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A Thank You letter from Heart of Mary Villa

Posted by lecrowder in Back To Our Roots, FAN Announcements, Home on 01 28th, 2010

Dear Lorial and the FAN community,

Greetings of Peace from Heart of Mary Villa!

First, let me THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for the balikbayan box donation you sent us . Thank you for your concern and your concrete expression of support and solidarity with us.

I also want to say sorry for this very much delayed communication with you. There were just too many concerns the past months since the flashfloods and even until now that it really slipped my mind.  I hardly opened my computer because of many other urgent things to be done not only here in HMV, but also for congregational responsibilities & in the diocese of Kalookan. I hope you will understand.

I must confess that our life has not been so normal yet since typhoon Ondoy hit HMV. The effect of the flashfloods is so overwhelming, not only for the loss & destruction of properties, but also  for the added work that needs to be done, aside  from the normal operations we had to cope with.  Yet at the same time, we were also overwhelmed with the response of so many people like you who wanted to help – something which we are so grateful for, and yet of course it added so much work again to us. Even until now, there are more boxes and sacks of relief goods, clothings, etc. coming that needs to be picked up, sorted out and to be distributed to other people  who were also much affected by “Ondoy” (not only here in Malabon but we were also able to  share  the goods donated to us in the provinces).

Let me share with you the present situation of HMV:

As of now, 19 of our babies are transferred from our nursery in Malabon City to an improvised-nursery in Quezon City.  We had to do this because the waters all around us in HMV has become so polluted that it smells so bad esp. at night.  We still have some babies in the Maternity Home in Malabon that cannot be transferred yet because of the limited space in QC. We hope to be able to construct a new building for our babies to make them comfortable and provide them with the necessary facilities they need, like the playroom, isolation room and formula room.

The convent and the Maternity Home for the unwed mothers are still here in Malabon while we await definite decisions from our congregational leaders as regards our transfer to Quezon City. It is really such a pity that we have to move, HMV in Malabon is such a beautiful place and very conducive for the needs of our babies & unwed mothers, but their safety is more a priority to us so we need to give up this place.

By the way Lorie,  have you ever been to HMV already? And is it possible to know the names of the adoptees who came from HMV and are part of your FAN group? we would be happy to know.

Please do keep us in your prayers as we also pray for you all,  thanking God in our prayers for the good that you do for us. May the year 2010 be filled with God’s blessings for you and all your loved ones.


Sr. Susan Montano,RGS

Heart of Mary Villa

TMZ: Michael Jackson Filipino Inmates Strike Again

Posted by FAN Admin in Home, News on 01 26th, 2010

Michael Jackson Filipino Inmates Strike Again

Posted Jan 25th 2010 2:34PM by TMZ Staff

With all the time in the world on their hands, the inmates of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center

in the Philippines have learned another Michael Jackson routine … with some help.

Jackson’s long-time choreographer Travis Payne, with dancers Daniel Celebre and Dres Reid, taught the inmates routines from “This Is It.”

It’s just how Michael would have wanted it.
Read more:

Filipino Heritage Camp – Winter Park Mountain Lodge – July 15-18, 2010

Posted by FAN Admin in Back To Our Roots, Connections, Events, Home, Our Stories on 01 25th, 2010

Filipino Heritage Camp (FHC) is my summer vacation that has become very dear to me and now my family. I came across FHC while doing a search on “Filipino camp” back in 2000 and applied to be a counselor for the weekend. I knew it was out of my element and I would not know anyone but I suppose this was part of my adventure.

I learned that one of the coordinators and a camper (who is now the Counselor Coordinator for FHC) was part of the FHC and by happenstance were also the same people I met during my Motherland visit to the Philippines  in 1998. I was comforted by this reunion, which also made for a smoother transition with my first FHC.

Ten years later I have found myself in a leadership role with FHC, along with my fellow Filipino adoptee. We spent hours through the years talking about the strides the camp has made and what our vision would be if we were ever in the position to offer our opinion. Now, FHC is going into its new decade and with 10 years under our belt we are excited about our new site at Winter Park Mountain Lodge and our participation!

