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Monday, October 31, 2022

Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Schumer, and Micron, Welcome President Biden to Central New York Marking Milestone Local Community and Workforce Commitments

Syracuse, New York — Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU), one of the world's largest semiconductor companies and the only U.S.-based manufacturer of memory, on  Thursday Oct. 27, welcomed President Joe Biden and other federal, state and local officials to Central New York where Micron plans to invest up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a leading-edge memory megafab. With the signing of the Community Investment Framework, Micron will mark its initial community and workforce commitments established with Empire State Development (ESD). This framework encompasses the $500 million Green CHIPS Community Investment Fund focused on supporting workforce development, education, community assets and organizations, and affordable housing, as well as other initiatives that ensure the Central New York workforce will have the advanced skills needed to sustain leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing.  

Micron will invest $250 million in the Fund and an additional $100 million will be invested from New York, with $150 million from local, other state and national partners. The company will also establish a Community Advisory Committee consisting of 11 diverse community members, in addition to representatives from local and state governments as well as Micron. The Committee will identify priorities and prospective areas for investment from the Fund. Through this approach, Micron and ESD aim to better understand and address the needs of the Central New York community and make targeted investments throughout the region. Governor Hochul and Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra will sign the Community Investment Framework, alongside local partners, endorsing the spirit of collaboration with ESD to invest in the region. Micron's plans to build a megafab in New York, which will create nearly 50,000 New York jobs including approximately 9,000 high-paying Micron jobs, is the result of the bipartisan work of Congress and the Biden Administration to pass the CHIPS and Science Act. 

"Micron's historic $100 billion investment secures a bright economic future for generations of New Yorkers in Onondaga County and across the state, and this transformative project cements New York's manufacturing leadership," Governor Hochul said. "In addition to nearly 50,000 jobs, deep commitments to sustainability, and opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses and disadvantaged communities, this project's $500 million community fund will sustain the region in the long term with investments in workforce, housing, and infrastructure. I am thrilled that President Biden could join us for this once-in-a-generation announcement, and I look forward to working closely with our local, state, and federal partners, as well as the business and labor communities, to bring one of the largest economic development projects in U.S. history to fruition." 

"We are thrilled to welcome President Biden home to Syracuse! Micron's unprecedented $100 billion investment is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Central New York that will fundamentally transform the region, create tens of thousands of good-paying manufacturing and union construction jobs, strengthen our national security, and breathe new life into America's legacy as a leader in innovation," said Senator Charles Schumer. "Thanks to our CHIPS and Science Bill, and visionary projects like Micron's, manufacturing is coming back to America and places like Upstate New York. This is our Erie Canal moment and will add to Upstate New York's semiconductor corridor from the Hudson Valley and Capital Region to the Mohawk Valley and Rochester to ensure the future is built in Upstate New York. This project will be a national blueprint for what investing in workers, the community, and environmental sustainability looks like - and it is because of the leadership of President Biden that we are now building America's future here in Upstate New York." 

"We are honored to host President Biden and many prominent leaders today in Central New York, the future site of Micron's new leading-edge megafab that will fuel U.S. innovation for years to come," said Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. "To secure U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, cultivate American innovation and ensure economic and national security, it is imperative we come together to build and transform a workforce for the future. Our commitments through the Community Investment Framework represent the first foundational steps toward Central New York's transformation." 

Building the Workforce of the Future 

Both traditional and nontraditional workforce development pathways are critical to train the workforce at the scale necessary for the U.S. semiconductor industry. The workforce of the future will require talented engineers and technicians with diverse skill sets to manage and operate state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities and develop advanced engineering solutions. Micron is committed to effective and creative solutions that expand the workforce and make these careers accessible to all, particularly to individuals in underrepresented and rural communities.  

In line with Micron's strategy to partner with leading higher education institutions in the region, Micron and Onondaga County will together invest $10 million, with Micron investing $5 million over 10 years, to build and outfit a cleanroom at Onondaga Community College and support development of the school's technical curriculum. This investment will provide students access to advanced manufacturing methods and equipment to prepare them for technician and engineering roles inside Micron's manufacturing facility.  

