Tag Archives: Filipino

Emil Guillermo: Analiza Moitinho de Almeida declines comment, but gives a statement on Beverly Hills bakery suit on worker/trafficking abuse.


Analiza Moitinho de Almeida, an owner with her husband Goncalo, of the L’Amande  French Bakery in Beverly Hills, declined to comment, but did speak to me by phone Thursday when I called her this week.

See what she had to say about the lawsuit filed by 11 of her workers who allege worker abuse/fraud/trafficking  in a suit worth more than $1 million.  

See original NBCnews.com story here.

UPDATES:  More to come on this story. Keep checking back on amok.com.


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Emil Guillermo: I know I tend to bash SNL a lot (and it deserves it), but one joke made me laugh pretty hard last night

Actually, there was more than one good laugh in the show, but Weekend Update was better than normal with Kate McKinnon playing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a venerable and funky judge.


As she spoke about Uptown Funkin’ with Bruno Mars (funny in itself), McKinnon as the Ginz came back and topped it: “I like my men like I like my  decisions…5-4.”

That’s as funny a Filipino short joke as I’ve ever heard.


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UPDATE: Performance was great–contact me for future shows; Why I prefer “American Filipino” to Filipino American, even during October, our history month

UPDATE: If you’d like to see future performances of my “Emil Amok: The short history of the American Filipino,”  please get on my email list at emil@amok.com.  And twitter @emilamok  


October is Filipino American History month, but then you know why I like to flip it and say "American Filipino." I don't mean to make you get new stationary and business cards, but I want to both honor those born-here. And those who are just here. It's an inclusive, unifying phrase. Because what unites are the transgressions we've all experienced. It's even more frustrating when some of our own people "don't get it," and think I'm picking a fight. I'm not. I'm trying to pick us up to go forward.

See me Thursday, Oct. 9, at 6p. It’s free. Different programs. But all about Filipinos in San Francisco. Part of The Alvarado Project’s “Compositions” exhibit, featuring the photographs of Ricardo Alvarado.

As always you can always read my latest things here:


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Oh, and if you didn’t see this:

Pacquiao-Bradley 2 (#PacBradley): Here’s how I see it, as it happens…


When we get past the undercard and all the pre-fight festivities,  I will type my impressions and score the fight in real time here.

Strange to hear Pacquiao described as the “challenger.” But he is.  Bradley is 31-0 and the WBO Welterweight champ.  Pac looks all business. No smiles. Bradley has his game face. The rumble begins.

Round 1: Pacquiao and B trade shots, P commands center of ring early. Both fighters keeping their distance while trying to show aggression. Bradley toward the end comes on with :12. Round goes to Bradley, 10-9.

Round 2:  Bradley pushed back on hook, recovers. Pacquiao aggressive, throws combination and B goes into ropes. B comes back with body punches, doesn’t give in. B. with hardshots to P head. B not backing down.  Close, but I’ll give that to P for getting B on ropes, 10-9.

Round 3: Pacquiao lands combo early. At 1:57, P lands solid lefts to B. B has P against ropes and lands to the body. P landing left to B.  B counters with rights to the body. Flurry of punches in this round, give it to P, 10-9. Compubox numbers on HBO give P the edge with 22 powershots, 7 more punches landed.

Round 4: Bradley gets in a shot that rocks Pacquiao. B needed that  as P was landing shots early. :30 left B shows he’s unrelenting. The B. right gives him edge here. Bradley, 10-9. Replay shows P lifted off his feet.  Punch stats still show P. landing more.

Round 5: Minute left, the round still contested with both fighters trading jabs. B had arms down in last :15 and Pacquiao may have stolen the round with action in the last seconds. Pacquiao, 10-9.

Compubox totals from HBO: P 14/42, B 11/46,  Powershots, P 9, B 8.

Round 6: Much slower round than previous. :40 left and seems even. A coasting round. P throwing pinches on ropes. B coaxes P to punch him, but round ends. End theatrics give round to P, 10-9. HBO Compubox totals, P- 12/53, B 8/50, P with  10-8 powershot advantage.

Round 7: Pacquiao gets a left in. Bradley lands a hard right, and some body shots. Tempo back to that of early rounds. Combos by P with :44 left. P adds more with B in corner. Big round for P. as B tries modified “rope-a-dope.” But P. tees off. Pacquiao wins that, 10-9.

Compubox gives P 26 landed out of 75 thrown. B, 14 of 56.

