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Not all parks are created equal
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playground

HIDDEN GEM: UnidadPark is situated at Beverly boulevard at the Historic Filipinotown – a huge and beautiful mural (titled Gintong Kasaysayan, gintong pamana) is certain to notify a visitor that the place belongs to a rich heritage.

HIDDEN GEM: UnidadPark is situated at Beverly boulevard at the Historic Filipinotown – a huge and beautiful mural (titled Gintong Kasaysayan, gintong pamana) is certain to notify a visitor that the place belongs to a rich heritage.

 

By Abner Galino

UnidadPark, is an area with a dimension of about 150 feet by 150 feet, situated at Beverly boulevard at the Historic Filipinotown. Call it a hidden gem, if you will. Because it is likely that you’ll miss the place even if you were driving at a snail’s pace.

But once inside this pocket park, a huge and beautiful mural (titled Gintong Kasaysayan, gintong pamana) is certain to notify a visitor that the place belongs to a rich heritage.

The artist who created the mural, Eliseo Silva, 44, recalled that the area would have been a parking space today had its original owner, Dr. CarmencitaChuateco, agreed to sell it to a commercial entity.

The mural, which depicts Filipino American labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, has been there even before the park was established in 2007 and unveiled in September 2009 as Unidad Park.

Silva said Unidad Park sits in probably the most historically significant neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles as far as Filipino Americans are concerned.

“This is where Filipinos of the pre-1965 migration settled,” Silva explained, “nandiyan ang St. Columban Catholic Church, Iglesia ni Cristo and other places where Filipinos used to converge.”

Being managed by the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANT), Unidad Park has been enclosed with a fence and gate. It has a compact kids’ playground, concrete benches and a gardening space.

Silva said if there would be any improvement to the park, he would want a restroom to be built in it.

“The park was built on the notion that it would be used by residents who live nearby. But because of its significance to the Filipino American community, it has become a favorite place for gatherings and celebrations. So people from far away places come to the park. Kaya kailangan ang banyo,” Silva added.

Myrla Baldonado, a labor and community organizer who tends a plot in the park’s garden area, said Unidad Park is at the heart of neighborhood that has diverse cultural colors which make it a perfect place to initiate and experience positive and unifying community interactions.

On a personal level, Baldonado said “tending a plot in the park’s garden helps her get in touch of my deeper self.”

Ruth Acosta, apparently of Hispanic ancestry, comes regularly at the park with her seven-year-old daughter. She finds Unidad Park to be sufficiently managed relative to “type of neighborhood where it is situated.”

“I feel safe when we are here. The people are friendly,” Acosta said.

Acosta promptly called our attention to another pocket park about a mile away at the corner of Colton and Welcome streets.

While the said pocket park looked decent from the outset, residents have been reporting about finding empty beer and wine bottles there. Some people have reportedly even found used syringes at the periphery of the said park.

Weekend Balita/US Asian Post, during its own visit to the place immediately noticed that the pocket park did not have fence and gate like the Unidad Park.

Los Angeles County, according to the Countrywide Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment, is a “poor park compared to other urban areas throughout the United States.”

The same study found out that “low-income communities of color are the worst off in terms of park availability.” It says more than half of LA County residents live in areas classified either “Very High Need,” averaging 0.7 acres per 1,000 residents, or “High Need,” averaging 1.6 acres per 1,000 residents.

Overall, LA County provides an average of 3.3 acres of parkland for every 1,000 residents but those parks “are disproportionately distributed.”

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Customs bureau says 7 ports exceeded collection targets for Sept
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Bureau-of-Customs-292x300MANILA, Oct. 26 (PNA) –Seven out of the country’s 17 port districts have surpassed their revenue collection targets for the month of September, the Bureau of Customs has said.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the bureau reported that the ports that exceeded their collection last month are the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the ports of Batangas, Cebu and Davao, the four known billionaire ports; and the ports of Clark, Iloilo and Zamboanga.

Based on the final revenue collection report by the Bureau of Treasury, the actual revenue collection for September was PHP34.234 billion.

The report however added that the total revenue collection has become PHP33.326 billion, given last year’s tax credit of PHP908 million.

The bureau has already achieved 91.3 percent of its PHP36.519 billion assessed revenue collected target for last month, and is expected to improve before the year ends.

The amount is higher than the August collection of PHP33.03 billion, and the PHP32.651 billion collected in the same month in 2015.

The following are the collected revenues of the other ports:

Port of Clark: PHP225.2 million collected, PHP110 million target (203.7 percent)

Port of Zamboanga: PHP19.5 million collected, PHP12.8 million target (152.6 percent)

Port of Cebu: PHP1.759 billion collected, PHP1.423 billion target (123.6 percent)

Port of Iloilo: PHP211.8 million collected, PHP188.2 million target (112.5 percent)

Port of Batangas: PHP8.529 billion collected, PHP7.740 billion target (110.2 percent)

Port of Davao: PHP1.052 billion collected, PHP998 million target (105.4 percent)

Manila International Container Port: PHP10.583 billion collected, PHP10.505 billion target (100.7 percent).

