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November 24, 2014 @ 3:06 am

Episode 94 (Re-broadcast): “Native Narratives: Chamoru Women Reflect on Thanksgiving”

(hosted by Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero with production assistance of Lydia Taleu)  first aired 11/25/11 and re-broadcast 11/21/14 with the assistance of Marlon Molinos and Alan Grossman). <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving on Guam, an island that is oceans away from Plymouth Rock? Why do our native Chamorus, who share many of the same struggles that Native Americans face, honor this holiday? As an unincorporated U.S. Territory, the people of Guam have adopted this American holiday and have blended it into the local culture, making for a very interesting Thanksgiving table and narrative.

This episode features an in-depth discussion among three Chamorro women educators/writers about Thanksgiving. The discussion is inspired by the theme of an anthology of contemporary native women’s writings called Reinventing the Enemy’s Language edited by Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird. As described in the book’s introduction, “Reinventing the Enemy’s Language was conceived during a lively discussion of native women meeting around the kitchen table. Many revolutions, ideas, songs, and stories have been born around the table of our talk made from grief, joy, sorrow, and happiness. We learn the world and test it through interaction and dialogue with each other, beginning as we actively listen through the membrane of the womb wall to the drama of our families’ lives.” This episode aims to emulate such a discussion.

Sitting around the Beyond the Fence table are host Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, a University of Guam writing instructor who has focused much of her creative and academic work on the struggles and triumphs of the Chamoru people; Desiree Taimanglo Ventura, who also teaches college writing, has studied rhetoric and narratives about women, and is the author of the blog The Drowning Mermaid; and Kisha Borja Quichocho, a writing teacher at both George Washington High School and the University of Guam, poet and Pacific Islands scholar.

In the first half, we discuss how we approach Thanksgiving in our classrooms. We share our students’ reflections on this holiday and discuss the many ways in which the history and struggles of Native Americans mirror the history and struggles of  Chamoru people.  We also address the irony of celebrating a holiday like Thanksgiving on Guam.

In the second half, the discussion shifts to an exploration into the role of native women in preserving culture and keeping native communities alive.  Program guests share their thoughts and poetry about native Chamoru and Micronesian women.

Music selections: This episode features music by native peoples from America and the Philippines.  It opens with a recording of Native youth participating in the Fifth Annual American Indian Market and Powwow in San Francisco’s Mission District. The song “Ome” by Ras K’dee, a Native American hip-hop artist, is featured in the middle of the program. And the episode ends with the song “Champion” by the Filipino hip-hop group Native Guns.

Also found in the middle of the program are three songs selected by University of Guam students who were asked to choose songs that reminded them of Thanksgiving. These songs are “Heaven” by Brett Dennen, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Deff Leppard, and “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette.

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November 18, 2014 @ 3:47 am

Episode 206, “The State Department Boys: Philippine Diplomacy and Its American Heritage”

(hosted by Dr. Donald Platt with production assistance of Vivian Dames,  Marlon Molinos and Alan Grossman) was recorded 11/10/14  and aired 11/14/14.  <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Program guest is Marciano R. de Borja, author of The State Department Boys: Philippine Diplomacy and Its American Heritage (2014). This book is set in July 1946 and focuses on a group of pioneer Filipino diplomats chosen to become the first officer corps of the Philippine Foreign Service. The group was affectionately known as the “State Department Boys.  Trained at the U.S Department of State in Washington, D.C. and at selected American Foreign Service posts, this group played pivotal roles in Philippine diplomacy and helped the Philippine Republic find its place in the international community.

De Borja is a career diplomat who arrived August 2014 to assume his duties as Philippine Consul General in Guam with jurisdiction over the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. He most recently served as Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the Undersecretary for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila. Previously he served as Minister at the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York where he was in charge of Security Council Affairs and the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary Affairs) of the UN General Assembly. He was also assigned to the Philippine embassies in Japan, Chile, and Spain as well as in the Department of Foreign Affairs where he served, among others, as Director for the United States Division.

He finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and European Languages (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines and his M.A. in History and Geography from the University of Navarra (Spain) as a Spanish Foreign Ministry scholar. He has also studied International Politics at the University of Tokyo as a Japanese Government (Monbusho) scholar.

This episode begins with excerpts of the remarks given by Dr. Lilnabeth Somera, Associate Professor of Communication and member of the Philippine Studies Group, at the book launch hosted by the University of Guam on Wednesday, November 15.  This is followed by excerpts of the talk given by Consul General de Borja about this seven year project.  

