Oct 022017

I have crossed the Golden Gate Bridge more than 100 times in the 46 years that I have lived in San Francisco but my most memorable crossing occurred 45 years ago this past week when I rode in a 4-car convoy for a weekend retreat at Camp Arequipa, a girl scout camp in Fairfax, Marin County. There were about 20 of us, young Filipino activists from all over the U.S. who were attending a conference of correspondents and distributors of the Kalayaan International, a radical monthly community newspaper which I started in my tiny room ($50 a month) at the International Hotel in San Francisco’s Manilatown in May of 1971 …

Sep 162017
Professional Press Release Writer in San Francisco, California, USA

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Apr 172014
Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards

SAN FRANCISCO, California — Nominations for the 2014 Gawad ng Pangulo (Presidential Awards) are still being accepted. The Awards seek to recognize and honor overseas Filipinos and organizations that best exemplify the time-honored Filipino values of pakikipagkapwa (empathy), pagtutulungan (cooperation) and pagkakaisa (unity). To date, more than 300 overseas Filipino individuals, organizations and foreign partners have been recognized through the Gawad ng Pangulo Awards. There are four categories for which an individual or organization may be nominated, namely: ▪     Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) Award is conferred on Filipino associations or individuals for their exceptional or significant contributions to reconstruction, progress and development in the Philippines; ▪     Kaanib ng Bayan Award is conferred on foreign individuals or organizations for their exceptional or significant contributions to Philippine reconstruction, progress and development, or have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities; ▪     Banaag Award is conferred on Filipino individuals or associations for their significant contributions to advancing the cause or promoting the interests of overseas Filipino communities; and ▪     Pamana ng Pilipino Award is conferred on Overseas Filipino individuals who, in exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession. The CFO Awards were institutionalized in 1991 under E.O. 498, issued by former President Corazon Aquino, to help identify and recognize those who have selflessly supported relief, rehabilitation and/or development programs in the Philippines. Read More …

Apr 172014
San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks

INQUIRER.net US Bureau 6:38 am | Friday, April 18th, 2014 • City board of supervisors start hearings on proposal • Tax proposed as public health measure • Opponents say it would raise prices on all food and beverages SAN FRANCISCO, California — A local coalition of small business owners declared opposition to a beverage tax as the city’s supervisors held a public hearing April 16 on a proposed ballot measure that would impose a 2¢ per-ounce tax on most sugar-sweetened beverages sold in the city. The Drop the Beverage Tax coalition argued “it is not just a tax on soda. This is a tax on juice drinks, ice teas, powdered drinks, sports drinks, and hundreds of other beverages.” It further claimed that If approved by voters in November, the tax would increase the price of some products by as much as 75 percent. “A proposal to tax hundreds of beverages in San Francisco will have the unintended consequence of raising prices on all foods and beverages at a time when San Franciscans confront a growing affordability gap.” Supervisor Scott Wiener proposed the measure, claiming that the tax would create an estimated $31 million annually that would be used to fund recreation and nutrition programs in schools and elsewhere. Weiner argued that sugary beverages cause an epidemic of health problems including diabetes and obesity among adults, teenagers and even young children. “The last thing we need is to add tens of millions dollars a year to the cost of doing business,” Read More …

Apr 102014
PHL San Francisco Consulate ‘shines blue’ for World Autism Awareness Day

(Photo courtesy of Department of Foreign Affairs Republic of the Philippines Facebook page) Visitors to the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco on April 2 were greeted by an unusual sight: all Consulate personnel were attired in blue. At various times during the day, personnel would hold up a sign displaying a fact about autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), sharing the information with the Consulate’s transacting public. The Consulate General’s day-long activity, intended to raise awareness about autism and persons with ASD, was one of two activities it undertook to commemorate April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day, which was adopted by the UN in 2007. In partnership with the Autism Hearts Foundation and Bantay Bata 163, the Consulate General also launched an exhibit of paintings done by children with ASD. Consul Reggie Bernabe, representing the Consulate General, joined Judge Betty Buccay of the Autism Hearts Foundation and Ms. Jo Anne Kyle of ABS-CBN Foundation at the ribbon-cutting for the exhibit. “As always, we support the work being done by Autism Hearts Foundation, and thank ABS-CBN Foundation for their active participation in this project,” Consul Bernabe declared. “The Consulate welcomes, as well, this opportunity to help build awareness about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and what resources are available to our community to diagnose and treat those with the disorder.” “Persons with ASD can be valued and valuable members of our community if we understand how they can contribute,” Judge Buccat added. “Early diagnosis is important, as is the appropriate Read More …

Jan 062014
Suspect arrested in SF Chinese consulate arson attack

INQUIRER.net US Bureau 7:09 am | Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 SAN FRANCISCO—A Chinese national residing in Daly City has surrendered to authorities to face charges for starting a fire that damaged the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on New Year’s Day. Yan Feng, 39, allegedly told FBI agents in an interview after his arrest that he had been hearing voices in Chinese, according to court documents. An FBI spokesman said that there was no indication the fire was motivated by terrorism, politics or civil rights concerns. Details of the interview were contained in an affidavit submitted by FBI agent Michael Eldridge with a criminal complaint filed by US prosecutors in federal court in San Francisco on Monday. Feng was charged in the complaint with two counts of maliciously damaging property by means of fire and willfully damaging property belonging to or occupied by a foreign government. Feng surrendered to authorities on Friday. The fire at the consulate, located at 1450 Laguna St., occurred around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. The building was damaged but no one was injured. Eldridge said in the affidavit that Feng called Daly City police on Friday and “identified himself as the individual who ‘made the fire’ in front of” what Feng called the Chinese Embassy in San Francisco. Daly City police went to Feng’s address and arrested him, the agent said. The two charges filed against Feng each carry a possible sentence of up to five years in prison if he is convicted. The consulate issued a Read More …

Dec 182013
California Pacific, San Francisco, RNs Say ‘Yes’ to CNA

Despite anti-union pressure, RNs vote by 52% for union Holiday cheer. California Pacific RNs celebrate election vote. Resisting a heavy-handed pressure campaign by their employer and frontline managers, registered nurses at California Pacific Medical Center’s Pacific campus, Sutter Health’s largest hospital in San Francisco, have voted to join the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. The final count, in a secret ballot, mail campaign counted today by the National Labor Relations Board, was 351 for CNA to 321 for Sutter, a 52 percent margin. Though 42 challenged ballots remain outstanding, CNA today said it was confident the nurses, and their desire for a collective voice for their patients and colleagues would prevail. A clear majority of nurses voted for CNA representation despite intensive pressure and intimidation by hospital managers in mandatory group meetings and one-on-one meetings with department supervisors that RNs say violates the letter and spirit of a free and democratic election. Management’s campaign featured a series illegal actions, that resulted in a series of unfair labor practice charges against the hospital, charges that have been found meritorious by the NLRB. “The election is now over,” said CNA co-president Zenei Cortez, RN. “We salute the courage and determination of California Pacific RNs to work together to be able to more effectively advocate for their patients, and work with their CPMC colleagues to improve standards for all Sutter nurses.” “California Pacific and Sutter executives should respect the democratic decision of the Pacific nurses to be part of the CNA family, and Read More …

Oct 032013
1-day SSS on-site service and briefing at SF consulate on Oct. 12

INQUIRER.net US Bureau 7:30 am | Friday, October 4th, 2013 SAN FRANCISCO—Representatives of the Social Security System (SSS) of the Philippines will be coming to San Francisco to conduct on-site services and a briefing for all SSS members on Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Philippine Consulate General, at 447 Sutter Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco. The on-site services will start at 2 p.m., while the briefing will be at 4 p.m. The following are the on-site services that will be conducted by the SSS: §  Registration of new members §  Reactivation of SSS membership for existing members §  Enrollment in the Flexi-fund Program §  Member date amendment §  Assistance in MySSS §  Annual confirmation of pensioners; and §  Pensioner data amendment Those who are interested to avail themselves of these services are encouraged to review the flyer for the list of requirements for each service and download the forms at www.philippinessanfrancisco.org. To facilitate the verification of records during the on-site service, SSS members are encouraged to e-mail their full names, birthday and Philippine SSS numbers in advance to roldanrv@sss.gov.ph (Subject Line: SAN FRANCISCO ONSITE) so that their records may be pre-downloaded and reviewed before the team arrives in San Francisco. Queries regarding the upcoming SSS briefing may be directed to Dianne Sarmago by phone at (415) 433 6666 ext. 313, or via e-mail to cultural@philippinessanfrancisco.org or info@philippinessanfrancisco.org. Follow Us Recent Stories: Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step Read More …

Sep 072013
Fil-Am YouTube hit remakes ‘90s Top 40 single

SBWIRE/INQUIRER.net US Bureau 12:57 am | Sunday, September 8th, 2013 Michelle Martinez. Screengrab from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FxJs8hH4x4 SAN MATEO, California—If you were part of the US dance-club scene in the mid-‘90s, then you’ll likely remember the Top 40 single “Do You Miss Me?” performed by Jocelyn Enriquez and written by Glenn Gutierrez. The single peaked on several Billboard charts, including the coveted Top 40. The song was both a domestic and international hit. More than 15 years later, San Francisco multimedia producer Anthony Garcia, along with music producer Venice John Valdez (aka Tugbeats) and YouTube celebrity Michelle Martinez, have remade this single by giving it a new electronic dance music track inspired by Super Producer and DJ Dave Guetta. Accompanying the single is a slick new music video.
The support for this project has been overwhelmingly positive from the San Francisco Bay Area music community, with some of its top radio personalities agreeing to be a part of the music video. The list of celebrities includes 99.7 Now’s St. John, 106 KMEL’s LadyRay, 99.7 Now’s Strawberry, 103.3 AMP Radio’s Joe Breezy, and 99.7 Now’s Freska. A large part of the support is due to the song’s San Francisco origin. In addition to introducing the song to a whole new market, Garcia is following the millennial generation’s lead by producing singles and music videos independently, without the luxury of backing from a music label or media company. Garcia produced the majority of this project both on his smartphone and from his living room on Read More …

Aug 292013
San Francisco-Manila Sister City Committee sets up business mission to PH

By Harvey BarkinINQUIRER.net U.S. Bureau 6:21 am | Friday, August 30th, 2013 San Francisco-Manila Sister City briefing on a business mission to the Philippines; (from left) Trade Commissioner Michael Ignacio, SF Mayor’s representative Mark Chandler and Carmen Colet, committee chair. HARVEY BARKIN SAN FRANCISCO–Directed by Mayor Ed Lee to bolster economic and trade relations, the San Francisco-Manila Sister City Committee has began setting up a business mission to the Philippines for November 4 to 7 this year, in advance of Lee’s visit in February 2014. Although the Sister City Committee was founded in 1961, this is the first San Francisco-Manila business mission. It comes after Lee’s multicity business trips to China this year. The plan is to make the mayor’s annual visit to the Philippines official. At the helm of the committee is businesswoman and the first Fil-Am Commissioner of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Carmen Colet. She was appointed last year by the mayor to make the mission “not just social and fun but to add business.” Philippine Department of Trade and Industry Commissioner Michael Ignacio hosted the recent briefing for reporters, architects, designers, accountants, insurance agents and other business owners. There was even a Forex service rep offering money transmissions in excess of $10,000. Mark Chandler, director of the Mayor’s Office, represented Mayor Lee, who was on a weeklong vacation. Chandler, who has visited Manila “three or four times,” said, “If you come from San Francisco and go to the Philippines, they roll out the red Read More …