Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 30, 2015

Common ground

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Here is the first of a few audio clips from the recording of the Dumaguete Sister City ceremony. No video unfortunately.

I added subtitles, you’re welcome.

Before you watch, I noticed a lot of people on other forums in defense of Trish Spencer write things like “what’s so bad about white rice?”

Nothing is wrong about white rice, white rice is delicious. The problem of the statement is that it was proffered by Trish Spencer as an example of the Filipino influence in California, Alameda, and Alameda County. She mentions that she has many Filipino friends and the only Filipino culture example she could think up with after a very pregnant pause was eating rice.

Put it this way, it similar to Alameda establishing a Sister City in, say, Mexico and the Mayor of our city rhapsodizing about the influence of Mexicans on California culture and then saying she has a lot of Mexican friends and then saying that her and her Mexican friends’ children grew up eating tortillas as the only memorable example of the Mexican influence on her family.

That’s why some people are surprised and disappointed by her statements at the Sister City ceremony and not because “white rice” was specifically mentioned. I’m pretty sure had she swapped it out by saying that they grew up eating lumpia or pancit the reaction would be the same.

More audio coming soon.



  1. It would not have been difficult for Mayor Spencer to have researched this topic a bit prior to the ceremony and written some more appropriate remarks that would have been more diplomatic/less embarrassing to our guests.
    She could even ask her capable city staff to assist her, since it is their job to make our city and our mayor look good in diplomatic events like this.

    Based on some of her public remarks and questions of the staff at City Council meetings, though, it seems as if she may not trust the professional staff of this city. Knowing how capable they are, I have to wonder why she appears–at least from her public comments–to not trust the many experienced, skilled, and capable people who make this city work so well.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — June 30, 2015 @ 7:16 am

  2. Sounds like she enjoyed her share of mango rum.

    Seriously, have prepared notes. Off-the-cuff remarks either picture you as a backwater nit or worse diplomatically offensive.

    Comment by Basel — June 30, 2015 @ 8:26 am

  3. She’s the Mayor of a small city in California, not awaiting her confirmation as US Ambassador to the United Nations. You want diplomacy? Move to San Francisco where Charlotte Maillard is Chief of Protocol.

    Comment by vigi — June 30, 2015 @ 9:17 am

  4. Yahoo answers (dumb americans forgot a blog)

    When the Vietnamese people came to America, after the war, around 1974 and earlier, and even later, how did they change American society? What things did they add? What did they give us that benefits us even today?

    Venereal warts
    Commandant Marcos

    They kept their cooking pots full and a huge decrease in stray dogs
    gary b

    Can`t think of nothing except good egg rolls.
    Free As A Bird

    Mass immigration provides no contributions, just problems.
    Paula Revere

    I get my eyebrows, nails & toes done by a Vietnamese.
    I wouldn’t go to anyone else, she is the best! lol
    Gem Jewelz3

    Comment by jack — June 30, 2015 @ 9:21 am

  5. what’s your point Jack? Yahoos on Yahoo?

    Comment by MI — June 30, 2015 @ 9:50 am

  6. O.K., my immediate reaction is that Spencer caught herself flat footed by trying to speak off the cuff with no idea where she was going. She offered the usual platitude without forethought and found she had cornered herself. That alone indicates ” not too swift”. I think she felt she was making a joke as indicated by her loud “Hah! at the end. The same “Hah!” she blurted after her comment at the Council meeting about fire fighters not being pleased with exceeding capacity. I guess that doesn’t change much, but to me it’s a little less offensive if she thought she was joking ( about her own lack of knowledge really) as opposed to having said it seriously. It is still very lame to think that with the mayor of the sister city she didn’t understand she had missed the mark. I think she is all about feel good and for her the remark was true and said in feel good spirit so she didn’t get how it might be offensive. Donald Trump didn’t mean anything either, just telling the truth.

    vigi, if this small city mayor has such a small brain that she can’t think on her feet then maybe we are too small for sister cities. If she were shy and simply a person of few words it might be O.K. if she had nothing meaningful to say, but she is actually known as a babbler and offered a rather stupid example. HaH!

    Comment by MI — June 30, 2015 @ 10:10 am

  7. Spencer fits in with the Yahoos on Yahoo and represents the racists and homophobes in Alameda. No wonder the Bay Area organizers had to apologize to the Philippine government for her behavior as a backwater drunken nitwit, lest they think we were in South Carolina. Let’s not expose her to any more future foreign government dignitaries, or Alameda may hit the news again for being the most racist city in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Comment by Chuck — June 30, 2015 @ 10:15 am

  8. Yeah, I think you’re giving her too much credit. Saying “I have an affinity for {fill in the blank} Asian culture because white rice” is basically the same as saying “I like black people because watermelons.”