Round 8: Pacquiao cruising, but lands with his left several times. B. tries to mug, to show he’s not hurt. Not sure if that’s working. B. coming up top with the right. Close, but ring generalship gives round to P, 10-9.

Round 9:Compubox numbers have P ahead with 119 punches landed to 90-plus for B thus far….  P. rocks Bradley into ropes and seems hurt. Off-balance twice so far. P. with rights and combos to B.  B. is throwing 1 to P. 5 punches, it seems. Pacquiao wins the round 10-9, decisively.

Round 10: Pacquiao in last round had 14/24 to B 10/24 punch edge. This round starting with P. in command at the center and B. backing up.  B looks to be trying to find a knockout punch, but missing. P counters with combinations that have him outpointing B.  P with left seems to stun B and B counters wildly and misses. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9.

Round 11: Pacquiao outpunched Bradley 26-12 in previous round. P starts out round with solid left. B seems to be tiring as he’s not throwing as many punches. Pacquiao the aggressor, Bradley backing up. P lands a left with :40 left.  Round ends with B retreating and missing. Pacquiao wins round, 10-9.

Round 12: Compubox numbers continue trend. Pacquiao landing. Bradley’s head turned. Bradley never has had a KO past the 8th round, so unlikely here. P good defense catching B’s best. 1 minute left, B misses right. P at center in control :30 left. Time out due to accidental head but with :12 left.  B starts working but it ends. B lifts arms up, but why? I’ve got P winning this 10-9.   And have P winning 11 of 12 rounds. (Correction: On recount, I gave the 4th round to Bradley based on the “lift-up” punch he landed on Pacquiao. Wasn’t a knockdown, but was impressive.  So Bradley won 2 rounds, Pacquiao 10, in my estimation).

Bradley was tough early. But didn’t do enough by my eye.

Final scoring: Unanimous for Pacquiao. All three judges.

HBO’s numbers show P landed 198 to Bradley’s 141, and landed 35percent of his punches to Bradley’s 22percent.

Pacquiao also threw more power punches 148-109.

The placement of the punches: Pacquiao landed 176 of his punches to Bradley’s head.  Bradley landed 98 t0 Pacquiao’s head.

Bradley landed 43 punches to P’s body. P just landed 22 body punches to Bradley. Pacquiao was clearly going for a head snapping KO. Bradley tried, but that really isn’t his game.

In the end, Bradley good, but Pacquiao is just better.  Bradley is a toe-to-toe guy, not a knockout guy. Pacquiao may not have the kind of power he showed when he clicked off  Ricky Hatton, but he’s got a lot left.

This is a $20 million guaranteed pay day. And a relatively soft spot for Pacquiao.  He said he wants to go 2 more years. It may take that long before Mayweather stops ducking him.

That’s it for this live blog experiment. Check back for more analysis later.

SEE MY COLUMN in the  Philippine Inquirer:
















“Hobbit” big, “Anchorman 2” smaller than expected, as weekend box office receipts tallied

“The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug” was again the No.1 movie in the nation with $31.5 million in tickets, giving it a two week take of $127.5 million, according to the NY Times.

“Anchorman 2,”lived up to its name and finished 2nd at $26.8 million. But it opened on Wednesday and is up to $40 million total, well on its way of making back the $50 million it cost to make.

Now instead of showing up in ads and free media everywhere plugging the movie, maybe producers will start showing up to Filipino community fundraisers or consider giving a little bit in aid to the typhoon victims in the Philippines.

As I pointed out on my blog post for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the silly anchorman was sullied by an ignorant joke that promotes a Filipino stereotype.


It was just one line, am I being too sensitive?  I don’t think so.

If all you see in the media about Filipinos is negative, then such jokes are indefensible. If there were something to counteract the throw away line in the movie, it would have been easier to take.

For example, there were a number of tasteless jokes about African Americans in the movie, as well. But there were African American actors in the movie  who were able to clearly rebut Ron Burgundy/Will Ferrell.

Read the piece on the blog.


And let’s hope that once the producers hit their $50 million nut, they will consider giving aid to the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. The typhoon displaced millions of people, many of whom are hungry.

And not eating dogs.


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Manny Pacquiao helps Typhoon victims, helps himself; He offers up Rios as evidence that Pacman is not some historic video game, but still a force in the pound-for-pound championship boxing picture; Mayweather on deck? UPDATE: About Pacman’s speech

Manny Pacquiao, wet with sweat and Brandon Rios’ blood, took not just Leyte and Tacloban, but the entire country of the Philippines and lifted them up high in the ring.

It may not stop pneumonia or dysentery, but anything positive is better than the trickle of aid typhoon victims seem to  getting these days.

