Thursday, August 16, 2018

Jordan Clarkson will play on Philippine national basketball team

Filipino American Jordan Clarkson will play for the Philippines.

IN A LAST-MINUTE ruling, the National Basketball Association is allowing two Chinese and a Filipino American  compete in the Asian Games.

Zhou Qi of the Houston Rockets and Ding Yanyuhang of the Dallas Mavericks will play for China and the Cleveland Cavaliers' Jordan Clarkson will play for the Phlippines in the games being held in Jakarta, Indonesia this year.

After initially ruling that players couldn't take part in the Asian Games, the NBA decided Tuesday to make a onetime exception to allow three players to play.
In a statement, the NBA said:

"The NBA's agreement with FIBA stipulates that NBA players can participate in the Olympics, the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Continental Cup competitions and associated qualifying tournaments. Because the Asian Games are not one of those competitions, NBA players under contract are unable to participate. However, due to a lack of clear communication of that agreement between the NBA and the Chinese and Philippines Basketball Federations, and after further discussions with both Federations, the NBA has agreed to provide this one-time exception."

Clarkson, 26, whose mother is from the Philippines, is scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on Thursday at 10 a.m. local time and will miss the Philippines' first game of the competition against Kazakhstan.

"My heart is full of gratitude for everyone who helped make this happen. See you all very soon," Clarkson wrote on his Facebook page after being informed of the decision.

The Philippines isn't expected to win the tournament, but with the addition of Clarkson, the team could medal, which it hasn't done since 1998 when it won the bronze. Earlier this summer, Clarkson was able to practice with the Philippine team and cheered them on in a warmup game against Taiwan.

After spending parts of the first four seasons of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, the guard was traded to Cleveland last season and helped them reach the NBA Finals.

In 81 games split between the Lakers and Cavaliers, the 6'5" Clarkson averaged 13.9 points, 2.7 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.


Health: How to use cultural traditions to fight heart disease among Filipino Americans


TO LOWER the high rate of heart disease among Filipino Americans, the community needs heart health interventions rooted in Filipino cultural values, according to a new analysis by public health researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Filipino Americans comprise 20 percent of the growing Asian American population and are overrepresented in important workforces, including healthcare and the military. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among Filipino American males and second among Filipino American females.
Further, they have a high prevalence of hypertension and behavioral risk factors associated with these cardiovascular and other chronic conditions, such as obesity, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity.
Filipino Americans place a high importance on family relationships and often hold gatherings and celebrations with traditional foods. The community also values spirituality, caring for others and a tradition of obligation and reciprocity.
“We found that incorporating these values into interventions is an effective way to improve heart health,” said Professor Kathryn L. Braun, who worked on the study and is the director of the UH Office of Public Health Studies. Lead researcher on the study, Jermy-Leigh Domingo, is a recent UH Mānoa public health graduate.
For their analysis, the authors looked at eight previous studies that involved healthcare workers using culturally tailored interventions to increase Filipino-Americans’ participation in heart disease prevention programs. The researchers looked at whether these interventions worked and also identified their key components. Four of the previous studies were done in Hawaii, while the others were performed on the mainland.
“In some interventions, healthcare workers offered suggestions for small changes that could be made in serving traditional Filipino foods, such as grilling fish rather than frying it,” Braun said.
Other interventions focused on a recognition of the importance of family relationships. For example, since turning down food is frowned upon, it is vital to get the whole family on board for support rather than focusing on the single individual with heart disease, the researchers said.
Few interventions involved finding ways to increase physical activity, however, dancing is popular among Filipino Americans and may be an area to target in future studies.
“Our research is part of a growing body of evidence that shows that public health efforts that are tailored to reach people of certain cultures are effective in lowering the rates of chronic diseases,” Domingo said. Other factors include the ethnicity of healthcare workers, educational materials and the settings of interventions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Can you trademark 'Aloha?' Demonstrators target Aloha Poke food chain

Demonstrators protest a food company's efforts to trademark 'aloha.'

HAWAIIANS fought back against a mainland company's attempt to trademark the term "Aloha Poke" by staging a protest outside the company's Chicago headquarters.
During the event, Native Hawaiians blew conch shells and chanted “Ku’e Aloha Poke” (which means to “resist Aloha Poke”). Some of the signs carried by the 200 demonstrators read: “Aloha is Not For Sale.”

