Bridge Generation News

BG Personality of the Month: Joe Bataan, 75, of New York City — the “King of Latin Soul”.  Following are his own words in the AARP AAPI #Filipino American Story series:  My father gave me my real name, Bataan Nitollano. He thought it was a strong name and was always proud of it. When the movies with John Wayne came out, like ‘Fight of Bataan’ and ‘The Blood of Bataan’, he took it as a chance to introduce me to some of our history. I grew up in a neighborhood with mostly black and Latino people, and they assumed that my name was a Spanish word they just never heard before. When I was 18, I began to wonder about who the heck I was, but there were no Filipinos I could turn to. When I first started to record, I changed my name to Joe Bataan, so people would not associate me with my gangster past. I was in my early 30s when I came out with my album ‘Afrofilipino’ to show everybody who I was. I never hid that I was Filipino, but people had assumed I was Puerto Rican or something, because of what my music had been until then—Latin boogaloo, doo-wop, funk, and salsa.  In my 50s, I met Fred Cordova, I started to feel that I belonged. He and his family opened me up to an entire community! I am overwhelmed to be honored by fellow Filipino Americans for what I’ve made of my life. I feel blessed to have great success from around the world. Let me tell you, this is my father’s dream. If he was alive today, I would see that smile on his face. I’m that little guy who grew up with a black mother and a Filipino father in Harlem and was able to get a piece of the pie! I am inspired by today’s young people who step up to the plate and don’t just accept what’s given to them. They are not scared to make waves. You need to learn to accept what was given to you, know that’s what you are entitled to, and go through that next step, because, damn right, you can!…………….. My heart went out to East Bay community leader Vangie (Canonizado) Buell as I listened to her moving testimony in a nationally televised press conference sponsored by Senator Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Barbara Lee on November 10.  In a quiet but firm voice, she spoke eloquently on the negative impact on seniors in long-term care from the recently enacted Tax Reform Act.  Vangie, 85, a published author of several books on Filipino American history, and her 88-year-old husband, Bill, had been living comfortably in a residential care facility. But when Bill was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/dementia their medical bills soared to $17,000 a month ($204,000 a year). Previous tax law had permitted them to claim most of these  costs as a deduction.  However, the Tax Reform Act recently passed by Congress completely eliminated the deduction.  Under the Act, seniors in long-term care now must be poor enough to qualify for Medicare or rich enough to shoulder medical costs on their own.  The Buell’s were neither poor enough nor rich enough;  the resultant $17,000 monthly medical costs was definitely unaffordable.  A  visibly disheartened Vangie didn’t understand Congress’s thinking as she sadly commented, “We just want to be able to live a little longer.” …………………. I’m saddened to report the death of San Diego native Frank Antiporda, 88, after a long illness. His passing is of particular personal relevance.  When I was a lonely fuzzy cheeked U.S. Navy boot camp sailor in the 1940s, Frank and his family were my home away from home……………… Next time you’re in beautiful Pismo Beach, check out the historical markers — courtesy of the Central Coast Chapter of FANHS — on Oceanview Street at the Philippine Islands Condominiums.  The markers commemorate the original site of the P.I. Market,  a significant place of social and economic life for the local Filipino community.  Thank you Rosalie Salutan, Chapter President, for sharing………………. The late historian, activist, and mentor to countless youth Roy Morales – founder of Search to Involve Pilipino Americans — must have been looking down as the organization held its annual gala celebration on November 17.  The celebration highlighted SIPA’s 45 years of serving Los Angeles young pinoys/pinays through its health, economic, and social service programs.  Among Filipino American entertainers at the event were: of the Black Eyed Peas, actors Dante Basco, Eugene Cordero, and Roshon Fegan………………… Earlier in the year, ESPN-TV featured Vince Gomez, the 82 year-old “Ball Dude” for the San Francisco Giants.  A native San Franciscan and a Giants season ticket holder since 1978, he is also an educator and professional musician. A stand-up bassist, Vince shared the stage with such jazz greats as Oscar Peterson and  Sarah Vaughn as well as fellow Filipino American pianist Flip Nunez.  On Filipino Heritage Night at AT&T Park on September 19, artist LeRoid David presented him with a caricature rendering of Vince dressed in his “Ball Dude” uniform ……………… Happy January Birthdays to: Leatrice (Bantillo) Perez, Frank Carido, Hank Dacuyan, Beverly (Daquioag) Ventura, Nina (Dublin) Gonzalez, Larry Flores, George Jamero, and George Ramirez.