The interview with Consul General de Borja was conducted by guest host Dr. Donald Platt, a Professor of History at the University of Guam where he teaches several American History courses as well as the History of the Philippines and Recent U.S. Military History.  Platt’s Ph.D. dissertation focused on US-Philippine relations during the 1945-1954 period that overlaps with a portion of the time period covered by de Borja’s book. 

The State Department Boys: Philippine Diplomacy and Its American Heritage is available for purchase online at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training website  and  from Amazon.com. It will soon be available locally at Bestseller Book Store.  

The music selection is one of the sound tracks from "Once Upon a Time in America" entitled ‘Friends’ by Ennio Morricone, selected by Consul General de Borja as the music bed for a short photographic presentation about the “State Department Boys.”

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November 9, 2014 @ 2:14 pm

Episode 205, “Honoring Filipino Veterans”

(hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Alan Grossman) was recorded 8/13/14 at the Agana Shopping Center and aired 10/25/14.    

 

This episode features coverage of the Guam Humanities Council (GHC) panel presentation by Mariles Benavente, Roy Adonay and Capt. Kristen Ramos entitled ‘Honoring Filipino Veterans.” This tribute was held August 13, 2014 at the Agana Shopping Center and was part of the GHC-Smithsonian national exhibit “Journey Stories” and the local companion exhibit, “Sindålu: Chamorro Journeys in the U.S. Military which explores the many significant and often unrecognized journeys of Chamorro men and women who currently or have served in the U.S. military [see Ep. 194 (7/11/14) for coverage of the opening of this exhibit and walking tour lecture ]. The August 13th event expands and builds upon the Sindålu exhibit by highlighting the narratives and contributions of several local Filipino veterans and service members. Comprising nearly one third of the island population, the Filipino community of Guam includes a large number of veterans and service members in all branches of the U.S. military.   

 

During World War II, some 250,000 to 400,000 Filipinos served in the U.S. military in units including the Philippine Scouts, the Philippine Commonwealth Army under U.S. Command (known as the US Army Forces of the Far East, or USAFFE), and recognized guerrillas during the Japanese Occupation.  As of January 2013, ten thousand surviving Filipino American veterans of WWII lived in the United States and an estimated fourteen to eighteen thousand surviving veterans are in the Philippines. The US Government promised these Filipino veterans all the benefits afforded to other veterans. However, in 1946 the U.S. Congress passed the Rescission Act of 1946 which stripped these veterans of the promised benefits. For decades these Filipino veterans, their survivors and supporters have protested this discriminatory treatment and fought for the reinstatement of these benefits with some success, but often too little and too late.  

We begin this episode with commentary (recorded 10/29/14) from Dr. Donald Platt, a professor of history at the University of Guam where he has taught History of the Philippines for 26 years. He also teaches Recent US MilItary History which is a required course for all students in the ROTC program.  He provides an historical perspective on this particular chapter of service of Filipinos in the U.S. military during WWII and the ongoing struggle for recognition, compensation and equity in benefits for these veterans.  

 

In 2008, after nearly 50 years of controversy, the U.S. Congress finally decided to grant the

‘pensions’ promised to the ‘irregular’ soldiers who fought the Japanese in the Philippines  during WWII and their widows.  Mariles Benavente, one of the nine children of the late Honorable Ramon V. Diaz, a retired Superior Court Judge and Catholic Deacon, provides  a little known account of her father who was an attorney and member of the Philippines Commonwealth Army inducted into the USAFFE in 1941.  Judge Diaz was a survivor of the Bataan Death March which followed the formal surrender to the Japanese of some 76,000 American and Filipino soldiers in April 1942.  Diaz emigrated to Guam in 1951 and was the first Filipino appointed to the Superior Court of Guam. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 93, six months after he was notified that his application for compensation as a USAFFE veteran, for which Mariles tirelessly advocated on his behalf, was finally approved. Compensation to many other USAFFE and Philippine Scouts veterans and their survivors have been denied or are still pending. 

 

In her remarks, Benavente references the book, by General Rigoberto J. Atienza (1985). A Time For War:105 Days in Bataan (published by his wife Eugenia S. vda. de Atienza). This rare book was given to her by a friend of her father, also a survivor of the Bataan Death March, the late Antonio Dimalanta,  Mr. Dimalanta was a Philippines Scout veteran and the first president of the Filipino Community of Guam, a non-profit umbrella organization for all Filipino organizations, established in 1955. 