Aloha is a traditional greeting and expresses a spirit of welcoming, respect and acceptance. Some might argue trademarking "Aloha" is akin to trademarking "hello." Poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish of cubed raw fish in a soy sauce-based sauce.

The Aloha Poke Company, based in Chicago and owned by non-Hawaiians, trademarked the term "Aloha Poke" and tried to assert its ownership by sending threatening letters to any other restaurants that sounded similar.

Two hundred protesters rallied today against Aloha Poke Company after the company sent cease-and-desist orders to other restaurants in Hawaiʻi, Alaska and other places with the word “Aloha” and the term “Aloha Poke” in their names. 

Most of the targeted businesses are sttrugging small businesses and obeying the warning means having to change their stationary, signage and online presence.

The company did not expect the reaction sparked by their legal action. Its company called the action “offensive,” labeling the move as “culture appropriation” and “gentrification.”

The company also unexpectedly stepped into the Hawaii sovereignty movement that seeks to secede from the United States.

Demonstrators in Chicago say the attempt at trademark enforcement is an “aggressive effort to assert ownership over the Native Hawaiian word ‘aloha.'”

The "Aloha Not For Sale" campaign is being coordinated by a coalition of Native Hawaiian organizations from Chicago, Hawaii and Alaska. The coalition is led by Lanialoha Lee of the Aloha Center Chicago, a multi-media resource cultural center in Chicago dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian and South Pacific Arts.

The company issued an apology on Facebook calling some of the accusations as misunderstandings based on misinformation. The apology said in part:
" is entirely false that we have either sued businesses for using the word Aloha or the word Poke or sought a 'gag order' on anyone for using the words. We honestly do not know how either claim came to be, but this is simply not true. What we have done is attempted to stop trademark infringers in the restaurant industry from using the trademark 'Aloha Poke' without permission. This is a very common practice used across industries, and in particular, in the restaurant industry to protect the use of a business’ name and brand."
The Aloha Not For Sale campaign demands that the Aloha Poke Company:
  • Make “a real apology” – “one that admits it was wrong in issuing cease-and-desist letters to business owners;”
  • Retract the cease-and-desist letters sent to other businesses; and
  • Rescind its trademark on the words “aloha” and “poke.”

Son accused of killing his parents

Duong Luu, left, and Madison Muong.

KIM LAN LY, 68 died Aug. 10, three months after her husband, Thao Luu, 70, was shot to death. One of the two suspects in the attack is their son.

The couple was shot in their San Jose residence May 20. Luu died at the scene and Ly, shot in the face, was rushed to a hospital where she eventually succumbed to her wounds.

Two days later, San Jose police arrested 25-year-old Duong Luu, the son of the victims, and 27-year-old Madison Muong, as suspects in the case. Police believe that the motive for the double slayings was a plot to collect inheritance.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Samoan firefighters are back in California

FILE / 2017
The American Samoa firefighters are called to help California put out its wildfires.

AMONG THE 13,000 firefighters trying to extinguish California's wildfires, are 17 American Samoan firefighters from the National Park of American Samoa, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean.

It is getting to be an annual trip for the Samoans. Ten of the crew of 17 are veterans of previous firefighting efforts in California. 

Last year, an inspiring video of the Samoan firefighters singing as they emerge from the forest went viral.

The U.S. Forest Service commented on its Facebook page that the crew worked hard on the Helena/Fork and Buck fires and received an award from the incident commander for their hard work. California firefighters have seen the crew in action and praised their hard work, passion and camaraderie.

Singing for Samoan fire crews is more than just a way to pass the time. 
According to 'The Samoan Way,' Samoans grow up singing in church and in school. Around 98% of the population is Christian so singing is a huge part of the culture. There's a sense of unity and pride when singing Samoan hymns. 

