Sunday, July 30, 2006

Canada and USA groups raise new concern over Death Squads

The Issue over 'Politcal' killings in the country has seen a pair of killings that has raised international concern, Canada's very influentail UCC has brought the issue before the Canadian Government's foreign office in Ottawa.

[].... Canadian Church Calls on UN to Investigate Political Killings
Bulatlat, Philippines - The United Church of Canada (UCC) called on the United Nations to investigate the unabated political killings in the Philippines. ..." []

While North America's United States both government and non-government groups are seeking answers to the killing of a American and the shooting of his filipina wife in Cebu while his two daughters were getting out of a Taxi Cab in Cebu City.

Two story's from the Cebu based edition of Sun-Star;

[] .... "
American shot dead; Pinay companion wounded
Sun.Star, Philippines - Jul 24, 2006
CEBU CITY -- A former American soldier and his Filipina ... a taxicab on R. Duterte Street, Banawa, Cebu City Monday ... Victor Eugene Noe, 68, was killed on the spot ...
US national, Pinay fiancée both shot in the head
Sun.Star, Philippines - Jul 24, 2006
A former American soldier and his Filipina fiancée were ... a taxicab on R. Duterte St., Banawa, Cebu City yesterday ... Victor Eugene Noe, 68, was killed on the spo

The case above is the issue now allegedly being raised by many US based and partner business groups in Cebu, Victor Noe, is something of a well known figure there and the style of the killing coming on the heels of comments the US embassy has made about the death squad type of killings in Cebu seems to have raised more than just the normal level of protest. Washington itself is raising the bar and calling for full disclosure and particioation in the investigation per my US based news sources.

This is all coming as the UNHCR is raising questions on the salvaging and strange killings as well.


Philippines warned to report rights abuses to UN or face sanctions
JURIST - ... the Commission on Human Rights Philippines (CHRP) [official ... Manila has not complied with UN requirements to ... the number of kidnappings and killings of suspected

Manila may face UN action over rights abuse
Gulf Times, Qatar - ... killings, is expected to defeat the complaints because she has majority support in the lower house of Congress. “The Philippines can be blacklisted by the UN

UN may blacklist Philippines for not reporting HR cases
Sun.Star, Philippines - Jul 27, 2006
... cited the failure of law enforcement agencies to stop killings and abductions of left-leaning activists. “The Philippines can be blacklisted by the UN if it ...
RP courts UN blacklist, warns human rights commission chief, Philippines - Jul 27, 2006
... Quisumbing said the failure of authorities to stop the killings and alleged ... left-wing activists might also be considered by the UN as a ... "The Philippines can be ...
Philippines May Face UN Sanctions For Rights Abuse
All Headline News - Jul 27, 2006
... She told participants, "The Philippines can be blacklisted by the UN if it ... 2002 to present, the CHR has investigated 68 alleged cases of killings of left ...
Manila may face UN blacklist over rights abuse
Boston Globe, United States - Jul 27, 2006
... killings, is expected to defeat the complaints because she has majority support in the lower house of Congress. "The Philippines can be blacklisted by the UN ...
Manila may face UN blacklist over rights abuse
Washington Post, United States - Jul 27, 2006
... killings, is expected to defeat the complaints because she has majority support in the lower house of Congress. "The Philippines can be blacklisted by the UN

While government has admitted a need to prosecute some elements of the Politcal system and Police and Military - on a individual level - the other side of the coin is rarely seen - abuses by other groups not identified with government at all. A very good perspective often downplayed by rights groups is this story on FYITV.Net click on picture to launch story.

News image
Special Report

About a Boy

…who lost his parents at age 5, grew up believing in the same revolutionary cause he knew they left him for… only to discover 20 years later that his parents were tortured and buried alive by their own Communist Party comrades on suspicion of being Deep Penetration Agents. —Winona Cueva

Saturday, July 29, 2006

As the crisis in Lebanon is expected to stretch into it's third week of fighting and rocket, airstrikes and artillery crossing the border and pitched gunbattles stretching into almost non-stop action on cable tv's 24 hour channels.

The clear an present danger to the rest of the world - esp. in areas where the spillover could create and in fact some claim has created a climate ideal for those groups seeking to exploit images and recruit more people into radical groups in many parts of the world.