 

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Customs bureau says 7 ports exceeded collection targets for Sept
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Bureau-of-Customs-292x300MANILA, Oct. 26 (PNA) –Seven out of the country’s 17 port districts have surpassed their revenue collection targets for the month of September, the Bureau of Customs has said.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the bureau reported that the ports that exceeded their collection last month are the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the ports of Batangas, Cebu and Davao, the four known billionaire ports; and the ports of Clark, Iloilo and Zamboanga.

Based on the final revenue collection report by the Bureau of Treasury, the actual revenue collection for September was PHP34.234 billion.

The report however added that the total revenue collection has become PHP33.326 billion, given last year’s tax credit of PHP908 million.

The bureau has already achieved 91.3 percent of its PHP36.519 billion assessed revenue collected target for last month, and is expected to improve before the year ends.

The amount is higher than the August collection of PHP33.03 billion, and the PHP32.651 billion collected in the same month in 2015.

The following are the collected revenues of the other ports:

Port of Clark: PHP225.2 million collected, PHP110 million target (203.7 percent)

Port of Zamboanga: PHP19.5 million collected, PHP12.8 million target (152.6 percent)

Port of Cebu: PHP1.759 billion collected, PHP1.423 billion target (123.6 percent)

Port of Iloilo: PHP211.8 million collected, PHP188.2 million target (112.5 percent)

Port of Batangas: PHP8.529 billion collected, PHP7.740 billion target (110.2 percent)

Port of Davao: PHP1.052 billion collected, PHP998 million target (105.4 percent)

Manila International Container Port: PHP10.583 billion collected, PHP10.505 billion target (100.7 percent).

 

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Asian Americans stars grace CAPE’s gala night
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Carrie Ann Inaba at CAPE gala night

Asian Pacific stars descended at the historic Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday night (October 22) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of an equally remarkable organization,the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), a group working for equality and diversity in the industry.

Tia Carrere and Carrie Ann Inaba, both of whom were not popularly known to come from Filipino ancestry, obliquely represented Filipino American visibility in the affair.

Steve Yeun of the “The Walking Dead,”; Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim of “Hawaii Five-O” also came and walked the red carpet.

“CAPE is a wonderful organization. Back in the days when I was so young, I did a diversity workshop for ABC (TV). And I don’t know if you notice that I’m with the DWTS (Dancing With The Stars) which is one of ABC’s top shows. That connection that they provided for me back in the days has proved to be helpful in so many ways for me as I pursued my career,” Inaba told Weekend Balita/US Asian Post during the red carpet interview.

Inaba went on to commend CAPE for pursuing programs aimed at developing Asian American writers, explaining that “the more there are Asian American writers, the more characters we will see on the screen.”

Carrere, for her part, also commended CAPE’s steady growth and consistency.

“Check the roster and board members, the people that you’ll see donating tonight – because I’ll be going up there tonight to do the fundraising part. We have some heavy hitters in the organization. And I think that’s how we’re gonna get people who look like you and me on television and film,” Carrere added.

During the program, Wenda Fong, one of CAPE co-founders, recalled that the group’s first meeting happened in a Chinese restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Fong remembered that CAPE initially saw the problem of Asian Americans being invisible was worse then because Asian Americans were also invisible to each other. With the coming together of Asian Americans, Fong said the organization’s mission has evolved to “educate, connect, and empower people already in the industry but more importantly, the next generation.”

CAPE co-founders Filipino AmericanFritz Friedman, Chris Lee and Fong were given a standing ovation when they went up the stage.

After walking the red carpet, guests participated in a silent auction and were treated to Asian-inspired cocktails and food.

Fong, Inaba and Twitch COO Kevin Linall gave respective Ted-style talks during a modest program that also featured a brilliant magician named David Kwong.

A colossal selfie that included all the stars, CAPE officers, the staff and guests was done before the after-party begun.

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Janella distances self from Elmo-Janine split
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Janella Salvador (MNS photo)

Janella Salvador (MNS photo)

Janella Salvador has finally broken her silence on the recent breakup of her onscreen partner, Elmo Magalona, and actress Janine Gutierrez.

Salvador denied that she has anything to do with the split.

“Yung reaction ko diyan, wala. As long as I know na wala naman akong ginawang masama, I’d rather stay out of it kasi I’m really not involved naman talaga,” she said.

Asked if she feels bad for Magalona and Gutierrez, Salvador said: “Of course, I do. I’m always going to be here for Elmo, siyempre more for Elmo because he’s my friend. If I have to comfort him, I’m going to be here naman.”

Is she open in case Magalona decides to court her now that he’s no longer in a relationship? “Tignan natin. We need time,” she briefly stated.

