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Don’t make your life an extended womb or an anticipated tomb. Go out and live! Put on your favorite clothes. Stop wasting time worrying about how you look. If you wear what you love, you are wearing what is best for you. 
Step out of your house. The world was created without roofs and walls. Why then do you imprison yourself in a four-walled cage? Go out and wander in the endless wonders. Don’t sweat about directions. A goal is a business of the heart, not of the mind. Go on and let your heart lead the way. 
Walk or run, don’t ride. Vehicles are motorized jails in disguise. Free your feet, let them do their jobs. Let your legs drink the desires of your heart. Then brave the streets. Streets are not mere thoroughfares. They are witnesses to lives that produced lives.
Move at your own pace. Life is not a race. It is an adventure that is free from any cut-off time. Don’t let the movements of others control your progress. Remember, it’s your journey, not theirs. Go on and ignore their blitz and rush. 
Take other streets. He who says that there is only one road in life has not lived at all. Life is a myriad of routes. And each route carries its own purpose, significance, excitements and thrills. The more streets you take, the more meaning you rake for your life. 
Go to the trails. Life is more than just a paved road. It is not a mere stretch of dry and boring familiarity. Life’s essence escalates as you set your strides toward the uphills and wilderness. So, go ahead, climb your mountain!
Then on top of your mountain, don’t be afraid to express yourself freely. You have travelled far. You have travelled well. You have all the right to show to all people that you have lived according to what you love. Let it go loudly! Laugh! Cry! Dance! Jump! And shout to the rest of the world, “Come out and live!”
BARD NOTES: Special thanks to INWD General Manager John Teodoro, INWD Board of Directors and all employees of Ilocos Norte Water District.  
Happy bard-reading to Congresswoman Imelda R. Marcos, Mayor Chevylle V. Farinas, Vice Mayor Michael V. Farinas, Mayor Jeffrey Jubal Nalupta, Board Member James Paul “Goro” Nalupta, Mr. Efren Bartolome, Ms. Pia Salapongol, Dr. Chester Puño, Dr. Sme Juancho Estrella and Atty. Yvette Convento- Leynes. 
Happy reading also to Provincial Treasurer Josephine Calajate, INEC Director Virgilio Calajate, Ms. Cecil Nalupta and the employees of Philippine National Bank – Laoag Branch, AMA – Laoag Campus,  DepEd – Laoag, Video City – Laoag, Runner’s High Specialty Shop, Land Bank of the Philippines and Ilocos Norte PNP.

From fiancée to lawful permanent resident in 6 easy steps

There are six easy steps for an alien fiancée to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder):
First, the non-citizen and the U.S. citizen must meet in person and then become engaged to marry (fiancée and fiancé), after courtship and dating. 
Second, the U.S. citizen fiancé must file a petition for a fiancée visa (K visa) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within two years after the meeting. 
Third, after the petition is approved and the documents are sent by the State Department to the U.S. Embassy in the country where the fiancée resides, the fiancée must apply for and obtain a fiancée visa.
Fourth, the fiancée and the petitioning U.S. citizen must get married within 90 days after the fiancée arrives in the United States.
Fifth, the former fiancée who is now the spouse of a U.S. citizen must apply for adjustment of her status to that of lawful permanent resident with the USCIS, and after an interview during which the couple must establish that their marriage is in good faith and that it was not entered into for the purpose of avoiding the immigration laws, the application is approved and a conditional resident card is issued.
Sixth, within 90 days before the second anniversary of the issuance of the conditional resident card, the couple must file a joint petition to have the non-citizen spouse’s conditional resident status removed, by affirming that they are still married and that they did not enter into the marriage for immigration purposes. The couple will be interviewed by USCIS, except in rare instances. If USCIS is satisfied that the marriage was in good faith and that the couple is still lawfully married, a permanent resident card will be issued that is valid for 10 years. If the U.S. citizen dies or the parties are divorced within two years after the issuance of the conditional resident card, the non-citizen spouse may ask for a waiver of the requirement that the petition be filed jointly.
See Choin v. Mukasey, No. 06-75823, 07-70941, CA9, 08/12/13, and statutes cited therein.

(Atty. Tipon has a Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He specializes in immigration law and criminal defense. Office: 800 Bethel St., Suite 402, Honolulu, HI 96813. Tel. (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: Websites:; He is from Laoag City and Magsingal, Ilocos Sur. He served as an Immigration Officer. He is co-author of “Immigration Law Service, 1st ed.,” an 8-volume practice guide for immigration officers and lawyers. Listen to the most funny, interesting, and useful radio program in Hawaii on KNDI at 1270, AM dial every Thursday at 7:30 a.m. This article is a general overview of the subject matter discussed and is not intended as legal advice. No warranty is made by the writer or publisher as to its completeness or correctness at the time of publication. No attorney-client relationship is established between the writer and readers relying upon and/or acting pursuant to the contents of this article.)

