Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The "Famous" Spain Inn


To all mi familia...I present to you the SPAIN INN...The restaurant where my family has spent god knows how much on private parties. The Spain Inn is located like less than a mile from my house and even less from my grandma's in Piscataway, NJ. Although I haven't been there in a while, the food and service has always been great.

"Inspired, bold tastes - our cuisine features the finest seafood and beef dishes in the area. Modestly priced, the enticing flavors of Spain and Portugal come to life off our menu."

For more info:

(732) 968 - 6800
1707 West 7th Street
Piscataway, NJ 08854

Familia en Fotos

Monday, December 29, 2008

A little about Navaja (otra vez)

My friend from Chi Iota Pi passed this along to me:

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end choose 16 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, its because I want to know more about you.

  1. Soy Colombiano yet I haven't been back since 1995!
  2. I am allergic to soy, nuts, & string beans.
  3. I used to be on the bowling team back in high school
  4. Never have I ever had a pet (true story)
  5. I played the viola in elementary school
  6. My favorite breakfast food is BACON!
  7. I can sort of predict the weather with my wrist. I have metal (from surgery) in my wrist.
  8. I have held every position in my frat (as an undergrad) except Treasurer.
  9. I am afraid of insecure heights. (Ex. Bridges)
  10. I have weighed between 130-135 almost my whole entire college/post college life.
  11. I have dyed my hair twice (once in high school and once in college)
  12. I transfered to Temple University from Widener University.
  13. My brother is a Lambda and I'm a Gamma...and what LOL
  14. I am the social media/web-site chair for PPRA.
  15. I have never ever been in a fist fight...true story.
  16. After reading The Secret, I have been the happiest I have ever been en mi vida.

The cure for anything (Latino)

That's right...this apparently cures anything in the Latino culture! And no it's not Vicks VapoRub, it's Vivaporu. You all know what I'm talking about haha.

Anyways, this past X-Mas break I was talking with my cousins and brother and we came to the conclusion our family is crazy. They would come up with the most random cures for sickness.

Here are a few:
  1. Vivaporu with newspaper on chest
  2. Boiling beer to stop coughs
  3. Hot milk w/ diced carrots
  4. Baby boy peeing in ear for earache
  5. "That red liquid" on cuts

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Statistics not my thing but...

Check these out:

High School

  • Over 25% of Latino men 25 and over in the United States have less than a 9th grade education, compared to 7% of all males in the United States. [U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, March 2004, Ethnic and Hispanic Statistics Branch, Population Division]
  • Only 57% of Latino males 25 and over had a high school diploma, compared to 90% of white, non-Hispanics, and 83% of all other non-Hispanics. [U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, March 2004, Ethnic and Hispanic Statistics Branch, Population Division]
  • Latino males are much more likely to drop out of high school than other males. In 2004, 29% of Latino males 18 to 24 years old were high school dropouts, compared to 7% of white males and 14% of black males. [National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2005, Tables 105]

College Enrollment

  • While Latino male enrollment in higher education has increased, female enrollment has increased even more rapidly. Latino male enrollment in higher education increased 255% between 1976 and 2004 compared to over 510% for females. [National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2005, Tables 205]
  • Latino male representation in higher education has changed. In 1976, Latino males represented 55% of Latinos in higher education. In 2004, 41% of all Latinos enrolled in higher education were male. [National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institutional Postsecondary Education Data Survey (IPEDS) 2003-04]

Financial Aid

  • In 2003-04, 62% of Latino male undergraduates received some form of financial aid to pay for college with an average award combining grants, loans, and work-study of $6,870. [National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Postsecondary Aid Study (NPSAS) 2003-04: Undergraduates survey]
  • Latino males were slightly less likely to receive financial aid to pay for college than Latino females. However, males generally received either similar or higher average awards than Latino women in 2003-04, depending on the type of institution where they enrolled. [National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Postsecondary Aid Study (NPSAS) 2003-04: Undergraduates survey]

