Tag Archives: Filipinos

Emil Guillermo: Why are Filipinos always the punchline? Seeing FX’s “The Comedians” reminded me of a dumb joke in “Anchorman 2.”

We know that Manny Pacquiao can punch.

And that  the champ is nobody’s  punchline.

DSC06620

So why is it that in U.S. pop culture, that’s not true for the rest of us.

Have you noticed? Filipinos are way too often the punchline.

WTF?

It happened again the other night on the FX debut of “The Comedians.” Joshua Gad jokes about joining Billy Crystal in a sitcom. Talking to his agent on the phone, Gad says he wants Latinos to see his work; And blacks; And that other group. You know that group….

The agent then says, “Filipinos?  (beat) They’re terrific.”

The tag doesn’t soften the blow.

Listen to the dialogue here: 150409_001

So we’re mentioned. That’s some consolation prize.  Inclusion? I didn’t see any Filipinos in the cast.

It reminded me how Anchorman 2 had a Filipino dog eating joke that was really offensive. See my take here.

Replace “Filipino” with “Jew” and you know there’d be cries of anti-Semitism. It would be  somewhat mitigated by the fact that the Jews are making the products on screen.

So that’s really the answer isn’t it? We  need to  see more American Filipinos producing and directing projects.

If that were the case,  we can tell our own dog jokes.

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Emil Guillermo: Crimes by Filipinos against Filipinos in the US? 11 E2 visa holders allege exploitation, fraud by L’Amande Bakery in Los Angeles owned by Analiza Moitinho de Almeida and her husband, Goncalo. (Find lawsuit here).

filipinolawsuit

The civil suit filed in Los Angles cites a long list of complaints ranging from human trafficking, racketeering, discrimination, and  retaliation to wage and labor violations.  It asks specifically for a million dollars in unpaid wages, overtime, penalties and damages.

The 11 plaintiffs are all poor Filipino workers who  were allegedly lured to America  by the bakery owner,  a previous employer in the Philippines.  They trusted her when they were promised  an E2 Visa and $2,000 a month to leave their families and come to America.

But that’s not what they got when they arrived in Los Angeles.

One woman told me she felt like a “slave,” doing forced manual labor. It wasn’t what she signed up for. And when the workers threatened to leave, the powerful bakery owner allegedly threatened the workers and their families in the Philippines. The significance here is that the bakery owner is the daughter of a Philippine official, Juan B. Santos, who is chair of the Social Security Commission, and a wealthy former CEO of Nestle.

I’ll have much more in a later post.

I talked to several workers and I hope to talk to the bakery owners.

(Suit filed by attorneys at  Latham/Watkins in Los Angeles and the Asian American Advancing Justice-Los Angeles).
The complaint is here:  20150318 Complaint-filed
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Pacquiao Bradley II: That’s not your prep school classmate, that’s the boxing match HBO can’t seem to hype enough

When I saw Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley fight for the first time on June 9, 2012, I was like most of the free world: Dumbfounded by the results.

Pacquiao clearly dominated the fight, though Bradley seemed to finish strong. Still, it wasn’t enough for a rally that actually could win the fight. How do you say: “Peex.”

Who needs an undercover camera? It was there for all to see. We knew who won the fight two years ago.

And now Pac Bradley 2 is back before Easter. For redemption?

Jim Lampley, the HBO announcer/sportscaster, on one radio show recently said the fight  wasn’t about a fix, but more about “bad judging.”

Lampley’s a good guy, but he has his biases working for the network that has a monopoly on the live fight.

There was something smelly about that fight, and two years doesn’t sufficiently deodorize the matter.

But we’re going to have to wait for someone’s deathbed confession before we get the real truth.

In the meantime, Pacquiao needs money. He’s motivated by taxes, and the peso/dollar exchange rate. And he has a whole barangay for an entourage.

ESPN has both fighters getting $6 million, but Pacquiao gets a guaranteed $20 million according to a report last week.

We also don’t have much time left to admire Pacquiao, in all honesty.

I’ve been saying he should retire now. But he’s on record saying “two more years.”

So for curiosity sake, I will lift my moratorium.

Pacquiao is the Filipinos’ alter ego, and I’m willing to suspend my disdain for pro boxing to watch him—just to see if he has anything left. The fight might be closer with two years for Bradley to get better and Pacquiao to get older.

