killing several individuals. Many others are still missing as of Tuesday. The President wants authorities to investigate the incident because, according to him, business owners often ignore safety standards or don’t comply with the requirements of the law to save money, which compromises public safety.

“That would be the work of the investigators. Secretary Año and maybe DPWH and the police could help in the determination of the structural integrity of that building whether it was a defect…man-made, or one of those really…I said that it can happen and it was a bad day for them to have it,” he said. Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año reported that the foundation of the Chuzon supermarket is only good for two-storeys but its owner constructed up to two additional floors.

Secretary Año also noted that he would issue a memorandum circular for LGUs that have Chuzon supermarkets in their jurisdiction to temporarily suspend the establishments’ business permit until the DILG has pre-assessed the structural integrity of those supermarkets. Chuzon’s owner was also summoned by the CIDG Tuesday afternoon, Secretary Año told the President.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reported that, as of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, a total of 112 individuals are confined at different hospitals in the region. Secretary Duque assured the President that the health department has sufficient money, medicine, and manpower to address the crisis.

In the agriculture sector, the earthquake did not have much impact for the region, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol. Aside from P50 million worth of damage on irrigation canals and dams, damage is minimal, and the government’s production targets would not be affected, he reported. The department also has rice stocks on standby in case Pampanga needs additional supply.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said about 108 schools were affected by the earthquake in three regions: Region 3, National Capital Region, and Region 4-B. Also, about 80 classrooms were damaged. As of Tuesday afternoon, DepEd said the total worth of damage to school facilities was about P120 million. To cover the cost, the department has requested the Department of Budget and Management for additional funds and apply for pay-out via the parametric insurance at the Department of Finance (DoF) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) extended assistance to quake survivors. The DSWD also reported to the President its relief efforts in affected communities in Pampanga. In Porac, Pampanga alone, the DSWD said it distributed 200 family food packs to the affected families. It also provided burial cash assistance to 11 individuals.

Some 445 families in three evacuation centers received food packs from the DSWD. Two evacuation centers are located in Pampanga and one in Zambales. Emergency shelter assistance would be provided to 56 families from eight communities in Porac, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista said. The DSWD still has more than 14,000 family food packs ready for distribution. Also, a total of P10.5 million in cash and in kind is ready for utilization, according to Secretary Bautista.

Regarding the Chuzon employees who lost their jobs following the disaster, the DOLE said it profiled 105 workers from Chuzon, adding the workers can be absorbed readily by the local economy.

The President expressed his gratitude to all who worked in the aftermath of the Luzon earthquake. “I’d like to thank you for the esprit de corps that you have displayed so far. Kaya sana magpaiwan na ganun ‘yan. For after all, we are really living in one country, and there is fault, fault, fault everywhere,” he said. “Anyway, it’s not so devastating if I would say the word, but it is a problem for us…and the fact that we are assembled here talking about it. At the end of the day, it boils down to money,” he added.

The epicenter of the magnitude 6.1 earthquake was in Castillejos, Zambales, killing 16 people, Office of Civil Defense Administrator Ricardo Jalad said. A total 28 structures were damaged in Region 3 as of Tuesday afternoon, Jalad reported, including Clark International Airport that was temporarily shut down last Monday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Kicks Off Lead-Based Paint Testing at 135,000 NYCHA Apartments

Part of Mayor’s LeadFreeNYC Plan to eliminate childhood lead exposure. 
(City Hall Press Office Photo)

NEW YORK —Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off NYCHA’s new lead-based paint testing program this past April 15, 2019. For the first time ever, 135,000 apartments will be tested with a portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzers. Surpassing local and federal requirements, this effort will determine the presence of lead paint and abate any hazards found in these units. These 135,000 units were built before 1978, when lead paint was banned at the federal level. Testing will be completed by the end of 2020.

“New York City has driven down the number of kids exposed to lead by 90 percent, and now we will finish the mission,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.  “For the first time ever, we’re going into 135,000 NYCHA apartments to eradicate lead exposure. This aggressive new testing plan will help make New York the healthiest and fairest big city in America.”

“Today, we begin to aggressively tackle lead-based paint inspections for our residents and their children,” said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia. “We will continue to accelerate lead testing to ensure NYCHA is lead free and our residents are safe from lead-based hazards in their homes.”