 

Roy Adonay is the current president of the Filipino Community of Guam. Born in the Philippines and raised on Guam, Adonay is the son of US Navy veteran, Anthony Adonay, and the father of a US Marine, Marlon Roldan.  Roy is also a former service member who served in the USAF for four years assigned to AAFB-Guam.  In his presentation, Adonay places the participation of Filipinos in the U.S. military within the context of the history of Filipino migration to Guam.  He also reflects on the parental dilemma of, on the one hand, wanting to affirm his son’s independence and decision to enlist and, on the other hand, being fearful for his son’s safety and the possibility of death and loss. 

 

In January 2013, U.S. Defense  Secretary Leon Panetta removed the military’s ban on women serving in combat zones.  Although implementation of these rules is still ongoing, women are now accepting such leadership opportunities.  Capt. Kristen Ramos,  a second generation Filipino-American, became the first-ever female company commander in the Guam Army National Guard deployed to a combat zone.  She assumed command of Foxtrot Company during deployment in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  This unit was part of the largest mobilization in Guam history with over 600 Guam Army Guardsmen deployed. A product of the local Catholic school systems, she holds a B.A. Sociology from the University of Washington.  In civilian life, she works full-time as the Human Resources Manager at the Outrigger Hotel-Guam.

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November 9, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

Ep. 204, “Chamorros Living Beyond the Fence in Washington State”

(hosted by dåko'ta alcantara camacho with production assistance of Vivian Dames and Alan Grossman) was recorded 9/19 and 9/24/14 in Lakewood, Washington and aired 10/17/14.    

 

Program guests are three Chamorros ---- Bernard Punzalan, Michael ‘Miget’  Tuncap, and Tommy Benavente ---- born and raised on Guam, now residing in Lakewood, Washington. Lakewood, a city of almost 60,000 located between Seattle and Olympia, hosts Joint Base Lewis -McChord (formerly McChord Air Force Base) and Camp Murray.   

 

These three men are actively involved in promoting Chamoru history, culture, and language. They join dåko'ta alcantara camacho, also a former island resident, for two separately recorded conversations in Lakewood. Bernard and Miget talk about the differences and similarities between living in Guahan and in Washington (where there are 29 federally recognized Indian tribes and groups), the challenges of assimilation and retaining Chamoru identity, and the different ways that U.S. militarism and militarization continues to affect their lives.  Miget draws connections between indigenous experiences in illegally occupied Washington State and Chamorros living in the Marianas and reflects on what it means to be a ‘settler’ on indigenous lands in the continental U.S.  Bernard and Tommy discuss the particular challenges for Chamorro veterans and how their service to the U.S. Constitution has shaped their perspectives on colonialism and militarization.  Miget and Bernard conclude by discussing the viability of perpetuating Chamorro culture in the continental US and the future of the Chamorros, as a people. 

 

Bernard Punzalan (Chamorroroots@gmail.com) is the founder and principal investigator of the Chamorro Roots Genealogy Project (http://www.chamorroroots.com).  He is a US Army  veteran and represents the third generation of military service in his family.  He currently  serves as grant manager for medical research, Madigan Army Medical Center.  

 

Michael ‘Miget’ Tuncap (pistudies.institute@gmail.com) is a member of the faculty at Green River Community College and Chair of the Pacific Studies Institute. He is the son of a U.S Air Force veteran,  an educator, community artist and organizer who uses spoken word, hip hop, and political education to raise student consciousness and inspire revolutionary change.  Miget shouts out his political work with Famoksaiyan, a San Francisco area based network of Chamoru activists, scholars, students, community leaders and artists.  

 

Tommy Benavente is a retired US Army veteran whose mother made him enlist at the age of 17.  He is a member of Nasion Chamoru (Chamorro Nation), a coalition which emerged in Guahan in the 1990s of different grassroots and family-based groups connected through a commitment to the protection of Chamoru lands, culture and rights. 

