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Around Town: Claire Rodriguez, a young singer to watch

By Rey Andres

Balita Media News Service

Sixteen-year old Claire Rodriguez’s passion is performing. She is a singer, dancer and actress and had her first public performance when she was barely three years old.

She is serious at perfecting her craft and has been taking voice lessons since she was four. She has been a recipient of many awards including “Most Promising Vocalist for 2009″ by Celebrity Chronicle, Youth Ambassador and Best in Talent of Filipinotown and Excellence in Music awarded to her by Incarnation School.

She played the lead roles in the musicals Evita, Chicago, Gypsy, Pocahontas, Little Shop of Horrors, and Pocahontas.

The unselfish Japanese in the midst of calamities

As gold is tested by fire for its purity, a person’s inward genuineness is similarly tested by adverse circumstances some which might be too severe for ordinary mortals to bear. For a while now, our mornings had been greeted with a barrage of unwholesome news of disasters and disturbances around the world to a point that many had become calloused emotionally.

Because of the speed the news reaches us, we feel the immediate impact and the emotional drain of seeing so many people suffer because of these occurrences around the world. We see people jostling for whatever assistance there was and how these situations reveal the inward characteristics of man as they struggle to survive. We feel as if we are also in the line. In instances like this that a country’s culture is laid bare when survival itself is at stake. We are witnesses to situations where there is a total of disregard for one another and turn into a scenario of every man to himself.

The latest in a series of world’s disaster happened a few days ago in Japan when a double whammy hit Japan in the tummy. A giant temblor registering 8.9 on the scale that lasted for five minutes of eternity brought with it a destructive tsunami that flattened the northeastern area of Japan and washed out years of hardwork. Adding to the injury is the fact that Japan has been in recession for the last 20 years.

The recent disasters fortunately did not affect the impeccable Japanese manners that still manifested amidst the chaos and turbulence around. In the worst of circumstances, the Japanese are still able to show their good sides.

From numerous video and photo feeds, we witnessed how they still maintained order whether waiting and lining up for a ride home at a bus terminal or getting meager assistance at a school gymnasium.

A newspaper reported that an injured woman pinned under a heavy bookshelf “apologized for causing trouble” and asked if there where others that the responders should attend to first. The elderly victim was alone and in pain due to shattered ankle.

Paramedics reached the poor woman only after agonizing hours had passed. Thinking of other first in the worst of circumstances provide the shining light when disasters strike and which many might not think to be out of the normal reaction. Such trait in time of crises is what holds a country together.

Another enviable trait of the Japanese is the “ingrained instinct for orderliness and calm” which still showed even in difficult situations. With the earthquake knocking out the reliable public transportation system in the city and suburbs, the queue is noticeably orderly when trains arrive on few crucial routes.

Japan’s history goes back thousands of years most of which were years of isolation from the rest of the world. When it opened its doors, industrialization, modernization set in and it became a major economic force.

Many aspects of Japanese culture became integrated throughout the rest of the world while retaining its mystique and charm. It is said that of all Japan’s national treasures, the greatest is its courteous and friendly people.

U.S. is home to more than 1.2 million Japanese Americans and one of the three largest Asian American communities. It is the sixth largest in the nation with California being home to 394,896 Japanese Americans.

Filipinos well represented with Mark Pulido’s Election

Long-time Cerritos resident Mark Pulido was successful in his bid for a seat at the City Council of Cerritos gettomg the highest number of votes in thea field of seven candidates. His election assures the Filipino American community who overwhelming supported him to be their voice in the local government. He was with the ABC Board and served as its president and is the first Filipino American to be elected to the Council.

Pulido, 42, got 4,550 votes with re-electionist Bruce Barrows obtaining 4,170. Joseph Chu had 3,947, Grace Chu with 3,609, Chris Fuentes with1,246, Kiran Rami with 952 and Harshad Mody with 317.

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