Micron will also look to tap Central New York's significant military population, a highly skilled and talented pool of labor critical to scale U.S. high-tech manufacturing. In coordination and partnership with Micron, Syracuse University's D'Aniello Institute of Veteran and Military Families (IVMF) will support veteran skill development for advanced manufacturing jobs and transitions into Micron and other industry roles. Micron will also establish an internship program designed to prepare students for full-time positions as engineers, scientists and other critical roles in the semiconductor industry, with recruitment focused heavily on veterans and students from traditionally underrepresented communities. Micron aspires to hire more than 1,500 veterans in the region over two decades in Central New York, aligned with Micron's goals for veteran hiring. 

In addition, Micron has entered into a Project Labor Agreement with local trade unions, which establishes a framework for labor-management cooperation and stability throughout the construction of the new megafab. This agreement outlines the use of the Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment and Veterans Employment and its "Helmets to Hardhats" program. It also requires contractors to donate one cent per hour for each craft hour worked on the project to the Pathways for Apprenticeship program, part of Syracuse Build, to promote representation of minorities and women in the project workforce. 

As part of Micron's commitment to increase supplier diversity, Micron will work to ensure that 30% of the project's eligible construction spend, and 20% of its eligible ongoing annual operating spend, is awarded to companies owned by individuals from traditionally underrepresented communities, with priority given to New York State Certified Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprises and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses. Micron will encourage construction contractors and subcontractors to use Syracuse Build as a first-source model to identify candidates for hiring from disadvantaged populations.  

Investing in STEM Education For All  

STEM education in K-12 through post-secondary schooling and training programs is essential to create a skilled talent pipeline. Micron will invest in local education programs and empower under-resourced youth to pursue careers in STEM to support building a more diverse and inclusive technology industry at large.  

As part of Micron's commitment, the company will invest $10 million over 10 years in the Syracuse STEAM school — the first collaborative school in the area designed to integrate the areas of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics — as well as other K-12 programs in the region to reach historically marginalized students and reduce barriers to future STEM careers. The regional facility will offer unprecedented opportunities in emerging technologies and the arts to socioeconomically, racially, and geographically diverse students. This investment will serve as a catalyst for future private developments and collaboration in the region.  

Additional Micron community commitments include a partnership with Syracuse University to support new, diverse faculty whose research and teaching will train the workforce of the future through the University's Future Professors Fellowship Program. Micron will also continue supporting engineering education with regional universities including Clarkson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cornell and others. The strong network of northeastern universities will enhance the company's existing partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology and further increase representation of student groups throughout the engineering and science pipeline.  

Engaging With Local Communities  

Micron prioritizes investing in and enriching the communities where its team members live and work. In support of child care and early childhood readiness programs, Micron will make an initial $500,000 investment in the YMCA of Central New York. This investment aims to expand access to high-quality child care and early learning for underserved communities in the region. Micron will continue to partner with the YMCA and other organizations to identify future investments that empower children and families and build an equitable and inclusive community for all. 

Micron will launch a $500,000 Museum of Science & Technology (MOST) sponsorship. Micron funds will support a long-term MOST exhibit that provides students and their families with hands-on experiences to learn about semiconductors and their common applications. In addition, Micron will make midwinter- and spring-break MOST science camps available to students at no cost and host a STEM education series, as well as design challenges, that promotes continuous learning.  

Micron's focus extends deeper into community infrastructure and services, including plans to invest $10 million in venture funding in partnership with the regional tech ecosystem to support and attract new business to Central New York. 

Recognizing that ongoing and productive engagement with the community is critical to the success of both society and innovative companies like Micron, the company plans to host quarterly community town halls to provide opportunities for Clay, Syracuse, and Onondaga County community members to share direct feedback on ways Micron can support their needs.  

Additional Micron Commitments 

Outside the Community Investment Framework, Micron will continue evaluating ways to support the Central New York region to cultivate the next generation of talent, accelerate economic opportunities for underserved communities, support the region's infrastructure and build a diverse labor pool.  