 

Music selections: This episode leads off with a chant, I Tinituhon, by I Fanlålai'an Oral History Project followed by an original rap written and performed by Michael ‘Miget’ Tuncap.  The selections, All Life is Sacred and Tinatuyot, by si dåko'ta alcantara camacho’, are available as a free download at  (http://www.hopontheark.com). Camacho’ is a Chamoru/Ilokano artist and co-founder of ARKiology EDUtainment NETwork.  He uses hip-hop, theatre, dance and ceremony to uphold the sacred lifeways of his ancestors. These songs are on his latest project All Life is Sacred EP, a short mixtape raising awareness and support for the Our Islands Are Sacred campaign.

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October 15, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

Episode 203, “Marshallese Poet Speaks To World Leaders at U.N. Climate Summit”

hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Alan Grossman was recorded 10/7/14 (via Skype) and aired 10/10/14.  

Program guest is poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (jkijiner@gmail.com) who was selected from 544 nominees submitted from 115 countries to speak on behalf of civil society at the opening ceremony of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City on September 23, 2014.  Kathy, age 26, is a writer, journalist, educator, environmental activist, and spoken word artist born in the Marshall Islands and raised in Hawaii. While in New York City, she also joined over 300,000 for the historic People’s Climate March which was remarkable in its scale, diversity and leadership. 

In the first half of this episode we re-broadcast my first interview with Jetnil-Kijiner earlier this year,  Ep. 177 “Nuclear Remembrance Day- Remember, Recommit, Resist” which aired 2/28/14.  This commemoration of Nuclear Remembrance Day includes her performance of two poems The History Project and Tell Them, as well as commentary on her essay “Reflections on Nuclear Survivors Day”.  [For these and other works, see Iep Jeltok, a basket of poetry and writing from Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner [http://jkijiner.wordpress.com]

The second half is introduced through the narration by Morgan Freeman of the U.N Climate Summit opening film of inspiration and hope entitled, What is Possible. In the 10/7/14 interview conducted via Skype with Kathy in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, she provides the backstory to her selection and her  decision to speak as a mother, the preparations, the performance, and audience response.  She also comments on the People’s Climate March and the efficacy of the U.N. Climate Summit and shares her hopes for regional and global action.  This interview includes her presentation and performance of her poem, Dear Matafele Peinem (the name of her baby daughter).  Kathy also comments on a video posted on YouTube by the Republic of the Marshall Islands President, Christopher Loeak,  making a plea to world leaders ahead of the UN Climate Summit, which we also include.  President Loeak was reportedly the first among world leaders to confirm his attendance at this Summit.

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October 13, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

Episode 202, “In the Shadow of the Fence – Military Influences on Guam’s Artists”

(hosted by Tali Ariav with production assistance by Alan Grossman was recorded on 8/8/14 and 9/19/14 and aired 10/3/14.  

Program guest in the first segment is David Iglinsk, a musician who first came to Guam in 1979 during his military service; he ended up making Guam his home and became a key  contributor to developing the island’s rock scene in the 1980s and 1990s.  His service in the US Navy allowed him the opportunity to hone his musical talents in the Pacific.  David’s children grew up in Guam; his daughter Sirena Rose, our second guest, is continuing in her father’s footsteps as a musician. Her maturing vocal, songwriting and musical talents are solidly grounded in the rhythms and instruments of the Pacific islands.  We’ll hear songs from David’s days as a performer in the 1980s, as well as Sirena Rose’s more contemporary musical compositions.

Following our discussions with David and Sirena Rose, we talk with Raphael “Raph” Unpingco, a local artist who served with the Guam Army National Guard for a number of years.  Raph’s encounters with the military stimulated a return to his Chamorro roots and language, as well as bringing him opportunities to explore his artistic skills and interests.


Musical selections:  “Tropical Girl” by David Iglinski; an original song by Sirena Rose; and “One” by Metallica.

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October 7, 2014 @ 2:23 pm

Episode. 201, “Peace Photography Post-9-11”

(hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Samantha Marquez- Dauglash and Alan Grossman) was recorded 9/11/14 and aired 9/26/14. 

Program guest is Sylvia C. Frain (Sylviacfrain@gmail.com), a California native and researcher in Visual Studies & Peace and Conflict Resolution, specializing in how local photography projects and visual story-telling contribute to peace building processes.  She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.  This interview was recorded in Guam on 9-11-14.  This day in 2001 was a pivotal moment in Frain’s decision to study peace building and continues to mark significant moments in her journey.  She was on Guam, her fourth visit since 2012,  planning research on the use of visual images by Guam youth within the context of increased militarization of the island as part of the US Asia-Pacific Pivot.  

