Monthly Archives: June 2013


Press Release
Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA)
Contact: Letty Reyes
June 28, 2013


Los Angeles- The Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) cordially invite the public for two successive celebrations or a double celebrations for July 4th, the American Independence Day also known at the “Fourth of July “ on Wednesday, July 3 and Wednesday, July 10, 2013.

The first celebration on July 3 will celebrate the wedding anniversary of FACLA’s 3rd Vice President Letty Reyes and musician Maestro Dr. Buddy Reyes . Ms. Letty Reyes will celebarate her birthday with her granddaughter Sam Leynes. from 11:00 Am to 4;00 PM at the FACLA Social Hall, 1740. West Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026

There will be dancing and the music will provided by Dr. Buddy and Letty Reyes FANTASTIC BAND. Lunch will be served at 12:00 Noon.

July 10th “Fourth of July” Celebrations.

The next celebration will on July 10 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM for the Philippine-American Friendship Day. Ms. Letty Reyes is also the Chairperson for the said affair to be held in FACLA.

July 4 was the former independence day for the Philippines. On July 4, 1946, the United States granted its colony, the Philippines its independence as provided by the Tydings-Macduffie Law of 1934.

But the date of independence slated in 1945 was delayed due to the outbreak of World War II. From December 7, 1941 to September 6, 1945, the Philippines were occupied by Japanese forces from May 6, 1942 to September 6, 1945.

The Americans and the Filipino forces liberated the Philippines and defeated the Japanese forces from October 20, 1945 to September 6, 1945.

But in 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal changed the date of the Philippine Independence to June 12 from 1962 and declared every July 4th as “Philippine-American Friendship Day. “

Thus FACLA will celebrate on July 10, two events, the Philippine-American Friendship Day and the US Independence Day or the “Fourth of July.”

For more information please call FACLA at (213)484-1527 or Letty Ryes at (323) 644-2827 or visit our website at


No to the Reactionary Amendments to the CIR , Yes to Family Unity!

June 24, 2013

No to the Reactionary Amendments to the CIR , Yes to Family Unity!

Los Angeles–The Alliance Philippines stands for family reunification as the corner stone of any comprehensive, just and humane immigration law.

As the Senate debates on proposed immigration bill come to the fore , it becomes more and more openly is against immigrant families as it favors the racists and exploitative capitalist system.

The Alliance vehemently condemns the recent amendment that will only provide a green card after 10 years of wait and dependent on a big budget $ 30 B “secure borders.”

The scheme will only big business fat cats and those in Congress richer at the cost of public.

$ 30 Billion Cost of “Secure Borders”

We in the Alliance raise the public concern of the do nothing US Congress:
Why can’t they just replace the so-called immigation bill as “secured Border Law” instead of an “immigration law?

It is clear that our lawmakers are really businesspersons who wants to make a killing of big profit by appropriating public funds for $ 30 billion ” secure borders” complete with drones, electronic fences, high walls and 40,000 border agents.

Another feature of the bill is that 18 months after the legislation is enacted, a legal resident or citizen can no longer sponsor adult siblings. The new bill would restrict “immediate relative” to children and spouses of those allowed to become lawful permanent residents.

The immigrants will not be allowed to petition their siblings including parents if these bill passes. But as other political analysts has predicted, until June 2013 when the law is predicted to reach the House, debates will be acrimonious and bitter for all sides.

The Actual Costs

For Alliance and the immigrants, the actual cost in cold cash is also prohibitive. The costs to apply for this status are a $500 fine, assessed taxes and application fees. After six years in Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status, another $500 fee will be applicable. This law is also impractical and inhumane.

After 10 years, a person with RPI status will be eligible for a green card provided they have worked regularly, paid taxes, learned English and civics, and paid a $1,000 penalty. After three years with a green card, they can apply for citizenship.

On the other hand, other immigrant groups found the proposed bill “inhumane” for it separates families and do away with family petition which has been the cornerstone of all immigration laws since the 1800’s since the United States open its doors for all immigrants.

No to Costly Border! Money for Services,Jobs and Education not for Borders!

Ipaglaban ang karapatan bilang imigrante!

Ipaglaban ang katarungan!

June 24, 2013

Four Asian American Organizations in the U.S Formed A Stronger Group- the AAAJ

June 24, 2013

Four Asian American Organizations in the U.S Formed A Stronger Group- the AAAJ

By Arturo P. Garcia

Los Angeles—The Asian Pacific American Legal Center-Southern California (APALC-SC) announced last June 20 that it will be changing its name and affiliation to Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) starting June 30, 2013.

