Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

A Filipina dies in the Binghampton, NY bloodbath

April 5, 2009

Dolores Carbonilas Yigal, an immigrant of the United States for two years was among the 14 people who died when Jiverly Wong (aka Jiverly Voong,) 41, the Vietnamese gunman barged and opened fire in the American Civic Association building where immigrants and refugees were taking language classes and citizenship tests. Initial report indicated that Wong, also an immigrant, was despondent of being jobless with poor language skills.

“Binghamton has always been a lure for immigrants. More than 7,100 immigrants, most of them Asians, have settled in Binghamton since 2005, according to city statistics. They are a cosmopolitan mix of Kurds, Chinese, Filipinos, Africans, Iraqis—but only a fraction of the city’s predominantly white population of 43,000.’—Inquirer /AP/ AFP (04/05/09, Uy, V)

The Filipina from Cebu was studying English in the civic center in preparation to work and join the mainstream of American life. Her dream was cut short like the other migrants from 8 countries who died on Friday, April 3, 2009, mostly of multiple gun shot wounds.

Omni Yigal, the husband of Dolores said his wife dreamed of working with children. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sent a representative to assist and console the Yigal family. (Photo Credit: AP/ Matt Rourke x 2 ) =0=

RELATED BLOG: “14 dead in a shooting spree in Binghamton, New York” Posted by mesiamd at 4/04/2009


14 dead in a shooting spree in Binghamton, New York

April 4, 2009

“Our prayers are certainly with the family members. I know it was at the American Civic Society. I have a lot of very, very close and dear friends there.” —Sen. Thomas Libous, Binghamton-R (04/03/09)

For reasons that were not yet known, a man of Asian descent opened fire in a civic center for immigrants and refugees in Binghamton, a quiet town in the Southern tier of New York. Thirty seven (37) people managed to scamper out of the building where citizenship classes and English language training were held. At least 13 others died in a 3 minute shooting spree on Friday morning, April 3, 2009. Armed with pistol, the mysterious gunman was found among the dead presumably by self-inflicted wounds.

There were at least 5 wounded survivors including a Chinese student were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment. Apartments and schools close to the place where the bloodbath occured were evacuated.

From the ID found in the crime scene, the suspected killer was Linh Phat Voong, 42, of Johnson City, New York. Police are still trying to determine if the ID truly matches the real identity of the person responsible for killings. The premeditated massacre which is still being investigated is just one among the five mass slayings that occurred in US recently. (Photo Credit: DJP7) =0=

UPDATE: April 4, 2009: Before the bloodbath, the Vietnamese gunman was distraught because of poor English skills and job loss.


Caroline Kennedy backs out from New York US Senate race

January 22, 2009

Time’s article on Caroline Kennedy (The Quest for Camelot II) was somewhat prophetic when the author Karen Tumulty ended her piece in the magazine’s January 12 issue saying “The Kennedy name was Caroline’s birthright, but it may be that a seat to the US Senate is something she has to earn on her own.” Tumulty’s opinion was based on the observation that Caroline, the only survivor of Pres. John F. Kennedy’s children “doesn’t appear to have given much thought to what she would try to accomplish once in office.”

Before NY governor David Patterson could decide who’d take the junior senatorial seat vacated by Sen. Hillary Clinton, Caroline pulled the plug of her candidacy. She couldn’t continue her bid for the position on account of “personal reasons”— This possibly includes Sen. Edward (Ted) Kennedy, her uncle, who suffered brain cancer-related seizure during the Obama inauguration celebration. Ironically, it was Ted who liked her to assume the post and carry the family’s political flame.

The pressure on families with loved ones suffering from life-threatening medical condition is incalculable and therefore Caroline has the reason to withdraw. But political decisions are usually made on account of other considerations. It’s probable the sheltered Kennedy heiress understood the demands of the job. With little experience than the other candidates, she could have known the truth of what she said before— She needed to work “doubly-hard” to represent New York in Washington. Undoubtedly strong in political influence, perhaps, her supporters and Gov. Patterson knew this all along. (Photo Credit:

RELATED BLOG:: “Caroline Kennedy & Sarah Palin: a “class” difference in media treatment?” Posted by mesiamd at 1/10/2009

UPDATE: There are speculations as to the cause of Caroline Kennedy’s sudden withdrawal from her bid to become a junior NY senator. Vetting issues which involve tax, nanny, and marital problems have been reported in TV and newspapers.


