Monthly Archives: March 2012

‘From Greek to Catwalk’ show benefits SOS Children’s Villages, Christine’s Ride to Conquer Cancer

By Alex P. Vidal

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A benefit show dubbed “From Geek to Catwalk: Miss Universe Canada 2012 Fundraiser (Christine Adela White FTW)” was successfully launched at the Burrard Ballroom of the Century Plaza Hotel on March 24.
Attended mostly by prominent personalities in the entertainment and business world of the Filipino-Canadian community, the event was a fundraiser for Miss Universe Canada 2012 benefiting the SOS Children’s Villages and Christine’s Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Cassie Dee sponsored a fashion show with a theme: “Inner-Geek vs. Pageant-Miss,” Wii gaming tournament, Music & Dance (the dancefloor encourages dancing!), Cash bar, 50/50 Draw, and Prizes and silent auction items donated by Christine’s sponsors


“You may not be a beauty buff, but you certainly know how to bask in the life of a gamer. Indeed, it requires a demonstration of skill to be considered l33t of the l33t. Christine Adela White is a self-acclaimed gamer-heart-champion – MMORPGs are her forte (“For-te”-win) – and thus a tournament is born. Unusual? I think not!” White announced earlier.
She also earlier stated that, “When these three worlds collide, you have Christine Adela White – Miss Universe Canada 2012 B.C. Regional Finalist, ready to take on the pageant floor in May for the title of Miss Universe Canada 2012. All of the proceeds go to the SOS Children’s Villages and Christine’s Ride to Conquer Cancer.”


Tournament set up included several stations equipped with a Wii console with three titles at stake: Best in shooting hoops, Fencing champ, and Fastest Rower.
Top scores/streaks were listed on a visual scoreboard enabling participants to know what the top score was to beat. Winner was determined by the top average and awarded with a gift-basket collaborated by White’s sponsors and friends.
This portion of the event was geared to bring awareness to cyber-bullying. White is a proud supporter of the “Stop a” program (

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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Newly arrived OFW collapses in Canada airport

By Alex P. Vidal

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — After being in coma for six days, Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Josefina “Majo” Tumbaga finally opened her eyes at the Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit (CSICU) of the St. Paul’s Hospital on Burrard St. March 26.
She underwent heart surgery supervised by Dr. Anson Cheung, surgical director of the Cardiac Transplant of British Columbia, according to hospital nurse Anabelle Mangaliman.
Tumbaga, 30, was rushed to the hospital after she collapsed upon arrival at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on March 20, an apparent victim of cardiac arrest.
She arrived without any companion via Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight from Manila and was bound for Toronto where she was scheduled to work at Tim Hortons, hospital staff Judy Pagud said in an exclusive interview.


“She has no relatives in Canada. Although she has regained consciousness after six days of being in coma, she could not speak,” Mangaliman said. “She was still in state of shock.”
Narima Dela Cruz, a community leader who responded to information about Tumbaga, talked to the patient and assured her she would be fine. “Magpalakas ka. Lakasan mo ang loob mo. Magkapamilya tayo at marami tayo rito (Be strong. We are all one big family here. We will help you),” said the teary eyed Dela Cruz.
Tumbaga had tube and dextrose attached on her neck and body and was being monitored by a machine. She tried to speak but could not say a word. Hysterical and crying, she finally was able to say “thank you” in a hoarse but inaudible voice.


Another community leader, Nemecio Cepeda Sr., cried while telling Tumbaga to “keep on praying.”
“You are in good hands,” assured Cepeda, who underwent heart surgery in the same hospital in 2008. “I was once in that bed (pointing to where Tumbaga was laying) and stayed here for three and a half months.”
“Nakakaawa. Hindi puedeng hindi ka mapaiyak sa sitwasyon niya (No one can bear seeing her in that situation),” lamented caregiver Alejandro Sevillo, who visited Tumbaga together with Dela Cruz and Cepeda.
They promised Tumbaga to visit her again.


