1. An innovation that could have saved friends and relatives in the Philippines, We can’t afford to wait until another HIT!
    Life-saving invention could have saved lives
    It was September 2009 and Ondoy (International name: Ketsana) brought with it torrential rains. Waters rose to as high as ten feet and urban Manila was submerged in minutes. Cars floated and became deadly torpedoes to anything on its path--humans, other cars, infrastructure.
    Danvic Briones watched television, transfixed, unable to tear his eyes away from the carnage of Ondoy. He saw a family of five on top of a roof floating on flood waters. A wave came and engulfed the family, it crested and fell, revealing only one member remaining. This vision stayed with him. He thought of his family. What if it happens to them?
    He knew about preparation. Being of Mormon background, he was aware of the idea of emergency preparedness. But this was a flood, rising so fast it leaves no time for thinking. He knew he needed a vest. But what about food, water, clothing?
    He had an idea.
    He knew of life vests, he knew of compartments, but not a combination of both -- and never for emergency preparedness. He then started his journey.
    It took him two years and several prototypes. Being an artist, he can design, but he did not know the first thing about sewing a bag or a vest. Manufacturers told him it was not possible -- too expensive, too time-consuming, not interesting, won’t work, can’t be done.
    But he believed in his idea and did not give up until he saw it come to life. In 2011, he launched the product he called the Rescue72 Vest Bag and began raising the consciousness of many about its need. The product was tested and is effective. If given the opportunity, Rescue 72 could have been the lifeline needed during Typhoon Haiyan, which took 10,000 lives. But Danvic Briones never had the opportunity to expose his product where it would have garnered international attention – the U.S.
    Danvic overstayed an earlier visit to the U.S. and was forced to return to the Philippines. In 2011, he had the chance to emigrate to Canada. At least that was close. But not close enough.
    Canada was unfamiliar with such disasters that struck the Philippines and thus lukewarm to his invention. The U.S., with its experiences of hurricanes Katrina in New Orleans and Sandy in New York and New Jersey, was all too familiar with the havoc such a storm can cause.
    This life-saving invention is one of several that could save lives in disasters that are inevitable. Producing clean water, green, mobile-powered regeneration, new ways of handling food supplies, renovated containers and shelters warning sensors and other creative ideas with a sense of social awareness can improve the future for millions of others.
    A conference organized by the Asian Heritage Society and government agencies will invite worldwide talents like Danvic to meet with like-minded innovators, share ideas, exchange and update the technologies, and learn about valuable American markets and how to obtain new-found governmental support. Call 619-521-8008 rosalynn.carmen@gmail.com (5 photos)

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Rosalynn Carmen Plus

Major General Antonio Taguba, whose report on Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 drew international attention and created accusations of prisoner abuse, has been chosen to receive the distinguished Special Recognition Honor at the Sixth Annual Asian Heritage…

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Major General Antonio Taguba, whose report on Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2004 drew international attention and created accusations of prisoner abuse, has been chosen to receive the distinguished Special Recognition Honor at the Sixth Annual Asian Heritage Awards.

Taguba, only the second Filipino American to attain the rank of major general in the U.S. Army, published an extremely critical report on prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib that was leaked to the public, which led to a Congressional investigation. But instead of being honored for his commitment to truth, General Taguba was reassigned to the Pentagon and later, in January 2007, forced to retire.

In 2008, he wrote the preface to a report by Physicians for Human Rights, in which he called for prosecution of the Bush Administration, writing, “There is no longer any doubt that the current administration committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account.”

Each year, Asia Media Inc., publishers of ASIA, The Journal of Culture & Commerce, and the Asian Heritage Society, single out an individual for that person’s commitment and inspiration to the Asian Pacific Islander community. “Nothing can be more inspiring than General Taguba’s long and distinguished military career and for his willingness to place his career in jeopardy so that the truth of Abu Ghraib be told,” said Rosalynn Carmen, co-publisher of ASIA. “He is an inspiration not only for Asian Americans but for all who value truth and justice,” she added.

General Taguba’s award will be a highlight of the July 25, 2009 gala ceremony aboard the USS Midway. Achievement in 15 other categories will also be acknowledged. In addition, the Sixth Annual Awards “Legacy and Legends” will bring together representatives from all branches of the Armed Services in a special salute to the military.

According to Leonard Novarro, Co-publisher of ASIA and vice president of Asia Media Inc., this year’s ceremony aboard the USS Midway has special symbolic significance for the Asian Pacific Islander community, having been the lifeline in rescuing thousands of Vietnamese fleeing their homeland during the fall of Saigon and for having served in both the Vietnam and Korean Wars. The carrier was launched at the end of World War II and saw its first service off the coast of Japan.
The Asian Heritage Awards Committee is currently accepting nominations in all categories. Individual nominees must be of Asian heritage; organizations nominated must be of service to the Asian Pacific Islander community locally or abroad. See AsianHeritageAwards.com for more details.

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