Chismis 2004

BALITA! Euro Reunion May 2004


Like Quasimodo, I too have a hunch, but not on my back, that this reunion is going to be a fantastic opportunity to get together and have a great weekend in Gay Paris!

The sands of time slip away and before you know it, you will be meeting up with your old buddies. Bring your Kawayans and memorabilia and have a laugh at the ridiculous fashions when we thought we were so cool…..

Get your hotel booked for that special rate of 96 Euros for a double room per night including breakfast. That is a steal in Paris.

Please email Mourad Terzi and let him have these details:

Name of guest(s),
Your contact details,
email address and telephone number

Mourad will then email the hotel to confirm the booking. Sorry about the hassle! Makes life a bit interesting for Christine and I and it keeps us on our toes! Don’t forget to book your rooms by March! Hurry hurry!


Mercure Paris Montparnasse
20, Rue de la Gaité
75014 PARIS

Tel : (+33)-1-4335-2828
Fax : (+33)-1-4335-7800
E-mail :

The hotel is located in the Montparnasse district, renowned for its mix of art and high living. It is centrally located, with loads of boutiques, restaurants, cafes, theatres, bars… in the area.

Rates, Booking and Payment Information

Rates are € 96 for double occupancy and breakfast and the buffet dinners are going to be around € 30 per person. Please also email Christine to let her know that you have booked so we can update the website with all our attendees. Thanks.


Friday : Arrival and registration at the hotel

Friday night : Buffet dinner at the hotel

Saturday : free day, LOADS of things to do and visit : bus tour of Paris, Disneyland Paris, museum visits (Musee d’Orsay is highly recommended and of course the Louvre for those diehard Mona Lisa fans….), boat ride on the Seine, Eiffel Tower, Latin Quarters, the
Tuileries Gardens, Arc de Triomphe, cafe hopping, Moulin Rouge, flea markets, Montmarte, Notre Dame Cathedral, Opera, Champs Elysees, Invalides, Pantheon, the Marias…. the list is endless !!!

Saturday night : Dinner at the hotel

Sunday : Things you didn’t have time to do on Saturday, and the sad goodbyes to all who are leaving.

Extra nights can be arranged.

For those who are planning to arrive before the reunion or stay a bit longer, feel free to contact Christine – -for information on particular events or things to do; a day trip visiting the Loire Valley and its castles is a great example. For tourist information, visit

Mabuhay and see you in Paris!

Suzie and Christine! 🙂

Further details are at:

JeepneyShop Gift Shopping

JeepneyShop is where alums go shopping! Send a classmate a gift from the JeepneyShop!

Recommended Fiction:
Cryptonomicon with it’s perfect depiction of the Philippines.

Recommended Nonfiction:
Tropical Living: Contemporary Dream Houses in the Philippines by Liz Reyes ’65

Badly Browned is a pinoy comedy classic by Rex Navarrete featuring “Maritess and the Super Friends”

A Dangerous Life is an HBO special that stars Gary Busey as a reporter in a political thriller set during the time of People Power I.

Send us your favorite Books, CDs and Videoes that relate to the Philippines!

Write to


A meeting with Mr.David Toze – Superintendent at ISM

By Lee-Tal Behiri 2/11/04

Dear friends,

I wanted to share with you the wonderful experience a few ISM alumni have shared here in New York.

We had a pleasure of meeting the new Superintendent of ISM Mr. David Toze. Although none of us knew him, it had felt like meeting a distant relative after a long time. He reminded us of a place we once called home and memories we had long forgotten.

After meeting with old classmates and fellow students (class of 70′ to class of 99′), Mr.Toze gave us the news of what’s new at ISM. For example: the new campus, Mr. Hammett left for Brent, and the girls and boys Rugby teams. Or what’s old: Vicky (Sycip Herrera), ISM being one of the top
ranking International schools.