Dela Cruz asked from Mangaliman the contact number of Tumbaga’s mother, Juliet Gutierrez, in Pasong Tamo, Makati, Philippines and called the mother by long distance.
“The mother was crying and was very worried. She was asking if Majo is already conscious. I assured her Majo has regained consciousness but could not yet speak,” said Dela Cruz, who was also able to get in touch with Tumbaga’s aunt, Divine Pimentel.
It was not immediately known if Tumbaga was married.
Tumbaga’s hospital bill reportedly costs $1,500 per day, excluding the medicines, among other expenses. Tumbaga was supposed to be covered by insurance from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) but unconfirmed reports said she had no insurance.

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


I LOVE YOU MORE TODAY THAN YESTERDAY (A compilation of my personal thoughts and IDEAS)

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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


‘FYE Live’ talents perform Motown classic

By Alex P. Vidal

SURREY, British Columbia — The “FYE (For Your Entertainment) Live” talents of MaxiPro Productions will showcase the Motown classic from 9:30-10:30 pm at Shaw Multiculutural Channel 116 on March 25. Composed of young recording artists mentored by Socorro “Babes” Newland, Debbie Arkoncel, and Jackie Diy, the talents will perform some of the greatest classics popularized by immortal artists like Marvin Gaye, Temptations, Four Tops, Supremes, Martha & The Vandellas, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Contours, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Jr. Walker & The All Stars, Eddie Holland, among others.
“Most of the talents are already world-class and perform like Hollywood recording stars,” observed Reyfort Media Group chairman Rey Fortaleza, co-producer of the event. “Most of them are past winners of the PNT Singing Idol and community talents that are gifted in dancing, acting and singing.”
Glisha Dela Cruz, daughter of 2012 Top 25 Canadian Immigrants qualifier Narima Dela Cruz, is the latest member of the pool of talents.
Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music, by achieving a crossover success. In the 1960s, Motown and its soul-based subsidiaries were the most successful proponents of what came to be known as The Motown Sound, a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence.
Motown has owned or distributed releases from more than 45 subsidiaries in varying genres, although it is most famous for its releases in the music genres of rhythm and blues, soul, hip hop, and pop.

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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized



Duarte, Nuestro, Stacey steal
limelight in PNT Idol prelims

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW WESTMINSTER, British Columbia  — Jacinto Duarte proved that at 56, age doesn’t matter as he clinched the first prize in the adult category even as Jasmin Nuestro and Jazmin Stacey romped off with the championships in the young and kids categories respectively during the kick off monthly finals of the “PNT Singing Idol” Season 5 at the Java Jazz and Bistro on March 17.

Hosted by “Pork and Bean” duo Jerry “PapaBear” Legaspi and Winnie “Jojo” Alpuerto, the singing competitions for Filipino-Canadians also saw the rise of kids category first runner-up Kayla Encarnacio and second runner-up Shiela May Norcasa.
Also head-turners were young category first runner-up Shannon Polo, 15, and second runner-up Sylvia Castillo, 21.
Darwin Dela Cruz wound up first runner-up to Duarte in adult category followed by second runner-up Mary Grace Eridiano, 33.
“Here in the PNT Singing Idol, there are no losers. Everybody is winner,” declared Alpuerto, who is over-all organizer, musical and script program director.
Resident judges and past PNT Singing Idol champions Emee Escaro and Wel Medina joined fellow Flazbak Band member Ron Militar and Java Jazz manager and 2011 Maharlika awardee Salvacion “Salve” Dayao, 2012 Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Awards qualifier Narima Dela Cruz, and Reyfort Media Group chairman Rey Fortaleza in awarding of trophies.
Performers during the three-hour program were Anjela Blanca Gerardo, JJ Cepeda, Vanessa Marle Hillman, and Charisse Curata.
“As early as five o’clock in the afternoon, fans started arriving and Java Jazz had been transformed into a mini theater,” said Legaspi, who is overall coordinator and managing director.
Here are the schedules for audition at the Olympia Pizza and Resto all from 8 to 10 pm: March 3, April 13 (Friday, May 5 (Saturday), June 2 (Saturday), and July 7 (Saturday). Auditions in Java Jazz and Bistro are on Mondays to Sundays (except Tuesdays) at 5:50 to 8 pm.
Schedule of singing contests is at 7 pm Saturday on April 21, May 19, June 16, and July 21 at the Olympia Pizza and Resto.
The contest categories are: Young (15 years old and below), Young Adults (16 to 26 years old), Adults (27 years old and above).


