• Jasmine Villegas  Wednesday, 31 March 2010 10:21 Dynamic, stunning, and powerful are just a few words to describe Sony Epic’s newest recording artist, sixteen year old Jasmine Villegas, known to ...
    Posted Jul 23, 2012, 10:38 PM by Tatak Kawiteno
  • Robert Shroder Maestro Robert Shroder: Extraordinary Pinoy By his name and appearance, Californian musical conductor Robert Shroder seems to be as American as apple pie. But once you start talking to this ...
    Posted Jul 30, 2012, 8:16 AM by Tatak Kawiteno
  • Santa Maria Magdalena  Sunday, 28 February 2010 15:55  Feastday: July 22 She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the name 'Magdalen' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a ...
    Posted Jul 23, 2012, 10:30 PM by Tatak Kawiteno
  • Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy "We cannot free ourselves unless we move forward united in a single desire."Emilio Aguinaldo headed the Philippine revolutionary government that, in May and June 1898, defeated Spanish forces in ...
    Posted Jul 24, 2012, 4:52 PM by Tatak Kawiteno
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Jasmine Villegas

posted Jul 23, 2012, 10:38 PM by Tatak Kawiteno

 Wednesday, 31 March 2010 10:21

Dynamic, stunning, and powerful are just a few words to describe Sony Epic’s newest recording artist, sixteen year old Jasmine Villegas, known to her fans as Jasmine V, this talented teen is about to set the music world on fire!  Jasmine's mother, Bernadette Vales, is an alumni of Saint Mary Magdalene School in Kawit and her grandparents, Sofie & Phillip Vales are long time Kawiteno members of Northern California.

No stranger to the business Jasmine has been entertaining people since the tender age of four when she discovered her talent for singing and would perform at all family functions. Even at four years old everyone could tell Jasmine was special when they were knocked out by the power in the little dynamos voice. When Jasmine was seven years old she won a singing contest at a Hawaiian Tropic

s contest in San Jose, California. Jasmine was discovered at age eleven when a guy heard her singing while she was walking down the street. He was so impressed that he took her to meet his friend who was interning at Damon Dash Music Group and had her sing for him. He was so impressed that he had her sing for his boss Gabriella Mosci who worked for producer and music extraordinaire, Damon Dash. Gabriella saw something extremely special in Jasmine and decided to manager her. Jasmine began honing her skills in music and acting and was booking jobs in those fields by the age of ten landing her first acting job in a commercial for the hit animated feature The Land Before The Time. It wasn’t before long that this San Jose native was landing her first professional singing gig at age eleven when she performed the National Anthem for the Los Angeles Clippers.

With a work ethic that would rival a hundred steel workers, Jasmine who has been home-schooled since the third grade began touring at age eleven and in the past 4 ½ years has performed in over 400 shows across country and overseas. She is an extremely seasoned performer and also devotes a lot of her time giving back to the community. She has performed for educational school assembly programs across the country. She has also worked with LA’s Best, a non-profit after school program to perform at 100 elementary schools in the Los Angeles area. She also works closely with other children’s non-profit organizations such as the Geffen Playhouse, Big Brother Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club of America, Special Olympics, and Aspira Foster Care.

Jasmine’s musical performances include:

Singing the National Anthem for a bevy of top tier professional sporting events like: Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, Anaheim Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Kings, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Falcons, World’s Figure Skating Championship 09, Los Angeles Galaxy, PGA Tour, Winky Wright vs. Jermain Taylor boxing fight, Paul Williams vs. Antonio Margarito boxing fight, Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Marquez boxing fight, Manny Pacquiao vs. David Diaz boxing fight, Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito boxing fight and the Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton fight in Las Vegas mid 2009 in which the anthem was broadcasted live on PPV/ HBO reaching an audience of more then 100 million viewers. The next day, Jasmine V. was the #2 most Googled topic the day in connection with the fight!

Her youthful ambition and undeniable talent has also taken Jasmine into other creative arenas. She has been featured in print advertisements for such outlets as Target, Mary Kate and Ashley, American Girl, Levi’s, Hilary Duff, Robinsons May, Macys, Mervyns, Girl Scouts, Sparklets Drinking Water and Kohls to name a few. She has also starred in numerous commercials for brands as Chevrolet, Kellogg’s, Marshalls, and McDonald’s to name a few.

In addition, Jasmine’s TV credits also include guest-starring roles on such shows as Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven,” Touchstone Pictures’ “My Wife and Kids” She was cast as a series regular Disney pilot sitcom “House Broken”, a spin-off of Disney’s “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody,” starring Brian Stepanek and Selena Gomez. She also had recurring roles on such shows as ABC’s short lived but critically acclaimed series “The Nine.” Jasmine has also been featured in Kanye West’s music video Jesus Walks and Frankie J‘s How To Deal.