NYCHA will then prioritize developments with the highest population of children under the age of 6, which is the age recognized in the City’s law requiring landlords to conduct regular lead-based paint visual assessments. Testing begins at Harlem River Houses on April 15 and the other seven developments will start on May 1.The first tranche of development to be tested are:

Williamsburg Houses
Harlem River Houses
Bronx River Houses
Saint Nicholas Houses
Johnson Houses
Red Hook West Houses
Castle Hill Houses
Marble Hill Houses

The remaining developments will be announced in the coming months. In addition to ensuring individual residents are receiving clear and rapid communication about results for their own
 apartments once inspected, NYCHA will report its testing results online by May 1st and will update this information every two weeks.

In July 2018, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new undertaking for the City and NYCHA to fully test for the presence of lead-based paint in public housing apartments. Released in December 2018, the Request for Proposal (RFP) sought the use of portable XRF testing.  In February 2019, NYCHA announced the selection of seven contractors to conduct the lead-based paint inspection services. The $88 million contract was awarded to Airtek Environmental, Arc Environmental, ATC Group, JLC Environmental, Lew Corporation, The ALC Group, and TRC Environmental. The contractors are expected to inspect approximately 5,000 to 7,000 apartments each month.

Beyond the testing, the scope of the contracts includes identifying hazardous conditions detrimental to residents’ health and safety. As part of the testing, the contractors will also perform the HUD annually required visual assessments for all apartments built prior to 1978 that have not been previously cleared of lead-based paint. NYCHA will correct any paint deficiencies observed during the visual assessments.

This testing initiative is part of LeadFreeNYC, the City’s roadmap to eradicate childhood lead exposure. LeadFreeNYC’s approach is twofold: prevent exposure to lead hazards in the first place, and respond quickly and comprehensively if a child has an elevated blood lead level. To protect New York City kids, the City will increase resources and support for children, parents, and healthcare providers.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Filipino American High School Leadership Workshop Held at Harvard University

Participants, organizers, and volunteers pose for a group photo during the workshop.  The Philippine Consulate General In New York  was represented by Consul Arman R. Talbo (2nd row, center). Photo by NYPCG 

New York - Thirty-two (32) young Filipino-American students from all over the New England states  attended the Filipino-American High School Leadership Workshop held at the Sever Hall of Harvard University on 20 April 2019.

The participants present their ideal Philippine Cultural Center design which they designed as part of a workshop activity. Photo by PAMANA 

The one day leadership conference featured panels, workshops, and activities where the participating high school students interfaced with young Fil-Am professionals and college students  as they discussed their Filipino roots, culture, and traditions and how these impact their student life and future careers. The event was organized and presented by the Philippine American Mainstream Advocacy for Nonpartisan Associations, Inc. (PAMANA), in partnership with the Philippine Consulate General in New York, and the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO).

Atty. Jennifer Coliflores Rosenthal, a FYLPRO alumna, and Mr. Philjay Somera Solar co-chaired the planning and preparations for the event which is a first of its kind in the area.  They said that the workshop is part of their giving-back project for the community which they hope would empower the Filipino youth and allow their Filipino identity to shine as they pursue their studies.

(L-R) Consul Arman R. Talbo with panelists Czara Venegas, Ellie Tiglao, Dr. Renzo Guinto, Alyanna Tenorio, and Michael Vea, a FYLPRO alumnus. The panel discussed the topic, "What is your Filipino story". Photo by PAMANA

In his remarks, Consul Arman R. Talbo shared the recent developments and positive news from the Philippines and discussed the services and projects of the Consulate which benefit the Filipino youth and their families.   He likewise encouraged the young students to pursue their degrees in college and fulfill their destiny as the hope and future of the country.

Ms. Joy Lim Nakrin shares her inspiring experiences a Fil-Am media practitioner in Boston. Photo by PAMANA 

Ms. Joy Lim Nakrin, Emmy-nominated anchor for MBC10 Boston, was the keynote speaker and she shared her inspiring experiences as well as the challenges she faced as Fil-Am lawyer and media practitioner.  She said that at their age, it is normal for high school students to not fully know what career to pursue but they should take into consideration their passion when deciding and preparing themselves for the future.

