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Adoptive Families: FREE ISSUE

Posted by lecrowder in Events, Home on 03 30th, 2011

Get your free issue of Adoptive FamiliesGet a FREE ISSUE of
Adoptive Families,
the best resource for families before and after adoption!

PLUS, get a bonus gift, Growing Up Adopted,  available as a FREE instant download right after you subscribe.

Adoptive Families is the only magazine that addresses the joys and challenges of being an adoptive parent.

Get your copy of the Growing Up Adopted Guide by Adoptive FamiliesThat’s why I’m pleased to offer you a free gift (Growing Up Adopted, right) when you subscribe today.

In each issue, you’ll find the information you need to successfully adopt and parent your child. Enjoy personal stories, expert advice, and so much more. To see how the magazine can help you, claim your free issue now.

Once you do, you’ll be able to instantly download your gift, and save up to 58% off the cover price.


Susan Caughman
Publisher of Adoptive Families

Korean Adoptees of Hawai’i (KAHI): Adoption Research Project Exploring Relations between Adult Transnational Adoptees and ther Adoptive Parents

Posted by lecrowder in Events, FAN Announcements, Home on 03 30th, 2011

KAHI and FAN will be collaborating to ensure that the voice of adopted Filipinos and their parents are included in this research project. Please take a moment if you are an adult adoptee and ask your parents to participate in this research study. Also, if you know other transracial adoptees do pass this information on to them!



Aloha Filipino Adoptees Network,

We are writing to ask for your assistance in spreading the word about an adoption research project that explores the relationship between adult transnational adoptees and their adoptive parents. This project looks specifically at the manner in which adult transnational adoptees and their parents have negotiated the complex and often thorny issues related to adoptive, racial, and ethnic/cultural identity.

The research project has two complementary components:

  • The first component consists of a pair of on-line surveys that compare the responses of adult transnational adoptees and their adoptive parents across a variety of measures. We hope to obtain a large response for this survey, and would therefore appreciate your assistance in letting people know about it. The surveys can be accessed directly using the following web links:

  • The second component consists of in-depth interviews with adoptee-parent pairs; that is, each interview set will include not only an adult transnational adoptee but also his/her adoptive parents. Please note that we anticipate conducting the adoptee and parent interviews separately and in varied locations across the U.S. beginning with interviews in Hawaii, Michigan, and Georgia during the spring and early summer of 2011. Later, we will travel to the West Coast (San Francisco, Portland, Seattle), the Mid-West (Minneapolis, Michigan again) and the East Coast (Washington, D.C./NYC area).

We have attached a handout that includes more detailed information about the project. We would appreciate it if you could share this information widely by means web sites, Facebook, and other online resources; through personal contacts; and/or by posting the information in appropriate locations.

To follow us on our Webpage, go to:

To follow us on Facebook, go to:

Please feel free to contact one or both of us if you have questions or need further information.


* *
Dr. Karen R. Benally
PO Box 2005
Red Valley, AZ 86544
(928) 653-5757
Lisa Charlie de Morais Teixeira
66942 Kamakahala Street
Waialua, HI 96791
(808) 391-0774

Holt International and Adoptees for Children present: The 55th Year Perspective – three generations of international adult adoptees Conference/ April 14-16/ Washington, D.C. Hyatt Regency Hotel

Posted by FAN Admin in Events, FAN Announcements, Home, International/Adoption Philippines, News on 03 25th, 2011


Approximately four-hundred-thousand children worldwide have been adopted internationally since the mid 1950s. What began as a humanitarian response to orphaned and abandoned children has become an accepted global institution as defined by The Hague Conventionon Intercountry Adoption.

In the past five decades the social practice of intercountry adoption has evolved dramatically. In 1956, when the modern era of intercountry adoption began, children from Korea were adopted to families in the U.S. who were encouraged to “Americanize” their children as soon as possible. “Fitting in” and becoming acclimated to their adopted nationality was considered the priority. Issues of race, culture and identity were not even a consideration in preparing a family to parent a child of another race and ethnicity.

What we know today is that issues of race, identity, culture and heritage are significant. As families go through the adoption study and are preparing to adopt a child internationally, these issues cannot be an afterthought–or something to present lightly–they are critical to adequately prepare families for the life-long experience of adoption.