The words of the song, posted here, were translated by James Stevenson to read:
Fa’afetai i le atua lena tatou tupu ai ina ua na alofa fua ia te tatou uma Tali: ia pepese ia pepese aleluia faafetai ia pepese ia pepese aleluia faafetai Faafetai i lona alo lena afio mai luga le ua fai ma faapaolo mai le puapuaga Tali: ia pepese ia pepese aleluia faafetai ia pepese ia pepese aleluia faafetai Faafetai i le agaga le fesoasoani mai e manuia talosaga atoa uma mea e fai Tali: ia pepese ia pepese aleluia faafetai ia pepese ia pepese aleluia faafetai
In English, the song loosely translates to: Thanks to God. We grow when He has compassion for all of us. Answer: sing hello songs thank you to sing hello thanks thank you Thanks to his son who comes from above who is a savior from the trouble… Answers : sing alleluia songs thank you to sing songs aleluia thanks Thank you very much for help to succeed in all the answers to all the [problems/trouble]… Answers: answer singing alleluia thank you sing songs thank you thank you
In case you haven't seen it, here's the video from last year:

With more than 300,000 acres burned, the Mendocino Complex Fire is the largest in California’s history. Drought-like conditions due to climate change, dry winds and temperatures in the triple digits have hampered firefighting efforts.

Almost 700,000 acres total have been burned in California so far this year; in which 2,300 National Guardsmen as well as scores of non-violent inmates have joined in to put out the fires. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, and thousands have sought shelter in emergency shelters.

AAPI Vote 2018: After the dust settled, Hawaii voters stuck with familiar faces

Hawaii Gov. David Ige thanks his suppporters for the vote of confidence.

HAWAII VOTERS opted for the familiar based on last Saturday's primary election.

They decided to keep incumbent David Ige as the Democratic nominee for governor, who had to beat back strong challenges from Rep. Colleen Hanbusa. 

Hanabusa gave up her Congressional seat for District 1 in order to campaign for governor leaving a void that attracted a whole host of hopefuls. In the end, voters picked Ed Case, who used to be the congressional representative for District 2.

Meanwhile, voters decided to keep Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as the Democratic nominee despite being pilloried by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Progressive challengers didn't fare well in deep blue Hawaii. Endorsements from progressive candidate Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez from New York failed to cross the Pacific in behalf of state Rep. Kaniela Ing, who hoped to generate a wave of grass-roots excitement for an upset win. 

In a tweet after it was clear that an upset was not in the cards for Ing, he wrote, "Campaigns end, but movements don’t we won’t stop the "

But Case, who describes himself as a moderate Democrat, won with 40% of the vote, followed by Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, who was instrumental in challenging Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban, and state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim. Kaniela Kim finished a distant 4th with only 6% of the vote.

Hawaii is so deeply Democratic, that the nominee for the Democratic Party in any of the races is expected to win in November.

REVIEW: Crazy Rich Asians' is a playful fun journey, yet groundbreaking

Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh) left, face to face with her son's girlfriend Rachel Chu (Constance Wu).

ASIAN AMERICA! You wanted representation? In Crazy Rich Asians, there is representation galore. 

Not only did the movie feature that rarest of rarities, an all-Asian cast, in front of the camera, but just as important, Asians were behind the camera too -- from the director, Jon M. Chu and Kevin Kwan, the author of the novel on which the movie is based to scriptwriter Adele Lim, -- to ensure that the Warner Bros. project would not resort to stereotyping or whitewashing.

From the colorful graphics, split screen and jaunty music -- reminiscent of the openings of the I Love Lucy TV series and other TV sitcoms such as the 60's Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched  -- the audience is instantly put into a joyful mood.

Chu has managed to create a fun romp through the glitz and clamor of fantastic Singapore high society with all the cultural tripwires to make things interesting even though the ending was never in doubt.

The movie is not perfect and it doesn't attempt to be more than what it is -- a romantic comedy -- but at the same time, it is so much more.

Awkwafina is a revelation as Rachel Chu's girlfriend. The Asian American comedic actress dominate every scene she is in with her bubbly energy and comedic timing.

Awkwafina, along with Nico Santos, who tempers his characterization of Nick Young's cousin Oliver T'Sien just short of a stereotype, get their roles expanded beyond the novel, a wise decision by director Chu because they help maintain the comedic side of the equation to balance off the straight-arrow characters of the main leads of Rachel Chu and Nick young, who essentially play straight man and woman to the comedic pair.

All the controversy surrounding the casting of Henry Golding as the male romantic lead should be cast by the wayside. It's hard to imagine anyone else in the role of Nick Young, the bachelor scion of an uber-rich Chinese-Singaporean family. What ever "it" is, Golding has it. The role doesn't demand too much for him in his first movie role, but he makes up for it in exuding a Cary Grant-style charm and charisma onscreen.

