PETER’S PINOY PATTER — AUGUST 2017

Bridge Generation News

Featured BG personality – Ray Paular: The eldest of four sons, Ray was born in Oakland in 1930 but spent his first dozen years in Los Angeles in a mostly white neighborhood. He did not escape discrimination.  As a paperboy and later at a scholarship club meeting, he was told, “You don’t belong here.” After the family moved to Stockton, Ray worked in the fields as did most pinoy kids.  He sacked onions at two dollars a day. He traveled south to pick grapes at ten cents a tray and at night slept on boxes next to a pig sty.  As a teenager, he was the starting pitcher for Stockton’s Filipino Youth Association softball team.  Ray was also an accomplished amateur boxer, competing in Golden Gloves bouts throughout California.  His boxing career came to a halt in 1949 when he entered San Jose State to pursue an accounting degree.  In 1946 Ray hired on in an Alaskan fish cannery.  This was a far more positive work experience; the next eight summers as an Alaskero provided enough money for college.  He considered majoring in music but after listening to Ray perform on the piano, his professor advised him to “stick to accounting.”  At San Jose State he again encountered discrimination when he was told the job he sought was filled. It was not — but anti-discrimination laws were still decades away.  So Ray took his case to the college newspaper only to be chastised by the Dean of Men for “bringing shame to San Jose State.”  He persevered and graduated with a BA in 1953.  However, before he could benefit from his new degree, the Korean War interfered — he was drafted into the Army.  Army life was not kind to Ray.  There, he contracted tuberculosis, underwent lung surgery, and almost was given his last rites. Following his honorable discharge, he enjoyed a 32 year accounting career with several State of California departments, culminating in an executive position as Auditor, Department of Corrections. Ray served as Acting Warden from to time.  Thankfully, he was never called upon to quell a prison uprising or deal with a serious inmate incident.  After his retirement in 1991, Ray volunteered on behalf of his community serving as charter member of the Sacramento Chapter, Filipino American National Historical Society and later as FANHS national board member.  Ray was particularly proud of his work in helping develop the highly praised 2005 film documentary Untold Triumph: The Story of the First and Second Filipino Regiments.  For his dedication, he received the Community Leader of the Year Award from the Filipino Chamber of Commerce. Today, he lives in retirement in Sacramento.  What was his greatest achievement? “To be able to live long enough to celebrate fifty years of marriage with a great wife and to enjoy two beautiful daughters and three wonderful grandchildren.”……………….. June 17th was a red letter day for me — the 69th anniversary of my enlistment in the U.S. Navy. But more important, I spent this June 17th with my 24-year old grandson, Zachary Armada, watching the visiting New York Yankees lose to the hometown Oakland A’s. I’ve been a Yankee and major league fan since 1941 and consider myself knowledgeable in most aspects of the game.  But I was not quite prepared for Zach’s wealth of baseball lore.  He knew everything about baseball — team and player statistics; the difference between two and four-seam fastballs, etc……………….. Received a nice note from Narce Caliva enclosing several photographs of a 1948 basketball tournament awards ceremony. Like me, he was then a 17 year old member of a Filipino youth club, serving as Treasurer of the Salinas (CA) Filipino Catholic Youth organization.  And like me, he joined the military in  1948, enlisting in the Army Air Force.  Narce is now living in Winchester VA and continues to be active with the Board of Directors, Korean War Veterans Association……………. Great to hear from Dolores (Estigoy) Sibonga — 12 year Seattle City Councilwoman, attorney, journalist, and activist — enjoying retirement in West Seattle…………… My youngest brother Joe Jamero of Livingston CA is most proud of his granddaughters.  Justine graduated with honors from UCLA while kid sister Jillian was named 2017 Outstanding Female Cadet Candidate in Athletics at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs………….. Happy August Birthdays to:  Beverley (Cabalar) DeToro, Carmen (Carido) Griggs, Connie (Dacuyan) Gin-Alcordo, Richard Gacer, Herb Jamero,  Mike Nisperos, Tony Ogilvie, Nemisio Paredes, Roni (Roslinda) Calibjo.