There have been positive advancements in intercountry adoption practices, but it still falls short of what is needed to adequately meet the predictable developmental and social challenges that international adoptees may encounter throughout their life. For international adoptees to be prepared to face the challenges, to be confident of who they are, and to understand the balance of their place in the world—the families who adopt them must acknowledge and understand these issues. It is essential that the professional adoption community, policy makers and advocates understand and embrace the lessons learned by international adult adoptees.

Three generations of internationally adopted children are now adults.

Acknowledging the collective wisdom of the international adult adoptee community to the field of adoption, Holt International and Adoptees for Children (A4C) believe the time has come for an

International Forum: “Intercountry Adoption ~ Moving Forward From A Fifty-Five-Year Perspective.”

The lessons learned through the life experiences of three generations of international adoptees provide important insights that are both individual and collective. The International Forum will deliberately focus on adoption issues from the adoptee perspective and bring together non-traditional partners to collaborate more effectively on behalf of children—to share ideas and strengthen the collective intercountry adoption community.

This unprecedented examination of adoption through the lens of internationally adopted adults will provide opportunities to respond to and learn from them. The International Forum will inform policy makers and improve and enhance how the professional adoption community designs systems and provides services to educate and prepare adoptive families to successfully parent.


When: April 14-16, 2011
Where: Washington, D.C. Hyatt Regency Hotel 400 New Jersey AvenuePlease note that conference and hotel registration are separate

Click here for CONFERENCE registration

Joint Council Members, click here for CONFERENCE registration

Registration: $400 per person
(full registration includes materials, most meals & Gala dinner)

Saturday only: $100 per person
(includes Saturday sessions, lunch & breaks)

Gala dinner only: $100 per person

Click here for HOTEL registration
(reservations directly through hotel)

Preferred rate for Forum: $219 single or double

Adoption Learning Partners: FREE Adoption Tax Credit Course

Posted by lecrowder in FAN Announcements, Home, News on 03 22nd, 2011

Adoption Tax Credit

The Adoption Tax Credit Course Take the Adoption Tax Credit Course
Revised February, 2011

The adoption tax credit is one way the U.S. government promotes and supports adoption. Though the adoption tax credit provides a very valuable benefit to adoptive families, it is also among one of the most complicated tax law provisions.

The Adoption Tax Credit Course will help adoptive families:

  • Determine their eligibility for the adoption tax credit.
  • See how the adoption tax credit works with different types of adoptions and financial situations.
  • Create a system for tracking and documenting expenses.
  • Prepare for year-end tax planning and work with a tax professional.

Form 8839

Credit hours: 1.0
Course fee: FREE

Certificates of Completion are available for a fee of $25

Take the Adoption Tax Credit Course

Philippine Consulate NYC: New Consul General Mario L. de Leon Jr.

Posted by lecrowder in Home, News on 03 21st, 2011

The Philippine Consulate in NYC provides legal services, (dual) citizenship services, and visa application to Filipino Nationals living in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. The Consulate offers outreach services in these States that are updated regularly on the site.

Philippine Consulate General in NY
556 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10036 US
(212) 764-1330
Fax: (212) 382-1146

Mario L. de Leon Jr.
Consul General of the Republic of the Philippines
in New York

On 1 March 2011, the Hon. Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. assumed his Post as the new Consul General of the Philippine Consulate General New York, with consular jurisdiction over Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

The incoming Consul General most recently served as the Philippine Ambassador to South Africa. His previous assignment include serving as: Minister and Consul General, Philippine Embassy, London, United Kingdom (March 2000 – December 2006); Consul and Member, Investment Promotions Unit, Philippine Consulate General, New York (June 1993 – January 1997); Third Secretary then Second Secretary, Philippine Mission to the United Nations, New York (August 1990 – May 1993); Vice Consul, Philippine Consulate General, San Francisco (August 1989 – July 1990).

At the Department of Foreign Affairs, he has served as the Chief Coordinator of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (September 2008 – January 2010) and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Fiscal Management (June 2009 – January 2010). He was also Senior Special Assistant to the Undersecretary for Administration (January 2007 – August 2008), where he was directly involved in the establishment of the Internal Audit Services. His other Home Office assignments were as follows: Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary and Director, CORATEL/Management Information Systems Division (September 1997 – February 2000) and Director, Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations (December 1986 – July 1989).