Emergency landing on icy Hudson River in NYC after birds knocked down plane’s engines

January 16, 2009

On my way for a doctor’s visit this Thursday afternoon, January 15, 2008, I wondered why my usual route in Manhattan was closed to traffic. Noisy police horns and ambulances blared for some emergency that I couldn’t understand. Yet, when I entered the phlebotomy room in NYU Clinical Cancer Center at 34th Street, my pals in that office were talking about a plane which plunged in the frigid Hudson River, just a few blocks from were we stood. Our surprise and concern could just be felt by the momentary silence.

I could see alarm on the faces of the phlebotomists and a few patients inside the room. Blood drawing temporarily stopped. There were those who instinctively opened their cell phones to call friends and relatives to ask what was going on. After 911, most of us felt trauma each time news of this nature crossed our lives. We thought of the passengers’ condition and we hoped that the incident wasn’t terror-related.

Only a little later that we learned of the 150 passengers and 5 crew of US Airways Airbus A320— all survived, but about 78 passengers suffered body injuries of varying severity. Some were rushed to nearby hospitals to be treated for hypothermia. We were relieved to know the rescuers were on top of the situation. The passengers were reportedly calm and didn’t show panic as they abandoned the sunken plane.

According to the information, the plane en route to Charlottesville, NC went down upon bumping on a flock of Canadian geese soon after take-off which caused both engines to stop a few minutes upon leaving La Guardia airport. The astonishing “miraculous” survival was mainly attributed to divine providence, the help of rescuers, the quick-thinking and skill of pilot Chelsey B. Sullenberger III and his crew who steered the plane into the ice-cold river. Many are overjoyed that no one died in this scary brush with eternity. (Photo Credits: Freeman; NYC Travis; Freeman) =0=


Wintry blast in the Northeast

December 20, 2008

The first major winter storm came yesterday in the Northeast, blanketing New York with a slushy wet snow of up to about 4 inches. The cold weather marked the onset of a frigid weekend which made street walking inconvenient for the workers and holiday shoppers.

The sky was gray and lusterless without the sun the whole day. A mix of snow and rain battered the city and airports had to cancel about 800 flights, stranding many passengers. On the street in Astoria, the houses seemed to shudder in the biting cold, forcing residents to stay at home to keep warm. The wicked weather was also seen in places like Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Chicago, and New England. (Photo Credits: mesiamd; Warga/ News) =0=


Simbang Gabi Sa Nueva York

December 19, 2008

Halina, Jesus, Halina!
Sa simula’y sinaloob mo
O Diyos, kaligtasan ng tao
Sa takdang panahon ay tinatawag mo
Isang bayang lingkod sa iyo.

On a frigid early evening of Saturday, December 6, 2008, Filipinos of New York came in droves to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and joined the celebration of Simbang Gabi sa Katedral, a traditional mass in celebration of the Christmas holiday. In the packed gothic church along Fifth Avenue, prayerful songs distinctly from the country filled air.

In spite of the chill, there was the warm glow of kababayans wishing each other the peace and love of the season. Among the merry attendees were some members of the Ateneo de Naga Northeast Alumni and Our Lady of Penafrancia Devotees Association (OLPDA.) The holy celebration was led by the Simbang Gabi Sa Katedral, Inc. under the guidance of Rev. Joseph G. Marabe, JCD. =0=


Simbang Gabi Sa Nueva York

December 19, 2008

Halina, Jesus, Halina!
Sa simula’y sinaloob mo
O Diyos, kaligtasan ng tao
Sa takdang panahon ay tinatawag mo
Isang bayang lingkod sa iyo.

On a frigid early evening of Saturday, December 6, 2008, Filipinos of New York came in droves to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and joined the celebration of Simbang Gabi sa Katedral, a traditional mass in celebration of the Christmas holiday. In the packed gothic church along Fifth Avenue, prayerful songs distinctly from the country filled air.

In spite of the chill, there was the warm glow of kababayans wishing each other the peace and love of the season. Among the merry attendees were some members of the Ateneo de Naga Northeast Alumni and Our Lady of Penafrancia Devotees Association (OLPDA.) The holy celebration was led by the Simbang Gabi Sa Katedral, Inc. under the guidance of Rev. Joseph G. Marabe, JCD. =0=


Caroline Kennedy eyes Hillary Clinton’s post as NY senator

December 16, 2008

Hillary Clinton is about to leave as New York senator. She will become the secretary of state in the new Barack Obama administration. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg has expressed interest on the 2-year job which needed to be filled by NY governor David Paterson.

It may be partly because of the family from where she comes from. She is an accomplished lawyer. Political connections definitely help as much as her admirable qualifications. In gist, these are reasons why Caroline is favorably considered for the post.

