Heroes at the AAJF

I discovered some heroes this weekend at the Asian American Jazz Festival:

Paul Im — the brain of the AAJF who had a vision and turned it into a reality without any reservation; the man who sold his horn to help finance the festival.

Abe Lagrimas, Jr. –- the hardworking, super humble, multi-instrumentalist virtuoso who performed three days in a row, three consecutive sets during the closing and did not miss a beat and performed each set with utmost professionalism and passion.

Hiromi –- she made me feel good to be alive.

The Charmaine Clamor Team, my musical family –- for their generous support when I needed it the most.

 

Photo courtesy of: Scott Mitchell

This letter will guide you on what to give to the Philippine typhoon victims

 Overseas Filipino Council International (OFCI) is an organization I joined a year ago. I am sharing this letter from our President to give you guidance on what to donate to the victims of typhoon Ondoy & Pepeng. Thank you for your time & continued support of our kababayans. – Charmaine 

 

OFCI distributed relief goods in Marikina, using some of your monetary donations and donations in kind. I personally went to the site and looked at the devastated place with the help of some friends and leaders of PPP and OFCI  in Marikina. 

Let me tell you that this reaching out will never happen if we did not get help from some of you.  Through the initiative of our OFCI Treasurer, Carlos Caramanzana from NY,who provided the seed money of $300.00, I was able to buy laundry soap, toothpaste, canned foods (not sardines), from Lou Arsenio’s friends and workers, they donated Soap for Alipunga (what is Alipunga in English? Fungus? Athlete’s Foot, Virus?  and lots of used clothings, that were washed and ironed.  We went out of our way, to use some household money for laundry.  Down the first floor of this Cityland Tower there are 3 laundrymats that accomodated the laundering of those clothes.  OFCI wants to restore the dignity of those people, if we give, we want to give wholeheartedly, we gave them clean clothings.  I learned from my husband that giving should not mean giving rejects, which according to him ” I WILL NOT EVEN GIVE THOSE TO MY WORST ENEMY".  If you have read my posting to all, I criticised those outfits that gave 2 cans of sardines, one kilo of rice to the people of Marikina. Why give them canned foods and rice when they can not even cook?  No electricity!  Buy all the foods from the food courts and distribute them to each households, that would relieve hunger and frustrations. 

Anyway, we are not even done yet, there are people waiting for help in the provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Baguio, Pampanga.  An appeal is going on, I will be going to Pangasinan, La Union,  possibly not Baguio,(Our Rotarian friends , Tom Panis, Joanne Tan and the rest are helping, I am scared of the Landslide), if there are some goods to  be delivered. How I wished we are as big as the ROTARIANS. 

 

We have members monitoring my well beings, I looked stressed out, my gray hair is showing (no money to buy Revlon Hair Coloring, expensive in the Philippines, Chuchi, forget the strawberry shampoo, can you include Revlon hair coloring? A little on the lavender side please), but not to worry, it is just showing my age, the health is still very good. Help me keep up my dream, I need another 30 years, and another ROYAL KISS from the KING OF BRUNEI.

 

Here are the places where you can send your donations – Bank of America, OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL , and FRANCISCO AGUILAR’S OFCI Philippine account… I will send you the account number upon requests please.

 

The pictures I am sharing with you were just taken for documentation for OFCI, We did not request photoshoots or publicity, it is enough for us to be able to show our donors some pictures.  We were actually in the site of the disaster and will continue to do so.  No paid staffs, we dig into our pockets to be able to help. I will be back to Marikina on Sunday and Jun Aguilar I hope can join me to make a survey and distribute merienda.

 
And as a closing, I would like to invite you, to join OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL an organization that is action oriented. a YEAR’s membership fee is $10.00, Lifetime is $100.00.

Anita Sese-Schon

President, OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL, HQRTR, WASHINGTON STATE

Members are from around the world.

Lyndale Beng Causing, President, OVERSEAS FILIPINO COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL, Philippine Chapter.,

 

 

 

My Personal Healthcare Story

I consider myself a relatively healthy person. I eat sensibly and engage in moderately-intense exercise at least 3 times a week. Before diving into the strange world of show business, I worked full-time as a physical therapist; I had excellent health insurance.

About 5 years ago, when I began my solo singing career in earnest, I had to leave the comforts of a regular income and health care benefits. During this time, I was diagnosed with benign breast cyst. Here I was, a young, healthy female, and I could not get insurance (after Cobra). Transitioning to a full-time career as an artist was one of the hardest decisions in my life, and I would hate to discourage other Americans not to pursue their passions because of health care. I almost did, but because I was so passionate about music I persevered, continuing to try to get health insurance after many rejections.