A career foreign service officer, the Consul General de Leon has extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy and bilateral relations. He was a member of the Philippine Delegation and Adviser to the President of the successful May 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). He was a member of the Philippine Delegation to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Conference in New York in September 2009. He participated in various capacities in several international conferences such as the UN General Assembly in New York; the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly in London, United Kingdom; Substantive Sessions of the United Nations Disarmament Commission in New York; the UN ESCAP Sessions in Bangkok; as well as in Working Groups of ASEAN and APEC in the field of information technology.

Ambassador de Leon graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology (Honorable Mention) from the Ateneo de Manila University (1974). He also attended the Ateneo School of Business where he pursued his MBA (units).

He is married to Eleanor de Leon and has four daughters: Ana Karisma, Anna Korinna, Khristine Mae and Joyce Kathleen and an only son Josef Kriyan who passed away in 2006.

Philippine Consulate NYC: About

Posted by lecrowder in Back To Our Roots, FAN Announcements on 03 21st, 2011

The Philippine Consulate in NYC provides legal services, (dual) citizenship services, and visa application to Filipino Nationals living in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. The Consulate offers outreach services in these States that are updated regularly on the site.

Philippine Consulate General in NY
556 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10036 US
(212) 764-1330
Fax: (212) 382-1146

General Queries
Cultural / Community Section
Passport Section
Visa Section
Legal Section
Political and Economic Issues
Press / Information Section
Administrative Matters

excerpt from the PCGNY website

The Philippine Consulate General New York was opened in 1946 in recognition of the importance of New York and the mid-Atlantic regions of the US, for the development of Philippine-US relations, as regards trade, finance, science, education and cultural exchange. The growing Filipino expatriate community in the northeast and the need to provide services and assistance, also underlined the urgent need to open a Philippine Consulate in New York, just months after the Republic of the Philippines gained independence and raised its flag as a free country.
The first office of the Philippine Consulate General was located at 40 Exchange Place, in Wall Street, and was opened by the first Philippine Consul General in New York, the Honorable Jose P. Melencio, who served in that position from 1946-1951.

650 5th Avenue
In 1951, the Consulate General transferred to an office in 640 Fifth Avenue, under the leadership of Honorable Emilio Abello, Consul General 1951-53. He was succeeded by the Honorable Leopoldo Ruiz, Acting Consul General until 1953, who was followed by the Honorable Urbano Zafra, also Acting Consul General until 1954; and the Honorable Alejandro Galang, Acting Principal Officer, 1954-55.
In 1955, the Philippine Consulate General New York relocated to an office in the 76th floor of the Empire State Building. At one time hailed as the Tallest Building in the World, it was under the leadership of the Honorable Raul Leuterio, Consul General from 1955-62, that the office of the Philippine Consulate General was moved to this landmark building. There it remained until 1962, when the Department of Foreign Affairs purchased the Kevorkian property on 13-15 E66 St.
The Empire State Building
The property, located in the residential section with foreign missions and consulates nearby, was already an office-residence at the time of purchase. It was partially reconfigured to house the office of the Philippine Consulate General in the lower level, with access on 15 E66 Street, and the office of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in the upper floors accessed from 13 E 66 street.

The Honorable Bartolome Umayam served as Consul General from 1962-67; the Honorable Alejandro Holigores, Consul General 1967-69; and the Honorable Pacifico Evangelista, Acting Principal Officer 1969-70. In 1970, the Honorable Ernesto C. Pineda assumed office as Consul General. Both the Mission and the Consulate remained in this location until 1974.

Period sketch of 13-15 E 66 St.
(NOTE: From 1980-86, the property served as the residence for the Marcos family. After the 1986 People Power revolution, it was restored to the DFA. In 2007, repairs and restoration work was completed and the building now serves as the Official Residence of the Consul General and the Official Residence of the Permanent Representative to the UN.)
In 1974 the Philippine Center was opened. Despite protests from architectural preservationists, the façade of the property had been redesigned by Architect Augusto Camacho in the austere “Maharlika” style typical of the government buildings during the Marcos Administration. Pre-fabricated cement slabs covered the classical 1912 design of Carrere & Hastings, the architects of the Frick Museum and the NY Public Library. The trio of roman arched doorways were replaced by two simple adobe rectangular openings and a main entrance topped by a timber-gable reminiscent of the Maranao panolong.