The statement issued by the APALC President and Executive Director Stewart Kwoh said; “ by the end of June 2013, we will collectively become Asian Americans Advancing Justice. In the next few weeks, you will see official changes in our name and logo, as well as our presence in print and online.
APALC will become “Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles” and our other partners will become “Asian

Americans Advancing Justice | Asian Law Caucus,” “Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago,” and “Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAAJ.” Kwoh in the press statement said.

AAAJ isn pushing for the passage of the important bill, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill that will try to provide a pathways to citzenship for more than 12 million immigrants in the united States. The debates are being acrimonious and like in 2008, out of more than 300 amendments at least 200 were blatantly anti-immigrant.

Hence a need for a national organization to give the cause a nationwide push to reality in advocacy. Tehrefore it is quite right that AAAJ come into fruition.

Last Stages for AAAJ

Kwoh also said: “ This changes was prompted by the process of forming a stronger affiliation with three other key Asian American civil rights groups. Together, we are seeking to raise a more powerful and impactful voice on behalf of the communities we serve.

Now, we are in the last stages of officially changing our name and formalizing our affiliation with the organizations formerly known as the Asian American Institute (Chicago), the Asian American Justice Center (Washington, D.C.), and the Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco).

Key to the affiliation is a stronger and more cohesive civil rights and legal services infrastructure on a local, regional, and national level that will enable us to collaborate more effectively and bring the voice of grassroots advocates to the national arena. “
By doing this, the Kwoh added that: ‘we will also be able to address more issues in more places and influence national debates on challenges not only facing the Asian American community but other vulnerable and underserved communities.

In addition, while we will no longer have “Pacific” in our name, APALC, as Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles, continues to be committed to advancing justice for our brothers and sisters in the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) community, through supporting organizations and leaders in the NHPI community as well as advocating on issues of shared interest.

Structural Changes

The AADJ’s Stewart Kwoh said: ” the our local new coalition as Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles, will operates one of four equal and independent partners who share common principles and coordinate closely with one another.

Each will continue to operate with separate boards of directors, executive directors, staff, programs, and finances, and remain accountable to our respective local, regional, and national communities. Through this shared identity, we will ensure that the concerns of our communities are heard and heeded as never before. As we expand, we will have this cobrand in new cities as well.

Most importantly, despite the new name and look, we remain committed and accountable to you – our community. As we look forward to our next three decades, this core commitment will drive every aspect of our work to advance justice for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.”

If you have any questions or concerns about our forthcoming name change, please feel free to contactKarin Wang, vice president of programs and communications.




June 17, 2013


Los Angeles—“ Echo Park is your park,Echo Park is back! “

Mayor elect of los Angeles, Eric Garcetti opened Echo Park after its two years of $ 45 million renovation with the sounds of gongs festivities and loud cheers of more than a thousand people who attended the opening last Saturday morning, June 15, 2013.

Garcetti also lauded the residents of Echo Park for their support for Prop 8; “ You supported Prop 8, your initiative to save Echo Park lake and make use of water and save the wetlands. This is your lake and you saved it.”

The Mayor elect also commended all the agencies and organizations involved in the use of recycled water from the storm drains to the lake. The Echo Park Lake which opened as a water reservoir in 1900’s was closed for two years and will formally host the Asian Lotus Festival in July 2014.

New Council member O’Farrel

Also on hand during the program was the newly elected District 13 Council member Mitch O Farrell who succeeds Eric Garcetti. Former CD 13. The incoming council member Mitch O’Farrell won over his rival John Choi by a margin of 1,455 votes during the run-off election last May 21.

On his so made a brief remarks on the opening of Echo Park. Councilman. Garcetti pointed out on his speech that Echo Park’s renovation was “ one of Council Member O’Farrel’s project while he was the District 13 Director under Councilman Eric Garcetti.”

Exhibit booths from different community organizations and Filipino-American community leaders from FACLA, District 5 of the GEPENC, PALAD, American Apparel and city Agencies like the DWP, Public Works, and others were at the opening as well as The Park Finest Restaurant who served grilled foods at the park.

Community organizations like the East Wind Youth Foundations also performed a Dragon Dance at the program before the opening of the park. City officials led by Mayor-elect Garcetti also graced the program.

For more information about the EPCC please call (213)241-0906 or email at [email protected]

Sen. Brian Schatz Pushed for S690-The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2013 at the Senate Hearing

Press Release
Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV)
Contact Person; Arturo P. Garcia
Phone: (213)278-3025
June 16, 2013

Sen. Brian Schatz Pushed for S690-The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2013 at the Senate Hearing

Los Angeles—”It has been more than 50 years, and yet, many Filipino veterans have not been properly recognized for their service and have been denied their basic veterans’ rights. We must fix this wrong. It is critical that we pass this legislation to ensure that the Filipino soldiers who fought for our country — and their families — receive full benefits.”