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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized



PNT Idol champ Jessica Zraly makes a good account of herself

By Alex p. Vidal

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — In the 2008 “PNT Singing Idol” grand finals, then 13-year-old Jessica Zraly won the title with a hair-splitting version of the late Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you.” A star was born.
In the Vancouver Auditions of the 2012 Canada’s Got Talent on March 11, now 16-year-old Zraly sang a version of “At Last” that would make Etta James (RIP, girl) proud,
The young singer, original cast of the PNT Singing Idol performing artists, rendered a vocal run akin to Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, but she needed to do the whole act: one hand up to her ear, the other with fingers waving proudly as she hits those high notes.
In the first elimination round, she made it together with Groovement (dance group), Iron Kingdom (rock band), West Coast Lumberjacks (lumberjack stunts), Tajah (dancer), Tristan Underwood (kites), Steve and Celeste Presby (singers), Nathan Knowles (dancer), and Cameron Snee (singer).
Groovement, ages 15-23, students – their dancing was in sync. Had the judges on their feet. Easily through, wrote Leader-Post entertainer writer Gord Craig.
Here’s Craig’s rundown: Iron Kingdom, students 19-22 – heavy metal band, they’ve got some skills. Through
Westcoast Lumberjacks – displayed axe throwing, chopping and sawing. Through
Tajah – did a type of Polynesian dance I believe. It wasn’t fantastic, but she made it through.
Tristan, 15 – flies indoor kites to music (I saw an autistic young lad do this quite well on America’s Got Talent). It is pretty mesmerizing and he does it well. Through.
Celeste (40) and Steve (47) Presby – married, work together and sing together. They are actually not too bad. They won’t win, but they’re not bad. Through on a 2-1 vote.
Heidi Smith and Leslie Sakata – Look really good for their ages of 35 and 31. Another Polynesian type dance. Not through.
Nathan Knowles, 16 – Refers to himself as a circus artist. He is a contortionist and acrobat. Very strong and smooth. Through.
Cameron Snee, 13 – He sang Danny Boy and has been taking voice lessons since the age of five. Very pure voice and is easily through.
Jessica Zraly, 16, singer – She told the judges she was singing Etta James’ At Last – a tall order for anyone, but at 16. I have three letters for this performance W-O-W! Very soulful for her age. Outstanding, I actually had goosebumps. Easily through.

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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized



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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Uncategorized



Psychologist identifies 45 psychological traps in “The Ethical Executive”


By Alex P. Vidal

LAGUNA BEACH, California — A book that looks at the root causes of unethical behavior and describes psychological traps that the unwitting executive can fall prey to, was launched before recession walloped the western world, particularly the United States of America.

It is where the most gigantic financial catastrophe in recent memory romped off that led to the fall in disgrace of some of the biggest names in the US corporate world.

Dr. Robert Hoyk, is a clinical psychologist and primary author of “THE ETHICAL EXECUTIVE: Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps that Every One of Us Falls Prey To” (Stanford University Press; ISBN: 978-0804759656, hardcover). Hoyk analyzes treacherous situations from Enron to Jonestown and personal scenarios throughout “The Ethical Executive.” He is a remarkable source to help others understand the “Why” of these dilemmas and any new ones that are likely to present themselves.

The “Ethical Executive” will help us to become aware of these traps – so we can be more cautious, vigilant and then hopefully avoid them. Here’s my exclusive interview with the great author:

APV: The Ethical Executive rolled off the press in 2008, a year before Bernard Madoff’s Wall Street caper was uncovered in what could be the most horrific financial rip off of epic proportion in American history. Meaning that while you and Dr. Hersey were collaborating to come up with this book, Madoff was already wrecking havoc on the financial institution. Was the conceptualization of The Ethical Executive a mere coincidence or a case of serendipity?

DR. HOYK: A coincidence on the surface, though it was no coincidence that many of the factors we were examining happened to Madoff. In that sense, Madoff is one example of exactly what our book predicts.