Pinakbet – News Across America

The first ever series of Filipino American history books for children was launched on October 20 — thanks to the vision of Dawn Mabalon, author; Gayle Romasanta, publisher/editor; and Andre Sibayan, illustrator/graphic design. The series will include eight books with the first entitled Journey For Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong.  It will be followed by two more books featuring Vicki Manalo Draves, 1948 Olympics diving champion, and acclaimed writer Carlos Bulosan. Historical leaders for the remaining five books are yet to be determined.  The venture got off to a great start, achieving 116% of its funding goal……………….  After winning the World Boxing Organization and International Boxing Association Super Bantamweight championships where she had a record of 14-4-1, Ana Julaton of San Francisco is now competing in women’s mixed martial arts…………….. In an election pitting two Filipino Americans against one another, Democrat Kelly Convirs-Fowler, a real estate agent, unseated  four-term Republican incumbent Ron Villanueva in the House of Delegates representing Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach, VA on November 7.  Her victory reflected an overwhelming anti-Trump victory for Democrats in the battleground state of Virginia as Demos swept all the top state offices and wrested House majority from the GOP……………..  According to Nestor Enriquez of Jersey City NJ, the first Filipino to play professional baseball was Claudio Manela, a left-handed pitcher for the Cincinnati Cuban Stars of the old Negro League in 1921.  Initially thought to be Cuban, Manela was determined to be Filipino after teammates heard him referred to as Chino Manila Man by friends, …………….. Publishers Weekly recently announced Grace Talusan of Boston as the winner of the 2017 Restless Books $10,000 Prize for New Immigrant Writing for Nonfiction for her memoir “The Body Papers”The book depicts her family’s life as undocumented Filipinos and their successful fight to gain legal status. Grace is a faculty member at Tufts University……………….. Eighteen year old Jason Robertson of Northville MI is only the second Filipino American drafted in the hundred year history of the National Hockey League after being selected  by the Dallas Stars in this year’s NHL Draft………………. Liz Masakayan (Answer to last month’s sports trivia question. Who was the Most Valuable Player of an NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament, five-time member of a USA Olympics team, and a successful beach volleyball player?)……………. Filipino American History Trivia: Where is the first FANHS chapter located?


Countdown: 2 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……………….. Hashtag #MeToo To those who may doubt pinays experience sexual assault: Harvey Weinstein, whose numerous abuses led to the #metoo phenomenon, groped Filipina Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez in New York City in 2015.  According to The New Yorker magazine, she  withdrew her complaint after Weinstein paid her off for $1 million. The following report in the November issue of FilAm Magazine provides examples of Filipina American women who were sexually abused: Nicole Ponseca, CEO and co-owner of Jeepney and Maharlika restaurants, shared how her victimization has continued over the years – from the priest who touched young girls in her school, to the media strategist who closed the door and locked the room on a late night meeting. Nicole is one among countless Filipinas who have added their voices to the call for an end to sex abuse coming from persons who believe they have power over women’s bodies. These women also have private scars they keep within, but for now can only say: #metoo.  Nancy, a 39-year-old businesswoman, used to regularly chat with a male friend, a well-to-do community leader in his 70s.  A few weeks ago, she was stunned when he told her that he was masturbating while chatting with her.  Leticia, an undocumented housekeeper, told of how she was molested by a Filipino building superintendent.  


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