'Godfather' blogger Kelly Collison writes that the new terror recruitment drive might be the price of continued fighting in Lebanon erasing any gains made in fight versus JI and forcing even moderate islamic group members to the folds of more radical organizations: Kerry B Collison

[] ".... Indonesians warn that Israeli attacks could fuel terrorism

Thousands of Indonesians rallied Friday against Israel's military operations in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, warning the West that such violence would only inflame Islamic militants. The protesters, who gathered in several cities across the world's most populous Muslim nation, waved banners calling Israeli and U.S. leaders "the real terrorists." "It's ironic that America shouts about peace and democracy, and then supports Israel when it kills innocent Muslims," said Arief Trisarjono,...' []

Monday, July 24, 2006

A call for unity and harmony


In a mixed atmosphere of a typhoon, several thousand protesters, and,
under a protective blanket of ten thousand police and troops President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, gave a speech ending on a note of reconciliation and focused on programs as well as projects that centered on strong economic gains in the Philippines in the last 22 months.
Focusing as she started her roughly One hour and thirty minute talk on people related issues and programs, she claims the public is more concerned with government programs than politics.

Arroyo left off directly speaking on her critics issues which still center of her legitimacy; keeping those issues off her agenda and spoke on financial gains and the fight versus corruption and the boom of the BPO service economy and technology sectors that are boosting growth with a jump from 2000 BPO jobs in 2001 to over 200,000 in 2006.

Citing 22 Months of solid double digit growth figures in the Philippine Economy.
Saying this next year thanks to reforms and victories over terrorism and ongoing peace talks with rebel groups.

Opposition leaders mostly reacted by downplaying her administrations political gains and focusing on their effort at impeachment with several complaints filed and awaiting action in congress.

Her Critics focused on the issue of alleged illegitimacy of her government and issues of human rights abuses and summery killings of members of the media, grass roots politcal parties, and, labor and leftist leaders.

Other News
2006 State of the Nation Address of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

President Arroyo's SONA (live webcast)

PGMA 2004 Poll win affirmed

PGMA personally welcomes home first batch of OFWs from Lebanon

PGMA's SONA to focus on people, economy

Statement of Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye: Re Filipinos in Lebanon

Statement of the President

PGMA’s 6th SONA to focus on regional development

Mega-regions: NG-LGUs partnership toward RP’s attaining First World status

PGMA issues EO 542 declaring Mindanao container terminal as sub-port of entry

Message of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on 50 years of RP-Japan relationship

PGMA cites 50 years of vibrant RP-Japan partnership

Friday, July 21, 2006

Iran's Ambassador to Manila speaks out on Lebanon

Speaking with DFA Sec. Alberto Romulo in Manila, Iran's ambassador to Manila has voiced his concerns over what he labels "repeated violation of international rules and conventions by the 'Zionist regime', " Referring to the current situation in Lebanon; "If the international community fail to immediately force the Zionists to halt their aggression, not only the stability in the Middle East region but also the global peace and stability would be endangered." The last line seems somewhat ominous, the statement issued by the official Iranian state run news agency went on to say, " He also highlighted Iran's stands on the ongoing crisis and called for unconditional halt to the Zionist attacks and resumption of talks for exchange of prisoners of war between the two sides. "

Romulo, according to the Iranian statement reiterated Manila's Neutral stance in conflict and appealed to all sides to return to negotiations.

Lebanon: Security at Evacuation centers & Damascus road bandits

As thousands of troop to evacuation centers in Lebanon, increasingly in areas outside of Beruit there are reports of Armed bands attacking and robbing groups of refugees as they flese a hapless beruit in some isolated sections of the Damascus Highway.
Reports coming back to Manila and Bangkok from some who have made the trip are concerns over safetly of the land based evacuations.
Lebanese forces are reportedly not patroling areas in large groups for fear of becoming targets to Israeli Jets hiting Hizbollah fighters and some reports are also filtering in of heavily armed Jihadi's slowly drifting into Northern Lebanon through Syria - into Lebanon.
I have not seen these events first hand but agian have only heard these from people who have called radio stations here in Manila - tonight- talking about some refugees being robbed as they make the journey on thier own into Syria.
Once across the Border things are safe reports say- but- in some areas there are increasinly reports of some tourists not traveling with Organized groups out of Beruit running into trouble.
I'm looking into that story as well reports of the armed bands- giving the rise to allegations that some Iraqi Jihadi fighters have begun to Arrive in Northern Lebanon. And reports they are crossing the border allegedly which have been thrown open BOTH WAYS.
If this were the case- and these reports are founded- then the large groups of foreign nationals from Coaltion countries now grouped together may present a nightmare scenario I hope security services are taking into account.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bad to worse in Baghdad: "Neighbors are killing neighbors,” WP

Looking into things related to the crisis in the middle east in Lebanon and scanning the blogs something has been missed of late in the regions major war-zone of Iraq.

