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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng Applauds House Passage of her COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to Combat Anti-Asian Hate; Measure Now Heads to President Biden Who is Expected to Sign the Bill into Law

US Rep Grace Meng Facebook Page Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On May 18, U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) applauded the House of Representatives’ passage of her COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which seeks to help combat the increase in anti-Asian hate that has occurred during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The bill passed 364 to 62. It follows the Senate’s approval of the measure last month by a nearly unanimous and overwhelming bipartisan vote of 94 to 1. The legislation now heads to President Biden who has said that he will sign it into law.

The bill, which Meng reintroduced in March with Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), would among other things, create a position at the Department of Justice to facilitate expedited review of COVID-19 hate crimes, encourage more reporting of incidents in multiple languages, and help make different communities feel more empowered to come forward and report these incidents. It would also direct federal agencies to work with community-based organizations to raise awareness of hate crimes during the pandemic.
“I am extremely thankful to see my measure pass the House today following last month’s passage in the Senate, and I am excited that it will soon be signed into law by the President,” said Meng. “I commend my colleagues in the House for taking action to combat the despicable and sickening acts hate and violence against Asian Americans, and for having the Asian American community’s back as we fight this xenophobia and racist attacks. I am truly heartened to see so many of my colleagues stand against this bigotry and discrimination. Those of Asian descent have been blamed and scapegoated for the outbreak of COVID-19, and as a result Asian Americans have been beaten, slashed, spat on and even killed. The Asian American community is exhausted from being forced to endure this ongoing racism and prejudice. Asian Americans are tired of living in fear, and being frightened about their kids or elderly parents going outside. There have been over 6,600 reported acts of violence, with over two-thirds being reported by women. And those are just the reported numbers. As I have said, everybody in our country deserves to feel safe, and that includes the Asian American community. I want to especially thank Senator Hirono for partnering with me to sponsor this legislation, as well as Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer for making the bill’s passage in Congress a reality, and strongly standing with the Asian American community during this difficult time.”
Meng discussed the legislation this morning with Speaker Pelosi and Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), of which she serves as the First Vice Chair. She also spoke about the bill this afternoon on the floor of the House.
Last month, President Biden in his first address to Congress, thanked the Senate for passing Meng’s bill and called on the House to approve the measure as well, adding that he would sign the legislation into law.
In his speech, the President said “I also want to thank the United States Senate for voting 94-1 to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to protect Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We acted decisively. You can see on television the viciousness of the hate crimes we’ve seen over the past year, and for too long. I urge the House to do the same and send that legislation to my desk which I will gladly, anxiously sign.”
President Biden also issued a statement in March saying he supports Meng’s bill, and called on Congress to pass it. In addition, he singled out Meng’s leadership after the legislation passed the Senate, and she recently discussed the issue with the President and Vice President at the White House.
In January, President Biden also issued a presidential memorandum that included several pieces of legislation that Meng sponsored. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

U.S. Filipino leaders Thank Biden for Donated Vaccines at The White House Rally, Appeal for More

Steven Raga, Filipino American New York City candidate speaks. Photo: Eric Lachica

WASHINGTON, DC: Filipino American leaders rallied Saturday morning in front of the White House to thank President Biden and the American People for delivering an initial donation of 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX facility to the Philippines.

The dozen leaders also appealed to Biden to release by Memorial Day an additional 5 million doses from the excess AstraZeneca stockpile in Baltimore and in Ohio. Biden recently pledged to donate 60 million doses not being used in America to help desperate nations. They also sang the US National Anthem and the Pilipino song, Bayan Ko. 

The community leaders are planning another White House rally in June with other community organizations to thank the Biden Administration after the next tranche of millions of donated vaccines arrive. During the next weeks their supporters in several states will virtually meet with the staff of US Senators and Biden administration officials to advocate for the early delivery of donated AZ vaccines. According to the US Embassy Manila website, the Filipino People can expect another separate 42 million doses from the American funded COVAX facility. Delivery dates are still unknown.

Photo: Eric Lachica

The following leaders attended: Virginia Alinsao RN of the Philippine Nurses of America (PNA) International Affairs committee with Alvin Matium RN, Steven Raga, a Filipino American candidate for the NY City Council, Paul Inserto RN and Eric Lachica of the US Medicare Philippines, Bettina Obias of the US Filipinos for Good Governance (USFGG) with Tina Maynigo and Ronie Nieva, Mel Alonzo of the Alliance of Women for Advancement and Reform (AWARE PH),  David Borden of the Stop the Drug War, and Dr. Bambi Lorica MD pediatrician with Dr. Victor Lorica.  Several gave solidarity appeals. Several sight-seers joined the group for photos including students and Filipino tourists. The thirty-minute event was live streamed on FaceBook by the USFGG social media team with the hashtag: #VAXFORPH.