Constance Wu, free from the Taiwanese American accent she uses in Fresh Off the Boat, is a surprise as she reveals a side of her we haven't expected of her. As Rachel Chu, she is innocent, sexy in a girl-next-door kind of way and ultimately, a toughness that isn't revealed until near the end.

Michelle Yeoh as Eleanor, Nick Young's overbearing mother constantly considering the social strata consequences of Nick's romantic choices, is another perfect casting. Before she accepted the role, Yeoh made it clear she didn't want to resort to a Tiger Mom image for her character and she was able to pull it off. Overbearing, yes. Meddlesome, yes, Icy, definitely. But everything she does as Eleanor is for love and family.

The glamorous role of Nick Young's cousin Astrid Leong Young-- the woman every girl wants to be -- could be a breakout role for British-born Gemma Chan, who's called upon to display a range of emotions way beyond what is called for in her role as a robotic "synth" in the TV series Humans. The combination of her vulnerability and sophistication ala Grace Kelly has been missing from most Hollywood leading ladies for so long, to see it onscreen is refreshing. Look for her to get more attention from Hollywood. 

Near the end, director Chu hints there's more storylines for Astrid in the future as she deals with her marital and romantic dilemmas.

The actors in supporting roles reveled in their characters. It was as if all their pent-up talent was allowed to come forth. 

The variety of characters spanned a whole spectrum, including the social climber Edison Cheng (Ronny Chieng), best friend Colin Khoo (Chris Pang), over the top Bernard Tai (Jimmy O. Yang), bride-to0be Araminta Lee (Sonoya Mizuno)  to philanderer husband Michael Teo (Pierre Ping).

In a way, Chu is sending the movie industry a couple of messages. Not one of the characters was one of the typical stereotypes Asian actors are usually asked to portray and that there are many stories to tell. Hollywood needn't have to settle for the same ol' stories over and over again or reboots of previously made movies.

The music was a clever way to link Asia and the West by employing recognizable tunes like "Money," and "Material Girl" and even when it is sung in Chinese, the audience is totally familiar with the music and English lyrics.

Chu was able to artfully tell the Asian-based story but still provide plenty of access points for western audiences by telling universal stories of a young couple in love, an outsider getting rejected by a loved one's family, 

The mother of all weddings was was the key event in 'Crazy Rich Asians.'

Crazy Rich Asians
is not a perfect movie. It is totally predictable. but in a good way.

 it presents a picture of Asians having fun, kissing each other, fashionable and strugging with western culture's impact on their lifestyle. CRA takes the audience where it wants to go. In that respect, it satisfies the audience hoping for a happy ending after getting shortchanged in so many other movies, where the Asian guy doesn't get the girl, or the familiar plot in which the Asian girl falls for the white leading man.

While it is true that the world portrayed in CRA is something totally unfamiliar to most of us, we need to keep in mind that it is a fantasy, not a documentary. However, by depicting the rarified world of the upper strata of Singapore society, it is does present a new facet of  Asian culture that is not usually shown on the big screen. CRA is successful is showing that people from Asia are more complicated and interesting than what has usually been portrayed by Hollywood. They laugh and cry. They have ambition, hopes and dreams, They're witty and funny. They're fashionable, attractive, sexy and desirable.

Chu has managed to blend the right amount of Asian and western values and perspectives -- exotic yet familiar -- in telling a familiar story of love conquers all, no matter what part of the world you're from.

By all means, go see it. It's a pleasure to see a film devoid of special effects, explosions, killings and super heroes and instead see a movie about human beings, with all their flaws and glory. Besides, Crazy Rich Asians is a funny flick, too!

Crazy Rich Asians hits U.S. and Canadian theaters this Wednesday, Aug. 15.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Trump attacks Kelly Anne Conway's Filipino American husband using racial slurs, says former White House staffer

For reasons that remain unclear, Omarosa Manigault Newman, was appointed to a White House position.

DONALD TRUMP allegedly used racist terms to describe George Conway, the Fililpino American husband of
 White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

George Conway dismissed the allegations on Friday that Trump had privately made racist comments about his Filipino roots.

The Guardian reports that Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former senior White House aide and ex-reality TV star, reportedly heard Trump calling Conway a “flip” and a “goo goo,” racial slurs for Filipinos like Conway, whose mother is from the Philippines.