The success of FHC would not be possible without our community partner, the Filipino American Community of Colorado. Every year they have tirelessly volunteered their time to provide the often missing cultural piece of adoption by instructing dance classes, amazing Filipino meals and quite simply their presence.

We hope you can join us for a unique experience with Filipino Heritage Camp this summer in Winter Park this summer!!

Filipino Heritage Camp

July 15th to 17th, 2010 at Winter Park Mountain Lodge, CO
(optional Fun/Family Day date to be announced)

2010 Directors: Lorial Crowder and David Slattery

“I Love Camp” FHC 2nd Grader Camper
“ This is my Favorite Camp”
FHC 5th Grade Camper
“ I don’t want Camp to end”
FHC 7th Grade Camper
“ It’s worth so much to see our girls grow with confidence – giving them the tools to cope with adoption/race issues we don’t fully understand. They look forward to seeing their long lasting friends every year.”
FHC Parent
I did not realize how much camp would help me as a Parent too!”
FHC Parent

The Filipino Heritage Camp is one of a handful of camps designed especially for families with children adopted from the Philippines/with Filipino heritage. Committed to exploring both the cultural and the adoption aspects of growing as an adoptive family, it is one of ten camps facilitated by the highly respected Colorado Heritage Camps, Inc.

FHC 2010 is going to be a year of big changes! Not only do we have a new facility in Winter Park, it will be the first year in the history of FHC that two Filipino adult adoptees will be Co-Directing! We have big shoes to fill with our predecessors and former Directors Scott Grant and Sue Thiry but are confident that the dedicated parent and Filipino community volunteers will once again be instrumental in providing wonderful programming for the children and parents. FHC is also planning an optional “Family Fun Day” for folks who would like an extra no frills day. Date to be announced so please check site regularly for update.

The Filipino Adoptees Network (FAN) is thrilled to partner with FHC for the 4th year. FAN is a network that supports and provides resources to Filipino adoptees, adoptive families and those touched by adoption. Volunteering as a counselor for FHC is an amazing opportunity to meet fellow Filipino adult adoptees. Click here to apply as an FHC counselor:

This year FAN is proud assist with the development and implementation of the:
• elementary workshops,
• middle school and high school workshops,
• adult workshops,
• and family based programs.

Our new location, Winter Park Mountain Lodge is located
directly across from the Ski Resort, which is full of summer time events and activities, and a stones throw from downtown Winter Park. The Resort recently added 100 new rooms and renovated 52 rooms. Area activities and amenities are endless; we are ecstatic to provide you with a memorable and fun weekend!

Plans for 2010?

” NO history, NO self, KNOW history, KNOW self: Honoring Filipino Americans”

2010 is a U.S. Census year and the Filipino American community is anticipated to become the first largest Asian American group, surpassing the Chinese Americans. The U.S. Census reported in 2007 that 3.1 million Filipinos reside in America and 80% of Filipino Americans are U.S. citizens. Also in 2007, the U.S. Census reported the Filipino American community to be 4 million or 1.5% of the U.S. population.

Who are the Notable Filipino Americans? What have been their contributions?

This year’s Filipino Heritage Camp, you will learn about the rich history of Filipinos in America that date as far back as 1587 to present day. The workshops and activities will focus on prominent Filipino Americans in the various industries such as entertainment, science, education, sports, medicine and arts. There will also be educational and fun workshops that will look at music, art, dance, history and games that celebrate our Filipino American heritage.

The elementary workshops will include sessions on:
• Filipino/American history
• Craft projects
• discovering love of Filipino music, and dance,
• entertainment and games!

There is specialized programming for our middle and high school aged campers, including:
• Learning about our Filipino American history
• “Survivor Philippines”
• Filipinos in the music industry
• Babayin – the ancient Filipino sanskrit
• “More than Me” project, partner organization to be announced. For more on this trademark Colorado Heritage Camps project, click here:

Workshops for Parents will include;
• The popular cooking classes,
• Adoptee panel,
• An overview of the history of Filipinos in America
• Parent run workshops

The Filipino-American Community of Colorado (FACC) will be celebrating their 10th year volunteering with FHC. The members have had an invaluable role with the camp over the years providing a connection to our Filipino culture by teaching us about culture, cuisine, dance, music and history of the Philippines.