However it doesn’t stop there, Jasmine has also been making international headlines and has spent several months in Manila, Philippines performing for one of their biggest television networks, GMA7. She is managed in the Philippines by no other then super star world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao. She is a regular on the country’s number one rated television show. She has gained an enormous fan base there as well as other surrounding Asian countries and Filipino/Americans living in the US.

When Jasmine isn’t working she enjoys playing Sims, bowling, and hanging out with her friends making YouTube videos. She also enjoys hanging out with her family and her pets which include her cat Snuggles, her dog Chase and her fish named Mistake.  Jasmine's mother, Bernadette Vales, is an alumni of Saint Mary Magdalene School in Kawit and her grandparents, Sofie & Phillip Vales are long time Kawiteno members of Northern California.


Article is reposted from with consent.

Robert Shroder

posted Jul 23, 2012, 10:31 PM by Tatak Kawiteno   [ updated Jul 30, 2012, 8:16 AM ]

Maestro Robert Shroder: Extraordinary Pinoy 

By his name and appearance, Californian musical conductor Robert Shroder seems to be as American as apple pie. But once you start talking to this very talented musical director, you’ll learn that he is as Pinoy as kare-kare and adobo. You can’t help but be taken aback when you first meet this very Caucasian-looking American talking in straight Tagalog –with the right Pinoy accent.

“Pinoy na Pinoy ako!” Shroder proudly says. “I was born in Kawit, Cavite and didn’t immigrate to the US [until] 1991. My father, Jerald Vincent Shroder, was with the US Military stationed at Sangley Point. That’s where he met my mom, Rosalinda Enriquez Samaniego.”

The founding conductor of the Boyle Heights Youth Symphony, Shroder is also the first Filipino-American in the symphony which was founded in 2002.  A favorite symphony of the Office of the Mayor, Shroder and his team frequently perform in government social and community.

Shroder is also a freelance musician and a member of the Local 47, the American Federation of Musicians. He plays to a mixed audience for special events, but his favorite, of course, is performing for the Filipino-American community events.

Music Conductors came into vogue with the rise of Ensemble Music - with so many musicians playing together it became necessary for there to be someone to ‘lead’ them, to indicate when certain passages were to be played and by which section, and the tempo required. It is the conductor’s interpretation of the music that brings overwhelming success or the opposite to a concert.

Shroder’s masterful conducting has made him a favorite of several Filipino artists, like Joey Albert and Pilita Corrales, who know that with Shroder as musical director of their concerts, they are assured success. As a conductor, Robert has impeccably sensitive ears, as well as a rhythmic and interpretative sense. He is skillfully acquainted with every instrument of the orchestra, and is an outstanding flutist. He not only makes sure entries are made at the right time and that there is a unified beat;  Robert sets the tempo, executes clear preparations and beats, listens critically and shapes the sound of the ensemble.

Shroder grew up in Cavite and studied at Emilio Aguinaldo Elementary School, Kawit High School and San Sebastian High School. He then took up Music Conducting at the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music, with Flute as his major instrument.

Shroder admits his passion and talent for music are in his genes. “My lolo, the father of my mom, Augusto Samaniego, was a member of the Philippine Constabulary Band. He was a conductor and played the saxophone under Col Walter Loving. They participated in the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in Treasure Island in San Francisco. He was also the conductor of the Magdalo Concert Band. He took me to rehearsals, fiestas, and to the different engagements of the band, so I grew up in that milieu. I inherited the conductorship of the band when he died. As conductor of the Magdalo Concert Band from 1984-1991, we performed classical music, overtures and marches during fiestas, wakes and other such community affairs,” he recalled.

Robert won the Grand Prize in the National Music Competition for Young Artists in 1982, which was sponsored by Imelda Marcos. He was hired to be the principal flutist of the Manila Symphony Orchestra, the oldest symphony orchestra in Asia. He did some solo engagements in different areas in the Philippines and was a part of the Manila Chamber Orchestra. Shroder also taught flute and chamber music in UP and did recordings for pop music and the Pinoy movie industry. He immigrated in 1991 and first stayed in San Diego where his parents lived.

Robert and wife Amy have four children, Katrina, Timothy, Vanessa and Andrew. Vanessa is a flutist like her dad while Andrew is a singer. Since migrating to the States, Robert makes sure he and his family maintain close ties with the homeland. “We go back at least every other year to the Philippines. I am always in touch with friends and associates in the Philippines,” he said.

These days, Shroder is extraordinarily excited at the prospect of seeing one of his long-cherished dream come true. “Filipino orchestra musicians here in Southern California have long dreamed of founding a Filipino symphony orchestra not only for the Filipino community but for everybody who appreciate music. Wala pang ganito so Filipino musicians have joined orchestras of other races.We learned that there are 3 Filipino orchestra members of the Korean orchestra. There are also Chinese symphony orchestras, Japanese, Jewish --but no Filipino orchestra yet. It doesn’t mean the orchestra will only have Filipino members. So long as we have a core group of Filipinos, we can get musician of other races. The problem has been the lack of a management team to run the business and take care of the administrative side. Matagal na naming gustong mag-start ng symphony group but it’s hard kung puro lang kami musicians at walang management back-up. We don’t have any lack for Filipino talents here; we can form a 55-120 man orchestra with strings -violin, cello, double bass- and wind - flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombones. Well, now, mukhang matutuloy na ang aming pangarap na ito. Thank God for Asian Journal chairman Roger Oriel who caught our vision and has enthusiastically agreed to make our dream come true by founding the first Filipino symphony orchestra in America. Watch out for that very soon!” Robert said excitedly.

Yes, the very first Filipino symphony orchestra in America is now being organized and will soon be another “pride of the Philippines”. And there’s no better musical conductor to lead it than the maestro from Cavite --- Robert Shroder. (

Although Bob is a master flute player, he can bring the house down playing the sax!

Handog ng Buhay @ Ford Amphitheatre

Since the printing of this article, FASO with Bob conducting, successfully completed their Handog ng FASO sa Pasko concert at the Pasdena Civic Center.

Santa Maria Magdalena

posted Jul 23, 2012, 10:26 PM by Tatak Kawiteno   [ updated Jul 23, 2012, 10:30 PM ]

 Sunday, 28 February 2010 15:55 

Feastday: July 22

She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the name 'Magdalen' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a Gentile town called Magdale, in northern Galilee, and her culture and manners were those of a Gentile. St. Luke records that she was a notorious sinner, and had seven devils removed from her. She was present at Our Lords' Crucifixion, and with Joanna and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, at Jesus' empty tomb. Fourteen years after Our Lord's death, St. Mary was put in a boat by the Jews without sails or oars - along with Sts. Lazarus and Martha, St. Maximin (who baptized her), St. Sidonius ("the man born blind"), her maid Sera, and the body of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin. They were sent drifting out to sea and landed on the shores of Southern France, where St. Mary spent the rest of her life as a contemplative in a cave known as Sainte-Baume. She was given the Holy Eucharist daily by angels as her only food, and died when she was 72. St. Mary was transported miraculously, just before she died, to the chapel of St. Maximin, where she received the last sacraments.

More about this saint: St. Mary Magdalen (Feast day - July 22) Mary Magdalen was well known as a sinner when she first

saw Our Lord. She was very beautiful and very proud, but after she met Jesus, she felt great sorrow for her evil life. When Jesus went to supper at the home of a rich man named Simon, Mary came to weep at His feet. Then with her long beautiful hair, she wiped His feet dry and anointed them with expensive perfume. Some people were surprised that Jesus let such a sinner touch Him, but Our Lord could see into Mary's heart, and He said: "Many sins are forgiven her, because she has loved very much." Then to Mary He said kindly, "Your faith has made you safe; go in peace." From then on, with the other holy women, Mary humbly served Jesus and His Apostles. When Our Lord was crucified, she was there at the foot of His cross, unafraid for herself, and thinking only of His sufferings. No wonder Jesus said of her: "She has loved much." After Jesus' body had been placed in the tomb, Mary went to anoint it with spices early Easter Sunday morning. Not finding the Sacred Body, she began to weep, and seeing someone whom she thought was the gardener, she asked him if he knew where the Body of her beloved Master had been taken. But then the person spoke in a voice she knew so well: "Mary!" It was Jesus, risen from the dead! He had chosen to show Himself first to Mary Magdalen, the repentent sinner.


St. Mary Magdalene was placed as Patron saint of Kawit, by Archbishop Miguel Garcia Serrano (1618-1629).

St. Mary Magdalene Church in Kawit, Cavite is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was initially built in wood in 1638 and was erected by six Filipino families hailing from the towns of Maragondon and Silang.

 In 1737, the cornerstones were built however, it was destroyed in 1831 by a strong typhoon. It was  handled by the Secular priests in 1786 and then by the Recolletos in 1894. The present structure was constructed in 1737.  Through the concerted efforts of the Kawiteños, the church was renovated and given a traditional face lift in 1990.

