Chain | Cohn | Stiles joins annual Filipino festival as Philippine Weekend celebrates 45 years

July 17, 2019 | 6:00 am


Each year, thousands of people come together in the northern Kern County city of Delano during the summer to celebrate Filipino history and culture. And this year, on the 45th anniversary of Philippine Weekend, Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to join in the festivities as the law firm also commemorates a big milestone — 85 years.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles will be serving as a supporter, sponsor, and participant in this year’s celebration that include contests, fiestas, parades, and tournaments.

The first Philippine Weekend began in 1974 centered around a basketball tournament and other festivities designed to pass on the rich traditions of Filipino culture. Dr. Jose Rizal, known as the “father of Filipino nationalism,” was the inspiration for the local celebration. In short, the weekend blends the elder traditions that were born in the Philippines with the traditions that are being created in America.

Today, Philippine Weekend encompasses a dozen events that span over the course of the month, but mainly take place over three days, and draws thousands from across the country. The different contests featured throughout the weekend highlight respect, sportsmanship, and growth throughout the Filipino community.

Community volunteering and local business support — like what Chain | Cohn | Stiles is providing — are the backbone for the Philippine Weekend, itself a nonprofit organization, that has allowed for the event to reach 45 years. College scholarships are also awarded for graduating high school students.

This year’s theme is “45 years…babalik ka kin…celebrating our Filipino pride.” The festivities are as follows:

  • Adobo Cook-Off: A competition highlighting the popular and beloved Filipino dishes will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 26, at Cecil Avenue Park. Workers’ compensation* lawyer James Yoro, who is of Filipino descent, will serve as a judge once again this year. Yoro, who has been a lawyer with Chain | Cohn | Stiles for nearly 40 years, and became the first president of Filipino descent of the Kern County Bar Association in 2017.
  • Grand Parade & Ceremony: A parade of floats, bands, marching groups, and car and bike clubs will celebrate the rich Filipino history throughout downtown Delano at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 27. The 2019 Philippine Weekend Grand Marshals are the San Juan Family. Opening ceremonies will follow at 11:30 a.m. at Cecil Avenue Park.
  • Barrio Fiesta: The Barrio Fiesta brings together Filipino values: pageantry, laughter, family, friendship, and drama. It will feature food vendors and entertainment from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28, at Cecil Avenue Park.
  • Tournaments: A tennis tournament will take from July 26-28 at Delano High School tennis courts, and the basketball tournament, which was featured in the first Philippine Weekend, will take place from July 27-28 at the Delano High School and Cesar Chavez High School gymnasiums.
  • More Activities: For a full list of activities, go to the Philippine Weekend Facebook page.

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If you or someone you know is injured in an accident, please call the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles at (661) 323-4000, or chat with us online at chainlaw.com.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles joins the 42nd celebration of Delano’s Philippine Weekend

July 20, 2016 | 7:00 am


For the 42nd year, thousands of people from Kern County and visitors from around the world will come together in Delano to celebrate the rich art and history of the Philippines during the annual Philippine Weekend.

And the Bakersfield-based law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles is thrilled to support as a sponsor the array of cultural events and family-friendly entertainment lined up for attendees.

 

WEEKEND OF CULTURE 

Although most Philippine Weekend events take place the last weekend of July — July 29 to July 31 — many events begin early in the month. Among the popular annual events include:

  • Pageants: Delano hosts Mr. and Miss Philippine pageants, as well as a “Tiny Tots” pageant.
  • Street Fair: Vendors, food and entertainment will be showcased from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 on Main Street in Delano. It is organized by the Delano Chamber of Commerce.
  • Adobo Cook-Off: The popular competition featuring the staple Filipino dish takes place at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 29. Chain | Cohn | Stiles workers’ compensation* attorney James Yoro — who is of Filipino descent — regularly serves as a judge each year.
  • Opening Ceremonies: This parade kicks off festivities that continue through the weekend.
  • Barrio Fiesta: The annual fiesta at Cecil Park brings together thousands of celebrators to enjoy food, vendors and entertainment.
  • Basketball Tournament: This event kicked off the first Philippine Weekend observation in 1974. The tournament, which draws players from around the state, continues today.
  • Much More: For a full schedule, click here or go to philippineweekend.org.

 

SPONSORSHIP

Philippine Weekend has served Kern County since 1974. It has grown from a basketball tournament started by local high school and college students to more than 10 cultural events, including a Barrio Fiesta that attracts up 7,000 people every year.