(NOTE: In the 1990’s the pre-fabricated slabs were removed, revealing the original 1912 façade from the second floor upwards.)

All the offices of the Philippine government, the Consulate General, the Mission to the UN, the Department of Trade and the Department of Tourism were relocated to this location, where they remain to this day.

The Honorable Ernesto C. Pineda served as Consul General until 1986. He was succeeded by the Honorable Francisco E. Rodrigo, Jr., who served as Consul General until 1988, followed in June 1988 by the Honorable Hermenigildo Garcia who remained at Post until July 1990. In February 1991, Honorable Rodolfo Arizala was assigned as Consul General, serving until the June1992.

In September 1993, the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General New York was enlarged by the closure of the Philippine Consulate General in Houston, Texas. In addition to the Northeastern states, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma were added to the Post’s responsibility.

On 16 July 1994, Honorable Romeo Arguelles assumed his position as Consul General. He served in his position until October 1996. On 24 January 1997, Honorable Willy Gaa, assumed his position as Consul General, where he remained until 1999.

During this period the number of states under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Consulate General was reduced from 17 to 12, with the transfer of Texas and New Mexico to the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles, Mississippi and Arkansas to the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago, and the Virgin Islands to the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, all in November 1997, in consideration of the geographical distance of these states from New York.

On 16 April 1999 the Honorable Linglingay F. Lacanlale assumed her position as Consul General and served in that capacity until 15 November 2003. During her tenure, consular jurisdiction over the states of Louisiana and Oklahoma were transferred to the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago, leaving the following states within the jurisdiction of the Consulate General in New York: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

On 25 November 2003, our current Consul General, the Honorable Cecilia B. Rebong, assumed her position as Head of Post.

The Philippine Consulate General New York and our 25 staff and officers attend to a daily average of 150 separate walk-in transactions for Passport, Visa and Legal services, and over 250 calls, messages, letters and emails. The Assistance to Nationals Section monitors and attends to hundreds of legal cases involving Filipinos in distress. Our mobile team coordinates with partner organizations in the States within our jurisdiction where the community has achieved a significant density, to provide services during the weekends, twice a month between spring and fall. While the Cultural-Community section provides assistance to, and works in close concert with, over 300 registered community organizations throughout the year.

As the Filipino community grows and expands, our efforts to provide services to the approximately 500,000 Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the Northeast US continues to develop and evolve. We look forward aiding in the steady progression of the Filipino community and the promotion and protection of Philippine interests in the United States.

Asian Journal: Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB: One of the Top 100 Most Inspiring People in the World

Posted by FAN Admin in Back To Our Roots, Home, News on 03 9th, 2011

Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB: One of the Top 100 Most Inspiring People in the World

Wednesday, 09 March 2011 00:00 Cynthia De Castro | AJPress Los Angeles

Overwhelmed. That’s how Sister Mary John Mananzan felt when she was informed that she had been named one of the top 100 inspiring people in the world, alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A Missionary Benedictine sister, Sr. Mary John Mananzan is one of the extraordinary people who are being honored on the international list that has been put out by Women Deliver, the leading global advocate fighting for women’s rights and maternal health. The list of the 100 most inspiring women and men who have improved the lives of girls and women worldwide was launched as “Women Deliver 100” on March 8, the 100th International Women’s Day. The list was assembled to honor individuals who have accomplished concrete change for women—and also to raise awareness of the continuing struggle for women’s rights around the globe. While the list includes well-known advocates like Hillary Clinton, its real focus is the unsung heroes on the front lines of the women’s rights movement worldwide, such as feminine activists like Mananzan.

Sr. Mary is the Prioress at St. Scholastica’s Priory and Founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Women’s Studies at St. Scholastica’s College. According to Women Deliver, Mananzan delivers for women in the following ways: As a Missionary Benedictine sister, Mananzan has led the way in integrating feminist activism into Catholic faith. She was a pioneer in the field of women’s studies, founding the program at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila, one of the Philippine’s most prestigious and progressive colleges for women. She has been instrumental in developing a feminist and a third-world theology within the Catholic Church, criticizing the Church for being hierarchical and male-dominated. In her writing, she has highlighted the particular oppression of third world women through violence and gender discrimination.  In her groundbreaking career, Mananzan has worked to empower women and to combat injustice and oppression wherever she finds it—whether within the political system, or at the hands of the church. She has led the way in integrating feminist activism into the Catholic faith and pioneered in the field of women’s studies by founding the program at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila.