Consider a graph with two lines:  If P is at a high level but  arcing down, and B is at a lower level but still rising, if the fight is taking place where the lines intersect it could be a toss up. If the  lines are close but not intersecting, then P should still have enough of an edge. That’s where I think we are.  Based on the last fights of both, Bradley gave Provodnikov a good fight. P gave Rios a beating. Based on that Freddie Roach puts Bradley as similar to Rios. But that Provodnikov fight of Bradley was better than that.  And let me not forget that Bradley/Marquez fight, where Bradley fought a completely different style. It all points to Bradley getting better, whereas Pacquiao is getting older. So we may be close to that P/B intersection, but not quite to make it a toss-up.

Prediction? Lots of rounds 10-9 Pacquiao, with Pac the ultimate winner.

(Live tweeting here at www.amok.com and on twitter@emilamok

How you can help the Philippines in the best possible way: Get money to people in position to aid the needy victims of the super typhoon

Currently,  I am in Asia on an assignment, but not in the Philippines. Feeling so close, yet so far. So what I’m doing is considering what I can do personally, if not professionally. We all feel the human tug of compassion. Maybe more than a tug for some.  

That’s why I turn to CRS.

This group works with people on the ground and is very efficient in how they do things. They also work with diverse groups of people. Not just Catholics. If you’re wondering how to give, I use this group to get money to the Philippine on an ongoing basis. An Asian American heads it up. And the organization is extremely accountable. No overpaid people here.

It’s hard to make sure money and aid will get to the Philippines without being shaved down by admin costs. If you’re looking for a charity with a great efficiency rating, Catholic Relief Services is worth looking into.

https://secure.crs.org/site/Donation2;jsessionid=9A142990A14AADFE61CBDC06ADF1E4AB.app260b?df_id=6140&6140.donation=form1

 

Read my opinion piece on the Philippines on CNN.com.

 

 

 

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Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, Haiyan to everyone else, seems to be the mother of all typhoons

The reports of just 3 dead on Friday night were wistful.

There are now reports of at least 138 , with Philippines officials saying they  expecting that number to climb into “the hundreds.”

Philippine Inquirer.Net is reporting a people finder service:

Looking for your loved ones who are in areas devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda”?

The Philippine Red Cross has launched Social Services Restoring Family Links and Tracing Services.

“If you are looking for a family or friend, contact our Social Services Restoring Family Links and Tracing Services, please call 09175328500,” the PNRC said.

Google, meanwhile, is offering its Person Finder service.

It also has a mobile phone version.

“You can request status via SMS by sending an SMS to +16508003977 with the message Search person-name. For example, if you are searching for Joshua, send the message Search Joshua,” said Google.

Read more: http://technology.inquirer.net/31465/red-cross-google-launch-person-finder-services#ixzz2kAkZnfLh

Manila may have been spared, but the devestation appears to be great around the central part of the Philippines, particularly Leyte and Samar.

Leyte was the WWII  battle we celebrated last month, the one that  liberated the Philippines. If it survived WWII, It will  survive the typhoon. But it will take time and help from around the world.

When the typhoon was first reported on Thursday, friends of mine asked me if I had relatives in the Philippines.

I told them as a Filipino American, I’m related to everyone there.

 

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PODCAST: Labor Leader Larry Itliong,Filipino American Icon, Remembered By Fred Basconcillo,former national president of the Iron workers Union. (Interviewed by Emil Guillermo)

Oct. 25 is the 100th birthday of Larry Itliong, the iconic Filipino American farm worker labor leader overshadowed by Cesar Chavez.  On this podcast, I interview Fred Basconcillo, a former national president of the Iron Workers Union.

Basconcillo, 76, knew Itliong and was mentored by him. Basconcillo says why Itliong was important and why he may have been overlooked by historians. He also shares stories of Itliong, including an episode that may have led to a split between Itliong and Chavez. Basconcillo says Itliong was upset Chavez treated Filipino workers differently at one site in the Coachella Valley where goonies were called in to beat up Filipino workers.

The podcast is about 13 minutes long, and was recorded on 10/22/2013 at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco after  a Filipino American History month program honoring the 69th anniversary of the Leyte Landing.( Leyte was a turning point in World War II where U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, accompanied by Sergio Osmena and Carlos Romulo, returned to liberate the Philippines).