In this interview she talks about the roots of her environmental activism, her freshman year at Hawaii Pacific University, the impact of the 9-11 attacks on her as a young American, her decision to pursue global studies the University of California-Santa Barbara, and participation in the Semester at Sea program.  This segment includes several clips from a 15 minute documentary film The Recruiting Practices of the U. S. Military after 9/11 which she produced and directed while an undergraduate student.  In the second half, she discusses her thesis, Peace Photography in Post-Conflict Settings: Focusing on Peace Building in Timor-Leste which she completed in 2012 as part of her Master’s of International Studies (Advanced) in the field of Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, and her current interest in the use of visual images by Guam youth engaged in resistance and peace building.  She plans to return to Guam in June 2015 for further resistance research.    

Music selection:  Ba Futuru/For the Future Peace Song.  This song is from a music album and video produced by the NGO Ba Futuru, Timor-Leste's preeminent local child protection and peace building organization, to promote the music and culture of Timor-Leste and to raise funds to support Ba Futuru's various activities to improve people's lives, especially those most vulnerable to violence, In Timor-Leste.

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October 1, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

Episode 200 “Fourth Guam International Film Festival (GIFF)”

(hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Alan Grossman) was recorded 9/7-9/16/14  and aired 9/19/14.  

 

The Guam International Film Festival (GIFF) is scheduled to run its 4th annual Fall event starting Tuesday, September 23, through Sunday, September 28, 2014 at the Agaña Center Stadium Theatres. For 2014, GIFF will showcase over 50 films, including films from 2014 Festival de Cannes, Sundance, Busan, Toronto, SXSW and more. 

 

Program guest in the first half  is Kel Muna (kel@guamfilmfestival.org) who, together with brother Don Muna, are the Executive Producers and Founders of the Guam International Film Festival (GIFF).  They are the producers/directors of Shiro’s Head, Guam’s first locally produced and internationally acclaimed full length feature film and the  2014 feature length documentary Talent Town which examines the “current motivational landscape” for artists on island. Mr. Muna is an independent producer, writer and director with over 14 years in the multimedia trenches. 

 

Muna talks about the relevance to this program of  Talent Town and three GIFF 2014 offerings: (For God’s Sake)- Every Drop Matters!, filmed in Mumbai; Conscription, another short narrative, from Japan; and the epic underwater adventure Revolution from Canada, which is the featured film on the closing night, Sunday, September 28.  Muna also discusses several of the 11 Made in the Marianas category, which sets a GIFF record for the most Guam-produced films in one year.  

 

In the second half of this episode, we talk with two new local filmmakers whose films were selected for the Made in the Marianas category: 

 

Jillette Leon-Guerrero is a former Executive Director of the Guam Humanities Council, now a freelance writer and researcher focusing on the history and culture of the Marianas.  Her three online sites [Guamology.com, Guamhistorybuff.com and acrossthewaterintime.com] contain information on the island of Guahan and its people.  She is currently working on a historical novel of island life through the eyes of the Leon-Guerrero clan.  You may view her first film, a documentary entitled Across the Water In Time on opening night, Tuesday, September 23 at 6:15 p.m.  

 

Kent Velesrubio is a 17 year old senior at St. John’s School, who loves photography and is an avid stage actor, director and president of the St. John’s Drama Department.  He is a self-described  ‘movie geek’  who began filming on Youtube when he was 12.  He is the writer, director, producer and lead actor in his narrative film, The Psyche of Manson which was nominated for Best in the Marianas.  It premieres on Saturday, September 27 at 8:30 p.m. 

 

Talent Town will be showing for exhibition only from September 23-October  7, also at the Agaña Center Stadium Theatres.  [For a complete listing and show times for Talent Town and GIFF, go to www.guamfilmfestival.org

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September 28, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

Episode 199, “The Intersection of Indigenous Rights and Militarism”

(hosted by Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad with production assistance of Marlon Molinos and Alan Grossman) was recorded 8/7/14 and aired  9/12/14.     

On September 22-23, 2014, the United Nations will hold a high level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to be called the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples at its headquarters in New York City.  This conference is an opportunity for indigenous peoples throughout the world to negotiate with U.N. member states their terms of engagement as these two entities move towards the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2007.  While the declaration was passed by an overwhelming majority of votes, there were four countries ---including the United States --- who initially opposed the Declaration.  