Supporters are urged to appeal to President Biden on his website: and to their U.S. Senators on to donate early the five million excess doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to the Filipino People who are facing the terrible pandemic. More than 100 Filipinos are dying per day due to COVID-19.

Plight of Filipino American Nurses at New Show 'Usapang Fil Am' on May 20

The plight of the Filipino American nurse a year into the pandemic is the focus of the pilot webisode of Usapang Fil Am on May 20, Thursday, 8pm ET. 

Usapang Fil Am is the new interview format talk show of PinoyLife Media. 

Reports have confirmed that no ethnic group of health care workers has suffered more casualties than Filipino Americans. More than a quarter of nurses who have died of COVID-19 and related complications in the U.S. are Filipino American even as they make up just 4 percent of nurses in the country.

As they continue to tirelessly care for the weak and the sick in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask the hard questions: How are our nurses? Who are taking care of them? 

Join Noel Pangilinan and Cris Godinez in a candid conversation with Zenei Cortez, president of the largest union of registered nurses in America, and Fatima Cabillon a registered nurse whose mother worked as the Head ER Nurse at a Brooklyn hospital and became one of the early casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Usapang Fil Am | Fil Am Nurses: A Year Into the Pandemic will be available to watch via Facebook Live through this link

Liz Kari, Daughter of Filipino American Hate Crime Victim in New York Speaks Out

New York, 15 May 2021 - Liz Kari shared what they experienced that day and described the days and weeks after the violent attack on her Filipino American mom, Vilma Kari. Liz spoke at the AAPI Day of Unity, Empowering Asian American Pacific Islander Voices event in Columbus Park at Manhattan's Chinatown. The event was hosted by Asians Fighting Injustice led by Ben Wei to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Video by Lambert Parong

Edited by Lorenzo San Miguel

Learn more about Asians Fighting Injustice Liz Kari also created AAP(I belong) a place to anonymously share stories & words of encouragement from those who have encountered Anti-Asian Hatred. Share your story at AAP(I belong) Support Independent Community Media Organizations. Support Kababayan Media. 
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All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 3, 2021

Cecile Azarcon and Maestro Rob Shroder headline “Alay Kay Inay” – A Virtual Concert

After a successful Valentine’s virtual concert, UPAAA, Inc. together with two other UPAA chapters in East and West coasts, joined forces to stage yet another online event to give tribute to the special women in our lives, our mothers. 

The virtual concert will be held on Friday, May 7, 2021 at 7:30 PM Eastern Time.  The concert proper begins at 8:00 PM.  


Headlining the invited performers are famed Cecile Azarcon-Inocentes, Philippines’ legendary and highly- acclaimed songwriter and singer, whose music has been recorded and sang by Filipino and international artists; and Maestro Robert Shroder, resident conductor of the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra in California committed to the enrichment of Filipino culture through orchestra music.   

Another notable performer at this concert is US-based Pinoy band Sounds of Manila, a successful nine-member band who has successfully carved a niche in the US with their music.   The concert organizer carefully vetted the artists who will share their musical talents for the listening pleasure of the audience. 

This is a fundraising event to benefit the scholarship programs of UPAAA, UPAA Arizona and UPAA New Jersey. We would like to thank our supporters and sponsors for their generous contributions. 

If you want to dedicate one of the songs to be performed during the concert to honor the mothers in your life (Lola, Tita, Inay, Nanay, Mama, Moms) please e-mail us at  The link to the titles and lyrics of the featured songs is on the event page in Eventbrite. 


We would like to thank our generous supporters and sponsors: 

Gold Sponsors:

Handang Tumulong Foundation, Inc.

Daisy Magalit Rodriguez 

Tau Alpha Foundation, Inc.

Ria Money Transfer

The Filipino Channel (TFC USA)

Silver Sponsors:

Carolina E. Colborn, author of "Cruising Past Seventy: It's not only about outer journeys. It's also about inner Ones" (Available on Amazon)

Winston C. Umali, MD, PC, Jersey City, NJ. Specializing in Pediatrics

Kumon of Gilbert-Lindsay & Warner, Gilbert, Arizona, email

Nelsie T. Parrado & Family

Daisy Briones Macadaeg & Family

Minnie Corpuz-Castillo & Family

Bede Torralba & Family

Tau Alpha Foundation, Inc., UP College of Engineering

The Filipino Press

One Philippines, Texas Edition

Elizabeth Cueva, Esq. & Family

Erlinda Garduno, MD

Grace Gatchalian

Old Bridge Veterinary Clinic, New Jersey

Christine Claveria

Elizabeth Reyes

Nina Waters

Oscar Cajipe

Dennis Filoteo

UPAA San Diego County

Dr. Zosimo & Luzviminda Sapin Micabalo

Jojie Rago-Adia

Ador & Cristy Family Trust

Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center, San Diego

Melicor Homecare, LLC, San Francisco, CA,

J & Z Ply Family Partnership 

One Philippines Texas edition.