College Completion

  • Only 12% of Latinos 25 and over have earned a bachelor's degree or higher level of education, compared to 30% of all males 25 and over. [U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, March 2002, Ethnic and Hispanic Statistics Branch, Population Division]
  • Latinos 25 and over have similar college attainment rates by gender. However, Latino males under 25 have lower attainment rates than females. In 2004, males under 25 represented 39% of all Latinos awarded bachelor's degrees. [U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2004, Ethnic and Hispanic Statistics Branch, Population Division, Table 6.1; CPS, October 2004, Table 1]
  • The number of Latino males earning college degrees is increasing, but this number has increased more quickly for females. Between 1976 and 2004, the number of Latino males earning bachelor's degrees increased 260% while females increased 580%. [National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2005, Tables 261, 264, 267, 270, 273.]
  • The top 3 degree areas for undergraduate Latino males were social sciences, business, and engineering.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

FELIZ NAVIDAD!



Navaja will be on "vacation" until Sunday, December 29th, 2008. Until then...



Otra fiesta para Obama


Can't afford my previous post about the Obama gala? Well how about a Mambo for Obama! The Mambo for Obama Ball celebrates the Barack Obama victory and the crucial role the Latino vote played toward that realization. The Ball features a Red Carpet event to welcome celebrities and politicians.

This fiesta varies in price but take place on Saturday, Jan. 18th and is only $75.00 per ticket. The fiesta will include:
  • Hors' d oeuvres 10 pm-12 am
  • Complimentary Wine and Champagne until 12 am
  • Two Dance Bands
  • DJ Bruno "El Unico"
Hurry because like anything else for Obama, this may go fast! And if you're spending the night (which I'm sure you are) be sure to check out the Latino State of the Union on Monday January 19th from 9pm-2am.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Obama Inauguration Gala for Latinos


Are you heading to DC for the inauguration and want to do something more than just stand around listening to Obama speak?

Well you can join the Democratic National Committee Hispanic Caucus, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO),the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Voto Latino, Latino elected officials and community leaders from across the country, as well as Latino celebrities at the LATINO INAUGURAL GALA to celebrate a night of history-in-the-making. The gala will take place on Sunday, January 18th, to once again celebrate this historic election.

How much you ask? I hope you saved up from your last pay check because this will run you $200 per ticket! Too much? All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino. However if you are part of a corporation, there are sponsorship opportunities, just visit the gala web-site for more details.

Unfortunately I won't be able to make it *sigh*. However, Obama will be in Philly before his inaugration :).

Monday, December 22, 2008

El weekend en fotos - Holiday Bananza Special

From happy hours, to holiday extravaganzas to everything else in between (w/ friends, frat & colleagues):







Sunday, December 21, 2008

G-Phi Old school :30 spot

Quien es Navaja?


Navaja is:
  • A born leader. Someone who takes initiative in any project because he sees the bigger goal. In thinks in "present" time but sees the value of what is to come in the future.

  • A brother of Gamma Phi Sigma "Hermanos Unidos" Fraternity, Inc. and I pledged for 7 weeks, 5 Days, 5 Hours, 40 min.

  • Someone who cares for his family. Although they don't see it, I pray for them and hope we can one day come together and just forget about the past. Remember, if you worry to much about the past you're future is questionable.

  • A hard worker. Not only do I work at a fantastic job which is a giant network of opportunity, but I also work with other organizations. I actively participate in my fraternity as National Board secretary, web-site & social media committee chair for PPRA, was just named part of Greekster.tv's greek council, and soon to come something else :).

  • A friend. Someone anyone can come up to and ask for advice. I am one of the best listener's out there and have probably heard so many "issues" in people's lives. Whether or not you may think I'm an "a**hole" I am really a caring person.

  • A funny guy. Be honest, haven't I always come up with some remark that just breaks the bad mood. Why am I like this? Because life is too short to be SERIOUS all the time. "Put a smile on that face."

  • Colombiano. Never EVER will I ever forget where my roots come from. One day (2009??) I will see mi tierra querida otra vez.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Navidad Navidad Navidad


So Christmas is coming up, you know what that means...my quarterly trip home! Should be an exciting time. What I really want to do is eat at the places that I miss so much like Orlando's Chicken and Maria's! Both delicious Latino food...yuuum :).