Worse by far than the situation in Lebanon and mostly escalating into daily killings and violence of a sectarian nature. Baghdad some say may end up resembling the Enclaves of local armed militias of Beirut of 15 years ago when a green line divided that city which is currently in the worlds focus of attention.

Officials of the Iraqi military say as many as 628 hve been kiiled in 6 days!

The Washington Post reports in part:

[]… “Neighbors are killing neighbors,” ….

After more than a week of some of the most vicious sectarian violence of the war, Baghdad is a skeleton of a city: Many of its shops are shuttered, its streets drained of people. The violence erupted July 9 when Shiite Muslim militiamen rampaged through the al-Jihad neighborhood and killed dozens of Sunni Arabs. By Friday, the sixth day, the death toll in Baghdad stood at 628 people, according to Brig. Gen. Mahmoud Nima of the Interior Ministry, citing a figure that far exceeded the numbers previously suggested by news reports. …. ” [] please read full article here

The major problem there is violence has shifted from Insurgent related actions to direct reprisals over issues as mundane as parking and store shop rivalry. fueled by religious and ethnic tension and sent spiraling with every car bomb and grenade attack the people of Iraq according to this Washington Post report are saying: “We cannot trust anyone.”

The situation in Iraq is indeed a sad one growing worse everyday; Yet in this part of the globe a lot the situations that one threatened to be as bad as some of the fighting in Baghdad have indeed improved in places like Basilan and around parts of the Zamboanga Peninsula, yet violence still manages to break through often for sectarian, tribal;, religious, our poetical reasons still - as the American Chronicle reports.

There was a time when some parts of the Southern Philippine were somewhat albeit on much more local and smaller scale similar to the problems faced by Baghdad’s people.

But violence still continues in many parts of the Southern Philippines, a broadcaster was gunned down in Digos City in Davao Del Sur.

[] Another journalist slain in Philippines
Seattle Post Intelligencer - MANILA, Philippines — A radio broadcaster was gunned down Tuesday in the southern Philippines as he was riding home on a motorcycle, the latest
Journalist Gunned Down in Philippines Voice of America
Broadcaster killed in Digos City ABS CBN News
Broadcaster shot dead Journal Online … []

One can look at a very good source for information on the issues of the Southern Philippines on the blogsite of Zambo based writer now also featured on a LA based blogsite, Jade Verde’s site he has a lot of stories he can share on the situation there in Zamboanga and other places from his years as a journalist based there.

Even from a distance he reports on things i have not really seen that much aired or seen in print here in Manila. His sources are very good. Like on his report on ambush killing of Isabela, Basilan Mayor in March - most reports put the blame on the ASG and other groups or political rivals but he put a peg on the sotry in his report for American Chronicle.

Jade’s report:

[]… “Ustadz Omar Suhod added: “Demolishing the mosque is an attack to Islam. It is our place of worship, and it is the house of God, and destroying the mosque will only bring troubles because the Muslims are angry. We appeal to our leaders to please spare the mosque”.

Mayor Biel was assassinated, and three of his bodyguards were wounded at the front of the City Hall, at around 12.15 PM on Friday of March 3, 2006. The bodyguards fired back and killed the gunman.…’[]

Jade’s other blogsite

Monday, July 17, 2006

“World War III”: Newt and Mahathir both call it…

July 17th, 2006 Edit

There can be no more opposite views of the ‘realpolitik’ that flows in the world than the former Speaker of the House of representatives and the former Malaysian Prime Minister.

Both seem to be reading from the same page and seem to be saying what most in the world do not want to hear… but both are saying looking at today’s news out of the middle east and Lebanon; that the worst is still to come.

Newt :[] …. “Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, this week’s bomb attacks in India, North Korean nuclear threats, terrorist arrests and investigations in Florida, Canada and Britain, and violence in Israel and Lebanon as evidence of World War III. He said Bush needs to deliver a speech to Congress and “connect all the dots” for Americans.” Gingrich says it’s World War III by David Postman… “[]

Mahathir: [] “… Mahathir: The Third World War Is Here by Mahathir bin Mohamad is a daily online magazine and think tank publishing features on the key issues, people, companies and organizations shaping global ….[]
Mahathir calls this ‘a phase’ and even more alarming that World War Four is the next major thing the world needs to fear.