With these words, Senator Brian Schatz ( D-HI) presented the Senate version or the companion bill Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2013 at the Senate Veterans Committee hearing last June 12, 2013 in the US Senate.

Senator Schatz was the first to speak for the bill, one of the 30 bills that will be considered by the Senate Veterans Committee to be urgent. . It was more than more than five years since an equity bill for marginalized Filipino American Veterans has had a hearing at the Senate Committee level.

Appropriate Timing and Meaning

The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) commends Senator Schatz for his “valorous action and appropriate timing and meaning to pitch for S690 on June 12, 2013. This was at the same occasion that the Filipinos both in the Philippines and the United States celebrates the 115th Independence Day from Spain. “

It was on June 12, 1898 that the Philippine revolutionary government declared its independence from Spain who colonized the Philippines for more than 333 years. Almost three years after the Filipinos rose up in a revolution against Spain on August 23, 1896.

“The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act would provide Filipino soldiers with the same benefits afforded to other veterans who defended the United States during World War II. Unfortunately, many Filipino veterans are in their 90s and passing away rapidly. said Senator Schatz.

Sen. Schatz also thanked the Justice for Filipino American Veetrans (JFAV) and other groups at the Senate hearing that have supported and pushed for legislation to grant the Filipino World War II Veterans and their survivors full recognition, justice and benefits.

For more information please contact jfav at (213)241-0906 or email at [email protected] or visit our facebook account at jfav-los angeles.



June 13, 2013


By Art P. Garcia

Los Angeles—Mayor Elect of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti will open the newly renovated Echo Park Lake to the public on June 15 after a nearly two-year-long, $85 million clean up and renovation.

That is the good news. The bad news is that the Annual Asian American Lotus Festival in Echo Park will not be held this eyar but was deffered for next year 2014.

The Echo Park Lake which had been closed for about two years as part of a water quality improvement project financed with Prop. O funds was restored lake and park grounds

Echo Park’s Lotus Festival

Echo Park is important for Asian Americans for it holds the Asian American annual festival called “The Lotus Festival.” This is the largest Asian American Festival in Los Angeles city that is held every July each year for the last 33 years.

Asians and Filipino Americans started the Lotus Festival with a picnic. From then on it became the Asian-American community Festival held in Echo Park every July in time for Lotus flowers to bloom. Echo Park Lake is also the largest bed of Lotus flowers in the United States.

But this the Lotus Festival according to some cannot still be held because the park, although will be open on June 15 has to make some improvements like the laying of grass. And so the 33rd Lotus Festival maybe held next year, July 2014.

More Improvements in Echo Park

How is the city going to protect its investment in the park and its pristine grounds? Some residents have raised concern about the return of vendors and a swap meet hat once spilled across the park grounds shortly before the park was closed to the public for the clean up.

Mike Shull, assistant general manager for the city’s Recreation and Parks Department, said “ the city has not allocated any additional funding for park maintenance.

In fact, Shull said the park might prove less costly to maintain given the new landscaping, irrigation system, walk ways and lighting systems.” Shull said he expects that the city’s laws on vending would be enforced in the park.


After the Euphoria, the Hard Facts


June 12, 2013

After the Euphoria, the Hard Facts

By Art P. Garcia

After the euphoria on the successful first Philippine Grand Parade in Historic Filipinotown, the collaborative efforts of the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) and the Philippine Consulate General of Los Angeles, after all dust settled by more than 5,000 feet and souls that marched down the 3 mile trek on Temple St, we have to reckon on some hard facts.

First, we were proud of the DINAGYANG dancers who gave us a terrific sound and sights flavor of the Philippines at the van of the parade.

Their drums and dance really revved up all the marchers and drew the crowd of the seclusion of their homes. Many went out to watch, marvel and waved the flag and declare that they are proud to be Filipinos in America.


As the parade coordinator, I still marveled on the last minute tendencies of the Filipinos to join occasion like this. 2 weeks before the parade, there were only 20 organizations who confirmed. Three day to go the list went up to 50. But on the day of the parade, more than 5,000 came out in force.

The largest group who participatedin the parade was the Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles led by Ms. Patty Santiago.

They displayed not only their beautiful sagalas but saints and icons of the Catholic faith making it truly a Santacruzan in June. They were followed by FACLA , the host organization in Historic Filipinown.

I truly enjoyed the Igorot dancers from the Cordillera from a Protestant denomination who followed the Filipino Ministry who banged their ganzas and were in their traditional costumes.