In line with this extended commitment, Micron will establish Syracuse University's Future-Ready Workforce Innovation Consortium at the College of Professional Studies. In partnership with the Central New York business community, trade unions, community colleges and other four-year institutions in New York State and beyond, Micron will collaborate with Syracuse University to implement a multidimensional and inclusive approach to workforce development, upskilling and professional retention.The Future-Ready Workforce Innovation Consortium will foster an ecosystem for skills training, academic and partnership programs designed to support Micron's workforce and talent development strategy.  

Micron will continue evaluating opportunities to leverage community and minority financial institutions as the company grows in the region. This includes making $10 million in deposits with Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) that serve Central New York. 

To understand and address the challenges associated with access to affordable housing, Governor Hochul announced that the state of New York will be leading an initiative in partnership with Micron and local governments to further identify policies that support better infrastructure, housing opportunities, social and financial inclusion, and the specific and unique hurdles that will face the Syracuse region. The findings will provide a foundation for both short-term opportunities and long-term strategies that Micron can leverage as a committed community partner.  

Micron will further focus on building a bridge between underserved students and STEM careers in Central New York through the company's premier, no-cost STEM education program, Chip Camp, for middle and high school students. The program will reach approximately 70 to 100 students a week, providing them with opportunities to learn how semiconductors are made and how STEM skills translate into Micron careers.  

About Micron Technology, Inc. 

We are an industry leader in innovative memory and storage solutions transforming how the world uses information to enrich lifefor all. With a relentless focus on our customers, technology leadership, and manufacturing and operational excellence, Micron delivers a rich portfolio of high-performance DRAM, NAND and NOR memory and storage products through our Micron® and Crucial® brands. Every day, the innovations that our people create fuel the data economy, enabling advances in artificial intelligence and 5G applications that unleash opportunities — from the data center to the intelligent edge and across the client and mobile user experience. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), visit


Mayor Adams Commemorates 10th Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, Breaks Ground on Major Resilience Project, Announces new Effort to Accelerate Resilience Projects, Lays out Approximately $8.5 Billion in Future Infrastructure Needs

– New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday 26 October, marked the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy by taking a number of critical steps to build the long-term resilience of New York City. First, Mayor Adams broke ground on the Brooklyn Bridge-Montgomery Coastal Resilience (BMCR) project, which will install a combination of flood walls and deployable flip-up barriers to protect the Two Bridges neighborhood of Manhattan from a 100-year coastal storm surge, accounting for sea level rise expected by 2050, while also maintaining access and visibility to the waterfront. 

Additionally, the Adams administration announced a new program — Climate Strong Communities (CSC) — as part of the city’s strategic climate strategy. A central initiative of AdaptNYC, CSC is a community engagement and project development program that will help create the next pipeline of resiliency projects that target multiple types of hazards. It will focus on neighborhoods that did not benefit from existing or planned Sandy recovery projects. 

Mayor Adams also called on the federal government to create a coastal infrastructure formula funding program that will provide approximately $8.5 billion in pre-disaster mitigation grant funding to enable New York City to complete critical resiliency projects, including the following:  

“Ten years ago, flooded subways, a weeklong blackout downtown, billions in property damage, and 44 of our neighbors killed tragically showed what climate change can do to our city,” said Mayor Adams. “Sandy wasn’t just a storm; it was a warning. Another storm could hit our city at any time and that is why our administration is doing everything we can to prepare and protect New Yorkers. We have embarked on the some of the largest urban climate adaptation projects in the county, with initiatives like the Brooklyn Bridge-Montgomery Coastal Resilience project and Climate Strong Communities. New York City’s infrastructure projects are more complex, novel, and unparalleled compared to any other American city, but many remain in various stages of completion, and we need our partners in the federal government to help provide us with regular and reliable resiliency funding of approximately $8.5 billion. We must continue to act quickly to bolster our defenses, prevent damage, and save lives.”  

Superstorm Sandy measured 1,000 miles wide and took a rare westward hook that put New York City in the path of its onshore wind. It made a historic impact on the city, making landfall on October 29, 2012. With a wind field three times the size of Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy resulted in the deaths of 44 New Yorkers, flooded 51 miles (71 percent) of city land, left 2.5 million residents without power, resulted in $19 billion in damages and lost economic activity, rendered 35,000 residents temporarily or permanently displaced, and caused damage to more than 9,100 homes.  