Born in Dagupan, Pangasinan on November 6, 1937, Guillermina “Jill” Mananzan studied in St. Scholastica’s College since high school (1949-1953) and college ( magna cum laude, AB-BSE major in History 1953-1957). Upon graduation, Jill joined the Benedictine order and became Sister Mary John.

Mananzan admitted that when she first joined the Benedictine order at 19 years old, she thought that she could not participate in social work for the poor unless she was a nun. “I always say, ‘Do not ask me why I entered. Ask me why I am staying,’” she said in an earlier interview. “It is because I found more reasons to stay.”

When Sr. Mary told her mother of her decision to become a nun, her mother was speechless. “The next day, she told me ‘It was OK if I really wanted to be a nun.’ She was very proud of me,” Mananzan said.

The intelligent nun was able to go on to graduate studies abroad. In 1970, Sr. Mary was a magna cum laude graduate in Missiology from Wilhelmsuniversitaet in Muenster, Germany. The following year, she received her Licentiate in Philosophy (again, magna cum laude) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.

In 1974, Mananzan earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy, Major in Linguistic Philosophy, holding the distinction of being the first woman to graduate summa cum laude from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Upon her return to the country in 1973, Sr. Mary John was entrusted with a number of positions, including the deanship and subsequently the presidency of St. Scholastica’s College, and the leadership of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines.

Mananzan’s return to the Philippines was during the peak of President Marcos’ martial law regime. The fearless nun gotinvolved in political rallies, either urging her fellow citizens not to pay the oil price increases or supporting 600 workers on strike against unfair management practices of La Tondeña, a Filipino distillery.

When a plainclothes policeman asked her why a nun like her was involved in political rallies, she said that he would not have understood if she had told him about her practice of ‘total and complete salvation.’To Sister Mary John, preaching the Gospel included preaching against injustice, defending human rights and engaging in effective action.

“One cannot talk of total human transformation if half of society is oppressed,” stressed Mananzan, who was often seen in rallies with former President Cory Aquino.

Mary John’s involvement in political militancy gradually evolved into a passion for the struggle of women against gender oppression, including oppression committed within the institutional church. She spearheaded the social and women’s orientation in St. Scholastica’s College. She founded the Institute of Women’s Studies, Life-Long Learning and Wellness Center, Women and Ecology Wholeness Farm. She also established  the Benedictine Volunteer Program, and initiated the founding of the Consortium of Women’s Colleges (CWC). Mananzan also co-founded various organizations like, Institute of Women’s Studies, GABRIELA, Women’s Crisis Center, Citizens Alliance for Consumer Protection (CACP), Socio Pastoral Institute (SPI), Center for Women’s Resources (CWR),  Institute of Religion and Culture (IRC) and the Women Historians of the Philippines.

Mananzan believes in ‘integral salvation.’ In the past, the idea of salvation meant nothing but the salvation of the soul—from death, sin and hell—and thus the task of ‘saving souls’ was linked to preaching the word of God and dispensing the sacraments. She said that the current understanding of salvation is “the liberation of the whole human being not only from ‘death, sin and hell’ but from everything that dehumanizes—exploitation, oppression, poverty.”

In her view, there is no integral salvation if there is no social transformation and that social transformation is incomplete if the gender issue is not addressed. What needs to be done, she said is: “organization, mobilization, education and feminist scholarship.”

“We need to transform the mainstream because it is largely malestream,” she has often declared.

Besides serving as the president of St. Scholastica’s College since 1996, Mananzan has held many significant positions which include: Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the  Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (1996-2001), International Board of Directors  of  CONCILIUM, Executive Committee Member International Association of Mission Studies (IAMS), Secretary General-Co Founder of Citizens Alliance for Consumer Protection, Founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Women’s Studies, Founder & Director of the Life Long Learning & Wellness Center, Founder & Director of Women & Ecology Wholeness Farm, Co-Founder and National Chairperson of  GABRIELA, Co-Founder and Chairperson, BOT Women Crisis Center,

Board Member of  KILOSBAYAN, Priory Councilor Missionary Benedictine Sisters, Manila Priory, International Board of Directors of the United Board of Higher Education for Asia (UBCHEA).