All of this makes for interesting reading to political science students, analysts, and others the news makes sence the pronouncement however by major leaders seems to be something they do not want to do.

Americans and Western Europeans are increasingly shying away from news of the current conflict unable to comprehend for many the total globalization of a war that to them seems to be led by a few men hiding in caves - a image they can’t seem to comprehend - considering how with no waiting, instant lives they live and full gratification provided by the lives and technology offered to them this is not what seems to be a popular theme.

The global scale of this thing has yet to hit home for many. It really all started with a fathwah that dates back to 1995. With a Fathwah issued by the cabal this is Al qaeda and stretches to today.

Mahathir and Gringrich have very different views on the causes and solutions:

[]…” Actually we are in the midst of the Third World War, not the war against terrorists but the war between terrorists and the peace loving anti-terrorist alliance, the war between the Axis of Evil and Satan. … ” []

Mahathir bin Mohamad Adding further:

Out-terrorising the terrorists will not work. But removing the causes for terrorism will.

[]… Both sides are convinced that they are right, that theirs is the fight against evil. Evil and Satan must be destroyed.

Frightened, the world is taking measures to secure and defend at tremendous cost. But the main result is not security or freedom from terror attacks. “…[]

To Newt Gringrich in the Seattle Times;

[] “…. the reluctance to put those pieces together and see one global conflict is hurting America’s interests. He said people, including some in the Bush Administration, who urge a restrained response from Israel are wrong “because they haven’t crossed the bridge of realizing this is a war.”

“This is World War III,” Gingrich said. And once that’s accepted, he said calls for restraint would fall away:

“Israel wouldn’t leave southern Lebanon as long as there was a single missile there. I would go in and clean them all out and I would announce that any Iranian airplane trying to bring missiles to re-supply them would be shot down. This idea that we have this one-sided war where the other team gets to plan how to kill us and we get to talk, is nuts.”

There is a public relations value, too. Gingrich said that public opinion can change “the minute you use the language” of World War III. The message then, he said, is “‘OK, if we’re in the third world war, which side do you think should win?” .… [] ” Gingrich says it’s World War III by David Postman”

Obviously the men are playing to different audiences, obviously one speaks for a voice to rally support around a crumbling leadership in the US whose level of public support and perception of a wider conflict could boost that groups leadership position and salvage party rule.

Mahathir on the other hand the elder statesman speaking from the Mountaintop seems to be more clearly trying to address the root causes and get people to wake up and see the light at the end of the tunnel may be glow and fires of new world war coming he calls World War 4.

Many may have a very narrow view of what occurs and many may see these men as politically icons of two very different backgrounds. indeed they are - one a successful leader in Asia who took a backwater former colony of the UK to a economic standard that has made his country one of the few to become 1st world from the SE Asia’s developing world - with growth still rising.

Newt… well he’s seen a global leader in his time slowly lose its industrial prowess and views the world from the shores of the Potomac’s in either blue or red of US Politics- not global real politik- but both calling it as they see it - both calling for people to recognize this War on Terror for what it is - is indeed a clear view my old teachers told me in Journalism, the old two source rule - makes it clearly something to ponder.

So this is World War III? hmmm… If Einstien is to be followed, the next phase as predicted by Mahathir is WW IV, Albert E. said that will be fought with rocks and stones -perhaps now we know why one side is already hiding in caves.

Oh-Boy…. and just when I was learning to like the Internet.

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized, news, News and politics, health, pirates, News Of China, china, war on terror, Views, India, war, Democrats, Afghanistan, immigration, Filipino, Bush, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., freedom of speech, Buhay ofw, protests, republican, border security, free speech, al qaeda, Dubai, Al Gore, Makati, abu sayyaf, fil-am, filipino-american, Jemaah Islamiah, biird flu, Kulam, World War 3

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lebanon: OFW's warned

Reports coming out of Manila remain hopeful something will happen to broker a peace in the newly erupted rebirth of warfare in a country that was so close the success of peace and rebuilding after more than two decades of violance.

[] ..."Philippine embassy in Beirut has advised the 30,000 Filipinos in Lebanon to “remain where they are but prepare for immediate relocation to safer, pre-designated areas” ..." []

So far reports are not good as fighting is escalating a rapid pace and endangering the threat of a much larger conflict. In fairness to the Israeli's the actions they are taking are not more than punitive punishment for attacks on its territory that have been going on for the past few years. albeit the scale of the reprisals re larger than ever before. It is more than just the kidnapping of the two soldiers by Hezbollah. or capturing as ome sectors call it - of POW's by the group in Lebanon. But the actions of Israel spark concern on many fronts least of all the people who use fossil fuels- which mean's the rest of te world.