    FWIW I think if she’d said lumpia or pancit it would have, in fact, been much better because:
    1. lumpia and pancit are specifically associated with Filipino cuisine, and not some generalized Asian food, and
    2. it would have shown that she’d put some thought into it vs. saying the first thing that popped into her head.

    Comment by Matt Parker — June 30, 2015 @ 10:22 am

  9. Oh man, that is so much funnier getting to hear it than just read it. At the end I was trying to laugh but my face was stuck and I was literally breathless. I also agree, had she referenced an actual, Filipino specific item like lumpia, or adobo, or balut! (sp?) it would have been fine. Food is important and most cultural activity has food somewhere at its core.

    I can’t wait until we get a German sister city and we can share how our kids eat bread too! Peace in our time.

    Comment by BMac — June 30, 2015 @ 11:19 am

  10. And the News from our Sister City

    Woody says Sagar was invited to USA
    June 21, 2015

    Contrary to the allegations of mayorable councilor Tony Remollo, adminstration’s anointed city mayor probable , now acting Mayor Woodrow Maquiling clarified that the trip of four city hall officials to the U.S.A. is upon official invitation of Alameda California county government. Their travel fares were shouldered by Alameda city, he said.

    Therefore it did not need any city council authorization to spend public funds for such visit. Besides, Maquiling said, once the sisterhood is finalized, the Alameda officials wil be here also upon the city’s invitation to sign formal sisterhood papers.

    Councilor Remollo criticized that the USA trip of the four city officials led by the mayor is highly irregular in the absence of any resolution from the city council. He is with Councilor Dan Leon, city tourism officer RR Maquiling, son of the vice mayor and city legal officer Bimbo Lagahit.

    Councilor Antonio Remollo pointed out bringing the name of the city in a transaction, in this case signing a sisterhood agreement with Alameda City without the imprimatur of the city council is highly irregular and should not have happened.

    Remollo recalled this is contrary to what happened to a resolution he proposed and approved by the city council for a sisterhood agreement with Cebu City, but was vetoed by Mayor Sagarbarria.

    He would not be surprised if expenses incurred during the trip will be declared null and void because it is not sanctioned by the city council who is given the power to approve such budgetary requirements.

    But Acting Mayor Maquiling says the trip’s airfare were shouldered by the inviting city of Alameda, California. But Maquiling could not say how come Alameda knew of Dumaguete as a potential sister city, and who was their contact.

    Remollo, however said, unless shouldered by their counterpart in Alameda, USA, the absence of any resolution from the city council could be tackled by the Commission on Audit which is very strict on this, just like what happened to their trip to Korea where the expenses was disallowed by COA.

    Meanwhile, the city council has unanimously approved a resolution authored by Remollo calling on the city to look for ways and means so the P5,000 for each of the city’s regular and casual plantilla workers can be released as Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI).

    The city council believes city hall employees deserve the PEI that even small local government units have appropriated funds for this purpose.

    On orders of the President under Executive Order 181 dated May 25, 2015, qualified employees are entitled to a one-time grant of the PEI. In fact, TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP of both Negros provinces met for the first time to lay down the road map to its smooth operation. Transition period could last for five years while operating on its present budget. Historic First Negros Island Region meeting the provincial government of Negros Oriental has granted their employees a PEI which is equivalent to a one-month salary of every employee.


    Comment by frank m — June 30, 2015 @ 12:06 pm

  11. Well, that’s interesting: “Acting Mayor Maquiling says the trip’s airfare were shouldered by the inviting city of Alameda, California.” Did our City Council vote to approve that?

    I greatly enjoyed the adobo, pancit, and lumpia served at Deacon Jimmy’s farewell party at Notre Dame Hall last Sunday, as well as the numerous other dishes I didn’t know the name of. I didn’t see any white rice, but there was fried rice. I don’t think I have ever tasted a Filipino dish I didn’t like. However, I have never been offered balut, which I would probably not taste.
    I’m glad Trish didn’t say she liked balut.

    Comment by vigi — June 30, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

  12. Amazing going after a latino Mayor in America in 2015 for saying “white rice” and you can’t hear the comment she is laughing at so let’s just all ASSume she is worst person in world……..If the new Mayor ever laughs and has good time again lets start impeachment and recall……This can NOT be Tolerated….We are Way to Dignified To Laugh and Be Friendly…..Don’t ever say love and talk about your children any more Trish. Baypot has had it !!!

