Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Yakuza member arrested for stabbing 2 Pinoys in Yokohama

An upper-level member of an affiliate gang of the Inagawa-Kai, Japan's third-largest yakuza group, was arrested for allegedly stabbing Filipinos in Naka Ward in Yokohama in October last year, reports said.
Fuji News Network, as translated by Tokyo Reporter, reported on Sunday that Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested Taishi Hatekayama, 31, for stabbing two Filipinos, aged 31 and 29, and two others.
A previous report by TV Kanagawa said the four injured were part of a group of 10 Filipinos whom restaurant manager Junpei Saito, 34, quarreled with.
Hatekayama stabbed the men in the abdomen with a knife during the incident, the report said.
Tokyo Reporter reported that Hatekayama and Saito were previously arrested "on the same charges in the stabbing of one of the other four victims in the same incident."
Saito denied his participation in the incident while Hatekayama told police that he did not intend to kill the victims when he attacked them.
Hatekayama was charged with attempted murder. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

Fil-Am killed in Friday the 13th shooting in Texas

Friday the 13th turned really bad for a Filipino-American in Vidor, Texas, after he was shot dead by his landlord following an argument, reports said.
report on 12News said Chris Nicolasora, 38, was shot by James Adrian McClelland, 68, around 9:30 p.m. in McClelland's house on the 1300 block of First Street last Friday.
Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll told 12News that an officer patrolling near the shooting saw Nicolasora run out of the house after a gunshot.
separate report on Beaumont Enterprise said Nicolasora was "clutching his chest" when he collapsed on the front yard of the house.
DeAnna White, Nicolasora's girlfriend of three years, told 12News in an exclusive interview that her boyfriend checked on McClelland because he thought their landlord was inebriated.
She said they considered McClelland as a friendly person who once said he "loved Chris and the Filipino People," and had also told them that he "was going to be a father figure [to Nicolasora] and teach him how to do things."
White said Nicolasora became homeless after he fell into a diabetic coma years ago. He struggled to make ends meet for years until recently, when he was able to move them to a trailer next to McClelland's house two weeks ago.
McClelland was charged with murder but posted a $100,000 bond Saturday and was released from custody.
Police did not confirm if the suspect was inebriated during the time of the incident. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

Japan approves residency for foreign caregiver students

A law allowing foreign students at nursing care schools to apply for residency in Japan after being certified as caregivers will come into full force this year to plug the Asian country's need for caregivers, a report on Kyodo News said.
The report said the amendment to Japan's current immigration law was made to simplify requirements from previous agreements between the country and the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Prospective caregivers previously had to have at least three years of work experience and pass the national qualification exam in their fourth year before they can obtain resident status in Japan.
Kazuhiko Mashiko, a senior official of the Japan Association of Training Institutions for Certified Care Workers, said accepting foreign students to Japan "will also be part of international contribution."
Junya Ishimoto, chairman of the Japan Association of Certified Care Workers, said, “So long as (aspirants) obtain qualification, their nationality does not matter."
The report noted that the number of foreign students in nursing care schools increased seven-fold from 34 in 2011 to 257 in 2016.
About 15 more students from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Nepal enrolled at the Japan Welfare Education College in Tokyo last spring, while the Kansai College of Social Welfare in Osaka will welcome 30 students this year.
Nursing care schools said the increase in foreign students made up for the decline of Japanese enrollees as Japan-based students only comprise 46.4 percent of the quota or 7,752 as of April 2016.
In spite of the new rule, qualifying as caregivers remain elusive for foreign students due to language and cultural barriers. The Kyodo News reported that only 50.9 percent of foreign examinees passed the national qualification exam in 2015. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Young Pinoy filmmaker gets praise from Michelle Obama

A Filipino teen earned praises from US First Lady Michelle Obama after he received an award for filmmaking late last year.
Photo from Rafael Bitanga's Facebook page
Rafael Bitanga, who is based in Alaska, was among the awardees mentioned by Mrs. Obama during her speech at the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards held at the White House in November.
"Like so many young people who've immigrated to this country, Rafael worked hard in school and quickly established himself as a leader and a role model," Mrs. Obama said of the 16-year-old student.
It was Mrs. Obama's last arts and humanities awards as first lady. Her husband, President Barack Obama, is set to step down from office on January 20 after serving two terms.
report on KTVA Alaska said through the Baranov Museum and Film Intensive, Bitanga became both a filmmaker and a photographer.
"He even started his own photography business to help support his family," Mrs. Obama noted in her speech.
Bitanga, according to his Facebook page, is the director of photography at Bitanga's Photography.
In the KTVA Alaska article, Bitanga said he considers his fellow kids in Kodiak, Alaska, as his inspiration.
"I like to improve not only myself but also my peers, since Kodiak is an island where kids don’t have much to do. So what I try to do is get us together and work instead of doing drugs," he said.
The report said Bitanga was only nine years old when he and his family moved to Alaska.
Aside from being a filmmaker and photographer, Bitanga is also a cellist and a pianist. —KBK, GMA News