Salvador said he likes Magalona because “he is very caring as a friend and he will always think of others too.”

Ever since they were paired together in “Born For You,” Magalona and Salvador have been subject to romance rumors. They even attended last Saturday’s Star Magic Ball together.

The two have repeatedly downplayed these, but admitted that they do enjoy the close friendship that they have. (MNS)

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Investment pledges from Japan to create 200,000 jobs, says trade chief
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President Rodrigo Duterte and his delegation pose with the Filipino community in Japan at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte and his delegation pose with the Filipino community in Japan at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Oct. 25 (PNA) – The 12 deals that will be signed by Japanese and Filipino businesses during the official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan will generate some 200,000 jobs in the next few years, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez has said.

In a text message Tuesday, Lopez told Manila-based reporters that the commitments from Japanese companies will be in the sectors of automotive, vehicle parts, electric vehicles, shipbuilding and ship repair, biomass fuel, renewable energy, solar and energy management system, optical image stabilizers, and agriculture.

“(We’re) bullish in further strengthening trade and investments from Japan,” he said.

“Japan is our largest trading partner with over USD18 billion of total trade. We export more than we import and we have USD6.0 billion trade surplus, which is a big help to our economy.”

The trade secretary is joining President Duterte in his official trip to Japan until Thursday.

Lopez had earlier stressed the administration’s push to revitalize partnership with Asian neighbors.

 

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PHL firms urged to explore opportunities in Iraq as ICTSI inaugurates $130-M port project in Basra
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BASRA GATEWAY TERMINAL PROJECT. International Container Terminal Servinces Inc. (ICTSI)Chairman and President Enrique Razon Jr. cuts the ceremonial ribbon during the inauguration of the $130-million Basra Gateway Terminal at the Port of Umm Qasr in Iraq. The project, the biggest direct foreign investment in Iraq’s port sector, is expected to spur economic growth as it expanded the capacity of Iraq’s only deep water port, which services 80 percent of the country’s imports. (ICTSI Photo)

BASRA GATEWAY TERMINAL PROJECT. International Container Terminal Servinces Inc. (ICTSI)Chairman and President Enrique Razon Jr. cuts the ceremonial ribbon during the inauguration of the $130-million Basra Gateway Terminal at the Port of Umm Qasr in Iraq. The project, the biggest direct foreign investment in Iraq’s port sector, is expected to spur economic growth as it expanded the capacity of Iraq’s only deep water port, which services 80 percent of the country’s imports. (ICTSI Photo)

BASRA, Iraq – The Philippine Embassy expressed hope that more Filipino companies would explore investment opportunities in Iraq following the recent inauguration by Manila-based International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) of its $130-million port development project here.

In a statement, the Embassy welcomed the inauguration of ICTSI’s Basra Gateway Terminal Project in Umm Qasr – Iraq’s largest and only deep-water port and the main gateway to the Iraqi market. “We are glad that ICTSI, a leading Filipino company, is helping spur economic growth in Iraq,” Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Elmer G. Cato said.

“We hope that more Filipino companies would take a second look at Iraq and consider investing in the country,” Cato said, citing possible opportunities in construction and the oil and gas sectors, particularly in Basra, the country’s commercial capital, and other southern provinces as well as in the Kurdistan Region.

In his remarks during the inauguration, ICTSI Chairman and President Enrique K. Razon said that with the new berth and equipment, Umm Qasr port can now handle larger ships and ensure a more efficient trade gateway for the economic future of the region.

ICTSI poured $130 million to expand the capacity of the port, which handles 80 percent of the country’s imports, by constructing a new berth and container yard, building a multipurpose terminal complex and installing the first Post Panamax STS cranes in Iraq. In addition, the company provided employment and training to 240 Iraqis.

“We look forward to seeing Basra Gateway Terminal efficiently support the needs of international shipping lines using standards comparable with the region’s best,” Razon said as he expressed hope that the new terminal, which is the first public-private partnership project in Iraq’s port sector, will jumpstart economic activities in the country.

Basra Gateway Terminal Chairman Phillip Marsham said ICTSI expects increased cargo flows with the high economic growth projected for Iraq in the next 30 years. “As Iraq develops in the region, it is essential that there is infrastructure and investment support to ensure a rapid growth to the Iraq economy,” he said.

“This will require larger vessels that would in turn require larger and more advanced facilities, equipment and information technology capabilities,” Marsham said. “Basra Gateway Terminal is investing in providing the expertise and infrastructure to facilitate this change, which will contribute enormously to developing more stability within the Iraq.”

Marsham said ICTSI’s operations can be expected to lower handling costs for vessels; ensure faster transit times for cargo; and lower turn-around time for equipment. “This provides extra flexibility in the services and schedules of shipping lines and gives cargo importers more certainty and the ability to plan accordingly,” he added.

 

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