Letter to the EditorDear Tony,

First off, congratulations on the completion of four years of publication. Each issue is substantive both with local news and with Philippine news, and you can’t beat the price!  I know you love journalism, it’s obvious in your columns, and it is obvious you were one of the good guys as a reporter in the Philippines.

I looked though at your Editorial, “It is time for a change in our editorial policy”, and my stomach churned a little.  Reporting, without any possible solutions is like muckraking with no solutions  I believe your issues are substantive: Sports leagues unity, floundering healthcare services especially with recent laws limiting administrative overhead, and the local medical missions to the Philippines.

I also see (as an issue) the many Christmas parties that compete with Rizal Day so that attendance in the 1960s of 600-1,000 people when the Filipino community was much smaller has now dwindled to less than 400 this past December.

I also see the few students at Paaralang as a disappointment. Second- and third-generation kids should understand their culture and history, especially Filipino-American history. It wasn’t that great. They learn in public or parochial schools about discrimination against African Americans but never about lynching of Filipinos on the West Coast, and the segregated and discriminatory conditions they faced.

The Detroit Free Press editorials are often popular because these criticize programs and individuals. They don’t brag often about the good that has occurred. Negativism in journalism sells.  Muckraking sells.  But you’re not selling your newspaper.  You’re giving it away. Don’t copy Detroit’s editorial practices completely.  It will result in a misuse of your skills demonstrated over the past four years.

Your column on Dr. Ernie Mac only touched the surface of an unbelievably generous woman, but I think her Paaralan support goes back to at least 30-35 years. She and her family gave unbelievable amounts of resources for PACCM’s programs. She realizes the value of young Filipino Americans understanding their roots.  She supports services to seniors as well through the Center.  And often people aren’t aware when she bails out a program, because few know that again, she has covered a program’s needs.

I would love to see those kinds of columns, too, including on:  Stella and Joe Evangelista, Orlie Sison, and the unbelieveables – Tony Kho and Becky Tungol — for their unselfish community service hours weekly for at least 30 years.  They walk the talk.  Tony especially when he didn’t like how the Center was doing — physically or income-wise — instead of just complaining about it took over the center as president and made many of the changes he thought were necessary.

I hope also that you will continue writing editorials on the Philippines.  Many of Michigan’s Filipinos are reacquiring Filipino citizenship.  With that goes the requirement of voting at least in the national elections.  The quality of leadership in the Philippines is important to its future.

Another interesting editorial should be about the U.S.-Philippines tax treaty.  Contrary to what has happened to Manny Pacquiao with the (erroneous) freezing of his bank accounts, what you make in the U.S. is taxed in the U.S. and what you make in the Philippines is taxed in the Philippines. There is no double taxation.

JEFF JENKS 

Editor’s note: Mr. Jeff Jenks is an American, but from our viewpoint, he is more of a Filipino than an American. He is married to a Filipina (Lenlen) from Davao and he constantly visits the Philippines. He is the owner of a travel agency, TRAVEL IS FUN (tel. 248 546-3361, [email protected]), which has been selling “travel to/from Asia and the Philippines since 1978.” 

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