But his main goal for meeting with us was to call out to all ISM Alumni and former students to keep in touch with ISM. He expressed sorrow for the fact that ISM hasn’t been doing a good job keeping in touch with its Alumnus. He said that giving the best education and
than turning your back on your students is not the way to go.

Although keeping strong ties with Alumnus that are spread all over the world is not an easy thing to do, it is possible.

Two e-mail addresses that can be helpful if you want to update your details: – Alumni relations. – Mr. David Toze – The Superintendent himself.


San Fran Chowdowns
San Francisco Bay Area alums hook up every month for the Alumni Chowdown.

Alums are welcome to join for some good grub and good times! ALL who attended ISM are invited!

Each Indian Chowdown is held at a different location and organized by a different alum.

Brought to you by the Jeepney Gang!

For details email the jeepneygang or visit our CHOWDOWN section.

BALITA! Da King’ Flap Suits Filipinos

An aging film star is shaping up as the leading challenger in the Philippines’ presidential election in May, if he can deflect a series of legal maneuvers to derail his campaign.

Widely known by his initials, FPJ, or simply as “Da King,” 64-year-old Fernando Poe Jr. is the country’s wealthiest and most-famous actor. Ordinary Filipinos readily identify with Mr. Poe, whose film roles typically portray downtrodden bus drivers or other blue-collar heroes striking back at corrupt policemen, violent street gangs or other shadowy oppressors of the common man.

Mr. Poe also enjoys the backing of political groups linked to former presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada, who have chosen the actor as their candidate to run against avowed U.S. ally and incumbent president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

But Mr. Poe, according to Manila lawyer Victoriano Fornier, isn’t a “natural-born” Filipino, and as such is prohibited from running for president. Mr. Fornier, who says he is acting independently, petitioned the Philippines’ Commission on Elections to disqualify Mr. Poe. Mr. Fornier and other lawyers say Mr. Poe’s Spanish father didn’t marry his mother, an American, until a year after he was born, making him an American under Philippine law.

Although the commission since has cleared Mr. Poe to run, the body also acknowledged that it isn’t the proper agency to decide Mr. Poe’s citizenship. That has prompted Mr. Fornier to appeal and other Philippine lawyers to file suits with the Supreme Court, seeking a determination of Mr. Poe’s citizenship.

The allegations about Mr. Poe have prompted an all-too-familiar kind of legal wrangle in the Philippines, where democracy is as frequently conducted in the courts as at the ballot box. A fondness for litigation, in general, unsettles many investors considering competing countries for locating call centers, factories or tourist resorts.

Mr. Poe’s disputed lineage has swamped Manila newspapers for weeks. Lawyers for and against the actor have accused one another of tampering with birth certificates and other documents to show that Mr. Poe is (or isn’t) the illegitimate son of an American woman. The country’s Senate has begun its own hot-tempered inquiry, while Mr. Poe has met with influential business leaders to declare: “I want you all to know I’m Filipino!”

Of course, electoral disputes aren’t exactly uncommon in other countries. Many people in the Philippines followed the repeated Florida recounts and court challenges in President George W. Bush’s narrow defeat of Al Gore in the 2000 U.S. presidential election with as much enthusiasm as they follow their own elections.

But for an impoverished developing country lagging behind Asian neighbors such as Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, the Philippines has a surprisingly litigious streak.

After the U.S. replaced Spain as the islands’ colonial ruler during 1898, Filipinos quickly grew adept at navigating the country’s American-style legal system, particularly when it was applied to politics. Candidates for positions ranging from town councilor all the way up to the president regularly challenge ballot counts. Noel Cariño, for example, recently was proclaimed congressman of a district in Manila three years after he won the actual election; Mr. Cariño’s opponent, in the meantime, had managed to grab Mr. Cariño’s seat in Congress after challenging the original election result.

Political analyst and newspaper columnist Alex Magno says that in the Philippines, even relatively normal elections can stir unwelcome upheaval in the bureaucracy, which, in other countries, investors often rely upon for maintaining a degree of stability as elected officials come and go.

