Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How to Strike a Balance Between Work and Personal Life

By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.” — Thomas Kinkade

Those words from the late American painter Thomas Kinkade (1958-2012) perfectly describes our cover-story subject in this summer issue of Fil-Am Who’s Who: veteran psychiatric nurse Darlene Dilangalen-Borromeo.

Originally from Lagao, General Santos City, Darlene specializes in mental health and gerontology while raising her family, together with her husband, Jesus “Bong” Borromeo. With more than 30 years of professional experience, she takes pride in what she does. “Whatever project I do or whatever I’m involved in, it’s still about my being a nurse. I’m a nurse first before I became a wife before I became a mother. But all of these come together to define who I am,” Darlene shares more on pages 10-12.

Unlike Darlene, if you find it difficult to achieve a balance between your working hours at the office and your personal time at home, you are not alone. However, there are practical means and ways to attain that elusive balance.

Here are some:

Know Your Limitations: Start delegating your tasks, e.g. research work, presentation materials, among your staff or employees. Also, teach your son or daughter to do the laundry or shop for groceries when you’re away from home.

Prioritize: List down what are the most important to-do list for the day and what can be done tomorrow or by the end of the week.

Eat Healthily: Eat a variety of foods in small amounts. A healthy diet is a key to a sound mind and body.

Put Down Your Mobile Phone: Don’t you realize you’re spending a lot more time on your phone and social media nowadays instead of getting up to exercise, walk your dog, or strike a conversation with your colleagues, friends, and family?

Plan Holidays: Together with your family and close friends, take a short break from work at least twice in a year.

Fil-Am Who’s Who invites its readers to contribute articles, letters, comments, or pictures. Email submissions at filamwhoswho@gmail.com. Please also like us on facebook.com/FilAmWhosWho.

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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Promoting the Philippines

By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

Filipinos around the world are exceedingly proud of the Philippines, warts and all. That’s why when it comes to promoting the country by way of an international television (TV) commercial, everyone seems to have a say in it. Take for instance the most recent falling out between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and a global marketing-advertising agency whose latest collaboration had gone awry because of plagiarism allegations. Plagiarized or not, save for the surprising twist in the end, the TV commercial in question showed nothing really new. Like any other tourism promotional video, it banked on sweeping crane shots of some of the country’s finest tourist destinations and top tourist activities—unfortunately, it didn’t touch upon the other quirkiness of the Philippines such as its food, its numerous languages, or, even, its music and popular entertainment.

Although he never spoke Tagalog or Bisaya at home or school growing up in New Jersey, physical therapy practitioner William Araneta, our cover model in this issue of Fil-Am Who’s Who, is slowly being introduced to the distinct beauty of his home country—thanks to his lovely wife, Giana. Sans the feast-for-the-eye promotional videos or postcards from the Philippines, Giana does this by filling William’s stomach with the best food from the Philippines instead, while, probably, Coco Martin’s “Ang Probinsyano” TV series is playing.

William has also learned to value the language, the food, the celebrities, the music, and more importantly, the people through his Filipino patients at his clinic in Queens. “Over here in Woodside, there are plenty of Filipino restaurants that I wander off to which made me acknowledge the taste of the Philippines,” William mentions in his story on pages 10-12.“It’s [also] fun sponsoring these [Filipino] concerts. You get to see your fellow Filipinos—some of them are my patients–ecstatic and they feel at home and that ultimately makes me happy,” he adds.

To effectively promote the Philippines to tourists, focus on how it stands out from the rest of the world. A case in point is one of my favorite local cities, Vigan. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the City of Vigan, which features nearly 233 Spanish period houses and buildings—standing next to each other in a grid of 25 streets are rather distinct: These colonial houses have had strong Chinese-Ilocano and Filipino influences that the traditional and contemporary Spanish colonial houses found in Latin America never had.

I guess, to truly experience the Philippines is to embrace its charming eccentricities.