Contributed PCGNY19423

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Anne del Castillo Appointed as Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment

Anne del Castillo. ( photo)

NEW YORK— Mayor de Blasio appointed Anne del Castillo as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Del Castillo has served as General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of MOME since 2015, helping structure and advance several groundbreaking workforce and diversity initiatives. As Commissioner, del Castillo will amplify MOME’s efforts not only to strengthen the city’s media and entertainment economy, but to ensure that the workforce in those industries is as diverse as New York City itself.

“Media and entertainment are central to New York City’s economy and identity. Anne has the vision and experience to continue to strengthen the industry during this time of unprecedented growth and change,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Her commitment to diversifying our entertainment sector and piloting innovative programs will ensure New York continues to be the media capital of the world.”

“I am honored to accept the Mayor’s appointment, and grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with MOME’s dedicated team to support the development of New York City’s creative sectors and nightlife industry,” said Anne del Castillo, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “This is an exciting time for our agency to engage a broad cross section of industry, community and other key stakeholders to advance an inclusive, sustainable and thriving creative economy that benefits all New Yorkers and reflects the diversity that defines our city.”

As Commissioner, del Castillo will lead the Administration’s effort to capitalize on the burgeoning augmented reality and virtual reality industries. She will also lead outreach to the advertising industry to help foster career pathways for New Yorkers of all backgrounds, and oversee the work of the recently formed Office of Nightlife to ensure the sustainable development of nightlife in New York City.

Del Castillo joined MOME after more than 20 years in film production, public media, and non-profit administration. In 2014, del Castillo was appointed as director of legal affairs of MOME and was promoted to chief operating officer and general counsel in 2015. During her tenure, she helped develop and launch mentorship and training programs to increase industry diversity and the Made in NY Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund which is distributing $5 million in grants to women filmmakers and playwrights. She also helped establish the first of its kind Freelancers Hub to create a central resource for freelance workers and One Book, One New York, which is the largest community read in the country. Del Castillo has served as the acting commissioner of the Office of Media and Entertainment since February 2019.

MOME has recently expanded from supporting the film, TV, and theatre industries to supporting the music, publishing, advertising and digital media industries as well. These industries account for a total of 305,000 jobs and an economic output of $104 billion. MOME also encompasses NYC Media, the City’s official broadcast network and the Office of Nightlife.

About Anne del Castillo

Anne del Castillo has over 20 years of experience in film production, public media, and arts and nonprofit administration. As vice president of development and business affairs at American Documentary, producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series POV, she secured $3 million annually in grants and contracts, and negotiated partnerships with Netflix and theatrical distributors to maximize distribution opportunities for independent documentaries. Prior to her tenure at American Documentary, she served as associate director of the Austin Film Society, where she oversaw administration of the Texas Filmmakers Production Fund, successfully advocated for formulation of media arts panel at City of Austin’s Arts Commission, and was part of the initial task force that led the development of Austin Studios

Previously, del Castillo worked with American artist Richard Kostelanetz on a series of anthology reprints on pioneers of the avant-garde, John Cage, Merce Cunningham and László Moholy-Nagy. She has consulted on numerous film projects, and was associate producer on the Sundance Award-winning documentary Imelda, about the former First Lady of the Philippines. Anne also served as a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts, Center for Asian American Media, and New York State Council on the Arts, among others, and presented at industry events, including South by Southwest and the Sithengi Film and TV Market in South Africa.

A native of New York City, del Castillo received her BA in English literature and BS in mass communications with honors from Boston University. She earned her JD at Brooklyn Law School and was honored with a Rising Star Award in 2017.

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Philippine Consulate General in NY Has Started Accepting Ballots of Overseas Absentee Voters for the Philippine Midterm Elections

Sarah Rose Villafuerte, a dual citizen residing in New Jersey, and one of the first voters who came, submits her accomplished ballot to Ms. Evelyn Villacastin,a member of the SBRCG(Special Ballot Reception and Custody Group) of Post (Photo by NYPCG)

New York – The Philippine Consulate General in New York (PCGNY) has started accepting accomplished ballots for the Philippine midterm elections on 13 April 2019, Saturday.

Postal voting is being implemented. Official Ballots and other election paraphernalia are mailed to every registered overseas absentee voter. The said voter, in turn, either mails the ballot to PCGNY or personally delivers it. A couple of voters opted to personally deliver their ballots on the first day of the elections.

PCGNY has approximately 42,040 registered voters under its jurisdiction. Overseas Absentee voting ends on 13 May 2019.