Madoff provided investment services for individuals and institutions. In December of 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission indicted Madoff with securities fraud. It was alleged that he was using an immense Ponzi scheme. He had paid out “returns” from money sent to him by new investors for years.

APV: Which of the 45 Psychological Traps you warned readers not to fall prey to applied to Bernard Madoff and his cohorts?

DR. HOYK: Madoff became ensnared in two traps.

Obligation Trap. Throughout history, moral justification has been used to sanction acts of evil. Torture and murder have been committed for the sake of protecting one’s family or honor, purifying the race, safeguarding a way of life, serving God, and many more. For example, in Rwanda in 1994, under the justification of “Hutu Power,” approximately seventy thousand Tutsis were brutally killed.

Obligation is a particular type of justification. The dictionary definition of “obligation” is fulfilling a promise or commitment. Unethical behavior is readily given a moral connotation with the use of obligation: “I needed to keep my commitment, to do what I promised. My word is who I am.”

When Madoff pleaded guilty in court, he delivered a short account of his motivation for breaking the law. The fraud began during a recession when institutions were becoming new clients. Madoff felt obligated to take on these institutions. The Ponzi scheme started because of a need to fulfill a commitment. Madoff stated, “I felt compelled to satisfy my clients’ expectations, at any cost.”

Addiction Trap. Regarding his Ponzi scheme, Madoff stated in court that “once he started, he could not stop.” Like a heroin addict he kept coming back for more.

Why do people become addicted? Early in my career, I was employed in an outpatient clinic for drug addiction. One client in my weekly group, Jim, would rarely say anything. One evening he came up to me when everyone had left and said, “I get very anxious speaking in front of others I’m really shy. But you know, when I shoot up, I love myself. I’m so confident. When I’m high, I can sit down on a public bench and lead a conversation with a total stranger for an hour “I love who I am.” Jim’s problem of chronic shyness disappeared when he used drugs. The dramatic, short-term benefits kept him coming back for more.

The benefits that Madoff received ”status, security, a large salary, a profitable company” also kept him addicted to the Ponzi scheme.

APV: Could the Madoff catastrophe have been avoided or prevented?

DR. HOYK: If our book had come out earlier and Madoff had used it to establish an ethical culture in his business, the Ponzi scheme might have been prevented. Our book would have to be backed by concrete policy and ideally one of the Ethics Officers would be a psychologist who would help Madoff work through his cravings and need for justification.

APV: As precautionary measure, is there a need to make Personal Assessment Inventory mandatory for every executive in the corporate world before they are entrusted of gargantuan responsibilities such as managing financial affairs?

DR. HOYK: In our book we describe three types of Traps: Primary, Defensive and Personality. Personality Traps are various traits that can make us more vulnerable to wrongdoing. It is important that executives get assessed to be aware of any traits they might have that could make them particularly vulnerable.

APV: Which factor do you attribute the United States’ present economic disarray? Is it possible that some of the country’s economic managers may have been bedeviled by psychological traps?

DR. HOYK: Our present economic crisis was mostly caused by economic factors. Many of the Traps we describe in our book made the crisis more severe, for example Trap 4, Faceless Victims; Trap 12, Conformity; Trap 7, Tyranny of Goals; and Trap 8, Money.

APV: How did you arrive at 45 as the number of psychological traps that every one of us falls prey to?

DR. HOYK: I kept researching, thinking and writing until the book was finished. When I added up the number of Traps, they totaled 45. We believe there are more Traps to discover.

APV: Could you tell us more about the HealthSpan International Foundation, which is the beneficiary of fifteen percent of the proceeds from the sales of your book?

DR. HOYK: HealthSpan was founded by a friend of mine, Jim Katzenstein. Its mission is to improve healthcare in developing countries.

APV: What is an ethical executive?

DR. HOYK: An ethical executive is an executive who is knowledgeable about the 45 Traps we describe in our book. They use their knowledge to create policy within their organization to establish an ethical culture.

