By Alex P. Vidal

“There will be killing till the score is paid.”  ― Homer, The Odyssey

WHILE we were monitoring the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival 2023 “live” Saturday night (Sunday morning in the Philippines) via the internet, a “breaking” news about mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, the first in the Year of the Rabbit, interrupted.

When the news first broke out, there was no immediate available number of casualties. We only learned that 10 people have been killed early Sunday morning when several TV news networks belatedly disclosed it (they, too, could not immediately get the exact number of dead).

And late in the afternoon, another “breaking” news came: a man was found dead inside a white cargo van after a standoff with police in Torrance, California.

Police confirmed the dead was the suspect who carried out the mass shooting. He was identified as Huu Can Tran, 72, and was pronounced dead at the scene following a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said during a news conference Sunday afternoon also aired “live.”

Luna said Tran is suspected of opening fire at a dance studio in Monterey Park, killing 10 people and injuring 10 more as the city’s large Asian American community was celebrating Lunar New Year weekend.

The Monterey Park massacre was the first recorded mass shooting in the United States this year.

Most of the dead were reportedly Asian Americans, but we are confident no Filipino was among the dead.


Across America, gun violence surged in many communities in 2022 at 617 as overall death rates from firearms rose to the highest level in nearly three decades.

The year saw a near-record number of mass casualty shooting incidents, including several allegedly motivated by hate. The Monterey Park mass shooting appeared to be not motivated by hate, according to a California congresswoman.

Mass shootings are broadly defined as an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter.

Analysts see a link between bias-motivated gun violence and a rise in hate groups and toxic discourse in the United States targeting vulnerable, often marginalized populations.

In June last year, Congress approved the first national gun legislation in decades.

The law sought to deny firearms to those deemed dangerous and a threat to public safety. It would also fund new mental health programs and require enhanced background checks on gun buyers aged 18 to 21.

Many Republican lawmakers opposed the legislation. “Democrats are coming after law-abiding American citizens’ Second Amendment liberties,” said Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, referring to the constitutional right to “keep and bear arms” that gun rights defenders believe should be broadly protected.

But many Democrats and gun control advocates want to go further and ban semi-automatic weapons, among other restrictions.


Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid that is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that transmits its signals between the nerve cells and the brain. It reduces hunger, increase sexual interest, improve memory and mental alertness, and alleviate depression. (Source: Vitamin Bible)… Foods and nutrients that can lower our cholesterol naturally: Activated charcoal, barely, carrots, chromium, corn bran, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower), eggplant, evening primrose oil, fenugreek seed, fiber, garlic, ginger, lemon grass oil, soy beans, yogurt, red pepper, onions…In 2020, Hispanics was supposed to outnumber the whites in the United States, according to a census report. While some white couples have one or two babies, some Hispanic couples have four to six babies. No wonder…

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (P.M.S.). For two to ten days before the onset of menstruation, millions of women are affected by a wide range of physical discomforts and mood disorders–from bloating, depression, and insomnia to severe pains, uncontrolled rages, crying spells, and even suicidal depression. This is known as P.M.S. (Source: Vitamin Bible). The seven cardinals of the Roman Catholic church who falsely condemned Galileo Galilei in the Holy Inquisition were F. Cardinalis de Asculo, G. Cardinalis Bentiuolus, Fr. Cardinalis de Cremona, Fr. Antonius Cardinalis S. Honuphrij, B. Cardinalis Gypsius, Fr. Cardinalis Verospius, M. Cardinalis Ginettus.


HAPPINESS DRINK. A study involving more than 1,000 Japanese people age 70 or over found that those who drank at least four cups of green tea a day enjoyed better moods than those drinking a cup or less. The uplifting ingredient is theanine, the researchers believe.

STRATEGY. In addition to talking to our youngsters about the dangers of cigarettes, let us encourage them to play team sports and watch tobacco-free flicks.

It could keep them from lighting up, according to a recent study. None-athletes ages 9 to 14 were twice as likely as sporty kids to become smokers later in life, and all kids who watched movies showing heavy smoking were about 20% more likely to get addicted.

ALL ABOUT SCIENCE. The sun is an incandescent ball of gases. Its mass is 1.8 x 1027 tons or 1.8 octillion tons (a mass 330,000 times as great as the Earth), according to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburg…In round numbers, the speed of light in a vacuum is 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second.

The exact figure is 186,282 miles (299,792.458 kilometers) per second.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)