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Philippines Today

Philippines Today

America and Philippine media

Published in Editorial & Other Articles

In observance of the Filipino Heritage Month, I am resuming this column, “America in My Heart” to tackle subjects close to the hearts and minds of Filipinos, especially those in America.


In a way, this “resurrection” is ignited by a news report about the Plaridel Awards of the Philippine American Press Club (PAPC) in which my lawyer friend, Rodel Rodis, recounted the history of PAPC in which  all those founders were named, except me, then one of the editors of Manila Bulletin on study leave in US and later editor in chief of Philippine Examiner, the Northern California edition of California Examiner of Southern California which for a time was managed by the triumvirate of Oscar Jornacion, Art Madlaing and Roger Oriel. The report states: “In honor of the founding members of PAPC, Atty. Rodel Rodis, narrated the start of the erstwhile press club in 1988. Founding members were Willie Jurado, Dave Baquirin, Al Repato, Quezon Mangawang, Prudencio Europa, Lilia Andolong, Art Madlaing, Art Padua, George Nervez, Angelo Castro Sr., Rodel Rodis and George Bernal.” Ironically, weeks before the event, Rodel and I had exchanges of messages about the beginnings of the club in which names cropped.


The reason I may have been missed in the list, apart from senior moments, is that I returned to Manila after one year leave in the Manila Bulletin. But if my memory serves me right, the initial meetings of the founders at Tito Rey’s were spearheaded by Lilia Rianzares Andolong (partner of former NPC president Nereo Andolong), among others, when she learned that a member of the National Press Club of the Philippines – that’s me -  was in town. So old members of the NPC were invited and originally planned to form an NPC chapter in the Bay Area. Just like in the NPC Bar in Manila, Willie, a former general manager of the Manila International Airport, who was then publishing the newspaper “The Eye,” was boisterous in those meetings like Lilia, who we fondly called “Tiger.” Former defense reporter Dave, though towering over Willie, was silent but active, especially in dishing out his column “Mail From Washington.” Angelo, who was my poker classmate in the Malacanang Press Corps during the Marcos years (his brother was a Chief Justice), and later a court interpreter when he migrated to San Francisco, was at his element in those meetings just like Manong Art of Liwayway Magazine and Quezon of Manila Bulletin. George, former business editor of Evening Express and business reporter of Daily Express, was there, too, representing the Filipino Guardian.


 Realizing much later that there are others who are non-NPC members who are potential members, the group became the Philippine American Press Club.


The formation of the press club clearly showed that the Filipino journalists are active and Filipino publishing vibrant in America. During those years, the information technology revolution was taking its roots. Internet was not yet popular then as it is today and the cellular mobile telephone (CMT) or cellphone was so expensive as they were very big (Diamond Tel, Mitsubishi) and so were overseas calls. So the main source of news were the old Manila newspapers brought in by Philippine Airlines. The US publishing industry was then also slowly shifting from typesetting using big and expensive photo-based equipment like the Compugraphics which galleys you produced will still have to be cut and pasted into pages to what is known today as personal computers (PCs) where typesetting and layouting or pagemaking can be done with ease.


We were much luckier though than the early Filipino journalists in America like Pangasinan native Victorio Velasco and his brother who were based in Seattle, Washington like my grandfather Carlos Bulosan using mimeograph machines and the dirty, messy and slow letterpress. (More on the Velascos and in the succeeding columns).


In 1999, 10 years after I left San Francisco, I returned now as president of the National Press Club (NPC) of the Philippines. On my way to Washington DC where I signed the first reciprocity agreement with the National Press Club in Washington, the most powerful and influential press club in the world, I installed the officers of affiliate clubs in Los Angeles and Southern California with Las Vegas, Chicago and the Midwest and San Francisco and Northern California. It was George Nervez of Filipino Guardian who headed the Philippine American Press Club officers who I inducted into office in the presence of seven other NPC officers and leaders like Melandrew Velasco, a book author and Philippines Today columnist. Then Consul General Amado Cortez was our guest of honor and speaker during that event.

By EDDIE G. ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist


Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao


LAS VEGAS – With his next fight with Adrien Broner almost done, ring idol and senator Manny Pacquiao braces himself for his return to the United States to defend his World Boxing Association (WBA)welterweight title against his American challenger from Cincinnati.       


The soon-to-be 40-year-old Pacquiao last fought in U.S. soil almost two years ago in November 5, 2016, when he beat Jessie Vargas via  unanimous decision  to reclaim the World Boxing Organization (WBO) version of the 147-pound crown at the Thomas and Mac Center in Las Vegas.


The Filipino legend, according to a very reliable source, and Broner collide on January 19, or nearly a week after the Philippine Senate would  have resumed session following Christmas recess.


The same source said details of the fight like venue, purse, etc will be discussed and finalized on November 7 between representatives of Pacquao’s own outfit, MP Promotions, and Broner’s handlers.