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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Uncategorized


Julian Fortaleza plays ‘Teddy Brewster’ in ‘Arsenic & Old Lace’

By Alex P. Vidal

SURREY, British Columbia – Julian Fortaleza, eldest son of Reyfort Media Group chairman Rey Fortaleza, played as “Teddy Brewster“ in “Aresenic & Old Lace,“ a play presented by the Holy Cross Players at the Surrey Arts Center from March 7, 8 and 9.
Written by Joseph Kesselring, the play was a clever combination of the farcical and the macabre, centers on two elderly sisters famous in their Brooklyn neighbourhood for their numerous acts of charity.
“Unfortunately, however, their charity includes poisoning lonely old men who come to their home looking for lodging,“ said the summary courtesy of “The two women are assisted in their crimes by their nephew who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt. Matters get complicated when a second nephew, a newly engaged theatre critic, discovers the murders and a third (homicidal) nephew appears on the run from the cops.“
Other cast of characters were: Rachel Wieners as “Abby Brewster“, Skye Mandin as “Martha Brewster“, “Matthew Winter as “Mortimer Brewster“, Tracy Rouillard as “Elaine Harper“, Alex Kpeglo Hennessy as “Jonathan Brewster“, Sean Jackson as “Dr. Einstein“, Elizabeth Pregal as “Dr. Harper/Officer O`Hara“, Sheena Essuah as “Officer Brophy“, Emma Scholefield as “Officer Klein“, Maria Szabe as “Mr. Gibbs/Lieutenant Rooney“, and Stephanie Nguyen as “Mr. Witherspoon.“


The play was directed by Patrick Chessell assisted by Yolanta Samus. Eva Calendino was constructive critic while set and props coordination members were Andrea Desantis, Olivia Aguiar, and Sandra Bachleitner. Set and props crew were Dayna Cade, Chelsea Franz, Marco Frasca, Korbin Herwig, Tim Lim, Alex Little, Joanna Niemczyk, Michael Roy, Nadeesha Udawatte, Riana Ullattikulam, and Katarina Villar.
Chelsea Franz was the state manager. Hair and makeup were Maryse Garcia, Marishka Kumar, Shantel Sahota, and Genevieve Schollen. Costumes were Jaspher Paras and Rosa Park. Transportation were Bob DeJulius and Robert Samus. Music and Selection was Patrick Chessell and program was Yolanta Samus.

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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


Community devastated by death of 4 Pinoys in Calgary car crash

By Alex P. Vidal

BURNABY — The death of four Filipino temporary workers in a car mishap in Edmonton on March 4 has devastated the Filipino community in Calgary.
“We are still at loss on how to accept the sad news and we continue to mourn until today,“ said Rachelle Antiojo, a hotel worker in Edmonton.
Erlinda Mamora, a nanny, said she was a friend of one of the four saying “she could not come to terms“ realizing how brutal was their death when a suspected drunk driver rammed their vehicle in a head-on collision on the QE II Highway.
Antiojo and Mamora said the whole community continued to mourn “like we lost four members of our own family.“
They were among the hundreds of members of Edmonton’s Filipino community that gathered March 12 night to celebrate the lives of victims — Anthony Subong Castillon, 35, Joey Flores Mangonon, 35, Eden Dalu Biazon, 39, and Josefina Flores Velarde, 52 — all temporary foreign workers from the Philippines.


Three of the four worked at Edmonton’s Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel as did Josephine Gaila Tamondong, 28, the lone survivor who was still confined in hospital.
Friends and co-workers reportedly squeezed between the pews inside the chapel, spilling out into the south Edmonton funeral home.
“They’re the one who starts the joy, the laughter in the morning,” said co-worker Rossel Macapagal. “They boost our morale every day, every morning.”
They dreamed of one day bringing their families to join them in Canada, he said.
Few family members were able to attend the service, but they were still heard, as letters from Joey Mangonon’s wife and eldest daughter were read out, reported the CBCnews Calgary.


“Daddy, for me you are not gone,” one letter said. “For you will always live in my heart. I will always be Daddy Joey’s little girl.”
Josefina Velarde was proud to find work in Canada, so she could send money back to her family in the Philippines, said her cousin Teresa Miflores.
“She’s a person with a good heart,” said Miflores. “She’s a very beautiful person in and out.”

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Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized