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AARP presents ‘The Outstanding Filipino American’ Awards
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 Juliet Payabyab wins TOFA award for ‘Senior Welfare and Advocacy’

Philippine Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr.  with awardees, including TOFA Award Winner for Senior Welfare & Advocacy Juliet Payabyab; Community Leader Loida Nicholas Lewis; AARP Community Ambassador Retired Major General Tony Taguba; Beth Finkel, AARP New York State Director; Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience; and Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, AARP Executive Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement. Photo: Velzon H. Velez.

Philippine Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr. with awardees, including TOFA Award Winner for Senior Welfare & Advocacy Juliet Payabyab; Community Leader Loida Nicholas Lewis; AARP Community Ambassador Retired Major General Tony Taguba; Beth Finkel, AARP New York State Director; Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience; and Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, AARP Executive Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement. Photo: Velzon H. Velez.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 28, 2014 – AARP presented ‘The Outstanding Filipino Americans’ Awards in New York (TOFA-NY) on Saturday, October 25 at Carnegie Hall in New York.

As the first-time sponsor of the gala event, AARP had the privilege of presenting the award for ‘Senior Welfare and Advocacy’ to Juliet Payabyab. Payabyab works with the Philippine Consulate by assisting Filipinos in need. She is the first woman president of the Philam Lions Club and a two-term president of the Philippine American Communities Executive Council (PACEC), an umbrella organization of Filipino American civic organizations.

“AARP congratulates Juliet Payabyab and all the TOFA winners on their exceptional accomplishments,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience. “We’re proud to sponsor TOFA, a program that embodies the spirit of AARP in which age and experience can expand your possibilities.”

Other winners include award-winning songwriter Bobby Lopez (“Frozen,” “The Book of Mormon”); fashion designer and philanthropist Josie Natori; Dean of Academic Affairs at Columbia University Sheila Coronel; the people behind Fiesta In America, an annual trade and cultural expo; and the medical mission volunteers of Philippine Medical Association in America (PMAA).

“We are extremely fortunate to partner with a trusted organization like AARP and applaud them for their support to our community, especially during Filipino American History Month,” said Elton Lugay, Founding Chair of TOFA.

AARP Executive Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez and AARP Ambassador Major General Antonio Taguba addressed the crowd at the opening of the award ceremony. Special guests also included Philippine Consul General to New York Mario De Leon, Jr., community leader Loida Nicolas Lewis, and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Senior Adviser Jason Tengco.

For more information about how AARP helps Asian American & Pacific Islander families get more out of life, visit www.AARP.org/AAPI, www.facebook.com/AARPAAPICommunity andwww.twitter.com/AARPAAPI.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARPen Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARPdoes not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

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Krista Miller gets second wind in her career
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Krista Miller (MNS Photo)

Krista Miller (MNS Photo)

Krista Miller admits almost giving up on her acting career after figuring in several controversies.

“‘Yun (the issues) po ay naging rason para di ako kunin kasi nauna na ang pagdya-judge (sa kin). Mas nauna pa ‘yung negative na sasabihin nila sa akin so parang nawalan ako ng pag-asa (na mapansin pa ang talent ko),” Krista said.

She was ready to focus on work outside of showbiz when she got the offer to star in “Hukluban.” Though it required her to bare some skin on cam, Krista pointed out that it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up on.

Gusto ko na sanang iwanan ang pagpapaseksi pero si direk Gil Portes (ay) sinabihan ako na ako ang pinakabida sa movie.”

At first, she couldn’t believe the good luck that came her way.

“Ilang days (I kept asking myself), ‘Ako na ba talaga?’ Kasi ‘yung pagkatiwalaan ka ng isang napakagaling na director sobrang napakalaking karangalan.

“Sabi ko, ‘Direk, gagawin ko lahat ng best ko. Kahit ‘di na ako magka-award pero ipinapangako ko na ibibigay ko ang best ko.’ Sobrang happy ako na ako ang napili,” she said.

According to a release, “Hukluban” was inspired by his 1983 drama thriller “Gabi kung sumikat ang araw,” which is about a cursed woman who is beautiful at night but transforms into an old woman by sunrise. Immortal, the woman can only hope for true love to break the curse.

The updated “Hukluban” examines the plight of the cursed woman, Mira (played by Krista), over the span of three eras over six generations and her search for true love and a man (played by Kiko Matos).

Krista shared some parallelisms between herself and her character.

As Mira, naghahanap ako ng true love. Nakita ko ang true love pero nawawala din siya, either namamatay or may nangyayari. Ako naman as Krista, ‘di ako titigil hangga’t ‘di ko natutupad ang pangarap ko.

“Kay Mira, true love ang hanap niya, sa akin pangarap ko na makilala ako na magaling na artista.”

“Hukluban” will be screened at SM Cinemas branches nationwide from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4. (MNS)

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Senate blue ribbon formally invites VP Binay to Makati Building II probe
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Senator Teofisto Guingona, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, shows his letter addressed to Sen. Aquilino 'Koko' Pimentel III informing him to decide on the jurisdictional challenge of Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay regarding the investigation on the alleged overpricing in the Makati City Hall Building II project.(MNS photo)

Senator Teofisto Guingona, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee, shows his letter addressed to Sen. Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III informing him to decide on the jurisdictional challenge of Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay regarding the investigation on the alleged overpricing in the Makati City Hall Building II project.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Oct 29 (Mabuhay) – The Senate blue ribbon committee on Wednesday formally invited Vice President Jejomar Binay to attend its hearing on the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II and corruption allegations against the former Makati mayor on November 6, Thursday.

In a letter signed by its chairman Senator Teofisto Guingona III, the committee reiterated its invitation to Binay “to make an appearance in a public hearing on Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 10 a.m. to be held at the Senate Plenary Hall to shed light and deliberate” on the issue.

“Please, rest assured that we will extend the courtesies befitting the Office of the Vice President,” the letter dated October 28 stated.

Binay’s office received the letter on October 29.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesperson for political concerns, said they will discuss the invitation with the Vice President.

“The Office of the Vice President just received the invitation one hour ago. The Vice President is in the Bicol Region this weekend. We will discuss the matter when he arrives,” Remulla said in a text message to GMA News Online.

Binay’s camp earlier said the Vice President will only attend the hearing if it will be the main committee, and not the subcommittee, which will make the invitation.

At present, the hearings on the controversial building are being conducted by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee headed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III.

The Vice President is accused of bid rigging and receiving kickbacks from every transaction the Makati City government entered into during his term. He was also accused of owning a 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas which was allegedly not declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.

Binay, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay and 21 others are also facing a plunder complaint in connection with the Makati City Hall Building II construction before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Binay has since denied the allegations against him and his family, dismissing the same as part of a demolition job against him in connection with the 2016 elections.  (MNS)

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12.1-M families consider themselves poor – SWS Q3 poll
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Children hold plates on top of their heads against rainfall as they queue for free meals during Christmas celebrations at the town of Bislig, Tanauan in Leyte province, central Philippines December 24, 2013, a month after Typhoon Haiyan battered central Philippines. The Philippines has warned that predators might prey on Yolanda victims. (MNS photo)

Children hold plates on top of their heads against rainfall as they queue for free meals during Christmas celebrations at the town of Bislig, Tanauan in Leyte province, central Philippines December 24, 2013, a month after Typhoon Haiyan battered central Philippines. The Philippines has warned that predators might prey on Yolanda victims. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – A third quarter 2014 survey taken by pollster Social Weather Stations estimated that around 12.1 million families considered themselves poor.

The SWS poll found that  55 percent of respondents considered themselves poor—three points higher than the 52 percent average in the four quarters of 2013.

There was also a rise in self-rated poverty in Metro Manila and Luzon.

Additionally, the SWS survey estimated that 9.3 million families considered themselves food-poor. This was two points higher than the 41 percent in the second quarter and four points higher than the 39 percent four-quarter average in 2013.

However, self-rated poor and food-poor numbers were lower in Metro Manila and Balance Luzon than in other areas.

The SWS poll was taken from September 26 to 29, with 1,200 respondents, and had sampling error margins of ±3% for national and ±6% for area percentages.

Geographically

Self-rated poverty was six points higher in Metro Manila, at 43 percent, from 37 percent in June, and seven points higher in Balance Luzon at 52 percent from 45 percent.

This, however, was down 10 points in Mindanao to 61 percent from 71 percent; and nine points in the Visayas to 65 percent from 74 percent.

Self-rated food poverty was three points higher in Metro Manila at 30 percent, from 27 percent in June. It was higher five points in Balance Luzon to 37 percent from 32 percent.

Meanwhile, self-rated food poverty was “hardly changed” in the Visayas at 53 percent in September from 54 percent in June. It went down three points in Mindanao to 52 percent from 55 percent.

Self-rated poverty threshold

The self-rated poverty threshold, or the monthly budget poor households need for home expenses so they would not consider themselves poor in general, increased to a median of P15,000 from P12,000 in Metro Manila.

It remained at P10,000 in Balance Luzon and Mindanao, and fell to P8,000 from P10,000 in the Visayas.

“The September 2014 median self-rated poverty thresholds in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon and Mindanao are at the highest levels ever reached in those areas, while the latest figure in the Visayas was previously surpassed in June 2014, when it was at P10,000,” the SWS explained.

This minimum home budget is less than the minimum income needed as it excludes work-related expenses like transportation.

Thus, the median poverty threshold “is the home expense budget that would satisfy the poorer half of the poor households.”

Self-rated food poverty threshold

The self-rated food poverty threshold, or the monthly food budget that food-poor households need so as not to consider themselves food-poor, rose to a median of P8,000 from P6,000 in Metro Manila.

It went up to P5,250 from P5,000 in Balance Luzon; and to P5,000 from P4,500 in Mindanao.

But it dropped to a median of P3,550 in the Visayas from P5,000 in June.

The SWS pointed out that the third-quarter median self-rated food-poverty thresholds in Mindanao and Balance Luzon were the highest levels ever reached in those areas.

The current level in Metro Manila was lower than the September 2013 level of P8,250.

In the Visayas, the highest level recorded so far was last June at P5,000. (MNS)

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Sueselbeck on possible ban in PHL: Worst punishment for ‘stupid thing’
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Jennifer's fiance Marc Sueselbeck holds Jennifer's sister Michelle during the necrological mass.(MNS photo)

Jennifer’s fiance Marc Sueselbeck holds Jennifer’s sister Michelle during the necrological mass.(MNS photo)

MANILA, (Mabuhay) – Marc Sueselbeck, the German fiancé of slain Filipino transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude, has expressed fears about being barred from returning to the Philippines should he be deported and declared an undesirable alien.

At a press conference in UP Diliman on Tuesday, Sueselbeck said that while he will face the undesirability case before the Bureau of Immigration, he hoped that he would not be permanently banned from returning to the Philippines

“Worst punishment they can do is to ban me permanently,” he said, adding that a ban would be another “kick” to Laude.

“What else do they want from me? I am not charged for any crime, it was just a very stupid thing, and I have apologized for it,” he added. “I can’t see what I can do more.”

Earlier in the day, Sueselbeck filed a motion for voluntary deportation, which according to Laude family lawyer Harry Roque Jr. “was to shorten the process of regular deportation.”

On Sunday, Sueselbeck was prevented by the Immigration bureau from leaving the country as he has a pending deportation case.

The case stemmed from an incident on Oct. 22 when Sueselbeck and Laude’s sister Marilou climbed a perimeter fence inside Camp Aguinaldo to get inside the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) facility, a restricted area, where US Marines Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton is being held.

Pemberton is a suspect in Laude’s killing.

Sueselbeck was seen pushing a guard as he tried to enter the detention facility. He has repeatedly apologized for the incident, saying he did not mean to disrespect Philippine authorities.

Though the Armed Forces of the Philippines has accepted his apology, they “remain committed to pursue the move to have him declared as undesirable alien,” military spokesman Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc was earlier quoted as saying.

For his part, the family’s legal counsel, human rights lawyer Harry Roque Jr. said: “Gusto niyang bumalik kasi dadalaw sa puntod… Ano ba naman tayo, pinaglalaban niya ay makabalik, gusto rin niyang dumalaw sa hearing. (MNS)

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Derek Ramsay, estranged wife finally settle dispute
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Derek Ramsay (MNS photo)

Derek Ramsay (MNS photo)

TV5 actor Derek Ramsay and his legal wife, Filipino-Indian model Mary Christine Jolly, have finally settled their dispute, a Makati City judge announced on Twitter.

Judge Eugene Paras of Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 58 posted a photo of himself flanked by the estranged couple with the caption “They finally settled [smiley]“.

On Saturday Paras confirmed the news to an entertainment news site but clarified that he did not preside over the settlement. However, he said Ramsay and Jolly had indeed officially buried the hatchet “in one of the family courts of Makati” around 2PM on Friday.

Paras noted that the details of the compromise agreement are “private and confidential”. Neither party has issued a statement since Friday, although both Ramsay and Jolly sought media coverage of their previous court appearances.

In July, Jolly sued Ramsay for violation of Republic Act 9262 (Violence Against Women and Their Children), declaring that they had married in civil rites in Balagtas, Bulacan on April 3, 2002. They reportedly separated five months later but the brief union bore a son, Austin Gabriel Ramsay, now 11.

In his counter-affidavit filed the following month, Ramsay admitted the wedding but claimed that he had been under the impression that the marriage was “invalid”. He also claimed that he had been able to confirm his paternity of his son only three years ago – “sometime in the early part of August 2011?.

In September, as Jolly was about to file a scathing 21-page reply-affidavit in which she accused her husband of psychological violence, economic abuse and physical violence, Ramsay convinced her to join him in a closed door meeting with Makati Prosecutor Erwin Dimayacyac, without their respective counsels.

After the meeting, both parties told media that they had agreed to work out a settlement for their son’s sake.

However, the hostilities resumed on October 8 when Jolly filed a case at the Paranaque City Prosecutor’s Office accusing Ramsay and his former girlfriend, Angelica Panganiban, of concubinage.(MNS)

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Aquino urged: Certify as urgent resolution to extend application for HR violations claims
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President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his message during the 36th anniversary of the Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila City on Friday (October 24). The Jesus Is Lord Church aims to bring all peoples to the kingdom of the living God regardless of race, status, belief and religious affiliations through the saving, healing, delivering, and transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ.(MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his message during the 36th anniversary of the Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila City on Friday (October 24). The Jesus Is Lord Church aims to bring all peoples to the kingdom of the living God regardless of race, status, belief and religious affiliations through the saving, healing, delivering, and transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ.(MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – An alliance of human rights groups on Friday urged President Benigno Aquino III to immediately act and certify as urgent a joint resolution seeking to extend the deadline for the filing of claims of Martial Law victims.

In a press statement on Friday, PAHRA Chairperson Max de Mesa stressed that many human rights victims have yet to file their claims before the Human Rights Victims Claims Board (HRVCB).

He noted that as of October 2014, the RVCB has received only around 29,000 claims applications, which is lower  than the 55,000 to 90,000 applications expected by the Board’s officials.

“It is evident that much more work has to be done if we are going to provide compensation and give some measure of justice to all deserving claimants,” he added, noting that the deadline for submission is on November 10.

For her part, PAHRA Secretary General Rose Trajano, in the same statement, said certifying urgent the resolution for extension in filing claims “will give hope to many human rights victims by giving more time for them to prepare and complete their claims and for the HRVCB to complete its mandate.”

The House of Representatives passed on second reading House Joint Resolution No. 16 filed by Akbayan Representatives Barry Gutierrez and Walden Bello, seeking to extend the deadline of filing of claims by victims of rights violations and is set to pass the same on third reading next week.

Meanwhile, the Senate is expected to pass Senate Joint Resolution No. 10 filed by Sen. Francis Escudero next week.  (MNS)

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