Philippine Weekend, which serves as a nonprofit organization, is dependent entirely on the voluntary work of local members of the community and sponsorships of local businesses.

Sponsorships, like that from Chain | Cohn | Stiles, help fund the annual Miss, Mister and Tiny Tots pageants, the popular Adobo cook-off, singing and dance contests, the grand parade, statewide invitational basketball tournament, Barrio Fiesta and other cultural entertainment. Sponsorships also help provide scholarships to graduating high school students.

“Monetary assistance will help sustain our celebration and cultural festival, which not only provides enrichment to our youth, but also allows us to share our culture with other cultures,” according to Philippine Weekend organizers.

Look for Chain | Cohn | Stiles in Philippine Weekend print media, website, in the pageant’s program book and weekend souvenir book, and acknowledgement throughout the week.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

A very important part of the Filipino history observed and celebrated during the Philippine Weekend is Jose Rizal, who would publish novels and essays that would affect the course of Philippine history. He was born on June 19, 1861 and was executed on December 30, 1896.

Jose Rizal’s novels and essays were critical of Spanish friars and the power of the Catholic Church. He wrote about equality and rights for Filipinos. His writings lead to him being prosecuted for inciting rebellion in Spain, which lead to his exile to Hong Kong.

In 1892, Rizal formed a group called La Liga Filipina that went about trying to gain rights and equality for Filipinos through the law; however, it was stopped by the Spanish government since he was considered an enemy to the state. Then in 1896, Rizal was arrested on his way to Cuba for being involved in a rebellion, charges that were not true. But in court, he was found guilty of these crimes and was sentenced to death.

But the death of Jose Rizal only gave strength to the Filipino cause as he was “a man whose beliefs in the Filipino cause were so strong that his death gave life to the hopes and dreams of Filipinos everywhere,” Philippine Weekend organizers said on the event website.

“He continues to be revered as a national hero and has had greater influence on our people than any other man,” according to event organizers.

— By Marisol Earnest for Chain | Cohn | Stiles

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If you or someone you know if hurt in an accident or at work, call the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, or visit the website chainlaw.com

*NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers’ Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in a prison or a fine of up to $150,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Attorney Neil Gehlawat, father give Delano high schools funding boost with generous donation

March 2, 2016 | 8:45 am


* Note: Neil Gehlawat is no longer an attorney at Chain | Cohn | Stiles *

Editor’s Note: Chain | Cohn | Stiles partner Neil Gehlawat and his father, Delano doctor Dilbagh Gehlawat, recently gave a more than generous donation to the Delano Joint Union School District, which was covered by local media. Below is the news release, with information about the donation and how it will help, followed by local media coverage. 

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The Delano Joint Union High School District has received a $100,000 donation from a Bakersfield family and Delano doctor to help provide after-school and weekend tutoring for high school students, mentors for nearby elementary students, scholarships, and a summer bridge program to help incoming high-schoolers succeed.

The donation was made by Dr. Dilbagh Gehlawat and son Neil Gehlawat, an attorney at Bakersfield law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles. Dr. Gehlawat, a pediatrician, has taken care of children in Delano and surrounding areas for the past 35 years.

“We anticipate this donation could potentially reach hundreds of students,” district Superintendent Terri Nuckols said in a statement.

Said the Gehlawats in a statement: “We believe that education is the great equalizer in our society. No child, regardless of their socio-economic background, should be denied access to educational opportunities that will have a positive impact on their future. Our hope is that this donation will help provide high school students in Delano with the resources and opportunities needed to pursue a college education after high school.”

The donation will allow for the following programs in Delano:

  • Provide after-school tutoring by student mentors for high school students. Funding would pay for teacher coaches, tutor training, and funding additional after-school programs.
  • Provide music consultants and high-achieving students to mentor elementary students in music, math and science, including those in nearby rural school districts in Earlimart and Pond. Many elective programs in these areas were discontinued with the budget cuts over the past several years. Funding would be used to provide tutors, pay music consultants, provide training and for transportation.
  • Provide funding for Saturday school tutorials for students with attendance issues. The program will allow students to make up course work that was missed due to absences.  Funding would pay for sessions at all sites, mentoring, tutoring and instructors.
  • Provide a summer bridge program for incoming freshmen to introduce them to the high school experience and beyond. The program sets a 10-year plan where students could potentially earn college credit while in high school.
  • Provide scholarships to mentors and tutors who successfully participate in any of the programs above.