 In 1869, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the president of the first Philippine Republic was baptized in this church.

 St. Mary Magdalene's birth certificate is kept inside a glass cabinet on the left side of the altar and her life-size statue is stored inside the parish church of Kawit. The present parish priest is Fr. Luciano Paguiligan.

WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia

Church photo taken by Angelo Aguinaldo

Additional information on-line:

Short photo essay of the church...

Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy

posted Jul 23, 2012, 10:25 PM by Tatak Kawiteno   [ updated Jul 24, 2012, 4:52 PM by Tatak Kawiteno ]

"We cannot free ourselves unless we move forward united in a single desire."

Emilio Aguinaldo headed the Philippine revolutionary government that, in May and June 1898, defeated Spanish forces in Manila and other parts of Luzon and the Visayas. On June 12, 1898, he proclaimed Independence from the window of his house in Cavite El Viejo town (now Kawit), south of Manila. The country's first flag was unveiled, and the national anthem was first played - both created under Aguinaldo's direction.

On January 23, 1899, two months before turning 30, Aguinaldo was proclaimed the first president of the Republic of the Philippines, and he convened the Philippine Congress which ratified the country's Constitution. The first Asian constitutional republic was thus established - an event that inspired other colonized Asian countries to work for independence. One world power, Spain, had been defeated, but Aguinaldo soon faced another: the United States of America. Undaunted, he shifted to guerrilla warfare and eluded his adversaries for two years.

Born in Cavite El Viejo in 1869, Aguinaldo was the seventh of eight children of Carlos Aguinaldo, town mayor for several terms, and Trinidad Famy. Emilio himself was elected mayor, taking office on January 1, 1895; at midnight that same day he was inducted into Freemasonry, which attracted many nationalists. Before April, Emilio, 26, joined the Katipunan, the secret society that ignited the Philippine Revolution the following year.

He was initiated by Katipunan leader Andres Bonifacio. In early 1897, Bonifacio would be found guilty of treason for attempting to set up a separate authority and army. He was executed by the revolutionary government under Emilio Aguinaldo. The latter's role in Bonifacio's arrest and execution is controversial. Before these unfortunate incidents, however, both were key rebel leaders. Bonifacio was overall head and led the decision to start the revolution in August 1896. But better-armed Spanish forces beat back his assaults in Manila.

Aguinaldo, on the other hand, led successful assaults and quickly earned a reputation as a commander who could defeat the Spaniards. In September 1896, almost all of Cavite was liberated. Aguinaldo distilled the rush of emotions in free Cavite in his proclamation of October 1896 - addressed not just to Tagalogs, but to all Filipinos. Declaring a free Philippines to be the equal of the world's civilized countries, he justified the revolution and cited other nations that fought for freedom. His concept of the Philippines eventually included the Muslims in Mindanao. In 1899, he wrote to assure the Sultan of Jolo that the beliefs of all Filipinos would be respected.

When the war between the Spaniards and the revolutionary forces showed signs of becoming a protracted guerrilla conflict, both sides signed a truce pact. Exiled to Hong Kong under the accord, Aguinaldo remained focused on fighting for independence. When the Spanish-American War broke out, he saw the opportunity to resume the revolution with U.S. backing. He hoped that America, a nation that had itself revolted against an imperial power, would not colonize another freedom-loving people.

But by February 1899, Filipinos and Americans were at war and Aguinaldo retreated to northern Luzon, where he was captured in 1901. Taking him into custody, General Frederick Funston noted his "dignified bearing," "excellent qualities," and "humane instincts." Such traits may explain why he attracted an unprecedented following among the normally regionalistic, factious Filipinos. He had been one of the few who had galvanized them in a struggle greater than themselves, their families, their regions.

Aguinaldo's unrelenting pursuit of a free and independent Philippines did not diminish in the 48 years of American rule. He staunchly supported, even to his detriment, groups that advocated immediate independence, and he helped veterans of the struggle. He received visitors from the United States, Japan and other countries, including former adversaries.

When the Americans finally allowed the Philippine flag to be displayed in 1919, Aguinaldo transformed his Kawit home into an outstanding monument to the colors, the revolution and the declaration of Independence. When the colonizers finally left on July 4, 1946, he carried the flag in the Independence parade. His proudest moment came in 1962. After the U.S. rejected Philippine claims for the destruction wrought by American forces in World War II, president Diosdado Macapagal changed Independence Day from July 4 to June 12. Aguinaldo rose from his sickbed to attend the celebration of Independence 64 years after he declared it. 1

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