What we read this year; The FilAm’s most-clicked stories in 2013

Newsmakers (clockwise from top left) Katherine Luzuriaga, Jose Antonio Vargas, Bessie Badilla and Antoni Mendezona

Newsmakers (clockwise from top left) Katherine Luzuriaga, Jose Antonio Vargas, Bessie Badilla and Antoni Mendezona

By Cristina DC Pastor

A pioneering pediatric scientist, a cheeky essay on the Philippines’ islands-full of charm, and an undocumented immigrant’s full-throttle candor. These are among the stories most read by Filipinos in the New York area in 2013.

The stories that made The FilAm’s Top 10 selection are primarily local and not necessarily the hottest news stories in the world in which the Philippines and/or Filipinos figured prominently.

Our readers will not find our Typhoon Haiyan coverage in this annual batch of engaging reads. Although our stream of typhoon stories garnered thousands of Views, Likes and Shares, the news came quite late in the year (November 8) and could not play catch-up with earlier stories that have been amassing all those stats.

The story of scientist Katherine Luzuriaga, who helped find a cure for an HIV infant, topped The FilAm’s most-read article for the year. And with great reason. Dr. Luzuriaga was one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. She and her team of scientists found this breakthrough cure that could possibly treat HIV-infected children early and prevent the spread of the virus.

This was followed by former fashion model Bessie Badilla’s tongue-in-cheek essay on why it’s “more fun” in the Gates of Hell, Dan Brown’s fictionalized Manila. Bessie is the co-founder of the Facebook group, Come Visit my Philippines, which promotes the country as a unique and lively tourist destination.

The article on America’s most popular undocumented immigrant ranked third. FilAms have this conflicted attitude toward the Define American founder, Jose Antonio Vargas. Some hoist ethnic pride for his courage and crossover appeal as an activist, others are miffed that he is being given celebrity treatment because of his Pulitzer Award when he should, in reality, be fighting deportation.

Here is the complete list of our best-read stories.

1-FilAm scientist Katherine Luzuriaga, who helped find a cure for HIV baby, among TIME’s most influential people
One of two Filipinos who made this year’s TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World is Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga, a pediatric allergist and immunologist from the University of Massachusetts. She was part of the team that developed a cure for an HIV-positive infant.

2-It’s more fun in the ‘gates of hell’
Kababayan, I’m getting white hair and wrinkles by the minute as I read your articles, blogs, posts and comments on Facebook on how upset you are about Dan Brown’s latest book, “Inferno.”

3-Jose Antonio Vargas: ‘If you think I’m not Filipino that’s your problem, that’s not my problem’
Jose’s was a presence that parted a room and moved people to stand and applaud. “Please don’t clap,” he brushed aside the faint applause. His body moved side to side as his head scanned the tiny room filling up with people. By this time, a line of greeters had formed in front to shake his hand or just wish him the best in his campaign. He was always within range of an iPhone ready to click.

4-Bubbly Cebuana from Brooklyn is Maria Clara in ‘Noli’ opera
Her name is Antoni Mendezona. Born to one of Cebu’s prominent families — just like the Osmenas and the Cuencos — whose affluence derives from the food and retail business, Toni grew up in the Visayan province and came to the U.S. when she was 15. This talented actress-soprano now lives in Brooklyn.

5-Carlos Bulosan poem to highlight Asian/Pacific Heritage Month in May
The White House announced that the theme for this year’s celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May is “I Want the Wide American Earth,” a poem by acclaimed Filipino American writer Carlos Bulosan.

6-Human trafficking charges filed vs newspaper publisher’s family
Two couples from New York, including a newspaper publisher, are being sued for human trafficking by a woman who filed charges of forced labor and false imprisonment against them.

7- How a math educator solved her ‘unknowns’ and became a top NYC teacher
Coming to New York City through a temporary H-1B teaching visa was a risk and a commitment to several unknowns. After all, I was already an accomplished educator for 15 years in the Philippines. Who would pass up the chance to teach and to live in the city with infinite possibilities? To borrow the wisdom of Loida Nicolas Lewis, “If it happened and not in New York, then it did not happen.”

8-The Reyna Elena: The Santacruzan tradition is a ‘spectacular’ way to unite a community
My name is Megan Villarin and I am a member of St. Raphael Holy Angel’s Filipino Community in Hamilton, New Jersey. Although I am an American-born teenager, being a part of this community has allowed me to connect with my heritage and strengthen my Catholic faith.

9-Year 3 for TOFA-NY: Quick-thinking nurse, gutsy actress, Connecticut judge lead nominees
This year’s TOFA-NY is proud to announce the New York Tri-State’s outstanding Filipino Americans, led by a nurse who saved infants in critical condition when Hurricane Sandy caused a power outage, a former actress who is suing for racial discrimination, and a judge who is the first FilAm to serve in Connecticut

10-Susan Gador: Caring for trauma patients the Filipino nurse’s way
“Little that I know that I will get used to the ambulance and police siren living in the housing building of one of the trauma hospitals in Brooklyn,” said RN Susan Gador, a pain specialist.



One Comment

  1. M. Matthews wrote:

    Thank you Ms. Pastor for the information regarding the most read articles in 2013 in
    The Fil-Am. M.

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