This episode features a conversation with former Guam senator, Hope Alvarez Cristobal, who has been a champion for Chamorro rights for over three decades.  She has elevated the discourse of the state of Chamorro affairs to the United Nations testifying before the 4th Committee and the C-24 or Committee on Decolonization, as well as participating in bi-annual regional seminars and the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Her more recent testimonies to the United Nations have discussed the ongoing and cumulative impacts of U.S. militarism, including the proposed Guam Military Build-Up,  on the rights and well-being of Chamorros.  Ms. Cristobal is a  2014 Democratic Party candidate for the Guam Legislature.  

The host for this episode, Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad, a member of the Guam Commission on Decolonization, will be representing Guahan at the 2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. 

Music selection: Fanohge Chamoru (National Anthem of Guam) sung by children in the Hurao Cultural Program.

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September 3, 2014 @ 5:14 pm

Episode 198 “USP4GG Global Protest Against China’s Claims in the West Philippine (South China) Sea”

(hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Marlon Molinos and Alan Grossman) was recorded 8/18-22/14 and aired 8/29/14. 

On July 24, 2014, Filipinos around the world were called to stage protests in front of China Embassies and other peaceful rallies to support the Philippine government’s position against China’s aggressive territorial and maritime claims in the West Philippine (South China Sea) 

July 24 marks the second anniversary of China’s creation of the Sansha prefecture with a vast jurisdiction that includes islands and reefs which the Philippines also claims.  Since the formation of this prefecture, China has increased provocative moves against the Philippines including the occupation of Scarborough Shoal denying access to Filipino fishermen and dispatching Chinese frigate to Ayungin Reef.  China has also  constructed a military garrison in Mischief Reef (about 85 miles from Palawan)  and is reportedly planning to build a military base on Mabini Shoal in the Kalayaan Island Group, near Pagasa Island.  

The U.S. Pinoys for Good  Governance (USP4GG) has been at the forefront of global organizing among Filipinos in the diaspora to protest China’s ‘bullying’.  Its mission is to promote good governance in the Philippines (the 12th most populated country in the world with a population of 100 million) by seeking ways to increase the positive political influence of the estimated ten million Filipinos living and working abroad.  It has supported multilateral diplomatic approaches to resolving this maritime and territorial conflict and now supports the Philippines’ petition to a United Nations endorsed tribunal seeking a durable solution to this dispute. 

Program guests are three representatives of the USP4GG which has led this global viral campaign to put pressure on China to back down: Loida Nicolas Lewis, Ted Laguatan, and Dr.  Celia Lamkin.  All three Filipino-Americans were active in the campaign to elect Benigno Aquino III as President of the Philippines and were invited guests at the state dinner given for President Barack Obama on his visit to Manila in April 2014 to sign the Enhanced Defense Cooperative Agreement (EDCA) to support the US Pacific Pivot. The U.S. has been vague about whether this mutual defense treaty with the Philippines covers the islands in dispute, whereas it has repeatedly said the East China Sea islands fall under its security treaty with  Japan. 

Loida Nicolas Lewis is the national chair of USP4GG based in New York City.  She is a lawyer, global entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader.  This interview includes an audio clip of her Call to Action for Filipinos to participate in the global protest against China aggression on July 8, 2011.[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgPcunivDXg].  She led the July 24 protest in New York City in front of the United Nations. 

Ted Laguatan is the national co-founder, legal counsel and spokesperson of USP4GG. Together with Nicolas Lewis and another activist lawyer Rodel Rodis,  USP4GG national president, Laguatan founded the Global Diaspora Council  (GFDC) and helped Filipinos in Europe to establish the European Network of Filipinos (ENFID), the only umbrella organization of Filipinos in Europe.  Laguatan heads an ethics based law firm in the San Francisco Bay area where he practices human rights law.  He is also a regular columnist for various publications including the Internet edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer which has a readership of millions.  He organized the July 24 protest in San Francisco. 

Dr. Celia Lamkin is chairperson of the Marianas Chapter of USP4GG.  She is a  retired physician and health and human rights advocate who has lived in Saipan for 20 years.  She organized the simultaneous July 24 rallies held in Saipan and Guam, as well as previous actions related to this cause.   

Music selection: Change the World by Filipinos Unite[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L58Fs-P-K8], a collaboration of Filipino artists calling for peace, unity and awareness in the face of international military aggression against the Philippines over the West Philippine (South China) Sea.  

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