Dilbagh and Neil Gehlawat were honored at a recent DJUHSD school board meeting. The Gehlawats accepted a plaque from the school district administration.

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MEDIA COVERAGE

Chain | Cohn | Stiles files wrongful death lawsuit in case of boy who died after collapsing at Delano school

November 17, 2015 | 3:01 pm


Chain | Cohn | Stiles has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of 13-year-old Jose Manuel Beltran, who died after collapsing in January in a Delano school gymnasium.

Jose collapsed while running sprints in physical education class in Cecil Avenue Middle School’s gymnasium. After he collapsed, school employees failed to provide and summon medical attention to Jose, including performing CPR or other life-saving procedures. When paramedics finally arrived on scene, Jose was taken to Delano Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Wrongful death attorneys Matt Clark and Neil Gehlawat – joined by Jose’s parents, Livia Salas and Jose Beltran – held a press conference recently to discuss the filing of the lawsuit and the circumstances surrounding Jose’s tragic death.

“This tragedy should concern all parents of school-age children,” Clark said. “Every parent expects that if their child has a medical emergency at school, emergency medical treatment will be summoned immediately. It is also not unreasonable for parents to expect that P.E. teachers be trained in CPR and provide it when necessary.”

CASE DETAILS

Jose Beltran collapsed on the morning of Jan. 26 in a physical education class at Cecil Avenue Middle School in Delano. Delano police dispatchers received a 911 call that morning, via Canada, and seconds later was transferred to the Kern County Fire Department’s emergency communications center, according to findings first reported by The Bakersfield Californian.

According to the police reports, district nurse Sylvia Clines was at another school campus when Jose collapsed, and had missed a call from Cecil Avenue clerk Estefania Guzman. When Clines called back, Guzman told her a student in the school gym appeared to be suffering from a seizure. At that point, Clines told Guzman to call 911. Another call then came in from P.E. teacher Jessica Ramirez, who told Clines that Jose was not breathing.

When Clines arrived on the Cecil Avenue campus at about 9:30 a.m., she found Jose face down on the floor. This indicates that Jose lay unconscious on the floor for some minutes without CPR being administered.

Jose’s cause of death was hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick or enlarged, which can make it harder for the heart to pump blood. The condition often goes undiagnosed because many people with the disease have few, if any, symptoms. Immediate medical attention is vital for those who experience cardiac arrest.

LAWSUIT FILED

Defendants in the suit are the Delano Union School District and five of its employees, as well of the City of Delano, County of Kern and State of California in an effort to determine which agency is responsible for routing the call to Canada, and therefore delaying treatment for Jose.

After Jose’s death, his parents attempted on several occasions to obtain information from school administrators and Delano Police Department about exactly what happened with their son following his collapse, but were stonewalled and advised to retain an attorney.

Several questions remain for the moment, but the filing of the lawsuit will allow Chain | Cohn | Stiles to get the answers, including whether teachers in the gym were CPR-certified, when the 911 call was made, how much time elapsed between Jose’s collapse and the 911 call, and why the call was routed to Canada, among others.

At the recent press conference, Jose’s parents described him as a shy and studious teenager who enjoyed playing video games and sports, and never caused any trouble. He leaves behind two younger siblings.

To see complete coverage of the press conference and news of the filing of the lawsuit, click the links below.

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PREVIOUS MEDIA COVERAGE (CLAIM FILED)

PRESS CONFERENCE, LAWSUIT MEDIA COVERAGE

Chain | Cohn | Stiles represents family of boy who collapsed, died in Delano school

May 20, 2015 | 5:32 pm


Thirteen-year-old Jose Manuel Beltran was participating in physical education class on Jan. 26 at his school’s gymnasium in Delano when he collapsed.

Moments later, the eighth-grader was pronounced dead.

How and why exactly are just some of the questions that the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles will figure out for the family of Jose Manuel Beltran. The law firm is representing the family in a potential wrongful death lawsuit against the Delano Union School District.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles attorney Neil Gehlawat spoke with The Bakersfield Californian recently regarding Jose’s death, and the questions that remain four months after his death. In the article, which appeared on the front page of the May 17 edition of The Bakersfield Californian, he stated:

“We need more information at this point … Was Jose given medical assistance? If so, was it timely? If there was a significant delay, did that delay in treatment cause his death?”