A prolific writer, Mananzan has also written countless essays, books, published articles, and manuscripts. She is the author of  The Language Game of Confessing One’s Belief:  A Wittgenstenian- Austinian Approach to the Linguistic Analysis of Creedal Statements; Woman Question in the Philippines; Challenges to the Inner Room; Women, Religion, and Spirituality in Asia; The Asian Women:  Image and Status;  Bible on Justice; Salvation:  Historical and Total; There Shall be No Poor Among You; and Women Resisting Violence:  Spirituality for Life.

A very articulate and dynamic speaker, Mananzan has been to at least 40 countries as facilitator and lecturer on the following topics: The Woman Question, Woman and Religion, Feminist Theology, Education for Transformation, Consumer Protection, Asian Religion and Spirituality, Globalization and Ecofeminism.

All of this nun’s work has certainly been recognized by the world in which she shines as a bright light. Among her many awards are: Hispanista Scholarship to Spain (1992), PAX Award, St. Scholastica’s College (1994), GABRIELA Special Award (1994), Dorothy Cadbury Fellowship, Birmingham, England (1994), Henry Luce Fellowship, Union Theological Seminary (1995), Golden Award for Women Achievers in the Field of Education, NCWP (1996), Vinta Award:  Excellence in Social Change Management, given by Philippine Council of Management on September 26, 1997, One Hundred Women of  the Century (2000), Woman of Distinction Award, given by the Soroptimists International on March 9, 2001, Asian Public Intellectual Fellowship, awarded by Nippon Foundation, Japan, March 11, 2002, Outstanding Woman in the Fight for Human Rights, National Commission of Women in the Philippines,  March 21, 2002, Most Outstanding Daughter of Bayambang (2002), Bilib Kami sa Iyo Pinoy Award by ABS-CBN- March, 2005, Marie Claire’s Twenty Five Outstanding Women who Rock the World- November 2005, and the ABS-CBN Women of the Year Award, March, 2006.

And now as she made it to the Top 100 Inspiring People in the World, Sr. Mary John certainly has proven that her “ voice” has been heard. Women Deliver president Jill Sheffield said in a statement, “The list recognizes those who successfully navigated the corridors of power, along with those on the frontlines, who have worked to expand rights and choices for girls and women everywhere.” Women Deliver said that Sister Mary John was instrumental in developing a feminist and third-world theology within the Catholic Church, boldly challenging the Church’s hierarchical and male-dominated views, and introducing feminist activism into the country’s Catholic faith.

Despite the gains in the pursuit of women empowerment, she said there was still a long way to go. She noted that more women-friendly laws were being passed even if she found their implementation wanting.  “In a matter of consciousness, we have achieved a lot. But we still have a long way to go. We have, after all, a population of 90 million. We have to reach out to mothers who are not conscious of these things so they would not continue to pass on gender-based subservience to their daughters,” she said in a report.

Mananzan added that the empowerment of a woman could not be complete without the spiritual aspect. “In empowering a woman spiritually, she must develop self-esteem in the sense that she is created in the image and likeness of God.”

With her life and her words, Sister Mary John Mananzan has truly shown how an empowered woman can live to her best potential.


(LA Midweek Mar 9-11, 2011 MDWK pg. 2)

Asian Journal: Pinay is finalist in Nat’l Geographic photo contest

Posted by FAN Admin in Home, News on 03 7th, 2011

Pinay is finalist in Nat’l Geographic photo contest

Saturday, 05 March 2011 00:00 Joseph Pimentel | AJPress Los Angeles
E-mail Print PDF

NATIONAL Geographic has chosen a Filipina based in England as a finalist in its Exceptional Experience photo contest.

Yen Baet, a freelance photographer, originally of Ozamis City, Mindanao is one of the six finalists vying for the grand prize – a nine-day National Geographic Expedition trip for two through Peru. US online voters will determine the winner.

In an e-mail interview with the Asian Journal, Baet said the experience has been overwhelming given that this is the first photo contest she has ever entered.

“I’m really proud of myself for getting this far in my first-ever photo contest,” she said. “There’s so much competition out there in the field of photography and it’s not easy to make your mark especially for someone like me who doesn’t have years of experience to speak of.”