Brooklyn Bridge-Montgomery Coastal Resilience 

BMCR will reduce flooding risk — from both sea level rise and storm surge — for more than 44,000 New Yorkers, including many living in affordable housing, while continuing to preserve views and access to the waterfront. The deployable barriers will be permanent infrastructure, hidden until they are flipped up in the event of a storm. The location of the flood walls and posts has been designed to minimize conflict with subsurface infrastructure and to maximize integration of public space amenities, such as open-air seating, fitness equipment, and athletic courts. 

Climate Strong Communities

CSC will be centered around environmental justice communities that have been left unaddressed by Sandy-recovery funding and that historically face deeper impacts as a result of climate change. The city will create and invest in this program with the hopes of unlocking billions of additional dollars in federal funds through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The program will work to create model projects to address various climate risks, like coastal flooding, sea level rise, extreme rain, and heat in city neighborhoods that, for far too long, have been overlooked. CSC is a transformative opportunity to deliver unprecedented federal dollars, facilitate economic development, create more resilient affordable housing, and cement New York City as a leader in climate adaptation.   

Call for Federal Government to Provide $8.5 Billion in Funding for Pre-Disaster Mitigation 

Since Superstorm Sandy struck, an entirely new class of infrastructure has been created to bolster protection for waterfront neighborhoods from devastating storm surge and regular tidal flooding. These infrastructure projects — such as the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project — are complex, novel, and unparalleled in any other American city. A majority of these projects, however, remain in various stages of completion. 

The Adams administration is therefore calling on the federal government to create a new and consistent infrastructure funding program that would enable New York City, and other jurisdictions around the country, to complete a suite of critical coastal resiliency projects. Many of these projects listed above — which are large and complex — are the first of their kind in New York City, and are being implemented in a unique, dense urban environment. These projects — aimed at increasing protection against coastal storms that can damage waterfront areas and infrastructure — are either currently in construction, in design, or in the planning phase.  

In order to maximize the impact of federal funds, Mayor Adams also laid out several important federal policy reforms to ensure the city is better prepared for future storms. These policy reforms include:    

  • Increasing the maximum amount of funding allotted for projects under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, where funding is currently capped at $50 million.  
  • Implementing a uniform Benefit Cost Analysis method to streamline how projects are funded through various grants.   
  • Ensuring FEMA forms a new program that supports construction for immediate sheltering after disasters, as well as temporary home repairs to minimize displacing residents, long-term hoteling, and congregate sheltering. 
  • Reforming the National Flood Insurance Program to ensure flood insurance remains accessible and affordable for all.  

In addition, Mayor Adams highlighted several steps the city is taking to fast-track capital projects, as well as a comprehensive effort to reform the capital project process. Earlier this month, the New York City Capital Process Reform Task Force released more than a dozen initial recommendations that would speed the completion of major projects citywide. The Task Force was convened by First Deputy Mayor Lorraine Grillo.  

Progressive Design-Build 

In recognition that several construction projects need faster groundbreakings and completions, Mayor Adams also today pledged to work with state lawmakers to pass legislation that would empower the city to use progressive design-build. State law currently requires a two-step procurement process: One step for a request for qualifications and another for a request for proposals. With the passage of progressive design-build, the city can quickly select a vendor before the full scope of the project has been established. This would facilitate early-stage collaboration to investigate existing conditions, examine engineering and construction challenges, and agree on solutions before determining a final scope and price. Further, it would result in fewer disruptions for residents, fewer changes for contractors while projects are underway, money spent more efficiently, and better projects for New Yorkers.   

The Adams administration also today released a report detailing Sandy’s impacts, the city’s recovery and ongoing resiliency efforts, and needed investments and key policy reforms to protect New Yorkers from future storms. 


President Marcos Disheartened over 'Paeng' Death Toll in Maguindanao; Says it is 'Too High'

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Saturday, 29 October, expressed disappointment and sought an explanation from government offices after 45 people were reported to have died from the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm “Paeng” in Maguindanao.