He added:

“Our approach is not to file a lawsuit no matter what. Our approach is to get more information.” 

The questions relate to how the emergency call was handled following Jose’s collapse, and the how much time elapsed between that call and arrival of first responders. Records show that the initial 911 call was routed to Canada before being transferred to Kern County Fire Department communications center. Additionally, there appears to be a delay in district medical personnel responding to attend to Jose, who was said to by “facing down, his back towards the sky” when a district nurse arrived to attend to him, The Californian reported.

In order to establish liability in a wrongful death action, a plaintiff must show that the death was caused by the negligence or unlawful conduct of the defendant.

The family has been devastated by the loss of their son, and they’re looking for the facts, Gehlawat told The Californian.

“I think when a parent has lost a child in such a tragic fashion, I think at the very least, they should get the reports …  We should have time stamps showing when the 911 call was made.”

As of now, many of the questions remain unanswered. But Chain | Cohn | Stiles is committed to finding the answers for the family of Jose Manuel Beltran. 

To read the complete article from The Bakersfield Californian, click here. And to see more news reports on this case, click the links below:

* Editor’s Note: Neil Gehlawat is no longer an attorney with Chain | Cohn | Stiles *

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If you or someone you know has been injured due to the fault of another, contact the personal injury or workers’ compensation* attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles at 661-323-4000, or visit the website chainlaw.com.

Happy Birthday Delano! Chain | Cohn | Stiles helps Kern County city celebrate centennial anniversary

April 14, 2015 | 6:00 am


In 1873, Southern Pacific Railroad decided to build a post between Kern and Tulare counties. They named the area in honor of Columbus Delano, the U.S. Secretary of Interior at the time.

Forty-two years later — on April 13, 1915 — the City of Delano was officially incorporated. And 100 years later, today, Delano is celebrating 100 years.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to be a sponsor of Delano’s Centennial Celebration, culminating with a parade and festival on Saturday, April 18. The City of Delano held a birthday party celebration on April 13, the day the city was incorporated.

As the Delano100.com website explains, Delano has long been regarded as an “international community,” populated by people whose origins are from Mexico, Spain, China, France, Japan, Philippines, Russia and India, among others. Last year, for example, thousands congregated in Delano for a month’s worth of events designed to unite, celebrate and commemorate the Kern County city’s large Filipino population. It was the city’s 40th Philippine Weekend.

And the area has long been known for its agriculture and its farmers, who have the task of feeding the world. In the 1960s, for example, Delano became known as the headquarters of the United Farm Workers and its efforts to organize farm workers.

Today, the city hosts some of the best schools in Kern County, and is being continues to develop commercially and attract various large industries, according to Delano100.com. In fact, Delano is being revitalized with a new 160-acre commercial center and residential growth.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles and its attorneys are proud to support the celebrations honoring the City of Delano. In fact, workers’ compensation* lawyer James Yoro, who is Filipino, takes part each year in Philippine Weekend.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles often takes park in the Delano Chamber of Commerce‘s street fairs, which give CCS a chance to answer Delano resident’s legal questions, share tips and information, and give out CCS goodies to the families in Delano.

For Delano’s Centennial celebration, the city has been host to several events already.

  • Delano held a “Centennial Celebration Gala” on Jan. 31.
  • The “Delano Centennial Music Memorial” was held Feb. 26.
  • The “Centennial Music In Our Schools” program was held March 26.
  • The “Centennial City Walk and Earth Day Celebration” was held March 28.
  • The “Happy Birthday City of Delano” event was held April 13.
  • Finally, the “Centennial Parade and Festival” will be held Saturday, April 18, which will feature vendors, concessionaires and exhibitors. The parade begins at 10 a.m. in downtown Main Street after the Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast. The festival follows the parade at 12 p.m. at Cecil Park and will feature food, games and fireworks.

For more information on the Centennial celebration, visit the Delano100 website by clicking here.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles celebrates Delano’s 40th ‘Philippine Weekend’

July 24, 2014 | 8:48 am


Each year, thousands congregate in Delano for a month’s worth of events designed to unite, celebrate and commemorate the Kern County city’s large Filipino population.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to help the city celebrate its 40th Philippine Weekend, continuing this weekend.

Events and celebrations during the commemoration include a basketball tournament, a pub crawl, a parade, the Mr. and Mrs. Philippine Weekend Pageant, a dance contest, a variety of cultural and live musical performances, and the popular pork adobo cook-off.