“In this digital world, it’s easy for anyone who owns a camera to think that he or she is a photographer,” she added.

“Getting my photograph recognized by National Geographic no less, gives me that affirmation that I am not just another person with a camera – I am a photographer. And that right there sounds good to me when I say it.”

National Geographic contest officials chose Baet’s photo – a landscape shot overlooking the lake over Hallstatt, a village in Austria.

The picture was taken two years ago during a rainy autumn November day when Baet was on a weekend trip to Hallstatt.

Using a full-frame Nikon D200, she waited for the clouds to clear before taking a shot.

“I only had one night to spend in this little town and knew I had to get my shot no matter what,” she said. “That view of the church and Hallstatt lake, with the alps behind it, is in fact a popular scene but I don’t see a lot of twilight shots of it and I wanted to do my own version. As I usually take photos during twilight, or what photographers like to call the ‘blue hour’, this one was to be just another addition to my portfolio.”

Baet, however, recalled how difficult it was to get that shot. She said it had rained the whole day that day and she took refuge in the church awaiting the rain to stop. It was futile.

“I waited long enough hoping the rain would let up, but it never did,” she said.

Determined to get her shot, she trudged up the hill, set up her tripod, and took the shot under an umbrella.

“After I’ve seen my shot, I was almost thankful for the rain,” she said. “I think it made the difference. To me, the scene looked like a fairy tale, and had an almost ethereal feel to it.”

Proud Pinay

Baet, a graduate of Holy Angel University in Angeles City, Pampanga, said it would be a dream come true to win a National Geographic contest and a trip to Peru.

“It’s no secret that we Filipinos are big fans of each other,” she said. “That’s one of the things I like and am most proud about our culture. When one of us makes it to the top, we quickly say “Pinoy ‘yan!” It’s almost like one Pinoy’s achievement is everyone else’s success. I hope I am not alone in that thought.”

The National Geographic Photo Contest voting deadline is on March 10.

Baet’s entry is titled “Rainy Night in Hallstatt.”

For more information or vote visit


(LA Weekend Mar 5-8, 2011 Sec A pg.1)

Huffington Post: The Asian Whizkid’s Sibling? The Heartthrob

Posted by lecrowder in Home, News on 03 3rd, 2011

In a touching conversation over the radio last Friday, Lady Gaga invited Asian Canadian 10-year-old Maria Aragon to perform with her in Toronto on March 3rd. The child had put up a YouTube video of herself singing Gaga’s “Born This Way” and gained over 10 million views within five days. Appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Good Morning America followed.

There has been an explosion of talented pop singers and break dancers among Asian American youth, especially on the YouTube scene in the past few years. In recent months, Far East Movement became the first Asian Americans to hit #1 on Billboard with their single “Like a G6.” While mainstream media dwells on Tiger Moms and their Whiz Kids, a new reality and identity is emerging for Asian Americans. Is America ready for the cool Asians?

Just when we start to feel envious about the Whiz Kids’ superior academic and virtuosic abilities, we quickly console ourselves that the price they pay is social awkwardness and having no fun. Asian Whiz Kids and their Tiger Moms surely abound. But frankly, this model is rather old. The newer, more interesting strand of Asian American is… the Heartthrob Asian.


They have (loosely speaking) supportive, nurturing parents, and freedom to explore their interests, whether it may be in guitar, hip hop dance, singing, or acting. They excel at being creative, happy, and well-adjusted.

You may have seen cool Asians on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew and Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance in dance crews such as JabbaWockeeZ, Kaba Modern, and SoReal Cru. Justin Bieber’s backup band is the Filipino American R & B group Legaci. Sam Tsui, a Chinese American singer/pianist/songwriter and student at Yale who’s amassed over 85 million views on YouTube, appeared on Oprah and ABC World News. 21-year-old Filipino American singer/guitarist Joseph Vincent Encarmacion appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Iyaz gave a shoutout on a Youtube video to 21-year-old Filipino American AJ Rafael and friends for covering his Billboard hit “Replay.” And of course, there’s Bruno Mars who’s half Filipino. Harry Shum Jr. of League of Extraordinary Dancers is on Glee. In January, Billboard created a new chart for emerging artists in social media, which was topped by Traphik, a Thai American rapper, and was peppered with Asian Americans.

