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Mar 26th
Home Sections NaFFAAgate Loida Lewis Is Actually the Legendary Baroness of the “Buta-butandings”
Loida Lewis Is Actually the Legendary Baroness of the “Buta-butandings” PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - NaFFAAgate
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Saturday, 11 September 2010 10:13


The “Rape” of the Philippine Chancery in Washington, DC, Was the First Scam of the NaFFAA Founding Fathers


Part Three of the “Butanding Brouhaha” Series


The Sorsoganon word for blind is ‘buta.’ Then ‘nag buta-butahan’ is the term for a person who acts blindly to injustice or the truth.


T his writer first introduced the term, "Human Butandings," in the mid-1990s when he opposed the desecration of the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Sorsogon City. Initially his opposition was a solitary voice in the Sorsoganon wilderness. But soon, he got lots of support in, and from, the Court of Public Opinion.


Bobby Reyes called the Sorsoganons, especially those living overseas, the equivalent of the “butanding” for their blind loyalty to the Catholic bishop of the Sorsogon diocese. The bishop (now retired) leased three sides (the setbacks) of the cathedral to a Filipino-Chinese contractor who then proceeded to construct commercial apartments that were leased to a pawnshop, a bank and other business establishments. This writer argued that Jesus Christ said that people “should not make his father’s house a marketplace.” But many Sorsoganons like Loida Lewis tolerated, if not supported,  the bishop’s desecration of the cathedral. The bishop and his vicar general called this writer “Sorsogon’s incarnation of the Devil.” In turn, he called the bishop “the personification of Fray Damaso.”


Perhaps Loida Lewis and her fellow national executive officers (NEOs) of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) should be called the “Buta-butanding Brigade.” Then being the most-famous – if not the most-infamous once this series is concluded – of, and among, the NaFFAA NEOs, Ms. Loida ought to be called the Brigade’s Baroness.


To honor Donsol’s son, Joseph G. Lariosa, for his commitment in publicizing the town’s now-famous whale sharks, the author has dubbed him the ‘Butanding Baron.’ Mr. Lariosa has nothing to do with NaFFAA affairs and events.


It really amazes a lot of decent Americans of Filipino descent and Filipinos in America when they see supposedly well-educated and wealthy individuals like Loida Lewis turn blind to the corruption being committed by some of her fellow NEOs. Readers are invited again to read this article, Rodis Exemplifies the Arrogance, the Avarice and the Abusive Conduct of the NaFFAA Leadership


Even if Manay Loida wears contact lenses, she has still perfect – if not almost 20/20 – vision. Yet, she is the role model of the “buta-butahan” breed of Filipino leaders.


In fact, once this writer published that perhaps the NaFFAA ought to order a replica of the three-monkey statue that says “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Talk No Evil.” And use as bobble-head models the replicas of Loida Lewis, then NaFFAA National Treasurer Lourdes Corrales and Lorna Dietz, Greg “Lagareng Hapon” Macabenta’s Girl Friday. The sale of the proposed three-monkey statue can probably generate more-than enough funds to save the NaFFAA from bankruptcy.


Editor’s Note: The NaFFAA’s three-monkey statue was also mentioned in this article, Why Many First-generation Filipino Immigrants Are Failing Badly as American Citizens


The First Major Financial Scam of the NaFFAA


U nknown to many Filipino Americans is the financial “rape” of the old Philippine Chancery in Washington, DC, by some of the founding fathers of the NaFFAA.


A NaFFAA cofounder told me some of the details of the financial scam that happened in the NaFFAA proposal to undertake the restoration of the old Philippine Chancery in the heart of the American corridor of power. The cofounder prefers to remain anonymous.


According to my informant, the NaFFAA – after it was launched in 1997 – approached then Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos and proposed to lead Filipino-American fundraising efforts to raise the millions of dollars needed to restore and even expand the Philippine Chancery. The restored site was not only to become a Filipino cultural center but it would also serve as the office of the NaFFAA and some other Filipino-American organizations in the area. A memorandum of agreement was signed between the NaFFAA and the Philippine government during President Ramos's visit to the United States in May 1997.


The Ramos Administration gave its blessing to the NaFFAA proposal. The equivalent of a political imprimatur from Mr. Ramos was used by the NaFFAA to raise funds not only in the nation’s capital and surrounding states but also in many other American cities where there were major concentrations of Filipino-American residents.


Donations poured in and all of the money was deposited in a NaFFAA bank account controlled by its national chairman and his wife, who was the national assistant treasurer. (The first-elected national treasurer, Klaus Buntua, CPA, eventually resigned, as he realized that he was a mere decorative prop, as his supposed assistant was running the treasury. She, who was appointed by her husband, kept also in her possession all the NaFFAA check books. And the husband-and-wife team actually signed all checks issued by the federation until the head honcho gave up the chairmanship to Ms. Lewis in 2002.)


But then the Ramos Administration had a change of heart. Due to the opposition launched by several Filipino senators and some other national leaders, the Office of the President aborted the project.


T he NaFFAA founding fathers chose not to return the funds raised from the donors and nobody knows what happened to the donations. There were a few miniscule whispers of protest but it soon died down when Loida Lewis told the protesters that they should trust the NaFFAA head honcho to do what was right for the federation. Yeah, right.


By next installment, we will discuss the scandalous fundraising campaign done in 1998 by the NaFFAA NEOs based in Northern California for then vice-presidential candidate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


(To be continued . . .)

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Last Updated on Saturday, 11 September 2010 11:25
Comments (1)
1 Saturday, 11 September 2010 11:17
Lolo Bobby,

Grabe ka talagang magsulat. Hindi lang si Manay Loida ang hinubaran mo sa publico kundi pati ulit si Obispo Jesus Varela.

Patawarin mo na si Obispo kasi retired na at masakitin pa. It's Christian charity, di ba?

OK lang ang banat mo kay Manay. Kayang-kaya ka naman sagutin niya or kaya sagutin ka ng kanyang PR paid consultants. Malakas pa, mas mayaman ngayon at may tapang si Manay. Lagot ka, Lolo. Baka ipalibing ka ng buhay pag umuwi ka sa Sorsogon.


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