And what I'm really looking forward to is hearing the famous line, "Que le trajo el niño divino?!" haha

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Salsa in the city...new spot


Looking for a new spot to dance Salsa!? Well head on over to Vango Lounge & Sky Bar (116 S. 18th Street). Apparently they have Latin Dance Mondays. It's always good to see Center City market to the Latino community, although I'm not sure of what percentage of Latinos actually go to the spot.

I haven't been able to go due to my HEROES nights haha. But that is over so I'm down to go.

Every Monday Night

FREE BUFFET 5:30p-7:00p
FREE SALSA LESSON 8:30p-9:30p

from 9:30 p.m.
A night of hot dancing with a Latin beat, dining and drinking
Mambo, Salsa, Disco, Bachata Merengue, Reggaeton
DJs Jose Rodriguez and Robbie Tronco
Dance instructor : Eli Torres

Free admission ALL NIGHT-Casual dress code

Check out their drink selection & then some:

  1. $1 MOJITOS UNTIL 7p.m.
  2. $3 beers
  3. $3 margaritas
  4. Full menu served until 1:30
  5. A sky deck for star gazing
  6. Dance instructors and DJs to keep you moving

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why I like Tierra Colombiana...


duh think about it! Anything that remotely deals with Colombian culture is on my top 5 list. Tierra Colombiana is one of my favorite restaurants in Philadelphia.

Tierra Colombiana is located at 4535 N. 5th St Philadelphia, PA 19140 (215) 324-6086. I tell you their food is superb. Yes it's a combo of Colombian & Cuban food, but I enjoy the Bandeja Típica Colombiana which includes Top round steak, corn patty, pork, avocado, two eggs, rice, beans and sweet plantains. ALL FOR $12.50! yes I know I sound like a sales person but once you get that plate it's over haha. Or you can try something else from the extensive menu they have.

They also won a whole bunch or awards from the Hispanic Choice Awards and were named something or the other from Philadelphia magazine. I'm sure it's all good news but you have to try the food yourself. And if you happen to want to be there during dinner time, wait until 9 p.m. where you can burn those calories away through salsa, merengue, bachata, or reggaeton!


And for those people that didn't know, the same owners "own" Mixto right in the heart of Philadelphia.

Weekend in Pictures

Chi Iota Pi, Chi Upsilon Sigma, Gamma Phi Sigma

Brand Club...we kind of a big deal ;-)
JERSEY!


Best Gift Ever!


Tomacito likes me haha

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Most Influential Latino Leaders (In Philly)



This past week Impacto Latin Newspaper releases their annual "Latinos Mas Influyentes" edition. So who made the list!?

With the help of the Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress, this edition had a list of the Delaware valley's most influential Latinos. Some of the people on the lists I have had the honor to meet and actually become good friends with.

Top 10 under 40 (In no particular order):
  • Hector Serrano, Grupo Fuego
  • Jose Alberto Roman, WFMZ 69
  • Claudio Gomez, FOX 29
  • Angel Figueroa, I-LEAD
  • Quetcy Lozada, Chief of Staff for Councilwoman Quiñones
  • Frankie Negron, Salsa Singer
  • Leyla Moreno, Health Partners
  • Mercy Mosquera, Tierra Colombiana
  • Heidi Ramirez, School Reform Commissioner
  • Jennifer I. Rodriguez, Asociacion de Puertorriqueños en Marcha
There's also lists for:
  • Latino Leaders
  • Mover's and Shakers
  • and of course The Most Influential Latinos
To see the full list go to Impacto's online edition.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top 5 Reasons Why I Luv Mi Vida

5. I have amazing friends that will back me up. And no I'm not talking about money, I'm talking about advice and just doing what friends do...talk to each other and hang out. Ever since I transfered to Temple University I have met some amazing people. And to think the first person I met in FA 03 I still talk to!