21-year-old Filipino American guitarist/pianist/singer and YouTube sensation AJ Rafael from Moreno Valley, Calif. received over 50 million views on YouTube; had become 29th most subscribed musician of all time; has over 11 million plays on MySpace; and when he came out with his EP on iTunes album charts, he debuted at 115. (This was on his own, without labels and millions to back him.) His iTunes sales pays his bills.

Talented and charismatic, Rafael performs regularly to packed concerts of screaming teens who know him from YouTube. Last summer, he toured Hawaii, Sydney, Melbourne, and Toronto.

This is what happens at his performances:

What is endearing about him and the other Heartthrob Asians is that they are exceptional, yet very laid back. AJ’s first videos in 2006 were piano medleys and a duet with his friend Andrew Garcia (later of American Idol) singing “I’m Yours.” In 2007, AJ discovered he had over 1000 subscribers and uploaded more videos.

Then a mother of a teenage YouTube viewer — Maria Milla, saw AJ’s videos and organized two live concerts in Texas called “AJ Rafael and Friends”; 800 came in Houston and 400 in Dallas. AJ’s recognition on YouTube has supported his tours and benefit shows for causes such as autism and the typhoon in the Philippines.

Huge crowd performances have sprung up across America and the world for AJ Rafael and group shows of Asian American musicians like him. Over a thousand fans showed up to FAP (Featured Acoustic Playlist), a live show started by YouTube admirers who got their favorite musicians together to perform in San Diego. “International Secret Agents” concerts in Los Angeles and New York in 2010 and 2011 sponsored by JC Penny and Verizon showcased many YouTube star Heartthrobs and were filled to capacity.

The most successful Asian American artists to break into mainstream pop is The Far East Movement who reached #1 in iTunes and Billboard Hot 100 charts for their single “Like a G6.” They had built their fan base performing in local shows and clubs to both ethnic dominated venues and mixed audiences in Los Angeles. The Latino community was the first to embrace them, pushing their song “Girls on the dance floor” through the Latin Rhythm Airplay Charts, marking their debut on the Billboard charts. Social media was also a big help.

Kev Nish of the Far East Movement explained that a direct relationship with their fans on MySpace helped them “create a free wired family.” On Myspace, “we hit them up, create a relationship, and through that, people show up to your shows.”

Although every Asian American musician interviewed emphasized they don’t cater their music to any specific demographic, and want to be recognized as an artist first, before being recognized as an “Asian American artist,” or ever a “YouTube artist,” there is clearly something going on of late with mainstream enthusiasm for Asian American artists and a new Asian American fan base.

Casual viewers on YouTube will see that many of these great performers are friends who hang out and perform together. One naturally asks, how do they all know each other? Mostly dispersed throughout SoCal, they discover each other on YouTube and Myspace. Then they befriend, perform, and collaborate with each other, combining fan bases, and continue fueling their popularity.

Welcome to the new Asian American pop renaissance; a “free wired” community of young Asian American artists producing, inspiring, collaborating, riffing off, and consuming each other’s performances, resulting in millions of views, some record-breaking iTunes sales, and real careers and concert tours around the world. When mainstream venues are limited, they band together and create their own.


Chinese-Japanese American electro-jazz cellist Dana Leong, who’s played with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Yoko Ono, and Kanye West, and represented the U.S. in The Rhythm Road Tour sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, headlined the Asian American Music Festival in Los Angeles with his band MILK & JADE. But he admitted he’s not used to performing in Asian American Festivals, and has performed more extensively in jazz and rock festivals, where crowds have been diverse. “Even though wide ranges of audiences are expected and welcomed at the Asian American Festivals, I see more Asians of the younger generations proudly welcoming the idea of their brothers and sisters as American icons, performers, actors, artists, and public figures, which I find grounding.”

“While creating opportunities for Asian Americans is essential, I can’t exactly pinpoint a convincing recipe for an ‘Asian American Sound’ the way we do for the Latino music, for example. I think the key is to increase awareness amongst the Asian American communities that there’s more to music than Asian boy bands and classical music, that a new generation of us are helping to build upon the traditions of American music (Jazz, Hip Hop, Rock & Roll) and Western European traditions (classical, fields of electronic and dance variants), and creating unique sounds.”