White House chef returns to Chicago to promote healthy eating

The Filipino Channel’s Balitang America
April 2010

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — On a cold December in 1983, a young lady from Sampaloc, Manila landed at Chicago’s O’Hare airport to join her family and start a new life here.

Last Friday, April 23, she flew in from Washington D.C. and was warmly greeted as a homecoming hero; an American success story.

White House Executive Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford returned to her adopted city, to speak at an Earth Day event at Northwestern University.

Combining inspiration and motivation, Comerford talked about running the White House kitchen, while stressing the importance of local food sourcing and healthy eating.

White House Chef Cristeta Comerford returns to Chicago from Ted Regencia on Vimeo.

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Pinay receives ‘gift of life’ from stranger

The Filipino Channel’s Balitang America
April 2010

Text, photo and video by Ted Regencia (VO by Balitang America)

CHICAGO — Myra de la Vega is a single mother from the province of Laguna; Dan Coyne is a husband and father of two from the state of Ohio. Their lives are worlds apart, but they fortuitously intersected in Chicago. It’s an unlikely story between two strangers, who now share a lifetime bond.

Three years ago, Coyne, a resident of the near north Chicago suburb of Evanston, was doing his grocery at Jewel, when he struck a conversation with the cashier, de la Vega.

“She’s the type of employee that is hard to train or educate. It’s in her heart. She just treats all people, all her customers with respect,” Coyne told this reporter. “When you’re shopping at the store, you want to go through her grocery store line.”

Coyne later learned that de la Vega’s kidneys were failing and she needed a transplant to live.
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NYT’s Gail Collins on feminism and the ’60s

Web Exclusive
January 2010

By Ted Regencia

EVANSTON, Ill — Combining storytelling and political punditry, New York Times columnist Gail Collins gave Northwestern students a lesson on feminism — from 1960s sexual revolution to the latest election in Massachusetts.

“In my lifetime, everything really changed,” Collins said Tuesday, January 19, attributing the progress of women’s movement to the Civil Rights era, the introduction of birth-control pills and entry of women in the workplace.

“It happened so fast,” she said of the period between 1964 and 1972, when “the nation came to grips with social justice.”
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Desperation and Hope in Haiti

News Feature Web Exclusive
January 2010

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — On an ordinary day, the mustachioed Jim Roberts, 46, tends to his Evanston consulting office, which doubles as a grocery stand selling everything from Doritos chips to phone cards. Thursday afternoon is anything but. It has been 48 hours since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. Robert’s faint smile and the cache of silver-and-gold jewelries clinging to his hands could not obscure the anxiety in his eyes. Earlier, he learned that two relatives and seven family friends have perished. As the clock ticks, phone lines to Port-au-Prince remain dead, adding to the strain in his sagging shoulders. “If I could be able to at least find a way of communicating to one family member, that would at least ease the worry that I have now,” he says.

According to news reports from the Caribbean island, 200,000 people are feared dead as a result of the calamity. So far, more than 50,000 bodies have been recovered, the country’s Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aime was quoted as saying. The city of three million people is also facing the nightmare of dealing with homeless survivors who are growing desperate by the day.
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45th Chicago Int’l Film Fest puts spotlight on 2 Filipino directors

October 2009

Text, photos and video by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Celebrating the 45th year since its founding, the Chicago International Film Festival shines its spotlight on two independent films from the Philippines.

Cinemalaya Special Jury Prize winner, The Rapture of Fe (Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe) was selected for the After Dark Program, while the gay-themed, The Thank You Girls was picked for the World Cinema and OUTragegous categories.

“Chicago is a great global society. We live in a great immigrant community and we are very diverse. It [festival] represents the whole world,” Chicago Mayor Richard Daley Jr., said during the opening night, where he also welcomed actress Uma Thurman, the Career Achievement Award recipient. Thurman alsocame for the premiere of her new movie, Motherhood.
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Letter from Chicago: Rach at the Park

Blog entry originally posted on 06/24/09

Text and photo by Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — Some of the best things in life are still for free, like a full rendition of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 by the Grant Park Orchestra, at Frank Gehry’s iconic Pritzker Pavilion. Welcome to Chicago, where winter is characteristically brutish, and summer’s infinitely rewarding, particularly to those who endured it’s yearly cold blast.

Last Saturday was one of those hard-earned and much-deserved days of recreation. The sun was up and the afternoon air cool, just perfect to cap the official end of spring, and hail the beginning of summer, which was almost thwarted by a fierce thunderstorm the night before. It was unthinkable to stay indoors. Everyone was out, from die-hard Cubs fans who congregated at Wrigley to the Boriqueños for the Puerto Rican Day parade. And so we packed our picnic bag, took the “L” train and headed downtown.

Unlike many cosmopolitan areas, this city of three million people, puts premium on its public space. Parks are sacred grounds, and malls are anathema. So while Chicago boasts of a magnificent skyline, it also has an excellent and expansive greens that the whole population can enjoy. It was the industrialist Montgomery Ward who first led the fight to keep the lakefront free from obstruction. And so it has been since 1836.
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