To read about last year’s camp click here

For more pictures of Filipino Camp 2008 click here

We look forward to seeing your family at camp!

The support from the local Filipino community from Denver is amazing BUT we are always looking for more volunteers and counselors; to assist with the kids, teach workshops, preparing meals, etc., We encourage Filipino adult adoptees to apply as counselors, which offers a unique opportunity to network with fellow adoptees. Please consider joining us this year as a volunteer or counselor!
As a non-profit 501 C(3) organization, Filipino Heritage Camp is always seeking financial assistance to help keep camp costs reasonable for families, and still provide an outstanding program. If you’d like to help, please go to the Donations section of this web site. Thank you very much in advance.
Frequent Flier Donations:
We are also in need of donations of frequent flier miles to help defray costs of out of state speakers. If you have miles you can donate please email us at
We hope to see you at camp this summer. For further information, please contact us.

Poems by an Adoptee

Posted by FAN Admin in Our Stories on 01 25th, 2010

My name is Andrew Ric Heyer. My adopted parents put Andrew in front of Ric, which is the name I responded to when I was young. Why they put Andrew I will never know. I think I was adopted when I was 2 and on the way to the U.S. my friend gave me a black eye with a Tonka truck. Although I don’t remember this, that is the story I was told.

My adopted parents have given me a wonderful life and I am forever grateful for that. Although it took me a very long time to say that. For the longest time I was very angry and hurt that I was given up. Why would someone do that? What was wrong with me. It took me a long time to come to grips that there must have been a good reason and should be thankful for everything my adopted parents have given me. Truth be told, I am still working on fully accepting my adopted parents, but its a work in progress.

For more poems by Andrew Heyer please visit his site  here.

~ Memories ~

with these outstretched arms I reach for you

songs of sadness scream the pain I feel

ripped away from the only comfort I have known

separated for reasons I will never know

in slow motion I watch you fade away

yearning for your touch

longing to be held and loved

a boy forced to be a man to soon

by those deeming you unfit to care for your son

all those precious moments

lost between a mother and son

memories never to made

I wish for them now

for I have found you to late

rest now, I hope you found the peace you searched for


~ Mother ~

I’ve been sitting in this room so dark and alone

trying to find a place where I belong

grasping at the nothingness which surrounds me

covered in this shroud of darkness, unable to break free

desperately searching for a peacefulness amongst all this confusion

so cold and lost

this constant inner turmoil of which I struggle against

silently destroys the remnants of my inner sanctuary

so many questions, so many pieces without a place

you left me here so small and afraid

maybe you found what you were looking for

but, perhaps you needed only look in front of you

why did you leave me….mother….

~ My Angel ~

soft summer breeze gently caressing my face

whispering soft words of love in the afternoon

passionate kisses lasting forever and a day

here in the twilight our bodies intertwined

two becoming one

beneath the setting sun our worlds collide

all of our inhibitions melting away

your tender touch soften my tough facade

all my fears dissolve into oblivion

relinquishing control of my soul to you

nothing in this world can harm me

I feel so safe and loved when I’m with you

in this world, through all the madness

I find shelter and comfort in your arms

my angel, my small piece of heaven, on this earth

FAN Announcements

Posted by FAN Admin in Back To Our Roots, Home, News on 01 22nd, 2010


This month FAN celebrated its Fifth Anniversary! It has been a pleasure seeing the organization grow, connecting with fellow Filipino adoptees, adoptive parents and building partnerships with the greater international adoption community!

In doing so, we would like to give you a Filipino inspired t-shirts that was graciously donated by Pnoy Apparel
Sizes are limited.

The first 10 people that answer the following questions correctly will be given a shirt. Please include your mailing address with your answers!

1. Who are the Co-Founders of FAN?
2. What is the tag line of FAN?
3. Name the individual who was awarded the CNN Hero of 2009?
4. What is one of the national dishes of the Philippines?
5. What does “Mabuhay” mean in english?
6. What is the title of the Philippine National anthem?