“I would like to start with the flooding in Maguindanao simply because we have to already look at it dahil ang daming casualty,” the President said as he virtually presided over the full council meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)

“It will be important to us to look back and see why this happened na hindi natin naagapan ito,” he said, adding that the number seems very high for a flooding incident.

The chief executive expressed concern over the number of individuals who perished in Maguindanao due to landslides and flashfloods caused by the storm.

“I’m a little bit concerned why the situation in Maguindanao was so bad; let’s study it further, Sec. Solidum, and we’ll find what we can do para mas maging accurate ang mga forecast natin especially sa flooding ‘cause that seems to be the problem now,” said Marcos, referring to Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr.

“We could have done better in Maguindanao in terms of preparing because… the 40 deaths with 10 people missing is a little too high. We should have done better than that,” the President pointed out.

During the meeting, Acting Defense Secretary Jose Faustino Jr. clarified that the report coming from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was “initially as 67 for validation.”

“They conducted a meeting this morning in the BARMM area and they have corrected the figure from 67 to 40,” Faustino said.

The President has earlier instructed national government agencies to assist the BARMM in its relief and rescue operations on the recent flooding in Maguindanao.

On the instruction of the chief executive, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said that the government has available overall relief resources of P1.5 billion with P445.2 million standby funds and quick response fund (QRF).


Opinion: Despite Imperfections, Democracy Still Best Political System By Manuel L. Caballero

Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media © 2022




Plato, the 5th Century Greek philosopher, who is considered founder of political science, said at one time, "democracy will tend to perish by excess of basic democratic rights and principles."

Note the word "excess."

Plato's warnimg was expounded by Socrates, one of his noted students.

Wikipedia discussed Socrates further in the following essay:

"In the Republic, Plato's Socrates raises a number of objections to democracy. He claims that democracy is a danger due to excessive freedom. He also argues that in a system in which everyone has a right to rule all sorts of selfish people who care nothing for the people but are only motivated by their own personal desires are able to attain power. He concludes that democracy risks bringing dictators, tyrants, and demagogues to power. He also claims that democracies have leaders without proper skills or morals and that it is quite unlikely that the best equipped to rule will come to power."

We are now seeing relevance of Platonic and Socratic critiques of democracy to present day politics.


In the Philippines, the dangers we see are: 1) circumventing  the law to favor those in power; 2) institutionalizing corruption in government;  3) violation of the constitutional principles of separation of powers and checks and balances among the three major branches of government and 4) use of trolls for disinformation purposes to get votes.

In the US, violence in politics has become rampant, in our observation, since former Pres. Donald Trump began advancing conspiracy theories about supposed election fraud which over 60 courts around the country have declared to be baseless. In our opinion, the Jan. 6 attack in the Capitol may had been triggered by the same false theories.

One aspect of divisiveness in America can be blamed on same baseless and nonsense conspiracy theories which are believed by people, mostly in rural America, according to a recent survey.


Serious studies about the above defects and weaknesses of the democratic system and remedies must be instituted. 

The situation is far from being hopeless. Despite the above imperfections, we have seen and experienced that democracy is the best political system.  We witnessed what happened to the former socialist republics of the Soviet Union. From communism, the member states turned democracies, including Ukraine, which Russia tried but failed to outrightly invade.


Happy Halloween, Friends!


New York PCG Conducts Consular Outreach Activity in Bristol, Connecticut

The Consulate General of the Philippines successfully conducted its second to the last consular outreach activity for the year at St. Gregory’s Church in Bristol, Connecticut on 22 and 23 October 2022. Here, former Philippine citizens are having their petition for reacquisition for Philippine citizenship under Republic Act 9225 evaluated by the Consular Team. (Philippine Consulate General Photo by Ricarte Abejuela III)

The Consulate General of the Philippines winds up its Consular Outreach season for 2022 by travelling to Bristol, Connecticut for its second to the last “Konsulado on the Go” service for the year which benefitted over 200 kababayan.