I almost joined them in dancing my duties only prevented me for I have to see the flow of the parade.


I will be amiss if I will not mention the FILAMTV and Tribune-USA float that stands out during the parade.

It was manned by Arnel –The Magician and two Fil-Am artist, Sean Afable and Model Actress Koko Laima.

What more can I say, when the FIlAM top honchos were at the FIAMTV media tent in FACLA and at the Silver Lake Medical Center during the program after the parade till 2PM.

And they even went to Carson for another Independence Day Program till the day ends.


I was so proud of some veterans and widows who marched the 3 mile during the parade. With them were KmB and JFAV youths.

Some of them we made sure were riding vehicles because they cannot walk anymore at the front of the march and with the Knights of Rizal delegation with FACLA vehicles.

But despite the success, we should not miss the minus factors.

One is that Filipinos in the city of Carson went on their won Independence Day and tried to steal the thunder from the LA Celebration. But that is Carson. They have their own Independence Day always even though they have been told four months ahead.

Besides they have big time artist from GMA7-Marian Rivera as a come on.Carson has 1/3 Filipino population, so a huge attendance is always assured. Say maybe 10,000 every Independence Day.

I cannot comment further than to say, this is the United States. There is unity in diversity. Filipino diversity instead of unity?

But the tendency of some FilAm organizations to put down other organizations showed its ugly head during the preparations. And their target was the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA).

What is good with FACLA, they can roll with the punches and grin about it. Besides, they are used to May flies trying to topple a giant Oak tree.

Some unnamed organizations and personalities tried even to malign and put a cloud of suspicion on FACLA on the preparation. One of them were even given time to speak at the program in the Silver Lake Compound.


Another had the temerity to ask the LAPD if the permit has been secured.

I was really ashamed when the LAPD officer asked me; “Why are some Filipinos like that, they even asked if you have filed the permit with our office?’ I did not bother to answer.

I just gave him a big smile as he assured me of the street closure, there days before the parade. He know for me for years of applying for a permit in the LAPD HQ.

Another glaring thing is that the front door of the Silver Lake Medical Center in Temple St. was closed.

Many people who went there went away when they saw that the front gate was closed. Others who went on to the Burlington gate were only those who were really bent to watch the program.

Other people at the SLMC compound were looking for food booths. The food booths were at FACLA compound . The good thing, the food booths in FACLA were sold out early.


One parade participants who knew that there was a check-in table participants asked me at the start of the parade: “Where is the check-in table?”

I answered; “There is no need for that, nobody wanted to check-in, they all want to be in the parade”.

Well and good, we (FACLA and the Consulate ) made preparations for that and it went well. But I still shake my head. Filipinos are known to hate discipline. As sort of “disorderly orderly.”

My sigh after the parade was: “What begins well, end’s well.”

And Shakespeare really said it good!


First PH Grand Parade in Historic Filipintown, A Gigantic Success

Press Release
Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA)
June 10, 2013

First PH Grand Parade in Historic Filipintown, A Gigantic Success

Los Angeles—“ We are happy. This actually much more than we expected., a real extravaganza!”

This how Deputy Consul Daniel Espiritu described the 5,000 strong Philippine Independence Grand Parade , the first ever held in Historic Filipinotown in more than a decade.

The last Philippine Independence parade was held on the centenary of the Philippine Independence in June 12,1998 , exactly five years before the Historic Filipinotown came into being. It started in MacArthur Park and ended up at Echo Park, passing the Philippinetown Temple side from Alvarado to Glendale.

Arturo P. Garcia, FACLA Director and the Parade Coordinator of the Kalayaan 2013 Parade declared: “ I am extremely happy. This only goes to show that the Filipino community in America is united and empowered.”

3 Mile Long Parade

The march revelry was led by the world famous DINAGYANG Dancers who also graced the New York Independence Day celebrations last June 2, 2013. The led banner was the Philippine Consulate of Los Angeles led by Consul General Hellen Dela vega and her staff who patiently walked the 3 mile parade.

More than 50 organizations came out from all over Southern California to join in the more than 10 blocks long parade in Historic Filipinotown. More than 74 others exhibited in Silver Lake Medical Center (SLMC) where an afternoon program was held. On the other hand the food booth was located in FACLA where the parade ended ,

The Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles had the biggest delegation on convertibles, pick –up trucks, Igorot Dancers followed by the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles ( FACLA) contingent followed by the Knights of Rizal, Pilipinotown Inc, SEIU 721 and the JFAV Filipino Veterans and widows.