* One entry per person. Shirts will be sent within 2 weeks as long as answers are correct. International entries are accepted.
Final day to win a prize January 31st, 201o



After a year long hiatus we would like to bring back FAN chats for adoptees!

This month: Sunday January 31st
Time: 8pm-9pm EST

Theme: Getting to know you
This will be the introductory conference call for adoptees to share their adoption story, where you currently reside and so on.

We will have monthly conference calls on topics such as:
– Culture: Is it important to you?
– Growing up adopted: The good, the bad, the ugly
– Being Brown in a white family.
– White privilege: How do we fit in the equation?
– Returning to the motherland
– Search and Reunion: Pros and Cons
– Surviving your 20’s and moving into your adulthood
– identity: How Filipino are you?
– Our native tongue: Is it important to learn?
Time: 8pm-9pm EST

Please email: info@filipino-adoptees-network if you have questions or suggestions on topics. An email reminder will be sent with the conference call number.

Filipino Journal: 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic fever is on!

Posted by FAN Admin in Connections, Home, News on 01 20th, 2010

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic fever is on!

The days are bitterly cold but that arctic weather does not deter Manitobans to carry the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic torch and to watch this pageantry as one in a life time event! It is the Olympic fever of enthusiasm and dedication prevail! A shining brand of nationalism is on indeed!

Thousands of Olympic torch bearers who walk, run and hike on the road to the 21010 Vancouver Winter Olympic which  will start on Feb. 12, 2010. Many Canadians, mostly ordinary people plus young and old Olympians and politicians, experience the winter Olympic fever. Never before this kind of excitement had captured the hearts of the Canadians. And wherever the Olympic torch travels, many enthusiastic Canadians line up along the streets, the highways, and the paths where the torch would pass.

In Manitoba, the Olympic Torch is an inspiration for an Olympic dream. Even most of those torch bearers are not able to go to Vancouver to attend and watch the game. The experience that they have as a torch bearer would be considered an active participants in the Vancouver Winter Olympic. “ It is a amazing. It is an unbelievable and once in a lifetime opportunity and it is a real honour and privilege to be one of those torch bearers to celebrate in one of the most popular sporting event in the world”, a smiling Aileen Madden, a mother of two girls, and daughter of  Arsenio & Antonia Huypungco, the kababayan of Manny Paquiao in Kiamba.  “It’s a real honour to be selected by  Deloitte and I did not feel how cold was that day when i ran. It was minus 36? What I felt was the Olympic fever,” she added.

The Winnipeg Olympic run ended at the Forks where the Brakada was selected to perform together with some popular Winnipeg entertainers. “ It is awesome to be a part of the Vancouver Winter Olympic event…”, Brakada said. Noah Palansky, 13, was named by Mayor Sam Katz as Winnipeg’s official Olympic torchbearer. Lourice Capili, an 18-year old University One of U of M, ran at Rimouski, Quebec last November 29, 2001 as a winner of the Coca-Cola promotion, one of the major sponsors of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic. Her mother, Arlene Bugtong and another daughter went to  Quebec to witness her run. At the Forks, Rod E. Cantiveros, Filipino Journal publisher, met Ryan Heckert of Winnipeg who ran last December 31, 2009 in Rouyin-Noranda Quebec. Ryan, a University of Manitoba student, selected through the Coke promotion. “I never thought that I would be selected. It is so amazing and I will never forget this opportunity given to me,” Ryan said with a wider smile.

And the Olympic Torch begins its Western run. And the Olympic fever is getting hotter and hotter!

Rod E. Cantiveros, FJ publisher, got a chance to meet and to pose with Ryan Heckert, a Winnipegger who carried the olympic torch in Rouyin-Noranda, Quebec last December 31, 2009. Ryan is a college of science student at the University of Manitoba. He won to carry the torch when Coke, 2010 Olympic Sponsor, selected him as one of the many torch bearers to promote the 2010 Olympic in Vancouver B.C. which will start on Feb. 12, 2010.
Lourice Capili – Torch relay in Rimouski, PQ

NYT: 53 Haitian Orphans Are Airlifted to U.S.