Fil-Am Who’s Who invites its readers to contribute articles, letters, comments, or pictures. Email submissions at filamwhoswho@gmail.com. Please also like us on facebook.com/FilAmWhosWho.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Achieving Diversity Step by Step

By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

“Diversity is all about us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together.” – Jacqueline Woodson 

In the city that never sleeps, people in various cultures embrace diversity, inclusion, and equality, which makes everyone feel welcome without trying to change their true selves. Building a world that gives importance to diversity doesn’t happen overnight though. It takes a paradigm shift that may take place at a snail’s pace in order to claim its well-deserved triumphant ending.

That’s why stories of diversity and inclusion in the workplace or in the media—small or huge—merit our attention, especially when you’re among the ethnic minority groups, Fil-Ams included.

Take for instance the recent groundbreaking news that took Broadway by storm: Approaching its 30th year on the Great White Way, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has cast Fil-Am actress Ali Ewoldt, the first person of color to play the coveted role of Christine Daae, together with Jordan Donica, the first person of color to play Christine’s childhood sweetheart, Raoul. Yes, that took nearly 30 long years!

Prior to this enormous feat, Ali, a Yale University alumna, whose mother was originally from the Philippines, made her Broadway debut as Cosette in “Les Miserables” exactly 10 years ago. In “Les Miserables,” She starred opposite Fil-Am actor Adam Jacobs’s Marius. Subsequently—we’re also glad to report that—Adam went on to star in two of Disney’s biggest shows on Broadway: “Lion King” and “Aladdin.”

In the field of public service, another young Fil-Am is taking up the challenge to smash the glass ceiling. He’s Steven Raga, who’s running for an official seat in the Democratic Party in Queens Country, where a lot of Fil-Ams reside such as in Woodside, Jackson Heights, and East Elmhurst. “I find this work of serving others fun and this transition [from community activism to public service] helps me bridge together the Fil-Am community and government agencies in New York,” Steven said.

Steven is seeking public office to give voice to the “greater minority.” And Steven needs our help. Read more on pages 10-12.

In diversity, there is strength in oneness.

Fil-Am Who’s Who invites its readers to contribute articles, letters, comments, or pictures. Email submissions at filamwhoswho@gmail.com. Please also like us on facebook.com/FilAmWhosWho.

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

About Lifelong Learning

By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

In the fairly recent white papers released by the Department of Education and Science in Dublin and the Commission of the European Communities, lifelong learning, a concept introduced in Denmark in the early '70s, pertains to the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.” These studies also state that lifelong learning, which could be in the form of e-learning in front of your computer or continuing education at a traditional school, “not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, as well as competitiveness and employability.”

I couldn't agree more. I myself advocate for lifelong learning for both personal and professional development. In this fast moving world, things change in a blink of an eye! In class at New York University (NYU), I've learned that years before the rise of the Internet and social media, manufacturing companies such as Nestle, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson marketed their brands to their customers based on the former's own agendas and ideologies. However, with the wide influence and effect of social media, tables are turned. Nowadays, it's the customers on social media that are molding the image of many brands. A single tweet from an angry customer, for instance, could go viral and may hurt the brand's image if handled inefficiently and lacked empathy from the brand owners.

As you go through life, you'll realize that there's so much you still don't understand; such could set a precedent for future or lifelong learning.

NYU nurse educator Laura Garcia, who graces our cover in this issue, exemplifies how lifelong learning is important in someone's personal life and career. “Education makes a difference,” Laura explains. “For many years, researchers, practice leaders, and policymakers have recognized that the quality of education makes a significant difference in the level of proficiency in the nursing practice. Nursing education is also associated with patient safety and quality of care.” Read more on pages 10-12.

In this issue, we'd also like to give a fitting send-off to our beloved Consul General Mario De Leon Jr. who has announced that he will end his tour of duty at the Philippine Consulate General New York (PCGNY) on June 30, 2016. ConGen Mario, we're truly grateful for your commitment and dedication to encouraging various Filipino-American (Fil-Am) organizations in the New York Tri-State to leave their indifferences, stubbornness at the door in order to work more harmoniously together.

