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Jun 28th
Home Sections Humor & Satire How SoCal's Fil-Am 4th Estate Continues to Function Like a Chicken Coop and Lay Eggs
How SoCal's Fil-Am 4th Estate Continues to Function Like a Chicken Coop and Lay Eggs PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Humor & Satire
Written by Goliath Letterrman   
Sunday, 06 January 2013 04:56

A Long 37-year-old History of the Fil-Am Press Clubs that Multiplied Like Chickens and Quarrelled Among Themselves Like Fighting Cocks

A Satire by Goliath Letterman

Dateline Los Angeles, California, from the Coconut News Network (CNN, kuno)

T he first-ever Filipino press club established overseas was the Filipino-American Press Club of Los Angeles, Inc. (FAPCLA), which elected Romeo P. Borje as its founding president in 1976. Soon the FAPCLA managed to attract almost all of the Fil-Am media practitioners in Southern California (SoCal).

After the much-heated FACPLA election contested by Lourdes A. Ongkeko and Mar G. de Vera in 1992 (that was won by Mrs. Ongkeko and her slate), Lolo Bobby M. Reyes decided to become the club's fiscalizer and main opposition leader.  Lolo Bobby initiated his demands for the Ongkeko-led officers to comply with the ATIC, as he coined (meaning, Accountability, Transparency, Integrity and Credibility).
He dubbed the fight for the ATIC as the "War of the Proses," as described in this article:

The Ongkeko Clique decided to kick out Lolo Bobby from the FAPCLA, so as to prevent him from running for the club's presidency in 1994. The clique then began also terminating the membership of those who objected to the way Lolo Bobby was kicked out without any hearing, including Messrs. Borje (the founding president), De Vera and Fred Burce Bunao, the poet-pundit mentor of Mr. Reyes. At this juncture, about a third of the 80 members decided to leave the FAPCLA and organized the so-called "Philippine Press Club of America" (PPCA).

Messrs. Borje, Bunao, De Vera and Reyes -- now called the "Literary Gang of Four" (LGo4) --  decided in turn to organize an outreach group called the "Media Breakfast Club" (MBC) with Henry von Seyfried, Ms. Carrie Garcia-Lorenzana and Ms. Nena Aragon-Decena as cofounders. The MBC first met on July 7, 1993, at the then-Jeepney Grill off the Sixth & Alexandria Streets in Los Angeles. The MBC continues to meet now at the Kapistahan Restaurant at the Luzon Plaza in Temple Street, L.A. The MBC founders always maintained that they did not organize a press club but only a breakfast club.

After about two more years, a group of Fil-Am writers headed by then-outgoing PPCA president, Cora Pastrana, decided to form another press club, which wags called the "PPCA-Pastrana Wing."

Then a splinter group of PPCA members decided to organize another Fil-Am press club that the irreverent Poet-pundit Bunao christened the "PPCA-Pastrami Wing," which elected a Fil-Am real-estate broker cum magazine publisher as its first-and-only president, as it also folded up together with the two other wings of the PPCA. It is believed that this group wanted to call itself as the "Philippine Press Club International."

A group of Fil-Am writers then agreed to accept the offer of a Fil-Am "lawyer" (kuno) who called himself also as a "journalist" to organize another Fil-Am press club but it went nowhere as the contributions of some $800 by the initial members were said to have been spent by the "lawyer-journalist" for other purposes other than registering the press club as a non-profit corporation. Journalist Romeo P. Marquez, then of San Diego, CA (and now based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada") called the head of this new Fil-Am press club as the "pinabili lang ng suka (PLNS) at pagbalik ay journalist na." Lolo Bobby also called him as the "pinabili lang ng avocado at pagbalik ay abogado na." There were reports that this group of wannabe writers wanted to call their organization the "Philippine Press Club of the Universe." Humorists, however, called the group the "PLNS journeylists (sic)," as its members wanted to market also Philippine-made vinegar, "patis" (fish sauce) and "bagoong" (shrimp paste) as a money-making hobby -- as after all many Filipino-American publishers don't pay any salary or allowances to their writers.

Meanwhile, the original FAPCLA has been re-named unofficially by critics and pundits like the Poet Laureate Fred Burce Bunao (while he was still living) as the "Filipino-American Depressed Club of Los Angeles" (FADCLA) as apparently some of its remaining officers suffered satirically from alleged emotional depression. Mr. Bunao also said in jest that the FADCLA allegedly conducted very few of its required monthly meetings as many of its remaining lady officers no longer had monthly periods, as they experienced menopause a decade or so ago. The latest report said that Mrs. Ongkeko has re-assumed the presidency of the FAPCLA, AKA allegedly among humorists as the FADCLA (kuno). Mr. Bunao used to claim that its governing policy-making body was composed of "Bored Directors." Yes, "Bored" (sic), as in "bored to death."

In the meantime, a report said that many newly-elected officers of the FAPCLA resigned in protest of the boredom being practiced by the club's Old Foggies (AKA "Really Old Guards") and decided to form the "Philippine-American Press Club of California" (PAPCC, pronounced as "Popsi" provided "Pepsi-Cola" will not sue it for copyright or trademark violation).

It is a pity that Poet-pundit Fred Burce Bunao is now writing poetry and doing copy editing in the Great Beyond. Prior to his death, he allegedly wanted his literary students to organize a "Filipino-American Press Club of Beverly Boulevard." Mr. Bunao said that at least, many Filipino-American writers know it as the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and, ergo, nobody would be surprised of it becoming a haven for dreamers. Mr. Bunao wanted also to make "Beverly Boulevard" (at the corner of Alvarado Street in the Historic Filipinotown District of Los Ang
eles) become the Filipino Fourth Estate's equivalent of Hollywood Boulevard. The poet-pundit planned to install plaques of recognition on its sidewalk, like in Hollywood Boulevard, to the numerous Filipino-American publications that have since become defunct.

Perhaps, Mr. Bunao is having the last laugh at the Blue Yonder -- at the expense of the numerous existing and defunct press clubs of Filipino-American writers (both the established, the wannabes and the PLNS versions).

(To be continued ...)

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Last Updated on Sunday, 06 January 2013 19:18
Comments (1)
1 Sunday, 06 January 2013 19:16
Be sure to send me (the link for) the second part. Your style of writing will remain unparalleled, You can write with wit and humor that sting.
Don Azarias of Chicago, IL
(As sent by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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