Posted by FAN Admin in Home, News on 01 19th, 2010

53 Haitian Orphans Are Airlifted to U.S.

Published: January 19, 2010

MIAMI — A group of 53 Haitian orphans landed in Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning, the first wave to arrive after the United States loosened its policy on visa requirements to expedite Americans’ adoptions of parentless children living in the post-earthquake ruins.

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The first wave of Haitian orphans, 53 whose orphanage was destroyed in the earthquake, arrived Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

But the new policy, announced late Monday, affects only 900 children whom the Haitian government had already identified as orphans, and whom adoption agencies had matched with couples in the United States.

Tens of thousands of children are believed to have been orphaned in the quake, and their fate remains unclear, aid groups and United Nations officials say.

Catholic leaders in Miami are pushing both governments to have children who appear to be orphaned airlifted to temporary group homes in South Florida. Several aid groups who focus on children, however, say every effort should be made to reunite them with relatives.

It normally takes three years to adopt a child from Haiti, because of a lengthy process required under Haitian law. The Haitian government has had reason to be cautious; there are about 200 orphanages in Haiti, but United Nations officials say not all are legitimate. Some are fronts for traffickers who buy children from their parents and sell them to couples in other countries. “In orphanages in Haiti there are an awful lot of children who are not orphans,” said Christopher de Bono, a Unicef spokesman.

Under the new policy, announced Monday night by the Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the United States is waiving visa requirements on humanitarian grounds for Haitian children already in the pipeline for adoption. Some adoptions had already been approved by Haitian authorities, but the United States also agreed to let in other children who had been matched with American parents but had not gotten a final blessing from Haitian officials.

“The U.S. government has never done this in the past,” said Mary F. Robinson, president of the National Council for Adoption. “They are really going all out to expedite the process.”

Homeland Security Department officials said they were walking a fine line, trying to let in bona fide orphans without opening the floodgates to all children who have been separated from their parents.

“We remain focused on family unification and must be vigilant not to separate children from relatives in Haiti who are still alive but displaced, or to unknowingly assist criminals who traffic in children in such desperate times,” said Matthew Chandler, a spokesman for the department.

Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania played an instrumental role in bringing the first planeload of children out of Haiti, and the bureaucratic difficulties his team faced underscore the legal and moral complexities of transferring hundreds of children to a new country in the middle of a catastrophe that has crippled the Haitian government.

“There were many times we thought we were coming back with no one,” Mr. Rendell said Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

After an all-night journey on two planes, the children — some wrapped in blankets, some carried by nurses and doctors, some walking and waving — came off a donated jet at Pittsburgh International Airport just after 9 a.m. and were taken by bus to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of U.P.M.C. with a police escort.

Some of their adoptive parents waited anxiously while doctors examined the children, most of whom are under the age of 4.

“We just kept expecting the worst-case scenario, that they wouldn’t survive, that they’d be looted, that they’d run out of water,” said Jill Lear of Watertown, S.D., who arrived with her husband, Bruce, to wait for two children they were to adopt.

Mr. Rendell and Representative Jason Altmire flew Monday to Haiti on a chartered plane carrying medical supplies and 20 doctors and nurses. The plan was to drop off the supplies and pick up children from an orphanage run by two sisters, Jamie and Alison McMutrie from a Pittsburgh suburb, Ben Avon, Pa..

The orphanage was so badly damaged that the McMutrie sisters and the children were living in a courtyard. With a borrowed cellphone, they sent out appeals for help, saying they had only enough provisions for a few days.

Having lobbied the White House for several days, the Pennsylvania delegation had obtained United States visas for the children and had expected to be on the ground one hour.

But Haitian officials would let only 28 of the 54 orphans the sisters had brought to the airport to leave; the rest had not cleared all the hurdles for adoption. Seven had yet to be matched with adoptive parents, the Haitians said.

Then the sisters dug in their heels. “They just said no, they wouldn’t leave without all of them,” Mr. Altmire said.