“This is because the contending factions usually resort to scorched-earth policies after the victors are proclaimed,” Mr. Magno says. “The victors yank out the appointees of predecessors and hand out offices to supporters as spoils of political battle. The practice often results in discontinuities in policies and procedures, a shift in power among contending business groups and a long transition where many things remain undefined.”

During recent years, these winner-take-all political battles have often taken place in court. During 2001, the Supreme Court declared that Mr. Estrada had effectively resigned the presidency when he fled the presidential palace after the army turned against him.

It took months to resolve that case, and Mr. Estrada insists from an army camp prison, where he is being held on corruption charges, that he is still the duly elected president of the Philippines and therefore is immune from prosecution.

During the most-recent presidential election, in 1998, the courts had to settle a dispute over whether a leading contender was a Filipino or a Chinese citizen. During 1996, the Supreme Court ruled that Fidel Ramos was the Philippines’ rightful president, four years after he narrowly won a disputed election over rival Miriam Defensor Santiago. To this day, many Filipinos believe Ms. Santiago won the actual ballot.

This time, the dispute over Mr. Poe’s citizenship could trigger a constitutional crisis. Mr. Poe’s supporters have threatened to revolt against the Arroyo administration in a “people power” show of strength if he is ruled ineligible to contest for the presidency. If no legal ruling comes before the May 10 election and Mr. Poe wins — as many opinion polls suggest he will — he could, conceivably, later be stripped of office if the Supreme Court decides he isn’t a Philippine citizen. That, too, would be likely to create a political furor. Mr. Estrada, with characteristic gusto, this week warned of “civil war” if his close friend is disqualified.

In either case, such developments would further unnerve investors already concerned about political stability in the Philippines. Thursday, the Philippine currency closed at a record low of 56.01 pesos to the dollar after the military detained six junior officers for criticizing the defense secretary for political bias. Ms. Arroyo played down the incident, describing it as “military adventurism.”

As for Mr. Poe, lawyers from both sides are poring over various marriage certificates and birth certificates dating from before World War II to settle whether the actor was born before his parents married. As political analyst Antonio Abaya says, “This has become a quintessentially Filipino controversy: Who is faking which documents to prove or disprove that someone was a bastard?”

[Thanks to Rod O’Connor ’82 for submitting this!]

Chatterbox Chatroom

Suzie Dimblad ’81, the brains behind the Euro-Reunions, has put up a Chatterbox Chat Room.

The Chatterbox is where she and others are logging in 8pm GMT on the last Sunday of each month.

They’re there for at least an hour, so come on in and join the chat!

The Chattebox can be used as an alternative to our Chismis Corner.

Click here for details:


Our ALUMNI DATABASE has over 860 alums who use it to search for classmates. How about you?

We’re constantly making improvements to it thanks to volunteers like Linda Hardman ’65 and Suzie Dimblad ’81. Kudos to them!

Sige na, spread the word and ask your classmates to sign up!



long distance!

Hello? Hoos Calling?

Here’s a deal that AS/ISM alums will love!

1) Sign up for this prepaid calling service
2) Call friends and family long distance
3) Save money doing just that!

Try Click4Prepaid - the Best Prices for Long Distance!

And it works as a web enabled Callback Service from Manila!

Click here for details.

Racist Slurs Taint U.S. Sports

The fight against Native American mascots and logos is a struggle to overturn stereotypes forged in our racist past that determine the trajectories of our lives today.

The paradox is striking: In the 21st century an NFL team is still known by an ethnic slur crafted during the nation’s frontier days.

The term “Redskins” derives from an old, genocidal practice in this country of scalping Native Americans to earn a bounty. A bounty hunter could prove he had killed a native by turning in a scalp, which often were bloody and called “redskins.”

This bit of etymology was part of a July 2000 editorial in Maine’s Portland Press Herald explaining why it banned the team name from its sports pages.

Read the full article by Salim Muwakkil, In These Times, here:

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