Pinay from Dipolog slain in Idaho

ABS-CBN Balitang America
September 1, 2010

By Ted Regencia

CHICAGO — A Philippine native with family ties in Chicago was shot and killed Sunday evening in Caldwell, Idaho following a reported dispute with her estranged husband.

Chris Allen Stone has been charged with second degree murder, after shooting Florence Madriñan-Stone twice in the head, according to a statement by Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney John T. Bujak.

Stone is in police custody at the Ada County jail. His bond is set at $1 million, and he is expected to be arraigned Tuesday, Fox 12 Idaho reported.

The suspect is identified as a speech and language pathologist with the local Caldwell School District since August 2004.

On the social networking website Facebook, the late Madriñan-Stone, who has several Chicago relatives, listed the same school district as her employer. Caldwell is a town in the state of Idaho. It is about 12 hours northeast of San Francisco, California.

Continue reading “Pinay from Dipolog slain in Idaho”

Illinois governor appoints Fil-Am as top aide

Philippine News
August 27, 2010

CHICAGO – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn appointed on Tuesday Filipino American Michelle R.B. Saddler as his new chief of staff.

Saddler, a Princeton University graduate, served as the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), before assuming her new post. She will be the highest-ranking Filipino officeholder in the state of Illinois.

“He (Quinn) called me, and asked if I would accept this challenge, and I said ‘yes,'” Saddler said, during the August 24 press conference attended by the governor.

In an earlier press release, Quinn praised Saddler as “one of the most knowledgeable and dedicated members of my cabinet.”

“There is no one better-suited to continue my mission of creating jobs, supporting Illinois’ economic recovery and protecting our most vulnerable residents,” Quinn added.

Saddler is also of African-American descent. Her Filipino background was confirmed by Catherine Salgado of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).

Continue reading “Illinois governor appoints Fil-Am as top aide”

Cash lifeline cast from the U.S.
August 23, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — Skokie resident and Philippine native Elvira Paez hasn’t seen her daughter in seven years.

The 48-year-old works as a 24-hour caregiver to an elderly man who suffers from a moderate case of dementia.

On a recent Sunday, Paez rushed to the Skokie Currency Exchange near Dempster Street and Bronx Avenue to send money to her daughter, who is studying to become a lawyer in the Philippines.
Continue reading “Cash lifeline cast from the U.S.”

Three classically-trained Filipino artists charm Chicago

Tribune Local (Evanston/Skokie), Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Global Nation Section and Philippine News

August 23, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

EVANSTON, Ill — Kundiman is a traditional Philippine music genre that centers on relationships and romance. It is written in Filipino language, and its melody is described as flowing and gentle. In the old days, it was sang to woo a lover, or ask someone in marriage.

Last Saturday, August 21, three classically-trained Philippine artists put kundiman to a new light, in a rousing performance at the Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, north of Chicago.

Juilliard-trained mezzo soprano Clarissa Ocampo teamed up with award-winning baritone Andrew Fernando, and another Juilliard alumnus and distinguished pianist Raul Sunico, in staging Ang Pag Ibig Mo: A Philippine Love Cycle.

Continue reading “Three classically-trained Filipino artists charm Chicago”

Classic Car Owners Road Trip to Downtown Skokie

August 19, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — Downtown Skokie is vrooming with activity. It’s the third Wednesday of the month, and the summer-long Cruise the Backlot car show is back.

Traffic slows down at the corner of Oakton Street and Lincoln Avenue, as a steady stream of classic cars heads for the Village Green near the library.

Near the Oakton entrance, Frank Smith of Niles chats with a woman who is admiring his 1912 Model T Ford, a touring car and the oldest in the show.

On the opposite side, a 20-year-old collector, who wants to be identified only by her first name, Kirkie, is busy polishing her 1931 Ford Model A, a gift from her parents.

As the crowd grows, Randy Miles, owner of the Village Inn, sets up an outdoor stand for his popular deep dish pizza. While country and rock tunes blare in the background, the vroom-vrooming of Corvettes and Chevys occasionally competes to drown out the music.

Welcome to summer afternoons in Skokie. Continue reading “Classic Car Owners Road Trip to Downtown Skokie”

Car Buffs Get All Revved Up for Mondays

August 17, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — About once or twice a month during the summer, Steve Millar likes to show up at a car cruise in Skokie. His ride of choice: a green, four-door 1955 Neptune Chevy Bel Air 210. It’s similar to the first wheels he owned in high school.

Millar said he likes Skokie’s Monday Night Car shows “because they are just a couple of hours in the evening.” For him, it’s a way to relax and hang out with friends. Besides, he does not have “the attention span” for daylong exhibits. Continue reading “Car Buffs Get All Revved Up for Mondays”

Filipino Nurses Follow Well-Worn Path to Jobs in Skokie

August 15, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — When Cecilia Buenaflor came to Chicago after she left the Philippines in 1992, she was on her own. The newcomer, who had worked at a New York hospital, did not know anyone. As a single parent, she was struggling to balance motherhood and the demand to earn a living, and being 8,000 miles away from home didn’t help.

“Economically, I cannot survive in the Philippines just being a nurse,” Buenaflor said. “I have a family that I have to support.”

Working as a nurse at a senior living facility in the Philippines, Buenaflor was paid $10 an hour. With two young daughters at home and an extended family back in her homeland to support, it was a “tough” time for her, she said.

“But as long as you work hard, you will be rewarded,” Buenaflor said of her philosophy. Continue reading “Filipino Nurses Follow Well-Worn Path to Jobs in Skokie”