Santa Cruz De Mayo in June

The Filipino Ministry,FACLA and FILAM TV/TRIBUNE-USA highlighted the traditional Filipino Tradition of SantaCruzan displaying the Sagalas and their Consortes on pick-up trucks, convertibles or open hatched cars.
They also displayed the different pastoral council banners,parishes logos and saints mounted on convertibles and pick-up trucks.

Also notable participants were the Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council ( HFNC), Rotary Clubs, different alumni associations, Chambers of Commerce, regional, provincial associations from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao who proudly displayed their banners.

The Binibining Pilipinas beauties brought up the rear of the march in a large flatbed truck.

They were cheered on by the resident of Historic Filipinotown who came out in force in their terraces and on the sidewalks waving Pilipino flags. “ There should be more events like this so that our community will be happy” remarked 20-years old resident.

For more information please contact FACLA at (213) 484 1527 or email us at [email protected] or check our website at

Los Angeles Kalayaan Parade 2013

The First Kalayaan Parade by the Filipino American community in Los Angeles, speaheaded by the Los Angeles Consulate  and FACLA, together wtih 50 more social organizations, was a resounding success, as organizers and community leaders express their praises and support. Please click the link below to view the video news.


Press Release
The Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) and the
Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV)
June 07, 2013


Los Angeles—More than 50 Filipino-American and allied organizations are all set to participate at the first Philippine (115th) Independence Day Grand Parade in Historic Filipinotown on June 8,2013 at 8;00 AM in 15 years ever since it was a desginated as a Historic district by the City of Los Angeles.

The Independence Day Parade starts and end at Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA). The starting assembly time will be at 7;00 AM and the parade will start at 9;00 AM.

After the parade, from 11;00 to 4;00 PM , the a program of songs and dances will be held at the Silver Lake Medical Center Compound at 1711 W. Temple St.

At the meantime, more than 74 Information and cultural booths will be at the Silver Lake Medical Center at 1711 W. Temple St according to the Kalayaan 2013 Committee headed by Consul General Hellen Barber-De Vega at the last assessment meeting held at the Philippine Consulate last June 4, 2013.

Designated Assembly areas 

All participants and contingents are advised to converge for the Consulate-LA, Dinagyang -FACLA and HFNC– at Union/Temple/Burlington St ( in front of FACLA) ; For Filipino Ministry, Non Profits organizations , Fil-Am Youth Groups – at N. Burlington St ( South side/West of FACLA); For Luzon organizations at North Bonnie Brae S; , for the Visayas Group at Mountain View St and for Mindanao groups at Westlake St.( all at the north side of the said streets.) .

They can assemble at those designated assembly areas with their contingents and vehicles from 7:00 AM to 8;30 AM for the parade formation. at the said side streets.
FACLA’s parade theme is the Santa Cruz De Mayo and The Filipino Ministry and the united Bicolandia will join the Santa Cruzan with their Sagalas.

“There are at least more than 50 groups from regional to town organizations who have committed to participate in the said event.” Espiritu added.

Participating Organizations

More than 50 organizations will join the 115th Philippine Independence Day parade in Historic Filipinotown. They are as follows:

The FILAM TV, Tribune -USA, Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA), Justice for the Filipino American Veterans (JFAV), Seniors 4 Pilipino American Community Empowerment (S4PACE), Arangkada La Castellana Inc, The Filipino Ministry of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council (HFNC), Burlington School. Chamber of Commerce of Historic Filipinotown, Iglesia ni Kristo ( INC), Batangas Varsitarians Alumni Association of North America , Knight of Rizal-Historic Filipinotown. KOR of California, People’s CORE,Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC), Bantay Pilipinas-USA, Healthy Homes Coalition-Cerritos, Kabataang maka-Bayan Pro People Youth (KmB), Danza Cuatehmoc, ANSWER-LA, March Forward Veterans  and Burlington School.

Other organizations are: Pilipino American Los Angeles Democrats (PALAD), Silver Lake CBAS, Binibining Pilipinas 2013, Queen Lola Pageant, The Filipino American Press Club of California. Silver Lake Medical Center (SLMC), Mindanao Alliance, Dinagyang Festival, Los Angeles County Asian American Employees, Jesus is Lord/CARE Ministry, HT Chamber of Commerce, MOTHER Movement, WE ARE ONE Youth organization, United Bicolandia; Filipino American Community of Orange County, Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County, Cajun Caleb Restaurant, Victory Cargo.

More Filipino-American regional,provincial, town and youth organizations in Southern California are expected to attend and participate in the coming parade on Saturday, June 8.

For more information please call (213)278-3025 or email at [email protected] or visit our website at