Not so many know Caroline in-depth as she aspires for a new role in the political scene. She is the only surviving child of Pres. Jack and Jackie Kennedy, the sister of John Kennedy, Jr. whose memory captivates the minds of many Americans. She is the niece of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy and ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy.

A well-known democrat from an influential political clan, the 50-year old Kennedy is said to be a hard-driven mom of three with a Columbia U law degree on her sleeve. Among her accomplishments include being the president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and member of the JFK Profile in Courage Award Committee. She serves as the director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and vice-chairwoman of NYC’s Fund for Public Schools.

Whether Caroline’s qualifications are enough to make her the best candidate for the post is subject to debate. There are those who believe some politicians are better prepared for the job. Others worry if her wealthy upbringing may stand on the way in her public service. With her connections, it is very likely though that she’ll get the job. (Photo Credit: =0=


Kahit saan man, ang patis ay ‘di malimutan

November 29, 2008

kwento ni Raniela (Miles) Barbaza

May patis na kami!” Isang nakakatuwang kwento ng isang Ibalonian ng napunta siya at ang kanyang kapatid sa Gallup, New Mexico. Sa kalayu-layo ng Pilipinas, hanap-hanap pa rin nila sa dulo ng mundo ang patis na walang katulad.—mesiamd (11/29, 08)

Tatlong taon na ang orosipong ito pero tulad ng ibinubulong ng matandang salitang Bikolnon para sa kwento – ang orosipon, hindi natatapos. Patuloy ang masayang kwento: ang ating orosipon.” —RB, November 28, 2008, New York City

Hindi ko alam sa inyo pero para sa amin ng kapatid kong si Isang hindi maaaring walang patis ang nilaga o sinigang. Imajinin nga ninyo – nilagang walang patis? Pede ba iyon? Sinigang na walang patis? Mas lalong hindi pede.

Halos dalawang buwan na kami dito sa Gallup, New Mexico bago kami nagkaroon ng patis. Kaming dalawa ang tinatawag na mga bagong salta. Nitong nakaraang August 10 lamang nang dumating kami dito sa Gallup, isang bayan na may isa’t kalahati hangga’t dalawang oras na biyahe ang layo mula sa Albuquerque.

Noong unang linggo namin dito, sinubukan naming gawing Amerikano ang aming tiyan. Tutal, pagyayabang namin sa sarili namin, sanay naman tayong kumain ng Jollibee at Mcdonald’s sa Pilipinas. Sige, wheat bread at palaman. Pero hindi namin nakumbinsi ang aming mga tiyan. Sari-saring tunog ang nililikha ng mga tiyan namin. Brrrrrrrg. Mrrrrngk. Pop. Parang nagmumumog o kumukulog o pumuputok na mga tunog ang maya’t maya’y naririnig namin mula sa mga tiyan namin.

Nang maglaon, tiyan na namin ang hindi mapakanali. Okey. Suko na kami. Kailangan namin ng kanin at ulam! Sumugod kami sa nilalakad lang namin na supermarket (wala kaming kotse). Diretso sa aisle ng bigas. Ok. Hayun, rice. Isang maliit na supot lang? Di bale. Sige. Ano pa. Ulam.

Anong ulam natin? Nilagang baka para may mahigop na sabaw (nilalamig na agad kami kahit na summer pa daw dito). Ok. Beef stew cuts. Ito na siguro iyon. Tapos repolyo. Patatas. Carrots. Beans. Saging saba… walang saging na saba?! Ok, di bale. Sibuyas. Tsek. Patis na lang.

Ah, ok sa condiments na tayo. Wala. Fish sauce. Hanap tayo ng fish sauce. Saan? Baka kakaiba lang ang bote dito ng patis. Diyan sa shelf na iyan? Teka baka dito. Wala. Walaaaa.

Doon namin naalala na usapin rin ng identidad ang panlasa. Pero, siyempre pa, ang identidad ay likha ng taga-ngalan. Kailangang ikonteksto ang paghahanap ng patis sa pananaw ng mga tagarito sa New Mexico. Sa madaling salita, sino ba kami sa pananaw ng mga taga-rito?

Pinilit naming kalimutan na, basta tao kaming nagugutom. Alalahanin ang mga form na sinusulatan. Please check ethnicity (optional). Oriental. Asian. Minsan may tiyak na box para sa Filipino. O kaya, doon ka sa mga walang identitad: other. Ok, sikapin na alalahanin hanapin ang karatulang may tanda ng identidad.