The former Trump advisor will have a tell-all book released next week about her time with Trump since she was a contestant on his reality show The Apprentice including her tenure in the White House. In her stint on The Apprentice, she became one of the "villains" for her lies and scheming which made her stand out from the other contestants. She became known simply by her first name, Omarosa. 

In her upcoming book, she describes Trump's angry reaction to a article written by George Conway, a lawyer who removed his name from consideration for a top Justice Department post. 

It’s not clear which George Conway column drew Trump's ire, but Conway, a successful attorney and once considered a candidate for the position of Solicitor General, received significant attention for a column at the Brookings Institution’s LawFare blog in June, in which he defended special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling and criticized Trump’s attempts to undercut it.

The Guardian writes:
Would you look at this George Conway article?” she quotes the president as saying. “F**ing FLIP! Disloyal! F**king Goo-goo.” 
Both "flip" and "goo-goo" are racial slurs for Filipinos.
George Conway called Omarosa’s allegations “not credible” and “ridiculous” in a tweet on Friday morning.

“Instead of telling the truth about all the good President Trump and his administration are doing to make America safe and prosperous, this book is riddled with lies and false accusations,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a written statement. “It’s sad that a disgruntled former White House employee is trying to profit off these false attacks.”

Omarosa, who was unceremoniously dismissed from the White House staff in December of 2017, describes in her book that she slowly came to realize that her boss was a racist.

 “It had finally sunk in that the person I’d thought I’d known so well for so long was actually a racist," she writes in her upcoming book. "Using the N-word was not just the way he talks but, more disturbing, it was how he thought of me and African Americans as a whole.”

Omarosa worked on Trump's campaign and in the White House as his liaison to the African American community, which did not welcome her with open arms despite her supposedly close links to Trump.

Omarosa Manigault Newman's book — titled “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House” — is set to release on August 14th.


Noted Filipina American historian passes away

ONE OF FOREMOST HISTORIANS and advocates for Filipino Americans died Friday (Aug. 10) while vacationing in Kauai.

Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon passed away while vacationing in Hawaii with her family. She would have celebrated her 46th birthday on Aug. 17.
“Dawn had represented the best of Stockton and she will be missed very much,” said Lange Luntao said Filipino American community leader to the Stockton Record. “Her research on the Filipino/a neighborhoods and community members in Stockton inspired scholars from around the world and put on the map in a positive way. There’s a lot of work to do to continue her legacy and highlight Stockton’s rich and diverse history.
Dr. Mabalon was a professor at San Francisco State University where she taught history and U.S.-Philippines relations.  She received an M.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA and a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. Her research focuses on Filipina/o American history, historic and cultural preservation, and the Filipina/o American food traditions. 

In 2013, she wrote the book, "Little Manila Is in the Heart: The Making of the Filipina/o American Community in Stockton, California," which was awarded an honorable mention for the Frederick Jackson Turner Award (best first book) by the Organization of American Historians. 

Her research for the book led to a movement to preserve and restore parts of what was the Little Manila neighborhood in her native Stockton, which once was the largest Filipino American community in the U.S.

For her work and advocacy, she was named to the list of the Filipina Women’s Network's 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the World in 2013.

“We connected as academics, activists, family centered, food loving women, and most significantly; dedicated believers of Stockton,” said Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman on Facebook post. “She lived her life with purpose and richness. Her impact will be felt for generation to come.”

Details of any services or celebrations of life are pending.

A GoFundMe account has been made can be found online to plan and pay for celebrations of her life in San Francisco, Los Angeles and her hometown of Stockton.


Crazy Rich Asians: Before its general release, expectations soar

Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding and Constance Wu in 'Crazy Rich Asians.'

EXPECTATIONS ARE HIGH that Crazy Rich Asians will surpass box-office projections during the 5-day weekend that starts on the film's Aug. 15 general release.

The Aug. 8 sneak previews of the movie based on Kevin Kwan's best-seller, earned around $500,000, a huge step towards to the expected $20 million the film is expected to make that first weekend. A $20 million launch, while not reaching the blockbuster heights of Black Panther or Titanic, would go a long way to ensuring the box-office success of a film that cost only $30 million to make.