Thank you, as well, for your unflagging support to our publishers at Fil-Am Who's Who and to all other Fil-Am media groups.

Fil-Am Who’s Who invites its readers to contribute articles, letters, comments, or pictures. Email submissions at filamwhoswho@gmail.com.

Please also like us on facebook.com/FilAmWhosWho.

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Happy Third Anniversary, Fil-Am Who's Who!

By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-in-Chief

From small beginnings come great things.

To veer away from the typical tale of murder, political corruption, and celebrity scandal that is commonly found in tabloids, mainstream TV news, and the Internet, the germ of an idea to publish a magazine, Fil-Am Who's Who, that would instead feature refreshingly uplifting and inspiring life stories of Filipino Americans was born three years ago.

Behind that small beginning, which has branched out to other great things, such as the inception of a full-service media company and a two-city tour of renowned fashion designer Renee Salud's “TatakSalud” last year, were the inimitable husband and wife team of Rolan and Myrna Gutierrez, current Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. (PIDCI) President Dr. Prospero Lim, and the quintessential fashionista Ollie David.

Kudos to you (Rolan, Myrna, Doc. Pros, and Ollie) for being so positive, hardworking, and consistently persistent, which helped us survive the last three challenging years!

Special thanks should also go to our business partners and avid readers in the Filipino-American communities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Without the former's financial aid and moral support and the latter's good word of mouth about our magazine, we could go no farther.

Remarkably, our family of contributing writers is also growing fast! Over the last three years, we've been honored with article submissions from esteemed writers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas, Maricar CP Hampton, Rachel Kelly Davis, Dennis Clemente, and Ria Serrano, among others.

 As Fil-Am Who's Who enters its fourth year, we couldn't be happier.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. (Melody Beattie)

Fil-Am Who’s Who encourages its readers to contribute articles, letters, comments, or pictures. Email submissions at filamwhoswho@gmail.com.

Please also like us on facebook.com/FilAmWhosWho.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Proud Filipino Nurses

By Oliver Oliveros, Editor-In-Chief

Filipino nurses in New York are a dime a dozen, but contrary to the “lackluster value” that the idiomatic expression “a dime a dozen” connotes, these selfless caregivers’ service to their patients is invaluable.

Filipino nurses working abroad, especially in Manhattan and its nearby boroughs, are proud Filipino nurses. Shouldn’t we be proud as Filipinos like them?

On my second year as a graduate student at New York University (NYU), back in 2012, I found myself at one of the clinics at the NYU Health Center on 726 Broadway for my annual physical examination. As a Filipino nurse was about to administer a flu vaccine to me, she asked me (curiously), “Are you a Filipino?” I answered, “I could be easily mistaken for a Thai or a Vietnamese, but I’m proud to be a Filipino!” The nurse’s face lit up, because according to her, it’s seldom that Filipino students at NYU admit that they’re Filipinos.

“They seem to be embarrassed to reveal they’re Filipinos,” she said.

“Not me,” I told her. “And I’m very happy that a Filipino nurse is attending to my needs.”

Accordingly, I’m also very grateful that three superPinay nurses are also gracing our cover in this special Christmas issue of Fil-Am Who’s Who: Sally Nunez, Maria Lea Batomalaque, and Florida Lucas of RN Express Staffing Registry. Sally, Lea, and Florida first worked together at the Amsterdam Nursing Home in Manhattan during their first few years into their nursing careers. They’ve been inseparable friends and business partners since, learning further from each other, as well as drawing strength and inspiration from each other.

“[Filipino nurses] being naturally hard working, caring, hospitable, helpful, and generous set us apart from the others,” said Lea in our cover story. Read more on pages 8-9.

A FRIENDLY REMINDER: We celebrate Christmas to rejoice greatly the birth of Jesus Christ. This Christmas season, let’s avoid too much commercialism; let’s put back Christ in Christmas instead! 

Fil-Am Who’s Who encourages its readers to contribute articles, letters, comments, or pictures. Email submissions at filamwhoswho@gmail.com.

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