For five hours, the delegation worked furiously to get the Haitian government to agree to let all the children go. The governor’s wife, Judge Marjorie O. Rendell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, went to Port-au-Prince to meet with American diplomats. Mr. Rendell and Mr. Altmire lobbied the White House, which pressured Haitian officials.

The chartered plane was forced to return to Miami before a deal was reached, Mr. Rendell said, but the delegation stayed in Haiti. But at 11 p.m., the Haitian officials relented and the children were evacuated on a United States military cargo plane to Orlando, Fla., where they transferred to the jet to Pennsylvania. One child was found to be missing at the last minute in Haiti, and Jamie McMutrie stayed behind to find her. They were expected to arrive here Wednesday.

James C. McKinley Jr. reported from Miami, and Sean D. Hamill from Pittsburgh.

Guardian UK: Too early to begin adopting Haitian children, would-be parents told

Posted by FAN Admin in News on 01 18th, 2010

Too early to begin adopting Haitian children, would-be parents told

Children’s groups in the US have warned that mass adoptions could open the door to ‘fraud, abuse and trafficking’

Children’s groups in the US have asked people to wait before trying to adopt Haitian orphans, warning that mass adoptions or airlifts could break up families and open the door to “fraud, abuse and trafficking”.

The Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS), a US advocacy organisation, said it had received 150 enquiries about Haitian adoption in the last three days. Usually there are 10 a month.

It also dismissed a plan from the Catholic archdiocese of Miami to airlift thousands of Haitian children displaced by the earthquake to Florida in an echo of the initiative that saw 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children begin new lives in the US in the early 1960s.

While it acknowledged that such rescue efforts came from an “obviously loving heart”, it pointed out they could be premature and dangerous.

“Bringing children into the US, either by airlift or new adoption during a time of national emergency, can open the door for fraud, abuse and trafficking,” JCICS said in a statement. “Every effort must be made in a timely fashion to locate living parents and extended family members. Many children who might appear to be orphaned may in fact be only temporarily separated from their family.”

Tom DiFilipo, president and CEO of JCICS, said: “If you see a child fall over on the sidewalk, your natural tendency is to pick it up. People are seeing the disaster in Haiti and they want to help so they call us and say: ‘We could take one of those children’. It’s a fabulous sentiment but it’s not good policy.”

The US National Council for Adoption said that it, too, discouraged “the altruistic practice commonly referred to as baby lifts”. It added: “Even in the name of humanitarian interest, we cannot risk the premature adoptions of vulnerable children who may have been separated from their families by this tragedy.”

A spokeswoman for Unicef said the agency’s priority was ensuring that children affected by the earthquake got the help they needed.

“We are working with children on the ground, trying to register them and reunite them with their families where possible,” she said. “Discussions about fostering and adoptions are premature and it’s highly likely many children have become separated from their parents. Our primary concern is safety and shelter for these children.”

Their calls came as the Dutch government sent a chartered a plane to the Caribbean island to airlift 109 children who were in the final stages of being adopted by parents in the Netherlands when the quake struck.

Patrick Mikkelsen, a spokesman for the justice ministry, said all the adoptions had been conducted through two respected Dutch agencies. “We do not simply pick up children from the streets and bring them to Holland to be adopted,” he said.

France, Canada and the US also said they would accelerate the adoptions process so that children who had been cleared for lives abroad by the Haitian government could be handed over to their new parents as soon as possible.

According to Unicef, Haiti had around 380,000 orphans under the age of 17 before last week’s earthquake. It also estimates that 46% of the country’s 10m-strong population is under the age of 18.

The Neighborhood: An Extraordinary Exchange – Five Stories on Adoption

Posted by FAN Admin in Our Stories on 01 15th, 2010

January 15, 2010

An Extraordinary Exchange

Five Stories on Adoption
More and more children are growing up knowing two families: their adoptive family and their birth family. Adults whose birth records were sealed are reuniting with long lost birth parents, and gay, lesbian and transracial adoptions are on the rise — changing the face of our family photo albums and American identity.

This segment is from Neighborhood’s Emily Corwin.

Right Click and “Save As” to
Download the .mp3

The full hour-long broadcast includes five segments from independent producers across the country.