4. I have an amazing job. Although I graduated with a journalism degree, I ended working on the other side, public relations. My job at GPTMC is to promote Philadelphia as a tourist destination; and not just a one night stay. How do we do it? Through web, advertising, cultural tourism and public relations. I've been here almost one year (1-year on Jan. 2nd, 2009) and I enjoy what I do. So what do I do? I work in the media relations team, the Hispanic Market, and social media.3. I'm a brother of GAMMA PHI SIGMA "HERMANOS UNIDOS" FRATERNITY, INC. Every since that journey began on February 14, 2004, 10 p.m. I knew I would make it to something much more than just a college activity. Then on April 10, 2004, 3:40 a.m. I entered something I would never give up on. With 2 LBs to help me out on my left, I was able to get through 7 Weeks, 5 Days, 5 Hours, 40 min. of an educational process.
2. I have a family that cares about each other. Although (like all families) we have problems, when it comes to actually giving a sh**, we do. I've grown so much closer to my cousins than I ever was growing up. Any reason? Maybe it was Facebook...who knows.1. Because life is just to short to NOT be happy. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exhibition & Book Launch this Friday

From Founding Father Tony Rocco!

Rocco has a new exhibit called "Street People" ("Los Hijos de la Calle"), at LatinArt Gallery, from 5-7 PM. Also featured in the exhibition are Jorge Figueroa from Guatemala, and his friend Jaime Beranyer, from Colombia.

His book "Abriendo Ojos" is his first book, which features a collection of his Colombia photographs taken over the past 20 years. For those who can't make the exhibit, you can preview and order it online at here and have it delivered to your door just in time for Christmas.

Save the Date it's RESTAURANT WEEK!



That's right, Philadelphia is at it again with Restaurant Week brought to you by the Center City District. Restaurant Week includes 3 courses at over 100 restaurants for only $35!! Note it does not include tax, alcohol and gratuity. And it's for dinner only.

Some of the Latino restaurants includes are:
  1. Alma de Cuba
  2. Amada
  3. Cuba Libre
  4. Xochitl
And like I said before there are over 100 restaurants included on this list. Be sure to check it out because it's a great deal!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In case you haven't heard...


...Honorable Nelson Diaz esta en la lista de candidatos del Presidente Electo Barack Obama, Como secretario de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano (HUD). How awesome would this be for not only Latinos, but for Philadelphia!

"I said, if it's high enough, I might be interested in looking at it," Diaz recalled."

Diaz also serves on Temple University's board of trustees...among other things in his great life.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend In Pictures

From happy hours to Greek life...this weekend was one to remember.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

For my Latinos

So I can't help but just comment on the 2 types of Latinos otra vez, well actually there are 3:
  1. The Latino that loves Latino stuff
  2. The Latino that loves mainstream stuff
  3. The Latino that loves both
To be honest I believe there are more of numero 3, the Latino that loves both mainstream and Latino stuff. Why do I say that...well it has nothing to do with research or statistics. It has to do with the age I am growing in. Not like number but how Latinos are slowly becoming the largest group living in the United States. Yes you have the older generations that only speak Spanish pero we now have more and more of Latinos like me.

When I came to Philadelphia the first thing I wanted to do was look for the Latino culture...where was it?! Then I found out it was at El Centro de Oro. What is that you ask? It's the Golden Block, an "upcoming" neighborhood in Philadelphia on 5th & Lehigh. Here we have H.A.C.E, Taller Puertorriqueño, Centro Musical and lots of local Latino restaurants. If you wanna know more about El Centro de oro my job has a podcast...listen in!

Then I realized the history Philly has included places like the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Please Touch Museum, Phila. Museum of Art...I can go on :). I'm actually planning on doing most (if not all) of these visits with my friend. She plans to move to L.A. and wants to do everything she never did.

Because I speak English and Spanish, it's very easy for me to like everything. However, there are Latinos that only speak Spanish yet enjoy these attractions. However, they won't go along, they'll be sure to bring their son, daughter, nephew, niece, etc.

So to all those Latinos, go out there and explore!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2009 - What's to come

So 2009 will mark some special occasions in mi vida...what are they you ask!?
  1. DC trip for Obama's inauguration...we part of history!
  2. Navaja's 25th B-Day celebration...I foresee a trip to AC. B-day is on a Friday :)
  3. 5th Year Gammaversary...on April 10th, 2009 at 3:40 a.m. I will be 5 years old! Shout out to Mike & Charlie...I couldn't have asked for better LB's.
And that's just January through March haha. Who knows what else will happen in the upcoming months. But as long as I stay positive, positive things will happen.