Pinakbet – News Across America

Statuesque and still beautiful at 50, Tia Carrere (nee Althea Rae Duhinio Janairo) reprised her role as Cassandra Wong during the “Wayne’s World 25th Anniversary Live” in San Francisco on June 3. “Wayne’s World 1 and 2″ (1992-93) showcased her singing and acting talents.  Subsequently, she appeared as the evil Juno Skinner in “True Lies” opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, as computer whiz Jingo Asakuma in “Rising Sun” opposite Sean Connery, and in her own series lead as Sydney Fox in “Relic Hunter”……………….. The June 18 crash of the USS Fitzgerald with a container ship off the coast of Japan when seven U.S. Navy sailors perished, included a Filipino American — Petty Officer Second Class Carlos Victor Ganson Siboyan, 23, of Chula Vista CA……………. In a June 5 episode, television food host Anthony Bourdain predicted that sisig will lead the charge in Filipino cuisine’s rising international recognition. He praised the sizzling, crispy pork dish — usually made from parts of pigs’ head and liver — as ”casual, accessible — exactly what you need after a few beers.” (Earlier, Bloomberg News and Food Network declared 2017 as the year of Filipino cuisine)……………… On June 8 Major League Baseball began investigating Addison Russell, star shortstop of the World Champion Chicago Cubs, for infidelity and spousal abuse following an Instagram accusation by his pinay wife, Melisa. He is one of only several Filipino Americans in the big leagues (brothers Travis and Chase d’Arnaud are the others)……………… Hostess Giselle “G” Tongi and “Kababayan Today” of KSCI-TV Los Angeles ended their run on June 30 after eleven years serving the SoCal Filipino American community.  Two weeks later, the hugely popular program was revived — not as a daily show but as “Kababayan Weekly”……………… In the first woman-to-woman transfer of command in the U.S. Navy, Hawaii-born Filipina Rear Admiral Babette “Bette” Bolivar assumed command from Rear Admiral Mary M. Jackson in Jacksonville, Florida.  Admiral Bolivar is in charge of providing support for eighteen naval installations within Southeast U.S. and the Caribbean……………… On July 1 Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban, became President of DePaul University in Chicago, considered the largest Catholic university in the United States.  As university president, he is the first non-ordained leader in DePaul’s 119 year history.  Dr. Esteban was formerly head of Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

Musings

Russia’s hacking of the 2016 U.S. election was said to create chaos in government and in America.  With a total lack of presidential leadership, a White House in disarray, a do-nothing Congress, and a divided America, Russia has already succeeded — chaos is now rampant in America…………….. In its June 19 issue Time magazine wrote, “A week after his inauguration, (Donald) Trump called FBI Director (James) Comey to a private dinner at the White House, served by two Navy stewards, without anyone else in the room.”  Trump reportedly asked Comey to quash an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Historically, White House stewards have been Filipino.  If so, the two stewards may be the only witnesses to this controversial discussion……………… The June 14 Alexandria VA shooting of Republican Congressman Steve Salise of Louisiana caused some to think it might change the dialogue in Washington.  I seriously doubt it! The wounding of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on January 8, 1911, the senseless murders of twenty children and six staff members in Sandy Hook CT on December 14, 2012, and the June 17, 2015 massacre of twelve churchgoers at the AME church in Charleston SC — all failed to bring about serious reform!……………… Among 37 countries in the world, the Philippines appears to show the most support for U.S. President Donald Trump. June findings of the non-partisan Pew Research Center said nearly seven in ten Filipinos have faith in Trump when it comes to world affairs. Pew found that 69 percent of Filipinos think Trump is “a strong leader,” while 51 percent would describe him as “charismatic.” The Philippines joins Russia, Ghana, Vietnam and Nigeria as the only countries which have more than a 50 percent positive opinion of Trump.  Of the 37 countries surveyed, only 22% say that they have confidence in Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs; almost three-quarters (74%) have little to no confidence in the new U.S. leader.  I wonder how Filipinos in America compare…………….. Kudos to photojournalist David Bacon for his wonderful article “Apple Pickers of the Yakima Valley” in the June issue of Atlantic magazine.  David, who has devoted much of his life writing about labor issues — including the 1960s Delano Filipino farm workers grape strike — reminds me that much still needs to be done to improve the plight of present day farm workers. Countdown: 7 months – For the Board of Trustees, Filipino American National Historical Society, to provide critically needed financing to assure keeping open the FANHS National Museum in Stockton — the historic center of Filipino immigration.

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