As the first reviews come in, CRA is delivering on several fronts, according to Rotten Tomatoes, a movie review aggregator website, where it earned an almost unheard of 100 percent favorable rating from film critics.

Rotten Tomatoes writes:
"Crazy Rich Asians has more baggage and built-in expectations than just about any this (film) year (and yes, we’re including Infinity War). CRA has to satisfy fans of Kevin Kwan’s insanely popular book series. CRA has to save the rom-com, a genre which has been flailing on the big screen – if not on Netflix – for quite some time now. And CRA arrives with a huge burden of representation: It is the first wide release with an Asian-American lead cast since 1993’s The Joy Luck Club. Hopes, expectations, and even fears, are high – fairly or otherwise.
"If early reviews are anything to go by, Crazy Rich Asians is set to deliver on a number of fronts. The embargo broke this Wednesday, a week out from the movie’s release on August 15, and with 19 reviews counted, it is sitting at 100% on the Tomatometer. Critics are talking breathlessly about the extravagance of Jon M. Chu’s film – costumes! beaches! wealthy parties! – and incisively about the film’s representational burden. But most of all they’re saying that the movie, which stars Fresh Off the Boatbreakout star Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, “it” guy Henry Golding, and features Ocean’s 8 scene-stealer Awkwafina, is an A-plus example of old-school unironic rom-coms."
On top of all that, CRA is a romantic comedy, a genre that has suffered among a generation of a movie-going public who have been numbed by movies featuring special effects, computer graphics and muscle-bound heroes in Spandex.
“Ultimately, the film delivers as a blockbuster romantic comedy: It’s joyous, decadent, and yes, extremely predictable," writes Anne Cohen for Refinery29. "But seeing new characters inhabit and thrive within a story we’ve seen countless times before is a major achievement in itself.” 

Directed by Jon M. Chu, CRA follows Asian American Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she meets the crazy rich family of her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) in a comedy of manners and cultural clashes. The movie also features Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Chris Pang, Ken Jeong, Jimmy Yang, Nick Santos, Sonoya Mizuno and Lisa Lu among others.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch for the movie review in the cocming days.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Mother who set herself ablaze, and her two daughters die from house fire

Sisters Tram and Trinh Tran, were the 14-year-old daughters of Mau Dao.

The suspicious fire that took the lives of a mother and her two daughters took a dark twist when authorities revealed that the fire started when the mother set herself on fire inside their home in Vallejo, Calif.

Police Capt. Lee Horton said Mau Dao set herself ablaze last week (Aug. 4) trapping her twin 14-year old daughters, Tram and Trinh, inside. A younger daughter, 11, was able to escape the burning home. The father was not at home when the fire started.

The physical and electronic evidence, as well as victim and witness statements indicate that Dao, 47, set herself on fire inside the residence at 2932 Georgia St., Horton reports.

One of the twins died at the scene; the other at an area hospital, said the police. Dau died at a local burn unit, police report.

“Dao’s 11-year-old daughter was injured in the fire but is expected to make a full recovery,” Horton said in the statement. “She is now with her father.”

The fire occurred at 2:45 a.m. By the time police arrived, the house was engulfed in flames. Firefighters were unable to enter the building to the recover the three members. One had already died and the other two died at a local hospital.

Sarah Dilag, a
 friend of the twins, told 5 KPIX that she received a disturbing message the same night of the fire. One of the twins texted Sarah at 2 a.m. Sunday, writing, “Sarah, are you awake? I’m really scared.” Unfortunately, Sarah was asleep and couldn't respond.

The Vallejo Police Department has classified this case as a suicide that resulted in two homicides.

“This was a tragic event for all involved,” Horton said in the statement. “Incidents of this nature are exceedingly difficult for the family, but also for the community and its first responders.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up by a relative to help raise money to pay for the funerals of Dao and her two daughters.

"All donations will go towards planning 3 funerals for Mau Dao, Trinh and Tram Tran whom we lost in an early Sunday house fire. We hope to receive donations that will also go toward supporting Tuan Tran, recently widowed, and Vy Tran, the sole survivor whom is only 11 years old to give them a helping hand to begin rebuilding their life," reads the page.

Friday, August 10, 2018

TGIF Feature: Popular food vlogger tries Filipino food for first time

I LOVE FOOD. I love cooking, eating and the bonding experience from sitting around a table and sharing a good meal.

