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Sep 30th
Home Sections Humor & Satire Wags Humiliate Filipino-American Pretenders to “Public Offices” in Los Angeles
Wags Humiliate Filipino-American Pretenders to “Public Offices” in Los Angeles PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Pundit Nehru   
Monday, 09 August 2010 15:05


A Filipino Satire by Pundit Nehru


W ags and humorists in the City of Los Angeles are having a field day in roasting, and laughing at, Filipino-American self-proclaimed community leaders who have been passing themselves as “elected public officials.”


Such is the humorous case of wags making fun of a guy that has been promoting himself as the “elected mayor of Philippine Town.” The supposed leader allegedly lived before in the City of Valencia and whose favorite fruit is the Valencia orange. And his favorite Spanish dish is the Arroz Valenciana. This is why he is called “Senior Valencia” (as he is already a senior citizen). But this clown does not tell people that he was elected in 2002 as the head of the Philippine Town, Inc. (PTI), a California private corporation. (Then he was not reelected for a second term.) Instead of calling its chief corporate officer as president, the PTI founders – over the objections of two other founder-incorporators Bobb von Weber and Bobby M. Reyes (this website’s editor) – decided to call it “mayor.”


Messrs. Von Weber (now deceased) and Reyes said that it was comical to call the PTI leader as “mayor” when the association did not even maintain an office or much more a “town hall.”


Editor’s Notes: The writer–in using a pen name–must obviously been punning the name of the great Indian leader, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. But perhaps the writer got his pseudonym from a joke of Poet-pundit Fred Burce Bunao that some of the original pundits in the Philippines were descendants of the Sepoy (Indian) soldiers that decided to stay in the country after they participated in the British conquest of Manila in the 18th century. Mr. Bunao says that many of the Sepoys were named Pandit, which became Pundit after the Americans took over the islands in 1899 and introduced Hollywood-style wit and humor.


P undits, however, started to call the PTI mayor the “mayordomo,” which is a Filipino colloquial term for “head servant.” After all, the PTI officers are meant to serve the public, right?


“Mayordomo Valencia” loves to be invited to functions and he tells the emcee to introduce him as the “Honorable Mayor of the Philippine Town.” Yes, he conveniently omits the word, “Incorporated,” in the association’s name. He makes people believe that he is the elected functionary of a public office.


B ut then Filipino-American wags that hail from province of Pampanga in the Philippines say that it is all right to call the clown as the “‘Onorable’ Mayordomo,” as he is also a “cabalen” (a fellow settler from Pampanga). Many of the people from Pampanga do not pronounce the “h,” especially when it is the first letter of a word. Why, reports say that his favorite car is the "Onda Haccord."


As the “Onorable Mayordomo Valencia” does not find it amusing to be told that he is simply the former head of a private corporation and not the holder of a public office, his publicist tacked on another title. The mayordomo’s PR guy introduces him now as the “Honorable Honorary Mayor of the Historic Filipinotown.”


But the “Historic Filipinotown” is an ethnic district created by the Los Angeles City Council on Aug. 2, 2002 – at the initiative of the PTI. It does not have even an ‘onorary’ (sic), oops, honorary mayor that is similar to that of the Hollywood District’s titular head.


Again wags came to the rescue of common sense and sensibility. They started calling the “Onorable Onorary Mayor Valencia” the “onorary mayor” of the “Prehistoric Filipinotown.” Yes, when Los Angeles was still a place of tar pits that snared prehistoric animals that are now extinct.


A Similar Humiliating Title in the 1990s


P robably the same wags and pandits, oops, pundits were responsible for coining a new title for a Filipino-American senior-citizen leader in the 1990s. The self-proclaimed leader liked to be introduced as the “Honorable Assemblywoman.” But she was not elected to the California Assembly (the Lower House of the California Legislature). In fact, to date, no Filipino American has been elected to the California Assembly in the entire Golden State. What she did was to organize a chapter of the so-called “California Senior-citizen Assembly (CSCA),” which is a private association. They called the leaders “assemblywomen” or “assemblymen.”


Know what the Filipino-American wags and pundits coined? They started calling her the “Assembledwoman” (sic), as if she was the product of an assembly line. Naturally, the new “title” spread like wild fire and pretty soon, the CSCA officer ceased calling herself “assemblywoman.” Because people were laughing at her (usually behind her back) in the similar fashion that folks are now snickering at the “Onorable Mayordomo.”


Another Funny Name in the Historic Filipinotown


It seems that what happened to the “Assembledwoman” and to the “Onorable Mayordomo” has failed to dissuade a small group of Filipino-American leaders from making fools of themselves. This group organized themselves into a “Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council.” But then its application for accreditation as a “neighborhood council” was denied by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) of the City of Los Angeles. They wanted accreditation from the DONE, as it would have entitled their “neighborhood council” $50,000 appropriation per year from the city coffers.


The DONE said—in denying the application—that the Historic Filipinotown District was part of the Greater Echo Park-Elysian Neighborhood Council, which was already in existence. But the few misguided Filipino-American leaders decided to incorporate their association as the “Historic Filipinotown Neighborhood Council, Incorporated.” But like the “Onorable Mayordomo,” the group also likes to drop off the word, “Inc.,” when they introduce it to the public.


Now wags are calling it the “Historic Filipinotown Neighboring Clowncil.” Yes, “just send in the clowns” and people can dance to its beat, cheek-to-cheek style.


What will politically-ambitious Americans of Filipino descent in Los Angeles think of next? Perhaps they will organize a “Los Angeles Filipino-American Senior-Citizen Senate” and call themselves “senators”? That will be the day. But Filipino-American wags and pundits are watching the developments. So as to crack another jest . . . # # #

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Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 15:11
Comments (3)
1 Monday, 09 August 2010 16:22
Dear Bobby:

Perhaps the should go into the bakery business and produce "Pundit Sal." It should be a best seller.


Your first boss in newspapering (sic),

Mar G. de Vera
2 Monday, 09 August 2010 16:54
When I was new in San Diego and started covering the Filipino community I learned about COPAO being the umbrella organization of smaller associations and affiliates. I thought it was representative of the community so I soon began to refer to its chair, then later president, as the equivalent of a mayor in a Philippine town. Guess what? The COPAO head liked the sound of mayor, and liked it so much that in events where there are non-Filipinos, she indicated she would like to be introduced as some kind of mayor of the Filipino community. From that time on, I stop using the comparison. I realized it was open to abuse. Besides, it was also misleading. San Diego and Los Angeles are indeed neighbors.
3 Wednesday, 11 August 2010 15:08
Very interesting.


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