Monday, July 10, 2006

OFW Hero from the past: Where is Corazon Amurao?

July 10th, 2006

Corazon Amurao where is she now? And did she have any children? Are there more like her willing to come forth after surviving the ordeal of seeing 7 of your roommates raped and murdered to come forth and shock not only a courtroom but the world with how she with her testimony put away one of the worst killers and rapists who terrorized young women and tortured them in Chicago in 1967.

I often wonder how many others like her out there- hero’s we knew from the past and of late are rarely talked about. So much living the present that we forget the past has so many inspirations to follow in this country. Of people not afraid to stand up and be counted- even if for a time they have to survive by hiding in corner of room under a bed - but then are able to come forward and given the chance show the world who did it! Someday perhaps people like this will be looked upon to talk of things happening now - images they see but for survivals sake keep silent.

Perhaps one day- one will be able to see other Corazon’s, Corazon Amurao’s to inspire and show that justice can be at hand when people are not afraid and perpetrators in a crime caught face them and point and say like she did- ” He did- here is the man…”.

[] … Chicago Sun-Times

She was on the witness stand describing how a man with black clothes, marks on his face and a gun in his hand launched a night of horror with four knocks on her bedroom door. The prosecutor asked her if she saw the man in the courtroom. Corazon Amurao unlatched the door to the witness box, stepped down and walked across the room. “This is the man,” she said, her finger nearly touching the forehead of Richard Franklin Speck. …[]

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized, news, News and politics, asia, philippines, immigration, Filipino, freedom of speech, Buhay ofw, Global Warming, Pinoy, border security, free speech, al qaeda, Palawan, Al Gore, OFW, Makati, fil-am, filipino-american, biird flu

Reports say the tension between fringe groups of both the government (Village Militia units or CAFGU's) and some elements allied to rebel groups in Maguindanao have been repeatedly engaged in attacks on each other endangering peace talks in the area.

[]... " The Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN), group of individuals that advocate and initiate peace and development in southern Philippines, had expressed concern about the rapid escalation of conflict in Maguindanao province in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Reports gathered by the MSN showed that the conflict had escalated from at least 10 villages in Shariff Aguak, Datu Junsay, and other nearby municipalities in Maguindanao. The conflict has escalated since June 28 up to present. " ...[]

The report shows that while the smaller units alliedf mostly to politcal factions may have been the fallout for an attempt on the life of the ARMM governor a few weeks back in Datu Piang town Maguindanao.

This part of the ARMM is relatively loosely in a state of sudden conflicts over 'REDO's' or vendetta clashes. Driving through the area from Cotabato City towards Koronadal one can see a lot of different armed groups in the area aside from the Military and Police and the Rebels.

It is true that in many areas the small armed units are all that keeps the delicate balance of peace of and open conflict at times in this area. Decades of conflict also m,ake it difficult for Government forces to just hop in - many of the fighgts have roots in the Moro Insurgency over time and also Politcal fueds in the area are common.

Yankee Doodles: Exhibit on Colonial period editorial cartoons and art in LA

Not a lot is taught in schools of the period of America’s colonial period during the early 20th century when the USA took control of a few places and ran them as ‘colonies’ albeit for more benevolent than the European counterparts were in Africa. The period was perhaps not the highlight of American history that many schools like to highlight.

Also nor were the policies of those in that period who were treated when they went to the ‘mother or fatherland’ whatever your perspective were often subject to problems of dicriminatory policies that more often than not was not the brightest period of US culture and the period is far overlooked in both popular culture and the media.

I remember once getting lectured about not putting the ‘former colony’ in a report I was doing for CNN -a desk bound producer told me - ‘thats not true -America never had colonies…’ adding further- “that America never was in the Philippines for that long anyhow” - so take any reference to it out of my story on colonial mentality in Asia!

The guy actually now runs a major portion of that networks international operations- scary no? Anyhow- real history has its own lesson please do attend this thing if your in the LA area.