I came across the Youtube series "Strictly Dumpling" with Mike Chen. The food vlogger visited the Philippines for the first time earlier this year and "discovered" the joys of Filipino cuisine.

What I enjoyed most was watching Chen eat. He really savors every bite and it shows on his reactions. He transports himself to another world.

It was a good thing that he llikes pork. It seemed half the dishes he tried hat pork in it. His most common reaction to the dishes he tried? "Hmmm. That's good!"

He made me crave for some good Filipino food. After being overlooked for decades for the exotic food from other Southeast countries, Filipino cuisine is finally having a moment in the food world as foodies discover the joys of sinigang, adobo, lechon, pancit, boneless bangus and Phiippine BBQ.

Watch his series as he tries out Manila's night markets, visits the Cebu to try the best lechon. He even tried some dishes I wasn't familiar with. Chen is fun to watch and his  episodes from the Philippines might inspire you to search for the closest Filipino restaurant

A feast prepared in Cebu for "Strictly Dumpling" host Mike Chen.

Trump says Chinese foreign students are all spies

Chinese students graduate from Columbia University.

IN HIS CONTINUING war against people of color, Donald Trump lashed out at Chinese students in the the U.S. by calling them spies.

During a dinner with 15 CEOs and senior White House staff, talking about an unnamed country that was clearly China according to a source in attendance, Trump said “almost every student that comes over to this country is a spy.”

"Chinese students bring value to American campuses through the diversity of their experiences and perspectives," responded the United Chinese Americans in a statement. "They also contribute an estimated $12 billion annually directly to U.S. institutions of higher learning. And they provide much-needed talent on which American high-tech industries and its research and academic institutions have come to rely."

The UCA is a nationwide nonprofit and nonpartisan federation and a community civic movement dedicated to enriching and empowering Chinese American communities.

"Recent reported remarks by President Trump, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Senator Marco Rubio, who has characterized persons of Chinese origin in the United States as a national security threat, are unjustified and deeply offensive," the UCA statement continued. "The United Chinese Americans calls on the White House to clarify the President's reported disparagement of Chinese students."

The closed-door dinner with the CEOs was held at Trump's private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey where he has been spending a 10-day "working" vacation.

The comment came during a discussion during in which Trump expressed frustration against the Chinese which retaliate against the U.S. after Trump imposed tariffs on goods from China. That retaliatory action has angered and surprised Trump, according to Politico.

Although Trump is said to be planning further tarrifs, the Chinese government said it won’t back down when it comes to a trade war started by the U.S.

There are more than 350,000 Chinese students studying at U.S. universities -- the largest group of international students by far -- and Chinese students earned about 10 percent of all doctorates awarded by American universities in 2016.

Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said in a statement she was "outraged" that the president would "paint an entire ethnic group as spies."
"National security concerns must be taken seriously, but with his words, the president slanders whole groups of people, potentially causing harm to those who've done no wrong," Chu said in a written statement provided to Inside Higher Ed. "His careless words feed into stereotypes that endanger Chinese and Asian American students. 
"Our own economic future could be at risk as these actions discourage these students from entering STEM fields for fear they’ll be targeted for the crime of studying while Asian," Chu's statement continued. 
"We’ve seen where this kind of prejudice can lead, including the cases of Chinese American scientists Sherry Chen and Professor Xioxing Xi, whose lives were upended when they were wrongfully accused of being spies for China. Instead of slurring entire ethnic groups, the president should focus on actual solutions that make the whole country better off.”
"Generations of foreign policy leaders agree that international students and scholars are one of America’s greatest foreign policy assets," Jill Welch, deputy executive director for public policy of the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers, said in a statement about what the president reportedly said. 
"Blanket generalizations about students from any country will undoubtedly make international students think twice before choosing the United States as their destination. If students, particularly from strategic regions around the world, no longer come here, America will lose the ability to build relationships with future leaders abroad and strengthen our own national security."
 "To make America more secure and welcoming to international students and scholars the president must avoid unwelcoming rhetoric and policies," said Welch. "We are already in a global competition for talent, and students around the world pay close attention to the policies and rhetoric emanating from the White House. In order to avoid a further chilling effect in the United States, it is incumbent upon policy leaders to act boldly and decisively to let students know that they are welcome here and that we value their contributions."