Remembering Ben Viccari — a very good friend, mentor and a father to me

July 2, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — Today, in what could have been his 99th birth anniversary, I remember writer, journalist & broadcaster Ben Viccari, who was a very good friend, a mentor to me in Canadian multiculturalism and who was a second father to me, too.

Wherever you are, Ben, please know that I haven’t forgotten you; your innate goodness on, close support for, and encouragement to me.

I offered the Holy Mass I heard today for your eternal tranquility.

Thank you so much for all what you have done for me and for all your fatherly love and care.

Ace Alvarez, Madeline Ziniak and Ben Viccari (Courtesy: Manila Media Monitor/Front Page Philippines TV /Click photo to enlarge)

In photo, Ben Viccari – at the time president of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA), an all-inclusive national association of publishers, editors, writers and other professionals engaged in print, radio and television, making a point before Madeline Ziniak, Executive Director of CEMA and at the time, Vice President for National Television of Rogers Media, Inc., and me. The meeting occurred shortly before passing on the gavel to me as the elected successor to Ben for the presidency of CEMA.

More on Ben Viccari on Wikipedia.


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The 2015 Canadian Federal Elections: a Moral Compass by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

October 16, 2015

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — One legal principle that is universally-recognized is that “the laws of man are based from the laws of God.”

This being so, I re-share here what Deacon Bob Rosales of the Archdiocese of Toronto already shared within several closed groups on Facebook to help guide in our choice on which political party to lead us in the next four years. I find, however, that the Guide would be of greater benefit sharing the same to a larger audience, hence, this repost.

You may find the GUIDE by pressing HERE.

The 2015 Federal Election Guide was prepared by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Meanwhile, on my premise here that “the laws of man are based from the laws of God,” I need not establish the truth about the statement just cited. For purposes, however, of those who may want additional knowledge on legal history, the following may add to your understanding:

On Biblical passages, one may refer to Romans 13:1-14 ESV


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October 14, 2015

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — The federal elections in Canada are five days away. Are you still undecided on who to put at the House of Commons to represent you and your riding?

Most voters do not even understand how the leadership of the government is formed in Canada.

In Canada and other parliamentary systems of government elsewhere, such as in the United Kingdom Australia and New Zealand, the Prime Minister is not directly elected by voters. They are a Member of Parliament and voted to office by the constituency, or riding, that they sought office as the representative of such riding to the legislature. One who becomes a Prime Minister is usually the leader of a political party. They only become a Prime Minister if their party — either on its own, or as part of a coalition or by another arrangement, ends up forming the government, and on whom more than one half of the members of the legislature has reposed confidence in.

In Canada, the leader of the political party who wins the most of those seats after elections is then automatically installed as Prime Minister.

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From an expert, here’s why parents must get closely involved with the Catholic Education of their Children

August 29, 2014

Toronto, Ontario — The kind of governance that every state has depends on the formative values that our leaders have been reared in by their parents, teachers and the people they have been with in constant company, because all these people somehow have influenced them.

It is said that the youth is the future of a nation. As first teachers, parents have great responsibility on the children and the youth of today. After, parents, the teachers are next whom school children look up to. Some of us might even notice that our kindergarten and early grader kids would at times tell us, “No, it’s not so. My teacher said that ….” This only proves that, as one internationally-known statesman, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, said, “The school is the book in which is written the future of the nation.”

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God in all His wisdom said, “Just build a better you.”

July 18, 2014

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — As I prayed last night for the 298 people aboard the Malaysian Airlines MH!7 fired upon yesterday with the ground-to-air missile over Ukraine, I was discerning at the same time the logic behind such dastardly act against innocent people by whoever were behind it.

If only I could do something about it and remedy all the troubles in this world. But how?

It is said that whatever one feels is the voice of God within. In my heart, it seemed that I heard a response, through a reminder of the following which I read three decades back from the private library collection of my longtime, and very dear friend, Bobbie Nunez (then of Paranaque City, The Philippines, and now living in the USA):

Of unknown authorship, it read:

“Build a better world, said God
”And I asked how?
”The world is such a vast place and so complicated now
“I am small and useless
”What can I do?
”God in all His wisdom said, ‘Just build a better you.’.”

Now, calm over that event, I just offer this world and its peoples, a better me – that I have worked myself to be through the years.



This post is also available by pressing here:

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‘In politics, there are no permanent friends, nor permanent enemies’

June 22, 2014

Scarborough, Ontario — I saw my longtime friend, as I usually do, in church today, Michelle Serrano, and told me that she’s running for the Nomination as MP (Member of Parliament) in the Riding of Scarborough Southwest in next year’s Federal Election.

For Torontonians, Michelle Serrano is a former colleague in the broadcast media here, and daughter of “forever” Ontario Liberal Party and Liberal Party of Canada supporter and community leader Monina Serrano.

With this in mind, as well as the nomination race as MP for Scarborough Centre, where (should I say, a friend, or acquaintance) Rafael Fabregas, is running, let us all bear in mind our own Filipino-Canadian community. Should these Filipino Canadians succeed, I am certain that their activities at the House of Commons will contribute to the benefit of Filipino-Canadians, Filipinos and the Philippines at large. After all, at the stages that they started before embarking on a journey to the level that they are aiming for, they always have had in mind, the Filipino Canadian community.

The Filipino Canadian community is just like any other. Each of us has our political ideology, partisan inclination and beliefs and so on. On the other hand, during the many years passing, the leadership in the Filipino Canadian community continually was calling for members of the community to run for public office. We have heard of this adage many times: “In politics, there are no permanent friends, nor permanent enemies”; and yes, even in the legislative assemblies of each country, the legislators say “hello” to one another!

Now that several have come forward for the upcoming local, and next years federal elections, cut the irreverence, friends, and just think of what these Filipino Canadian brains could do for the Filipino Canadian community.

Good luck, Michelle. Good luck, Raffy!

(Ace Alvarez)


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June 15, 2014

The family is a basic social institution, where male parenting has a very important role to play. Thus, today, we honor all fathers.and celebrate fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.

As a father myself, I realize the enormous duty and lifetime commitment that we, fathers, have on our roles to our family and society. As fathers, it is our moral obligation to continue instilling values, discipline and respect on our children; to teach them, guide them and care for them, so that when time comes that they should be out there and live their lives with their respective basic family unit, a wholesome society is thereby created – defining the quality of people of our state.

One world-renowned Filipino nationalist said that “The school is the book in which is written the future of a nation.” I say, we, fathers – and mothers alike, are the first schools of our children!



Ace Alvarez
Toronto, Ontario


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