[]… ” Yankee Doodles: American Empire in the Philippines, 1896-1907

Exhibition at Remy’s On Temple Art Gallery
July 8-August 12, 2006 Curated by Abe Ignacio, Enrique de la Cruz, Jorge Emmanuel, and Helen Toribio Opening Reception: 6-9:00PM Saturday, July 8, 2006

Theme:“To the victor goes the privilege of writing history, the glorification of its conquests, and the silencing of the conquered.” …[]

O n the theme of ” Buried in antique collections, libraries, archives, vaults, and private drawers, this exhibition presents an extraordinary album of political and editorial cartoons documenting the establishment of ‘American empire in the Philippines’ at the turn of the 20th century.”

The exhibit am told is interesting for those who oftwn do get a chance to see too much writen about the period and if you are in LA you can contact :

Remy’s On Temple Art Gallery
2126 W. Temple Street
Historic Filipinotown
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Regular Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 12-6:00 p.m. Or by appointment Tel: 213 484-2884
Historic Filipino town is an interesting part of Los Angeles in and of itself coming up on the FYITV.Net is a look at the informal nature of the Philippine Community in the area near what I like to call Brgy. Santa Monica!

Watch for it… On www.FYITV.Net of course

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

News image
Fourth of July:

From 1946 to the mid-60's, the 4th of July was the day that Filipinos marked as Indepdance Day too click on the photo and see... a news feature of WWW.FYITV.NET

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Vblog on AAP 4th of July Party at IS

More 4th fun at AAP party fundraiser at the IS Manila

Mime fun at the 'festival' of fourth fun on the first! Whew what a sentence a lot of people joined in to enjoy and have great time for a good cause at the American Association of the Philippines sponsored event at the International School.

I do have a short video blog in the works and will post that too soon!

Here's some pictures of Scott Nagle sent to mikeinmanila.

It was a good day overall bands, a little bit of speeches but mostly good clean fun.

The booths at the IS offered food and drink there where rides and slides and games and a Dog training show as well.

It was good day overall for many who came by and just savored the fun filled day of enjoyment that happens every year.

I remember attending past events from years ago - a few at the embassy when I was a kid - now that was a long time back - not that long though!

The American Association of the Philippines was
Established in 1949, AAP'’s purpose is the general welfare of United States citizens in the country.

Services include: Social Welfare:
educational, financial, medical assistance;repatriationsn, and RH- Blood Volunteer donor listing.

AAP also sponsors Patriotic Events: George Washington Birthday, 4th of July, Memorial Day and are owners of the American Historical Collection.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

First of July:60th anniversary of Fil-Am friendship

A slightly overcast day...
but the rain waited till after the fireworks. It all kicked off for the Forth of July in Manila for the expatriate US community here.
It was fun and lively hosted as part celebration part fund raiser for the American Association of the Philippines, The civic group that has been helping Americans here for the nearly six decades.

Estimates are about 160,000 American Citizens live permanently here with another 60,000 who drift through at anytime putting it at 200,000 Americans in the Country. It is three days away from the official fourth celebration usually held at the US embassy in Manila but today's was more a "people-kids-community event."
Americans and Filipinos gathered at the IS or International School in Fort Bonifacio. In this former US commonwealth which it's Recognition of independence as a Nation 60 years ago - when US President Harry Truman signed the order that was slightly delayed by World War Two. Today was a lot of fun and was there in force; we'll have the story on the web in short order.
US Ambassador Kristie Kenney opened the event with a short speech at this gathering
the kind of a little bit of the town square stage transplanted to Tagig.
The Photo is a video grab on the left it is of the Ambassador and the American Association of the Philippines members who really do a lot to help those Americans who need it.
Kenney in a interview we'll soon have up on the FYI website seems a more mobile and pro-active Ambassador who seems more at home outside the chancery building which is a good idea she has been from Batanes to Jolo in the short period she's been here so far.

I know of some past people who held her post who almost never left the capital. She seems approachable and more low keyed in many ways.

To most Americans it is independence day to Filipinos it was also for many years till the current presidents father changed it to June 12th - in line with the first declaration of independence from Spain - which by the way was signed also by American Naval officers as witnesses! But it was not until the formal recognition by the US Congress and signed by Harry Truman that the US pulled down old glory and up went the Philippine flag a scene you can on any 100 Peso note by the which took place on July 4th, 1946 at the Luneta.

The Celebration link: US Embassy Website

A Double Celebration on July 4: U.S. Independence and Philippine-American Friendship

Click on photo to see full story
Independence Day is regarded as the birthday of the United States as a free and independent nation. Most Americans simply call it the "Fourth of July," on which date it always falls. July 4 also recalls

the establishment of one of our most important relationships: that of the American and Filipino peoples as close partners from independent but closely intertwined democratic nations. Full Story