The Consulate General of the Philippines successfully conducted its second to the last consular outreach activity for the year at St. Gregory’s Church in Bristol, Connecticut on 22 and 23 October 2022. The new dual citizens informed the Consulate Team that they were filled with emotion, some even shedding tears, when they sang the Philippine National Anthem. (Philippine Consulate General Photo by Nelvin Eduardo)

The consular outreach mission was a co-sponsored by the Pilipino Association of Connecticut, Inc., in cooperation with Philippine-American Association of Connecticut and KIDS Philippines. The consular mission provided passport renewal, dual citizenship, civil registry, and notarial services for members of the Filipino community in Connecticut.

A total of 205 consular services were extended during the mission in Bristol.

Mr. Bienvenido Balaoing of the Pilipino Association of Connecticut, Inc. commended the Consulate Team for an excellent job.

The Consulate General of the Philippines successfully conducted its second to the last consular outreach activity for the year at St. Gregory’s Church in Bristol, Connecticut on 22 and 23 October 2022.  The consular outreach mission was co-sponsored by the Pilipino Association of Connecticut, Inc. (PACI). They commended the Consulate Team for their great team work and signified their willingness to partner again with the Consulate for another outreach in the next year. (Photo courtesy of PACI)

“It was a very successful and efficient outreach event. The Filipino community really appreciates the Consulate coming here because our kababayan no longer have to travel all the way to New York to avail of your services,” Mr. Balaoing said. The community and the organizers all look forward to a repeat visit next year.

Also joining the outreach mission was Tourism Representative Francisco M. Lardizabal, who shared with kababayan the latest information about traveling to the Philippines as well as presenting brochures containing various tourist destinations in the country.

The Consulate General of the Philippines successfully conducted its second to the last consular outreach activity for the year at St. Gregory’s Church in Bristol, Connecticut on 22 and 23 October 2022. The Consular team was joined by Tourism Representative Francisco Lardizabal who shared with kababayan the latest travel information as well as brochures containing information about the country’s various tourism destinations. (Philippine Consulate General Photo by Ricarte Abejuela III)

The Consulate has scheduled one more outreach mission for Pittsburg on 05-06 November as part of its efforts to extend consular services to other kababayan. The Pittsburg mission will be this year’s 11 th outreach. Last year it conducted 13 outreach missions that served more than 2,000 kababayan.


Sentro Rizal Washington DC Screens 'Quezon's Game' for Filipino American History Month

Movie goers while watching Quezon’s Game at the SAIS Kenney-Herter Auditorium

 – In celebration of Filipino American History Month (FAHM), the Sentro Rizal of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. and the Southeast Asia League of Students (SEALS) of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosted a special screening of “Quezon’s Game” at the SAIS Kenney-Herter Auditorium on 20 October 2022. Quezon’s Game is directed by Mr. Matthew Rosen and distributed by iWant TFC.

Consul General Iric C. Arribas welcomes movie goers to the special screening of Quezon’s Game at the Johns Hopkins SAIS.

In his welcoming remarks, Consul General and Minister Iric Cruz Arribas emphasized the importance of remembering this historical event and how deeply embedded migrant hospitality is to Filipino culture: “Tonight, I hope that everyone gets a chance to look back to one of the most significant moments in history between the Philippines and the United States, especially in the context that both countries are known sanctuaries for refugees and asylum seekers. I am especially proud to say that the Open Door policy was done in the spirit of Filipino hospitality and simply because it was the right thing to do.”

Consul General Arribas with some of the Filipino Community members and SAIS students after the film showing

Quezon’s Game pays tribute to  President Manuel L. Quezon and his “Open Door Policy” that allowed Filipino diplomats to issue more than 10,000 Philippine visas to European Jews, and save at least 1,300 of them from the Nazi regime. President Quezon was the Resident Commissioner to Washington, D.C. from 1909-1916 prior to becoming President of the Philippine Commonwealth and is one of the most important figure in the long-standing PH-US relationship. He played an important role in the passage of the Jones Act and Tydings-McDuffie Independence Law that eventually led to Philippine Independence.

FAHM is annually celebrated in the United States in October to commemorate the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States. The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) introduced this in 1992 and the U.S. Congress officially recognized October as FAHM in the U.S. in 2009.