And Pacquiao boxing victories, the first in two years, have been in short supply.

Now that we have one, we should see Pacquiao/Mayweather now.  

Neither can wait, as time, skills, and fan interest all begin to wane.

But now things are spiking as Mayweather talks his pound-for-pound  trash with no one better to fight. And Pacquiao is finally back on track.

Both men want/need the money. 

Even Promoter Bob Arum was talking it up BEFORE Pacquiao’s Brandon Rios fight.

It’s going to happen.

Pacquiao  did show the world he still has enough gas to go 12 top-flight rounds with  anyone after his unanimous victory over Rios in Macao.

Rios was a bigger, but a slower opponent, and coming off a disappointing rematch with Mike Alvarado (who in turn was beaten by Pacquiao’s old sparring partner Ruslan Provodnikov).

Pacquiao was coming off a two fight losing streak–one loss where he was clearly robbed  (Bradley), and the other , that knockout to Juan Marquez.  I just never saw Rios in Pacquiao’s league, but there was that thought was maybe Manny was on the decline.  IT was the only way Rios had a shot.

But Saturday showed talk of retirement was premature for the Pacman.  He’s got  a lot more life than an old video game.  The quick Pacquiao dominated Rios in the hit parade, sometimes exchanging at a 3 or 4-1 clip, (3 or 4 Paquiao counterhits when Rios opened up with a punch).


Still, there were some moments where Pacquiao just did not look nearly as confident as he’s been in the past. Even HBO commentator Roy Jones noticed something in Paquiao’s ‘body language.”  Mayweather folks may have seen that sort of thing as an edge F Jr. can exploit in a matchup. 

Junior is so much quicker than Rios who seemed to land his most effective punches while grabbing Pacquiao. If Mayweather  believes he has that kind of edge on Pacquiao, it could be the confidence boost to finally say yes to the fight without setting up all excuses on drug testing and such that have only mucked up negotiations in the past.

Pacquiao could schedule one more fight, a Bradley fight to avenge the grand theft. Or one fight against  Provodnikov, which would be a great fight (and far from a sure win for Pacquiao). But it sure wouldn’t be the same pay day for Manny.

He just had to show exactly where he is at this point. Still a good fighter, but no longer one with a “turn-off –the-lights”  KO punch.

That’s why I think Mayweather saw the fight Saturday and saw dollar signs.

The Rios fight did nothing more than re-open the negotiations for the fight we all want to see.

I bet it happens now.


On the web, I noticed talk about Pacquiao’s speech (presumably from his post-fight comments in the media), saying that Pacquiao should have a translator. Absurd. Pacquiao’s facility to speak to the people is not the issue. His gift is he speaks like a regular Filipino guy. 

In the U.S. we have Joe Sixpack. In the Philippines, it’s Juan Cockfight.

Pac does show poorly if you put him up next to a polished public speaker or a professional pol who graduated from the School of Florid Colonial English with a B.S.

That’s when Paquiao’s fists do the talking.

Pacquiao might benefit from a Henry Higgins-type if Pygmalion were “Pac-malion.” But the major selling point of Pacquiao is his “man of the people” charm. He’s just like them. A regular guy who climbed out of poverty in the Philippines to achieve wealth and world-wide fame.

A translator? Let him speak the way he does. Pacquiao just needs policy folks around him if he’s really serious about doing more in public life than being the local pol who brightens peoples’ lives and fixes their potholes.




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Thoughts on Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the Philippines, and Veterans Day: (UPDATED with video of newborn)

Called Yolanda in the Philippines, Haiyan internationally, by any name, the super typhoon has heaped on a sense of despair and helplessness.

Though we all knew it was coming from the warnings in both old and new media, there was still such an overwhelming sense that nothing could be done to help the country from its fate.

The very day the storm hit, a friend of mine in the San Francisco Bay Area, taken by news warnings, asked me if I still had relatives in the Philippines.

What could I tell her? Despite being born in America, in the broadest sense, as a full-blooded Filipino, I’m related to everyone there.

From a humanitarian sense, of course, we all are.

Over the weekend, as a U.S. based columnist for the Philippine Inquirer, I knew to turn to the paper’s website for coverage direct from the hardest hit area of Leyte.


For me, more than the photographs and videos, reading the first individual accounts of the super typhoon’s wrath were simply more harrowing, indicating the monstrous power of the storm. Reporter DJ Yap’s story described people in the throes of Yolanda, including one woman, Bernadette Tenegra, who tried to hold on to her daughter who was ravaged by wooden splinters from all the houses crushed by the storm.