Dahil iniisip namin tiyak na may patis dito, kailangan lang nating matuklasan kung nasaang aisle. May iba naman sigurong mga Pinoy dito. Siyempre mangangailangan din sila ng patis. Elementary economics ba iyon ? Ang alam ko, kung may demand, may supply. Natitiyak naman namin na magdedemand ang mga dila ng mga Pinoy dito ng patis, kaya mayroong magsu-supply. Luminga-linga kami. Binasa ang mga karatula sa itaas ng mga aisle. Talagang wala. Walang Oriental food. O Asian food. O International food. Ooops eto, Chinese food! Preno kami ng kapatid ko. Dalawang shelves na may habang tatlong piye siguro. Pero walang patis. Walaaang patis! Bumili na lang kami ng toyo sa isang kakaibang bote.

Kinabukasan, ibinalita sa akin ni Isang na ang sabi ng kaniyang katrabahong Chinese, sa Albuquerque pa raw sila namimili ng oriental food. Whooaah! Sa Alburqeurque pa? Para sa aming mga bagong saltang walang kotse, para na rin nilang sinabing sa Pilipinas pa makakabili ng patis.

Pero tulad ng iba pang malilit na bahagi ng buhay migranteng bagong salta, unti-unti nasanay na rin kaming magluto ng nilagang toyo ang pampaalat. Nasanay na rin kaming umasa sa microwave na nabili namin sa halagang $10 sa isang yard sale: pampainit ng tubig, ng kaning lamig at tirang ulam.

Nasanay na kaming gumamit ng mainit na tubig sa pagligo sa halip ng dati ay hinahanap-hanap na malamig na tubig na pampaalis ng banas sa Pilipinas. Nasanay na kaming ulit-ulitin ang aming sinasabi hanggang sa maintindihan ng kausap. Ng pagbigkas ng salitang bank na halos behnk. Ng pagdala ng jacket saan man pumunta dahil hindi nangangahulugang mainit ang panahon kahit na tirik na tirik ang araw. Ng pagbitbit ng tigalawang galon ng inuming tubig mula sa supermarket. Ng matitigan dahil sa kakaibang itsura o pananalita.

Naiintindihan siguro ng Diyos ang paghahanap namin sa patis. Isang araw, tumawag ang Uncle Romy namin mula sa Norwalk, California. Oy, mga bagong saltang dalaga. May pupunta diyan na mga Pinoy na madre. Pitong taon na sila diyan sa Gallup. Ipinagbilin ko kayo.

Mga madreng misyonero na nagtuturo sa Catholic School dito sa Gallup. Na tulad ng ibang migrante dito, natutong mag-drive! Dinala nila kaming magkapatid sa Philippine Cuisine, isang bagong Pilipinong restaurant daw na may ilang bilihing Pilipino.

Ah! Para kaming mga batang nakakita ng mga kendi. Bumili kami ng patis, toyo, suka (hindi distilled ha!), balat ng lumpiang shanghai, tumigas na sa lamig na tilapia, tinapa at bihon!

Sa katunayan, hindi naman pala kami nag-iisa sa pananatiling Pinoy ng panlasa. Sinubukan kong i-Google minsan ang humba dahil naalala ko ang masarap na pork humba sa Rodic’s sa eskwelahang pinangungulilahan ko.

Aba! Sandamakmak na blogs at sites ang umapir! Pinoy. Pinay. Kung saan-saan. Nananatiling Pinoy at Pinay nasaan man sila ngayon. Nagpapayabangan ng mga alam na nilang lutuing Pinoy na dati-rati’y hindi pinapansin ang pagluluto at basta na lamang kinakain sa kusina ng kanilang lola/lolo o nanay/tatay o sa kalapit na karinderia.

Kaya ngayong tanghalian, habang balot ng medyas, pajama at sweater, hinihigop namin ang mainit na sinigang na mayroon nang patis. Ang tanong naming dalawang bagong migrante ngayon: anong bahagi ang hindi matitinag sa pagiibang bayan? (Photo Credits: Chboogs; nikita2471; Chotda; Jab58;; chotda; nikita2471; knottypine)=0=

OLPDA sets Christmas party on December 20, 2008

November 25, 2008

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself
~Norman Wesley Brooks, “Let Every Day Be Christmas,” 1976

of the TriState Area
(New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, USA)

Invites You to Join Us at Our

Annual Christmas Party

Our Lady of Victories School
Rev. Walter Swenson Hall
Ege Avenue,
Jersey City, New Jersey

Date: Saturday, December 20, 2008

Time: 6:30 – 11:00 p.m.



Santa is Coming to Give Gifts to Children!!!

Contact Persons: Carmen Oliver – 908-558-9794
Genevieve del Rosario – 201-435-2840
Boy Cabaero – 201-566-8424