Month: May 2016

Scrap temporary status for foreign workers – Migrante

Temporary workers tell of exploitation By Ted Alcuitas Vancouver, B. C. _ The Coalition for Migrant Workers Rights Canada today calls on the government to admit temporary foreign workers as permanent residents and give them open work permits. In a press conference at the B.C. Teacher’s Federation offices, the group press anew their demand for changes to the program,now under review by the federal government. “ I was forced to look for another job and was eventually fired,” a Filipino caregiver from Hong Kong who only give her name as ‘Jhing’, told the conference. ‘Jhing’ broke down while narrating her harrowing experience at the hands of her employer who “held my salary.” She said she paid all her expenses to come to Canada only to end up abused. ‘Jhing’ was able to break free from the situation through the help of Migrante B.C., a local Filipino group that belongs to the coalition. A farm worker, Mexican Otillo Hernandez-Morales, narrated how he was “assaulted” at his work. Speaking through an interpreter, Hernandez-Moralez said he reported the incident to police and the Mexican consulate but nothing was done about it. “They (his employer) offered to transfer me to Ontario but I refused,” he said. WorkSafe B.C. is now investigating the allegations. The temporary foreign worker program has been in the news lately because of the Prime Minister’s hiring of two caregivers...

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B.C. opens trade office in Manila

B.C. Premier Christy Clark opens trade office in Manila By Ted Alcuitas A new trade office was opened in Manila by Premier Christy Clark on Thursday, May 27, 2016. The office is B.C.’s first in Southeast Asia and will support B.C. companies seeking to do business in the Philippines while helping Philippine companies find investment opportunities in B.C. The Philippines is the centre of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and a strategic location for B.C. to begin establishing an on-the-ground presence in Southeast Asia. “We are positioning B.C. to capitalize on the many opportunities in the Philippines, which has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world,” said Clark. “The office opening marks a new chapter in B.C.’s relationship with the Philippines, supporting increased flow of goods, services, ideas and people between our two jurisdictions.” Eva Yazon will be the managing director of the new trade and investment representative office. Yazon was selected through a request for proposal process and joins the office following a career as a business development manager with Austrade, the Australian government’s trade and investment promotion agency. With the opening of the Philippines trade and investment office, B.C. now has 12 such offices located around the world. This international network connects B.C. businesses with new markets and trade opportunities and promotes British Columbia as a stable and attractive destination for investment. Premier...

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Shopping na tayo – let’s go shopping

Researchers studied the ways spending affects our happiness. The results are eye-opening, as this Upworthy ( article finds out. By Ted Alcuitas It can be hard to resist a good sale. Especially when they’re so hard to avoid. The U.S., for example, has more mall space than any other country in the world. No matter which way you turn, bargains will tempt. But don’t be too quick to unholster your credit card because science may point you in a happier direction. A 2015 psychological study out of Cornell University looked at different ways we spend our money and the “hedonic payoff” — the amount of pleasure or happiness we get — of those decisions. “Given a world in which consumers have limited discretionary income (that is, the real world for nearly everyone), an important concern is how they can get the most hedonic bang for their bucks. Although the relationship between money and happiness has been the subject of considerable debate … few would deny that the financial choices people make can influence their well-being. That is, perhaps money can make us happier, provided we spend it on the right things.” The researchers introduce their work with a memorable movie quote that embodies their findings: In the 1942 film “Casablanca,” Humphrey Bogart’s character sends off an old flame with this bittersweet certitude: “We’ll always have Paris.” Retail therapy. It...

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MetroVan Independent News calls it quits

British Columbia   Opinion MetroVan Independent News focusing online By Ted Alcuitas Barely a month after their first year anniversary, the upstart Metrovan Independent News is calling it quits but will continue as a digital paper. In a surprise announcement posted on line on May 13, 2016, publishers Steve and Luisa Marshall broke the news to its readers “with heavy hearts…”, hinting that the disruption could be temporary.( The publishers believe that important things were being ignored by the Filipino media in B.C.’s lower mainland when they started the paper a year ago. It went on the attack, starting head-on with other publishers, most notably the Juatcos of the Philippine Chronicle with exposes of alleged wrongdoings. Arguably, the paper did excellent investigative reporting, earning the support of people in the community while attracting the ire of some. In its anniversary issue Steve Marshall revealed that they were subjected to “Death Threats (sic), Threats (sic) of suing, Unsubstantiated (sic), attacks from other newspapers, full on attacks on Facebook involving supposed leaders in the community all stemming from individuals angry at us for exposing issues they created themselves.” In the same breathe, he admitted that “the newspaper was not for the weak of heart…It takes a lot of work and personal sacrifice to do the job properly. I learned if you stand up for things you believe in there will be a...

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Shishir Inocalla tours world for ‘arnis’

British Columbia Arnis grandmaster Shishir Inocalla in Vancouver for world tour By Ted Alcuitas The original Filipino Ninja Turtle, Shisher Inocalla, will be in B.C. as part of his world tour to promote ‘arnis’, the Philippines’ national martial art and sport. He arrives in Vancouver on May 30 and will be in the following locations: June 15th – Chiliwack , June 17,18,19 – Powell River, and June 24 , 25 with the Richmond New Era Athletics hosting the event. He will be in Michigan on June 4 and Philadelphia in June 5. From July 13-15, he will be in Brazil with brother Dada Inocalla. Inocalla was the first of six men named as Datu (meaning a chieftain or leader) by the late Remy Presas, Founder of Modern Arnis. An accomplished martial artist as well as noted actor, his movie credits include Ninja Turtles, Pinoy Boxer, Five Style Fist, Crazy Kung Fu and The Ultimate Fight. A balisong expert, Inocalla was born in Bicol, Philippines and is the head coach of Arnis Maharlika Filipino Martial Arts World Federation. He was one of four arnis grandmasters (GM) recognized during the 14th death anniversary commemoration last year of GM Remy Presas, founder of Modern Arnis at the San Juan Multi-purpose Gymnasium in San Juan...

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