After which, the official press conference where the bout will be announced will be held in New York where the two-city press tour, which includes Los Angeles, will end.      


Pacquiao had actually made the announcement on Thursday during an appearance at a news conference in Manila for the non-profit International Sports Promotion Society, which named him an ambassador.


In his announcement, the eight-division world champ said he would be fighting Broner next, either on Jan. 12 or Jan. 19. In Las Vegas, The  Manila Times source with knowledge of the deal, however, told ESPN the fight would be Jan. 19, not Jan. 12, though a fight likely wouldn't be formalized until both the champ and challenger had affixed their signatures on the dotted line.


And this will come, precisely, on November 7 during the signing of the long form contract.


About a fortnight ago, Pacquiao was reported  to have signed up with adviser Al Haymon, the Premier Boxing Champions founder who controls several named welterweights, including Broner as well as world titleholders Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman.


Haymon also works with Floyd Mayweather and should Pacquiao hurdled  Broner, he would set him up for a potential spring rematch with Mayweather.


Pacquiao and Haymon were on opposite sides when Pacquiao lost a decision to Mayweather in their 2015 welterweight title unification mega fight that shattered every combat sports revenue record, including for pay-per-views sold (4.6 million), overall revenue (about $600 million) and live gate ($72 million).


In mid-September, Mayweather and Pacquiao met in Tokyo, after which Mayweather announced on social media that he was coming out of retirement again and would fight Pacquiao in December. The December date is not happening, but they are on track to meet in the spring.


In that event, Pacquiao mentioned that Mayweather would fight somebody on Dec. 31 and that he would fight in January in an effort to set up the rematch. However, a source close to Mayweather said he was not going to fight in December.


The Filipino great’s last two fights have been held overseas. In July 2017, in the fight that kicked off the Top Rank/ESPN partnership, Pacquiao lost the title by controversial decision to Jeff Horn in the latter’s hometown of Brisbane, Australia, in his final fight with Top Rank as his promoter.


After a year off, Pacquiao returned this past July and knocked out Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round -- Pacquiao's first KO since his 2009 victory over Miguel Cotto to win his first welterweight title -- to win a secondary welterweight belt that he will defend against Broner.


During his media appearance in Manila, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who turns 40 on Dec. 17, said he is hoping for another convincing knockout when he faces Broner. "If I can finish it earlier than seven rounds, why not," Pacquiao said.


Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), 29, of Cincinnati, who has won world titles in four weight classes, is 0-1-1 in his past two fights, having lost a clear decision to Mikey Garcia in July 2017 followed by a draw with Vargas in April. 


Meanwhile, a boxing analyst said Pacquiao needs to knockout Broner to remain open to a lucrative rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr.


The Filipino boxing icon did it against Argentinian champion Lucas Matthysse in July, and fight analyst Dennis Principe believes Pacquiao can do that against Broner, too.

"I think malaki ‘yung tsansang (maka-knockout) kasi ang feeling ko after nu'ng panalo ni Manny over Matthysse, parang Manny felt the importance of scoring a knockout win," said Principe.


Principe said that when Pacquiao floored the heavy hitting Argentinean to win the WBA welterweight title, everybody began clamoring for Pacquiao-Mayweather 2.

Sen Manny Pacquiao with Aljo Victor

Published in Entertainment

FIGHTING SENATOR Manny Pacquiao poses with information technology expert and Laguna player Aljo Victor Gabot during a break in their basketball game in Makati City over the weekend as part of the conditioning of Pacquiao for his fight in Las Vegas with American slugger Adrien Broner in Jan. 19 or 20, 2019. Pacquiao is also readying for his rematch with undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. 


QUEZON CITY – Jo Christine and James Christopher Napoles, children of pork barrel scam prime suspect, have asked the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division to let them travel to the United States on November 15 to face charges filed in courts there.


A US grand jury has indicted Lim-Napoles; her children Jo Christine, James Christopher and Jeane; Reynald Luy Lim; and Ana Marie Lim for alleged money laundering.


A motion filed before the Sandiganbayan stated that Jo Christine and James Christopher “most respectfully ask that they be allowed to travel to the United States of America on November 15, 2018 and to stay in the United States of America while they are defending the civil and criminal cases filed against them.”

The Napoles siblings said that similar to the case before the Sandiganbayan, they “are required to personally appear during arraignment, hearings on motions, and trial in the US” or the rights and privileges available to them as accused would be waived.


In their pleadings, the siblings assured the anti-graft court that they would return to the Philippines not only to bolster their innocence, but also to perform their duties as accused in this case.”

Jo Christine and James Christopher are among the individuals facing charges of graft and of malversation through falsification before the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division — which is enforcing a hold departure order against the accused — over Malampaya funds in 2009 to 2010.


They are also among the individuals charged with graft along with former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.


Lim-Napoles is detained at a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City over plunder and graft charges in connection with the PDAF scam.

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