Persisting scam trauma

“When The Strong Weep” is the head we tacked on our column on Sen. Jose Diokno (1922-1987):  See his track record in the context of Commission on Audit’s Grace Pulido Tan’s report Thursday, to the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, on mass pork barrel fraud.
If born 30 years earlier, historian Ambeth Ocampo said he could have watched Diokno or Sen. Claro Recto debate. The Senate had Lorenzo Tañada, Emmanuel Pelaez, Jovito Salonga. Now, senators get P65,000  engraved Montblanc  pens from  scam’s Janet Lim-Napoles. COA nails six senators and 23 congressmen in the scam. “
“I’m a ‘Martial Law baby,” born 1986, Gerald Gooco emailed.  But I’ve read enough to marvel at Diokno’s greatness. The left claimed the senator as their own even if Diokno was beyond their narrow ideological ideas. His legacy should be retold to our amnesia stricken people, so we embrace his ideals.
“I’m not strong, and I wept when I read the column,” emailed Emil F. Cuenca, 65. Sadly, the “Marcoses” thrive today.  The battle of Marcos vs Aquino in this future can be a real test. If that time comes, victims/witnesses should rise.  “I never tire at being reminded”.
“After (arbitrary) detention Diokno taught at Ateneo”, recalls lawyer Jose F. Justiniano. As his student, I was inspired by the man. I became the first associate he hired. Pay was not at par with big law offices. That was irrelevant because of training I got from the best trial lawyer. “He was an unselfish mentor.”
“After Diokno spoke, not an eye remained dry in that Senate hall.  It was a segment of Philippine history I was privileged to personally witness,” Cogito728sum emailed. “It fortified the Filipino in me, for which I am forever grateful.”
 “Senators of Diokno’s time were men of the highest breed, focused on excellent public service,” wrote Pipsirho. “Senators of today are men of the highest greed only focused on pork. Yes, yes, agreed Quirino Mayer. “Jose Diokno was no diok. Almost all our senators now are jokes and pig-like.”
“Instead of statesmen, the Senate has Bongbong Marcos, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, Tito Sotto, Ponce Enrile, Gringo Honasan and Lito Lapid,” tra6Gpeche emailed. “What a difference” Indeed, Recto and Diokno are the pride of Batangenyos, with Apolinario Mabini before them,” Allin Lawis Fair wrote.  ”They were among the best presidents this country never had.” He was lucky the dictatorship ended in his lifetime. But if Diokno learned that the late dictator’s son Ferdinand Jr. seeks election, he’d turn in his grave and shout, “Never again.”
Some writers, however, used the discussion on Diokno’s record as springboard—to assail President Benigno Aquino instead.  Thus, “BrowsingAndSawThis” emailed:  What kind of “leadership” is Ninoy’s son representing for his father? A follower instead of a leader? Overwhelmed with riches within easy reach yet out of reach by the  people, who put him there?
“How can President Aquino recall .45 cal pistols pointed at the midsections of Ninoy and Diokno?” MC added. “Was he in that helicopter?” Marcos branded Benigno Aquino Jr. a “congenital liar”. That trait is recurring in the progeny.
Ninoy was fighting for the “freedom of his motormouth, Weder-Weder Lang  adds: “He was detained for being public enemy no. 1 and rabblerouser no. 1, and needed some re-education. In his delusion, Ninoy thought that a nation should be built first on abstract concepts of human rights without securing the building blocks of basic human needs.
Today, the same sins of the father are visited upon the son. “A legacy of failures bequeathed from father to mother, and then mother to son. The father was a rebel without a cause, the mother a failure without remorse, the son a tragedy without recourse.”
“This has to be the dumbest thing this morning,” snapped Fire Engine. Weder-Weder retorted: “You just saw yourself in the mirror.” Which brought on the  whiplash: “Marcos loyalist/crony? is that you?  The 1980s are over. My father was one of the thousands of innocent people jailed under martial law.”
“There are plenty of paid hecklers whose job is to create confusion on the sacrifices of these victims of martial law,” William Cervantes wrote. “They try to twist history and put blame on Ninoy, et al thus glorifying Marcos and Gloria.”
“Cory and group failed to deliver justice to those behind martial law. Had these people been exterminated, establishing the new government without those who caused the people so much misery would have been successful. “Accountability would have been definite”.
“Resign if you can’ control people around you,” Mang Teban wrote. Mobilize a joint Executive-Legislative Summit to discuss but, as president, insist that the pork barrel culture has to go.  In its place, craft is a clear-cut guidelines for people’s money to specific beneficiaries or priority areas.
Why resign? Tommy protested: “Would that not leave Vice President Jojemar Binay in charge? And how would that combat corruption?”
Diokno was Secretary of Justice when Diosdado Macapagal was president, Allin Lawis Fair recalls. He probed tax evasion charges against Harry Stonehill who bribed some legislators. Stonehill was let off by summary deportation. Angered, Diokno ran as opposition candidate—and won.
Among present members of that once august Senate, only Juan Ponce Enrile may have compared with elder statesmen when it comes to intelligence. But there the similarity ends.  He used his intelligence in a manner equal to the gutter level of his colleagues—as shown in the testimony of the 10th whistleblower. Now JPE’s former secretary no longer answers the phone.


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