Friday, October 28, 2022

Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs Joined Civic Engagement Commission to Host a Community and Ethnic Media Roundtable on 'The People's Money'

Manuel Castro, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Chair & Executive Director, Civic Engagement Commission and Wennie Chin, Director of Civic Engagement of NY Immigration Coalition. (Photo by Lambert Parong/ Balitang New York)

NEW YORK The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and the Civic Engagement Commission (CEC) on Monday, October 24 2022 hosted an in-person Community and Ethnic Media Roundtable to discuss the upcoming series of “The People’s Money” boroughwide idea generation sessions. The five borough-based idea generation sessions hosted by the CEC and local partners will invite residents to represent their neighborhood in the participatory budgeting process.

Manuel Castro, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. (Photo by Lambert Parong/ Balitang New York) 

“The People’s Money” is New York City’s first-ever citywide participatory budgeting process, where New Yorkers decide what projects should get funded. All New Yorkers as young as 11 years old and regardless of immigration status will be able to decide how to spend $5 million funding from the Mayor’s Office to address local community needs citywide.

Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Chair & Executive Director, Civic Engagement Commission. (Photo by Lambert Parong/ Balitang New York)  

Visit to register and attend Boroughwide Idea Generation Sessions listed below. To learn more about “The People’s Money” visit
  • Manhattan: Friday, October 28 at 3:00 PM at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts - Bruno Walter Auditorium (111 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023)
  • Bronx: Thursday, November 3 at 5:00 PM at Bronx Works (1130 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, NY 10456)
  • Staten Island: Saturday, November 5 at 1:30 PM at Snug Harbor Cultural Center - Building P (1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301)
  • Brooklyn: Sunday, November 6 at 1:30 PM at Brooklyn Museum - 3rd Floor (200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238)
  • Queens: Thursday, November 10 at 5:00 PM at Queens Borough Hall - Helen Marshall Cultural Center (120-55 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11424).

(Photo by Lambert Parong/ Balitang New York) 


Society of Philippine American Artists Revivifies with ‘Reflections & Hope’ Exhibition By Robert PĂ©rez De Tagle


SPAA revivifies with ‘Reflections & Hope’ exhibition

By Robert Pérez De Tagle |

It was just in 2018 that the Society of Philippine American Artists, or SPAA, celebrated at the Philippine Center its 25th year of exhibiting member’s works, a milestone that allowed the group and the community at large to appreciate the breadth of its portfolio over the years and to recognize the pioneers of the organization.

Now, from 31 October to 11 November, the SPAA returns to its long-time partner location, the Philippine Center in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, for what is incontrovertibly not just an ‘annual’ exhibit. For this exhibit, REFLECTIONS & HOPE, comes at an interval between ‘trending to normal’ and the pain and devastation of the last 30 months of the pandemic, both globally and personally.

Zooming to the present from February 2020 allows for healing to either begin or continue. Decidedly, the meanings of our experiences and expressions today are informed strongly by the changes in our lives – whether transitional and hybrid as to work conditions or more enduring changes wrought by disruptions social, economic or political.

SPAA has through the decades welcomed members from New York, New Jersey, DC/Virginia, Vancouver, Toronto, Manila and elsewhere, of diverse professional backgrounds, seasoned practitioners mingling in craft and conversation with new or younger visual creators, in media classic and mixed, on themes from challenging to pastoral and meditative. REFLECTIONS & HOPE is an effort to express what we’ve gone through, our environment and our memory, in moving forward, for the SPAA is itself a work that continues to progress, reflecting our identities as Filipinos, as Filipinos in America, Canada, and elsewhere, as artists evolving and interacting in a diverse environment.

“This exhibit is a snapshot of an in-between time -- between the throes of Corona lockdown, and a new normal. We collect our thoughts on the past and the future and convey them in this space,” says SPAA president Cheryle Cranbourne. “It is more important now than ever that we come together to reflect on this time, remember our departed, celebrate life, and hope for better times.”

Participating artists include Angelo Maristela, Art Zamora, Athena Magcase-Lopez, Carlos Esguerra, Carol Tanjutco, Chato Morando, Cheryle Cranbourne, Ching Valdes-Aran, Chito Maravilla, Delia Laglagaron, Dulcie Dee, Fernando Catague, Joel Francisco, Lenore RS Lim, Mae Palaci, Racco Maristela, Rene Ner, Robert Pérez De Tagle, Roderic D. Rodriguez, Ronald Cortez, Teodoro Lozano De La Santa and Tessie Dichupa.