Pinoy resto hailed as one of Ottawa's best

A Filipino-owned café and restaurant has been selected as one of the best restaurants in Ottawa by a noted food critic in Canada.
In an article on Ottawa Citizen newspaper, food critic Peter Hum described Tamis Café as among the “more humble [sic] but worthy mom-and-pop joints” in Ottawa.
Located in Ottawa's historic and elite Glebe neighborhood, Tamis Café is owned by the Sare family — Lito and his wife Liza, and their daughters Jessica and Jiselle. The family came to Canada in 2001.
In his article which came out last year, Hum noted how "Tamis Café brings [the] sweet, savoury tastes of Manila to the Glebe."
He praised the restaurant for its "simple, home-style savoury dishes that have been consistently well-made, tasty, generously portioned and bargain-priced."
Particularly, Hum found the vegan chocolate pâté at Tamis Café very likeable, and confessed that it is a dish that he craves for, according to a news release from the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Tamis Café also mixes its own unique blend of organic tea and coffee. Among their popular beverages is ube (purple yam) latte. They also bake their own pastries and cakes– including pandan (screwpine), ube desserts, leche flan (crème caramel) and the venerable pandesal bun. For the winter season, the café has recently begun to offer bulalo (beef soup) and lomi (thick noodle) soup.
Their unique take on Filipino food staples such as the classic and ube brazo de Mercedes (dessert roll), okoy (shrimp fritters), kare-kare (peanut and ox stew) and bistek (beef steak) have been featured in various diplomatic and government functions and receptions of the Philippine Embassy and the Canadian Parliament. —KBK, GMA News

Fil-Am dies of injuries after train station accident

A Filipino-American mechanic died in a hospital last week after he was pinned between the platform and the train at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station on 4th Street Mission in San Francisco, reports said.
A report on CBS San Francisco said Hayward resident Jeff De La Fuente slipped off the platform as a train was approaching some time after 6 p.m. last January 4. He died two days later.
separate report on SF Gate said the station was shut down to rescue De La Fuente, who was described as "alert and talking" during the entire operation. He was freed by the San Francisco Fire Department just before 7 p.m. and immediately taken to a trauma center.
Doctors from San Francisco General Hospital told the victim's longtime girlfriend, Dorthy Mak, that "he fought to stay alive."
report on ABC 7 said De La Fuente, 31, worked as a cab driver and a mechanic  and was preparing to take an admission exam to a law school next month when the accident happened.
"He was aspiring to be a lawyer," Mak told ABC7 News. "He was scheduled to take his LSAT in February."
GoFundMe page was set up by his friends to help his mother, who raised him alone in Berkeley, California, bring his body back to the Philippines, where he spent his childhood.
Funds donated to the GoFundMe page were eventually returned to donors after an anonymous donor funded the entire amount required for De La Fuente's funeral expenses.
"If anyone would like to make a contribution in honor of Jeff, we would greatly appreciate it if you could donate directly to Feeding America, a charity and cause that was very dear to Jeff. Again, thank you all for your love and support," Mak requested on the page. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pinoy ex-con in Malaysia shot after attacking cops

Malaysian police over the weekend shot a Filipino after he allegedly attempted to attack an officer with a meat cleaver and a knife at a parking space in Taman Bukit Setia, Jalan Sepanggar in Sabah.
report on Daily Express said the Filipino, an illegal immigrant, was released from prison in October after a three-month stint in jail for drug-related charges when he allegedly attacked the officers last Saturday.
City Police Chief ACP M. Chandra was quoted as saying in the report that the Filipino, who was not identified, was asked to step out of his car as police identified his vehicle as the Honda City used in a burglary in Keningau, some two hours away from Taman Bukit Setia, the previous day.
When the Filipino supposedly refused to step out of his vehicle despite several requests, the police were forced to smash the car's window in the driver seat.
The man retaliated by taking a meat cleaver and swinging it at an officer through the smashed window. He was shot below his armpit and ribs.
He tried to attack the police again, this time using a knife, before attempting to escape through the front passenger seat. He was shot at again before he was apprehended.
The Daily Express report, citing Chandra, said the car the Filipino used was reported missing in another house break-in at Taman View KKIP on Thursday and had its original plate number tampered with.
The Filipino is said to be responsible for 13 criminal cases in Taman Bukit Setia and at least one burglary in Keningau between December 2015 and January 2016. Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News

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