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — June 30, 2015 @ 1:33 pm

  13. You’re looking at this the wrong way- these “politicians” were on an unauthorized junket and all they brought to,represent Filipino culture was rice? Hah! Using Lauren’s example- what if they were visiting from our sister city in Mexico and all they brought was tortillas? Hah!

    Comment by Breathless — June 30, 2015 @ 1:40 pm

  14. Lauren and those bored at the firehouse and Members of the Trish Haters Club , why don’t you show actual video and audio of the total conversation and maybe some body language and gestures of the people she is communicating with……..Might put a totally different perspective on this Bullshit you guys like to drool and dribble over.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — June 30, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

  15. More scent of the ODIEiferoous whiffs of Odie pablum and Bonta Babble can maybe come to the rescue and save our fair city and relationship…….And all other Fairy Tales.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — June 30, 2015 @ 1:52 pm

  16. I do think the audio is funny, but this response is a witch hunt where nothing exists. Her unpreparedness is cringe-worthy but you can tell from the audio that as she is struggling to find the words and someone prompted her to say “white rice” and she did. She seems to be laughing at herself for not being able to recall a single thing she knows about Filipino culture. Yes, spending a few minutes even on Wikipedia could give a person something interesting to say. On the other hand, why would an invited group from the Philippines, whose travel dime is apparently being covered by Alameda, not have some discussion with Trish, offer her some guidance, or give her some kind of gift relating to the visiting city? Maybe they did and she was drunk. Dunno. Just can’t figure out what happened from a 20 second clip. Trying to paint her as racist because of this is irresponsible.

    Comment by AJ — June 30, 2015 @ 4:31 pm

  17. Comment by jack — June 30, 2015 @ 4:39 pm

  18. Listen, we did not elect Trish as Mayor because of her political capabilities or her speech giving strengths or her financial background. She was voted to office because it was felt that she would slow down the development in Alameda. That’s it. Now that she is in office, cut her some slack and help her succeed. If she does well, we all do well.

    Comment by Bill — June 30, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

  19. Slow down? Where’s the slowdown? Everywhere there’s open space on the Island II see 2x4s being whacked into development .

    Comment by jack — June 30, 2015 @ 6:13 pm

  20. A mayor should reflect the values of the community. Spencer represents the racists that were afraid of non-white people moving into Alameda and homophobes who opposed the anti-bullying curriculum for our kids. If it was felt that should would slow down development in Alameda, the voters were misled. She approved more housing in 6 months in office than Gilmore, 800 at Alameda Point and 350 at the Northern Waterfront.

    Comment by Chuck — June 30, 2015 @ 6:18 pm

  21. Chuck it, Chuck. You’re full of shit like a Xmas goose.

    Comment by jack — June 30, 2015 @ 6:32 pm

  22. This Mayor of yours that was elected to slow things down has voted in favor of Del Monte, site A, and the new fire station and emergency operations center. Where the Hell is the slow down??? I don’t need to cut her any slack as she is doing just what the previous Mayors were doing. That’s just fine with me, although I did not or would not vote for her.

    Comment by John P. — June 30, 2015 @ 6:32 pm

  23. Well she does have one good trait, she likes “white rice”.

    Comment by John P. — June 30, 2015 @ 6:37 pm

  24. You got something against brown rice?

    Comment by jack — June 30, 2015 @ 6:43 pm

  25. Jack, I love all colors, especially “Rainbow Colors”.

    Comment by John P. — June 30, 2015 @ 7:07 pm

  26. You going to Vancouver in September to catch Princess back to SF. Great short cruise and will add to your number.

    Comment by jack — June 30, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

  27. I’ll check it out, thank you.

    Comment by John P. — June 30, 2015 @ 7:34 pm

  28. We Amtrak up and float back. Great mini vacation. Been doing it since 2002.

    Comment by jack — June 30, 2015 @ 7:38 pm

  29. 18 half the voters didn’t elect her at all and part of that is specifically because we knew she is not real great at spitting out what it is she has to say. Further, that inability is not simply difficulty speaking in public but emblematic of deeper issues of incompetence. That is worth discussing, but I agree that going on and on about this incident is a waste of time. I’m glad others keyed on her weird laugh at the end. It really implied she was reacting to her own inability to come up with something more substantive than white rice. To me that is not racist by a long shot, but she sure has some work to do before she attempts to speak at another function like this. I will not be booing her at the parade today, Hah!

    Comment by MI — July 4, 2015 @ 8:45 am

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