 

[powerpress]http://www.amok.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Labor-Leader-Larry-ItliongFilipino-American-Icon-Remembered-By-Fred-Basconcilloformer-national-president-of-the-Iron-workers-Union.-Interviewed-By-Emil-Guillermo.m4a[/powerpress]

 

Read more: http://aaldef.org/blog/restoring-larry-itliong-to-his-rightful-place-during-filipino-american-history-month.html

 

 

Fred Basconcillo, one of the few first generation Filipino Americans born and raised in America, at a Filipino History Month celebration of the Alvarado Project at the San Francisco Philippine Consulate.

 

Labor Leader Larry Itliong,Filipino American Icon, Remembered By Fred Basconcillo,former national president of the Iron workers Union. (Interviewed By Emil Guillermo)

California nurses call for investigation of alleged discriminatory hiring practices against Filipinos at SF’s St.Luke’s hospital

If you don’t think racism and discrimination still exists in our era of diversity, consider this:   A  de facto ban against hiring Filipino nurses at the St.Luke’s Campus of Sutter Health’s Calif. Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) appears to be policy in San Francisco.

No Filipinos, as blatant as that.

Just like the old sign that the Filipino National Historical Society displays, the one from the 1920s that reads, “Positively No Filipinos Allowed.”

You can take that sign and stick it on the door at St.Luke’s, right now, says the California Nurses Association, the nurses union.

And now it wants to do something about it.

At a press conference on Thursday, the union will call for the San Francisco Human Rights Commission to investigate the hospital. The union will also announce its intention to file a class action grievance against Sutter and CPMC.

The union provided compelling evidence which included signed statements by former managers and current job stats, that  suggests Filipinos are being unfairly discriminated at the St. Luke’s campus.

From numbers provided by CPMC, the numbers are revealing. Before the take-over of the hospital in 2007 the Filipino RNs at St.Luke’s were 66 percent of the nursing population.

Between 2007 and 2008, just 48 percent of new hires were Filipino.

From Feb. 2008, when the nurses union and the community organized to stop the closure of St.Luke’s, to the present, the percentage of new RN hires who were Filipino dropped dramatically to just 10 percent.

They didn’t all just give up their RN credentials and take jobs as Wal-Mart greeters.

Nato Green, the labor representative who works at St.Luke’s said it’s no coincidence. “I believe this reflects Sutter’s decision to use race to divide workers and stop collective bargaining activity,” Green told me. “ Going from 66 percent to 10 percent (of new hires) is a fairly remarkable coincidence.”

It all comes after the union forced Sutter to keep St.Luke’s open. The nurses union expected some push back, but not this.

“CPMC and Sutter have chosen to retaliate by carrying out a punitive, illegal and immoral campaign of discrimination,” said Zenei Cortz, the California Nurses Association president.  “There is no excuse for racial or ethnic discrimination. A hospital should be a center of therapeutic healing for patients, not a model for bigotry.”

The union also produced affidavits signed under penalty of perjury.  Ronald Rivera, a former nurse manager, who worked there from April 2006 to April 2010 when he resigned on good terms, provided his testimony.

“One day I spoke with Diana Karner (VP of nursing) on the phone about hiring new RNs,” he attested.  “Diana said to me that we probably should not hire any more foreign graduate nurses. She explained that patients complain because “it is hard  to understand them and be understood by them.”

Another signed affidavit came from Ronald Villanueva, who actually was sitting in and overheard the conversation between Karner and Rivera. “I was shocked and I wondered if she knew I was a foreign graduate nurse,” he wrote.

A third declaration came from from Chris Hanks, who was the Director of Critical Care from 2008 to 2009 and reported directly to Karner. Hanks was alarmed when told point blank “you are not to hire any Filipino nurses.”  Hanks challenged Karner at their weekly meetings, until he was Karner told him, “The Filipinos are always related , or know each other, and that’s not good. You’re not to hire them.”

Karner the VP of nursing didn’t return my telephone call.

Kevin McCormack, of CPMC’s media relations said she was out of the office and unavailable. What did he think of a ban on hiring Filipino nurses? “That would be illegal,” he said. “You can’t ban hiring specific groups.”

He called it “ridiculous” and implied it was a stunt by C N A to fan the ongoing labor dispute with CPMC.

“We have a long history of hiring Filipino nurses on all our campuses, including St.Luke’s, and we are still hiring them,” McCormack read from CPMC’s official statement. “We have many RNs at our St. Luke’s campus who are Filipino and know how extraordinary they are. To say we are imposing quotas on them is outrageous.”

It is outrageous, but the numbers don’t lie.

The Filipino nursing staff at St.Luke’s is shrinking and it is such a precipitous drop that it can’t just be by accident or happenstance.