Special guests include trustee Atty. Dean Suba and businesswoman and community leader Ms. Loida Nicolas Lewis.

We mourn a founding member, Lito David, who passed within the last year.

Other members of SPAA’s board of trustees are Aida Bartolome, Loretta Cranbourne, Dr. Benny Jongco, Atty. Lindy Lachica, Caroline Pinder, Dr. Angie Ricafrente.

Reconnecting in-person allows us to go beyond Zoom virtualization as we engage and evolve in defining meaning in this world after the storm, and the SPAA is determined to play a role in rousing and encouraging the art scene for Philippine-American artists who have been changed for good: stronger, chastened, somber, wistful, thoughtful.

Please join us for the opening reception on 1 November at 6pm. The Philippine Center is located at 556 Fifth Ave. at 46th St., NYC, tel. 212.575.4664; viewing hours are Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.

Robert P. De Tagle, MBA, IPEAK Services,, organizes events and supports Fil-Am history and Asian-American cultural events in the Metro New York/New Jersey area, and serves as editorial consultant to various organizations and events. He has collaborated with the Philippine Center/Philippine Embassy and various entities on exhibits and programs, including ‘The Music of Ryan Cayabyab: A Tribute Concert,’ ‘Sonata for Our Heroes: Unsung Fil-Am WWII Heroes’ in NYC and Washington, DC, ‘Dancing with Shrimp,’ ‘The Filipinos of Ellis Island’ and the ‘Joy & Hope’ Kundirana concert.


Tuesday, October 25, 2022

President Marcos Wants Scholarship Program for STEM Courses

President Ferdinand R. Marcos wants the government to offer a scholarship program for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses to address the lack of talent for information and communication technology businesses.

During a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Marcos said a scholarship program should be set up to encourage more students to pursue STEM courses.

The President ordered Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy to coordinate with industry players to determine their specific needs and address jobs mismatch, which, he said, is important to enable the government and the industry to make necessary adjustments.

Citing the industry’s observations, Uy said during the meeting that many IT graduates do not have the right tools and training required by the ICT industry.

Uy also noted the shortfall of students taking up STEM courses.

Marcos has since expressed commitment to fixing the gap in research and development in STEM, saying the Philippines has “a lot to catch up” in the STEM fields.

Experts said the Philippines needs to invest in addressing these issues to have a strong STEM community to make the country competitive.

They say investing in STEM can boost the country economically, politically, and educationally.


Tourism Sec Christina Frasco: PBBM Gov’t’s Voluntary Indoor Mask Use Order Makes the Philippines at Par with Neighbors

The Marcos administration’s decision to make the wearing of face masks indoors voluntary makes the country at par with its neighbors in liberalizing mask mandates, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco said.

Frasco made this remark in a press briefing Tuesday, where she confirmed that President Ferdinand R. Marcos is set to issue an executive order making donning of masks indoors no longer mandatory.

“Generally, the direction of the Marcos administration is to lift the remainder of travel restrictions into the Philippines, and that includes easing of our mask mandates to allow our country to be a par with our ASEAN neighbors who have long liberalized their mask mandates,” Frasco said.

Frasco said the wearing of masks would remain required in public transportation, medical facilities, as well as medical transportation.

Mask-wearing is still highly encouraged for unvaccinated individuals, persons with comorbidities and senior citizens, according to the tourism chief.

Frasco said issues concerning mask mandates as well as new COVID-19 variants had been extensively tackled during the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) meeting last week with other Cabinet secretaries.

Meanwhile, the tourism chief added that replacing the One Health Pass with an e-Arrival platform introduced “great convenience to our travelers and tourists in a sense that the interface is now more user-friendly.”

“Twenty questions that used to be in placed have now been reduced to 10 – specifically those that are tourism-related,” she said.

According to the Department of Health, more than 73 million individuals, or 94.09 percent of the target population, have been inoculated against COVID-19 as of Sept. 25.

This figure includes the additional 85,137 individuals who were jabbed from Oct. 17 to 23.