The Tenegra family had huddled together in their shanty at Barangay (village) 66-Paseo de Legazpi, believing it could weather the storm as it had always done in the past.

But as the water rose with astonishing speed, the house toppled over, sweeping away the occupants, including Tenegra’s husband and her other daughter. They were able to scramble to safety, but the youngest Tenegra was spun around by the current along with the deadly debris.

“I crawled over to her, and I tried to pull her up. But she was too weak. It seemed she had already given up,” the mother said.

“And then I just let go,” she said, crying.

Mute shock was etched on the faces of survivors, many of whom were unfamiliar with storms as fierce as this one.

Richard Bilisario, an Air Force man, was carried by violent waves that demolished his unit’s barracks at the military base overlooking the Leyte Gulf.

“At first, the wind was only coming from inland, so we didn’t really mind it. Then suddenly we heard the howling from the sea,” he recalled.

“When we opened the door to check, the water was already up to the knee. And as soon as the door was opened, the water just rushed in, and the 11 of us were thrown away,” he said.

 Four are still missing, including their commander, Bilisario said.

 At downtown Tacloban, two men silently pushed a wooden cart carrying the bloated bodies of a woman, her teenage

son and her baby on the flooded main avenue.

The men took their gruesome load through the streets, as kibitzers watched in morbid fascination.

The woman’s name was Erlinda Mingig, 48, a fish vendor. She had been trapped in her one-story home with her two children, John Mark, 12, and 1-year-old Jenelyn, at Barangay 39-Calvaryhill.


“I told them to stay in the house because it was safer,” said Mingig’s husband, Rogelio, 48.

But the water was rising dangerously fast. When Erlinda tried to open the door to escape, it would not budge,” the man said.


“We found her embracing the children in one arm and grabbing on to the ceiling with the other,” he said.


So what do we do now?

The coincidence of Veterans Day and the world’s awakening to the apocalyptic images of the super typhoon’s hardest hit area, Leyte and its capital city of Tacloban, is eerie.

This is not the first time the region has seen such death and despair—and overcome it all.

It was on October 20, 1944, that General Douglas MacArthur made good on his “I will return” pledge after being forced out of the Philippines by the Japanese in World War II.

Standing on Leyte Beach, with Filipino president Sergio Osmena and Philippine General Carlos Romulo, MacArthur and the American military took back the Philippines and launched the Battle of Leyte, the biggest naval battle of WWII.

In the Leyte campaign that liberated the Philippines, the Japanese lost nearly 50,000. In victory, the U.S. suffered nearly 16,000 casualties.

Their lives enabled Philippine General Carlos Romulo to report back to Congress: “How I wish the world could have witnessed the ceremony on the capitol steps in Tacloban when…just two days after it was freed from enemy control, General MacArthur delievered Tacloban into the constitutional charge of President Osmena. In Osmena’s simple words of acknowledgment, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was re-established on Philippine soil.”

Romulo, who was also a great statesman and an award-winning journalist, continued:

“This is the story I have come back from the Philippines to tell you. It is of General MacArthur and the idea he has lived and fought for since he left Bataan…It is the story of that great Filipino underground army that fought in heart-breaking secrecy for two and a half years and their final triumph in sharing our victory at Leyte. And it is, moreover, each and all of these, American and Filipino feelings, different reasons and different earth, but all stirred by the same impulse that can be summed up in one word—Bataan.

“I saw Bataan again in Leyte. Filipinos and Americans there shared understanding of one another, having shared the same hunger for liberty, the same sacrifices and death and glories, and the same God. From this American Congress we obtained political equality. This is why it is impossible to encompass in communiques the way the American G.I. feels toward the Filipino who fought alongside his fellow American in the same fox hole in Bataan and later inside the barricade as his ally and friend; impossible to compress in print the way the Filipino feels towards G.I Joe.,.his comrade in arms and liberator. This is democracy as we saw it on Bataan. It is on Leyte, set like a torch between East and West.”

Nearly 70 years later, the same passion that liberated the Philippines must once again be summoned by the U.S. and the world, to respond to this natural disaster and save the country.

The start of financial and military aid, including a U.S.Osprey helicopter, have already begun to trickle into Tacloban over the weekend.

And amid the tragedy and rubble, there was even news of a brand new baby born to Emily Sagalis, 21.

She named the little girl Bea Joy, in honor of Emily’s mother Beatriz, swept away by Yolanda.

Even what little hope exists comes shadowed by tragedy.



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