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May 31st
Home Columns JGL Eye A House on Fire Needs Everybody’s Help
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Columns - JGL Eye
Friday, 08 October 2010 23:08




Journal Group Link International)


Suppose my neighbor's home catches fire, and I have a length of garden hose 400 or 500 feet away. If he can take my garden hose and connect it up with his hydrant, I may help him to put out his fire . . . I don't say to him before that operation, ‘Neighbor, my garden hose cost me ; you have to pay me for it’ . . . I don't want --I want my garden hose back after the fire is over.—Franklin Roosevelt's Press Conference on Dec. 17, 1940


C HICAGO (jGLi) – The recent arrival of Julia Mae P. Reblando and her mother, Mrs. Myrna P. Reblando, whipped a firestorm of debate in the community whether to extend the welcome mat for them or not.


The economic meltdown in the United States may have appeared to have factored in the decision of some members of the National Press Club of the Philippines in the United States (NPC Phil.-U.S.A.) to withhold help to them. But for others it did not matter.


Only very few members of the NPC Phil.-U.S.A. came forward to contribute. Jun Delfin chipped in $50, Elsie Niebar, $30, Lourdes Ceballos, $100 and myself, $200.


Some of the members, who did not contribute, reasoned that they already gave the Reblandos $780 (including the $7.00 remittance fee) shortly after Maguindanao Massacre took place on Nov. 23, 2009.


But a double check of the records showed that only very few members actually contributed because the bulk of that amount came from Atty. Loida Nicolas Lewis, who contributed $300; NPC Phil.-U.S.A., $150; Tonie Sison, $100 (Tonie Sison along with Dr. Francesca Barbin, both of Las Vegas, Nevada also gave $1,000 to the Reblandos on Oct. 6); Bart and Yoly Tubalinal, $50; Joseph G. Lariosa, $30; Joe Balmadrid, $30; Jun Delfin, $30; Manny Zambrano, $25; Nelia Bernabe, $25; Ting Joven, $20; and Jean Paredes, $20.


Where are the rest of the members’ contributions? A member is supposed to chip in their contribution no matter how small the amount. That’s what they had pledged to do when they join any club.




I remember in a non-profit organization, like a Lions club, it has a Lion tail twister that collects from its members, whenever there is fund-raising event. But unlike a Lions club, a press club does not have a tail twister to compel its members to contribute to fund-raising events.


And this non-collection of contributions from members will be the main reason that will kill this press club or any other non-profit organization.


Because I don’t want to let the NPC Phil.-U.S.A. die a natural death, I had to reach out to non-members to contribute to the expenses that would pay for the round-trip Las Vegas-Chicago airplane tickets and hotel accommodation and entertainment for the Reblandos. But the collection still came up short.


I always subscribe to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s view that when your house is on fire, you need the help of everybody, including your enemies.


Most of the donors contributed directly to the Reblandos, not to the NPC Phil.-U.S.A.


Among the donors who gave the Reblandos were Gerry Alcantara, a member of the NPC Phil.-U.S.A. and Executive Producer of the Fil-Am TV Show, whose family was generous enough to give a gift of $700 and his clients, Roland & Jasmine Sinio of the Affordable Caregiving Solutions Home Health Services, Inc., $300, for a total of $1,000 matching the $1,000 CJA scholarship award that Julia Mae came here for; Doctors Nunilo and Elenita Rubio and their son, Dr. Noel Rubio, $300; Ms. Veronica Leighton and Joe Mauricio, publishers-editors of Via Times and Executive Producers of Chicago Philippine Reports TV, and members of Filipino American Media Organization of the U.S. (FAMOUS), $120; Joseph G. Lariosa, $30; and Perla G. Londres, (either $50 or $20); Chicago Journalists Association, $1,000 scholarship and $100 that was earlier coursed thru the NPC Phil.-U.S.A. by CJA President Allen Rafalson.




B ut the non-monetary is also significant contributions. From Ms. Leighton and Mr. Mauricio is a discounted family-rate hotel (Marriott Courtyard O’Hare) for two days for the Reblandos that cost $88.14 and other personal items; their entreaties to the Rubios to sponsor Julia Mae for a scholarship from the Philippine Medical Association of Chicago (PMAC) Foundation headed by Dr. Roger Cave; and the complimentary tickets for four that this columnist obtained so they could visit the Willis Tower, courtesy of its PR person, Ms. Kate Murphy; NPC Phil.-U.S.A.’s Marlon L. Pecson’s effort to make representations with Ms. Nonette Navarez, manager of Little Quiapo, to extend the Reblandos complimentary dinner; and the two-day housing of the Reblandos by Ms. Perla G. Londres in Oak Park, Illinois, and her tour for them around the city.


And, of course, the mother of those sponsors is the Philipine Airlines, whose Foundation’s executive director, Carmen “Menchu” Aquino Sarmiento,  extended Business Class to the Reblandos for their round-trip tickets from General Santos City to Las Vegas, Nevada.


I would be remiss to mention here that the host of the Reblandos in Las Vegas, Mr. and Mrs. Rene and Evelyn Avenido of the, provided a three-night housing for them and lobbied Mr. Tonie Sison of Tonie Sison Associates, a full-service realty office in Las Vegas, and Dr. Francesca Barbin, a Fil-Am dentist and a U.S. Army National Guard Major and president and owner of Dental Avenue General and Cosmetic Center in Las Vegas, to give the Reblandos $1,000 cash to supplement Julia Mae’s scholarship fund.


Mrs. Evelyn Avenido also guaranteed the hospitalization of Mrs. Reblando whose blood pressure shot up, leaving behind a $4,500 medical bill. # # #


Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (



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