“Let’s exercise our right to shape our nation’s destiny. Please exercise your right to vote.” said Consul General Claro S. Cristobal. 

Contributed PCGNY 19420

Statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo, on the Luzon, Philippines Earthquake

On the Luzon earthquake

The government, through the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, is closely monitoring the situation after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Zambales and affected other parts of Luzon.

We assure our people that concerned agencies of the government are already responding and assisting those in troubled conditions and shall continue to do so for as long as necessary. First responders from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Office of Civil Defense, Philippine National Police, and affected Local Government Units, as well as other related agencies, are cooperating and coordinating on the ground to look after the needs of our citizens. The Departments of Transportation and Energy are also on full alert to respectively address issues on disruption of transportation services and power supply interruptions. 

We ask the public to remain calm but vigilant and we urge them to refrain from spreading disinformation in social media that may cause undue alarm, panic and stress to many people. We call upon our citizen's innate Bayanihan spirit and request their cooperation, patience and understanding in this time of need.

Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson

Philippine Business and Investment Promotion Held in New York

(Clockwise) Consul General Claro S. Cristobal; Senior Trade Representative Nicanor Bautista; Albright Stonebridge Group's VP for ASEAN Meredith Miller; AGS's Chairman Carlos Gutierrez; Secretary Ernesto Pernia, and BCDA president and CEO Vivencio Dizon during their meeting held recently in New York.

New York - Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning Ernesto Pernia and President and CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Vivencio Dizon led the Philippine delegation in various business and investment promotion meetings held in New York on 8-9 April 2019.

In the said meetings, Secretary Pernia presented the bright economic prospects of the Philippines and discussed the projects and reforms being implemented by the government to sustain the rapid economic growth of the country.

On the other hand, Mr. Dizon focused on the developments in Clark and the government's Build, Build, Build projects. He encouraged investors to setup their businesses in the Philippines, particularly in Clark, due to its strategic location and the infrastructure developments happening in the area.

As a result of these meetings, several businessmen and investors have expressed interest in considering the Philippines as an investment destination and they are expected to visit the country within this year to further look into the operational details.

Consul General Claro S. Cristobal, Senior Trade Representative Nicanor Bautista, and Consul Arman R. Talbo also participated in the meetings and assisted the Philippine delegation. The Consulate and PTIC-NY will continue the discussion with interested businesses and follow through the gains established by the successful visit of Secretary Pernia and Mr. Dizon.

Contributed PCGNY19420

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Photos: 'Fabulous Philippines: A Perfect Wedding Destination' Exhibit Ribbon Cutting and Reception in New York

Consul Arman Talbo, Barge Ramos, Gina Reyes, Christine  Daguno-Canoy, Albert Andrada and  Mr. Nicanor Bautista.

New York - Fabulous Philippines: A Perfect Wedding Destination, was launched with an exhibit and reception at the Philippine Center in New York this past April 11, 2019. Consul Arman Talbo of the Philippine Consulate and Mr. Nicanor Bautista of the Dept. of Trade and Industry led in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The three-day event, organized by Neocolors Productions & Advertising International Inc., is its biggest collaboration with Albert Andrada and Barge Ramos, two of the country’s most respected and internationally-recognized fashion designers. Fabulous Philippines is a Philippine Tourism and Lifestyle event focusing on the development, marketing, and promotion of the country as a perfect wedding destination. 

Dr. Christine May Daguno-Canoy, President and CEO of Neocolors Productions & Advertising in her message said "This is a celebration of Filipino creativity, while making a difference as proceeds of this project will be for the benefit of Educare for Life International Foundation, which aims to provide college scholarships to deserving high school graduates, as well as medical assistance, and disaster response and relief operations in times of calamities."

The event showcasing the best of the Philippines, featured an exhibit at the lobby of the Philippine Center on 5th Avenue from April 11 to 12, 2019 and culminated with a grand fashion show on April 13, 2019 at one of the grandest fashion show venues in New York City— Landmark on the Park.  

The three-day event dubbed as a fusion of proudly made Filipino masterworks of handwoven fabrics, and outstanding lifestyle items, included Albert Andrada’s creations worn by Pia Wurtzbach during the 2015 Ms. Universe Pageant.

Photos by Lambert Parong © 2019 Kababayan Media.