Dedicate 30-sec or 60-second video clips honoring one’s mother which will be featured during the concert. 


Register in Eventbrite for tickets: $15.00


Song dedication $25.00

49 REMAININGSales end on May 5, 2021

Dedicate one of the songs to be performed during the concert to your Inay and your dedication will be acknowledged with the song you choose. Please email with your name, Mother's name, and dedication.

Video dedication $50.00

28 REMAININGSales end on Apr 27, 2021

Submit one to two high-resolution photos to Include your name, Mother's name and a dedication of not more than 75 characters. Videos, with background instrumental music, will be created from groups of slides. Each video will loop intermittently during the concert.


Please extend this invitation to your families, relatives, and friends so that they may share this special day with loved ones. 

For more information, please check out the Eventbrite event page for available sponsorships or e-mail  

Part of the proceeds will go towards stipend scholarships in UP. 

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. UPAAA’s Tax-ID: 80-0816109. Thank you for your support. 


Make check payable to UPAAA, Inc. and mail to 2825 Oro Blanco Circle, Escondido, CA 92027. 

Governor Cuomo Announces Virtual Town Hall and Series of Listening Sessions for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Governor Cuomo Facebook Page Screenshot

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that, in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, New York State will host a virtual town hall and a weeklong series of listening sessions with state agencies to discuss issues impacting the AAPI community. 

New York State agencies will also launch a multi-agency social media campaign throughout the month of May to celebrate and spread awareness about Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with #NYSCelebratesAAPI.

"Asian American and Pacific Islander New Yorkers have made tremendous contributions to this state and a part of the mosaic that make up the family of New York,"Governor Cuomo said."After all of the unwarranted and disgraceful hate and violence directed towards this community over the past year, we want to make clear that we stand united with our friends and neighbors and have zero tolerance for those who seek to divide and harm our fellow New Yorkers." 

A virtual town hall will be hosted by the Division of Human Rights on Thursday, May 13 at 6:30 PM featuring a discussion led by Interim Commissioner Johnathan J. Smith, MTA Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng, New York State Liquor Authority Commissioner Lily Fan, New York Power Authority President & CEO Gil Quiniones.

The town hall will also feature: 

  • Department of Civil Service 
  • Department of Financial Services  
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Health  
  • Department of State, Office for New Americans 
  • Office for People with Developmental Disabilities  
  • Office for the Aging  
  • Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence 
  • Office of Mental Health 
  • Office of Temporary Disability Assistance, Bureau of Refugee Services 
  • Office of Victim Services
  • New York State Police

Registration for this virtual town hall is open here:  

New York Power Authority President & CEO Gil Quiniones said, "As a proud Filipino-American, I know full well that Asian-American & Pacific Islanders have brought their skills, their passions, their imaginations, their beliefs, and their creativity to this country. We see their innumerable contributions all around us, as they advance our technology, science and engineering and expand our literature, music and art.  As a result, this nation and its culture are enriched."

Photos | Anti-Hate Rally and March in Flushing Queens; 'We Belong Here: Queens Rises Against Hate' Led by Borough President Donovan Richards

Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

Queens, New York - Joined by community leaders and residents from across 'The World’s Borough', Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr., with special guests U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, 
Senator Chuck Schumer
Mayor Bill de Blasio,
Reverend Al Sharpton and other distinguished speakers
, participated in an anti-hate rally and march entitled “We Belong Here: Queens Rises Against Hate” last Sunday, May 2 in Flushing, in a show of solidarity with New York City’s Asian American community — a community that nationwide has been the unjust target of a shameful onslaught of racist hate for more than a year, for no other reason than their ethnicity.

Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

The May 2 event began with a rally outside Flushing Town Hall at 137-35 Northern Boulevard, from which the march stepped off. The march then proceeded east on Northern Boulevard, south on Union Street, west on Sanford Avenue, north on Main Street and east on Northern Boulevard — concluding back at Flushing Town Hall.

Text from QBP Donovan Richards Facebook Event Page.

Photos by Lambert Parong 
© Kababayan Media 2021

Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media

Photos by Lambert Parong 

© Kababayan Media 2021