“Philippine weekend began in 1975 as a way to unite American-born, Filipino-born and Mestizos — half Mexican, half Filipinos — and bring them all together, while showing the cultural history and the heritage of the Philippines,” co-organizer Jay Tamsi told The Bakersfield Californian.

On Thursday, attorneys for the Bakersfield personal injury and workers’ compensation* law firm will attend the 40th Philippine Weekend Street Fair, organized by Delano Chamber of Commerce. They include workers’ compensation* lawyer and Chain | Cohn | Stiles partner James Yoro, who is Filipino, and Chain | Cohn | Stiles associate Neil Gehlawat, the son of a longtime and well-known Delano pediatrician, Dr. Dilbagh Gehlawat of Delano Pediatrics Group.

Earlier this year, Chain | Cohn | Stiles took park in the Delano Chamber of Commerce‘s “Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and Street Faire.” The street fairs give Chain | Cohn | Stiles a chance to answer local resident’s legal questions, share tips and information, and give out Chain | Cohn | Stiles goodies to the families in Delano.

This Thursday’s fair will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Main Street, between Cecil and 13th avenues. The fairs feature vendor and informational booths from Kern County service providers.

Attorney James Yoro will also be taking part in the adobo contest, judging who in Delano makes the best “unofficial national dish of the Philippines,” according to Tamsi.

“Not only do local families and restaurants compete, we now have people coming from throughout the state to participate in our cook-off, which is something that is very unique to our festival,” Tamsi told The Californian.

Besides the street fairs and during Philippine Weekend, you can also find Chain | Cohn | Stiles’ presence at several Delano restaurants and business — including Sylvia’s Clerical Solutions and Lupe’s Restaurant – where you’ll find our business cards.

UPDATE: Chain | Cohn | Stiles had a great time taking part in the Philippine Weekend festivities. Go HERE to see pictures from events.

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* NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers’ Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in a prison or a fine of up to $150,000 or double the values of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles helps families with legal questions at Delano street faire

April 24, 2014 | 10:20 am


Earlier this week, Chain | Cohn | Stiles took park in the Delano Chamber of Commerce‘s “Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and Street Faire.” It was a chance for our law firm to answer local resident’s questions, share tips and information, and give out Chain | Cohn | Stiles goodies to the families in Delano and throughout Kern County.

Several Delano parents asked us about workers’ compensation cases. One Delano resident in particular hired a Los Angeles attorney to help him with his workers’ compensation case, but that attorney had done a poor job at communicating with him, and at resolving his case, he said. We explained to him that many residents in Kern County have this problem: They seek counsel from lawyers outside of our county — after getting their information from television commercials or other loud advertisements that these outside lawyers make — and quickly realize they made a mistake.

In fact, many times, the workers’ compensation*, social security disability and personal injury lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Stiles get calls from clients who were unsatisfied with the attorneys they hired from Los Angeles, Fresno and other areas outside of Kern County.

As for the concerned Delano resident seeking workers’ compensation assistance — who was an employee of a prison in Delano — we helped him with the next steps he should take, and he vowed to call us for assistance.

Other Delano residents remarked to us that they had seen our commercials on television, and were impressed with their quality, and by the words of the attorneys.

And many others were happy to learn that the son of a longtime and well-known Delano pediatrician was one of our associate attorneys. Dr. Dilbagh Gehlawat of Delano Pediatrics Group for decades has taken care of children and families in Delano, and many times brought along his youngest son, Neil Gehlawat, to the office — from childhood to adulthood. Several people at the street fair remarked, “Is that little Neil?,” when they noticed him in brochures we were handing out. Now, Neil Gehlawat handles personal injury cases at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, while his father continues to serve families of Delano and Kern County.

The street faire — held on Main Street between 9th and 12 avenues — also featured booths from other service providers from throughout Kern County, though Chain | Cohn | Stiles was the sole Kern County law firm in attendance. Other booths included  Sunset Waste Systems and Delano Area Rapid Transit, to name a few.

Our message to the people of Delano was essentially this: We hope you never need a personal injury attorney, but if you do happen to need one, we would hope you choose a local, professional, and caring Kern County lawyer, like the ones at Chain | Cohn | Stiles.

Besides at Delano events, you can also find our law firm’s and lawyer’s information at several Delano restaurants and business — including Sylvia’s Clerical Solutions and Lupe’s Restaurant, among others.

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