After one year of being uninsured (and being very scared about it, as I had always had health insurance!) I was finally approved by a company that gave me limited access and was very expensive. As an artist who was starting out in the business, I was paying close to $500-a-month on health insurance, with a high deductible. I know firsthand that there is definitely something wrong with our system and it needs to be changed NOW.

I took care of my health – no doubt about it – and I am a strong advocate for personal responsibility. But there are many illnesses that are beyond anyone’s control.

How do you take care of your brothers and sisters? Health care is a necessity. If we can finance a very expensive war, I know we can do the same for America’s health!

I’d like to hear your healthcare story. Email me: charmainesings@charmaineclamor.com

Charmaine Clamor Wins 6th Annual Asian Heritage Award in Performing Arts

On July 25th, aboard the USS Midway in San Diego Harbor, I won the 6th Annual Asian Heritage Award in Performing Arts. The experience was made even more special by the attendance of the Guest of Honor, Major General Antonio Taguba, the Filipino-American hero who delivered the brave military report on the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

Friends, it sounds like a cliche but it’s the absolute truth: I could not have done it without you. THANK YOU. I am profoundly touched and inspired by your support.

Health Care Reform Needs You Now

Please call your senators right now and ask them to support President Obama’s three principles for real health care reform. If you live in California. Please call:

Senior Senator Dianne Feinstein at 202-224-3841

Junior Senator Barbara Boxer at 202-224-3553

(Not your representatives? Go here to look them up:

http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/callcongress/healthcare/?source=20090707_HC_Call)

These calls are an easy but powerful way to make a difference. Just tell whoever answers the phone that you’re a constituent (mention what city you’re calling from), and that you’re counting on your senator to support real health care reform, which must:

1.Reduce costs 2.Guarantee a choice of plans and doctors — including the choice of a robust public insurance option 3.Ensure quality, affordable care for every American

Remember, this is not a fight between Democrats & Republicans. This is for all of us.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Charmaine

Health Care Reform

I think we all can agree that our country needs to repair its healthcare system, and the time is NOW. What we have just does not work.


I believe some of you know that I am a licensed physical therapist, and I continue to supervise a physical therapy clinic once or twice a week when I am in town. As a physical therapist, I find myself being dictated to by insurance companies. They decide how many times I may treat a client. The insurance companies do this because in the past many health care professionals overutilized the health care system and ordered extravagant treatments, tests, and,yes, physical therapists visits that were often unncecessary. Because of the defensive strategy of insurance companies, many clients are currently not getting the treatments that they need. I’ve seen cases of elderly clients being sent home although they do not have the means or skills to live independently. Some of them end up breaking their hips from a fall — and must be readmitted to the hospital. I see workers being sent back to work still unhealed, not ready for the job duties they have to perform. They end up reinjuring themselves. Clients on MediCal get fewer visits than clients who have better insurance coverage. I have to spend a lot of time on paperwork trying to get authorization for treatments and equipment for my clients. And many times these treatments are unpaid.

I don’t consider myself an angel. Maybe I can spend more time on patients because I don’t have children — other than my recordings!… I don’t have the exact answer. But how about other healthcare professionals? Do you think all of them are fighting hard to get their clients the treatments they need? By the way, paperwork often means writing justification that a certain intervention is needed, then following up with phone call after phone calls. While all of this is happening, the client waits.


I recently attended a meeting in which health care reform was discussed. Nothing I heard there surprised me. Because of our broken system, people are dying from preventable causes; people are going bankrupt from hospital bills; hospitals are laying off people and closing because clients cannot pay for their health care. Meanwhile, a health insurance agent announced that Blue Shield will be increasing its premium by 20% in two months.



President Barack Obama wants a bill at his desk on health care reform by August of this year. We need our politicians to hear our need for a reform! And most important, what kind of a reform we need. I am in favor of single-payer universal health care: Everyone will have health care. This will also take out profit from the equation so that health care professionals can just focus on what they were trained for, that is, to TREAT the ill. And, of course, prevention.


People all over the nation started meeting to talk about the change that we need. Join us! On June 27th , all over the United States, a health fair is being launched. Part of this health fair’s goal is to serve the needy, and the other part is to show in numbers that health care reform is something that we can NOT put off any longer.

We need you! This is the time to speak out. To join, email Stacy Cohen: stacy@30barack.com

For more information: www.30barack.com