Friday, February 26, 2010

Omega Phi Beta Believes in Dreams


Props to Omega Phi Beta's National Step/Stroll Team launching their Web site. I mean what better way to establish yourself as a legit separate entity than a Web site. Like any other performance team, the site includes photos, videos, events and contact information for bookings.

What makes it better is that their NST organization is not just about performing. OPB also established the Steppin' Off to Unite Latinas or S.O.U.L.; a youth mentee group organized by the National Step/Stroll Team of Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. The S.O.U.L. group is another way the Greek organization gives back to the community; especially young Latinas between the age of 13 and 18.

p.s. Where is Cut dem Off!? :)

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...2 Day Work Week


I think working is an essential part of life but sometimes you have to wonder, "Am I working too hard?" I guess everyone should know what they are getting themselves into after agreeing to a position. It also takes long hours, sacrifices to get to where you want to be. However, I seriously cannot wait until next week: 2-day work week! Although I'm out because of surgery, I think a little break is needed. I might even surprise the parents and go home.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Leadership Speech

video

No one is a natural born leader; it takes a lot more than telling people what to do to become a leader. A few weekends ago I got together with my Unidos Sin Fronteras group from the Latino Partnership Institute. We chatted about our experiences and things to come.

In the video above you'll hear our class president Leslie Adorno toast to the class and how she feels about the entire experience.

That Really Grinds My Gears...It's Time

I wonder why people never really want to go out. I mean seriously every time I put it out there to go out for a drink or food, no one seems to really respond. I think it's time for a change don't you think?

What's your take on people and going out?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"@" Tweets of the Day

Sometimes our "@" replies get out of hand and sometimes they are real legit questions. Then there are those times where you wonder what your follower was thinking. Either way, here are today's tweets of the day!

Tweeting about meetings...why not!?
Spreading the love about certain products is marketing at its best.

Posing a pregunta

Adding lots of "@"s and making sure people notice :)

Dancing to The Animal Farm

It seems as though dance is a big theme these days. As part of the upcoming dance series, Philadelphia Dance Projects Presents 2010 (PDP), on March 19th, 2010 the Liberation Dance Theater (LDT) will perform at Temple University's Conwell Dance Theater. The PDP's mission is to support contemporary dance through Projects that encourage artists and audiences to more fully participate and engage in the experience and pursuit of dance as an evolving form.

Jacinta Vlach is the artistic director and founder of LDT, a dance-theater collective rooted in ideologies of social change through artistic expression and community outreach. They will focus on one of my favorite childhood books, Animal Farm. So imagine Latin/African diaspora, modern dance, and urban vernacular all jumbled into one great performance. Jacinta not only enjoys the passion of dance, but is also heavily involved in community activism.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gana un viaje a Philadelphia!


Remember I told you about the partnership with holaciudad? I know I mentioned the contest but here's a bit more detail. By going to the Con Cariño site on holaciudad, just enter "Participa y Gana" and enter your name and e-mail for a chance to win the following:
  • Two Philadelphia CityPass certificates which allows admission to 6 famous
    Philadelphia Attractions including the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Zoo and more!
  • Roundtrip transportation on Amtrak® for two along the northeast corridor (Transportación en Amtrak)
This is a great opportunity for those who have never been to Philly or returning for another trip. The winner will be announced end of April so you'll be able to use your trip by end of June. And in 2010, there are a lot of exciting things to do; especially in the summer. Whether it's attending a futbol game at the new Chester stadium or visiting your favorite historic attractions, don't miss out on this great opportunity.

Today "Es El Momento"


During this tough economy, business partnerships are the way to go. Businesses are always looking for ways to partner with media organizations to spread their message. And NASA is no different! Last Tuesday, NASA announced a partnership with Univision Communications Inc. to improve high school graduation rates, prepare Hispanic students for college, and encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines.

The partnership called "Es El Momento" is an extension of NASA's current education efforts to engage underrepresented and underserved students in the critical STEM fields. This is a great way to get young Latinos engaged in higher education and a great way to introduce them to science & technology careers.

This actually reminds me of "F.I.R.S.T. Robotics" when I was in high school. Their mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Her Hips Really Don't Lie


As if Shakira isn't already busy with her new video, apparently she likes to have meetings with big political figures. Yep, according to the Hill's blog, "Latin superstar Shakira was there to discuss early childhood education efforts." During Obama's campaign, Shakira endorsed his nomination and then performed during his inauguration.

In addition to Shakira's Fundación Pies Descalzos, this initiative will provide $300 million to help create Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. I wonder if other artists take the same initiative with political issues. Sometimes I think artists concentrate on other things but to each his own right?

Why Go Clubbin when you can Just Dance!

I really just fell in love with a new video game for Nintendo's Wii. Just Dance is the latest in "how can I mimic my favorite musician's moves." It started out with Dance Dance Revolution, then Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and sure enough DJ Hero came out. Finally, Just Dance is another creation for the Wii which makes you break a sweat.

How do they do it? Well you just follow along on your TV screen and mimic all the moves the person is performing. If there's a fist pump, then you fist pump; if there's a willie bounce, then you willie bounce and so on. My personal favorite is "I Like to Move It Move It" by Reel 2 Reel which was also featured in the movie Madagascar.

Don't worry though, you won't look like a fool. In fact, you might learn some new moves for your next stroll ;).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Let's Dance!

Last night American's Best Dance Crew Season 5 premiered and once again the crews are all completely different. To be honest I think (like in any show) the show producers always know what they want. And if you look at the crews and what they represent, it's all a mix of dances. In years past crews have represented b-boy, Latino, crunk, etc. but now most if not all have either a unique approach at dancing or a mix.

Jump ropes, heavy hitters, vogue, robotics, animal-instinct and more sum up this year's competition. And next week apparently one of the crews will have to mimic Shakira moves; it should be interesting.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Canción del año - Urbano?


Thanks to the world of Twitter I turned on to Univision's Premio lo Nuestro 2010. But as I was enjoying our musica there was an award for Canión del año - Urbano...what does that mean?! I actually got a few responses and I must say there were hilarious:
  • "It's just a nice way of saying "You Have No Talent But You Make Millions So Let's Give You A Prize!" "
  • "Not a damn thing! Can spanglish count as "ebonics?" "
But I mean seriously, why wasn't the category just named Canión del año -Reggaeton? All the songs were clearly reggaeton. The music industry is an ever-evolving industry which involves lots of politics. It's kind of like journalism because almost everyone can be a journalist/musician and then pirating music could be the same as not crediting a news source. Either way I think these awards need to reconsider what they name categories.

That Really Grinds My Gears...Combining Social Networks

Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Four Square: All unique social networks with their own identity. Some people have all and some people have a few. But what grinds my gears is when you update one status and it goes everywhere! Facebook users and not all on Twitter so seeing the RT and "@" symbols on a Facebook status is annoying. Some people who aren't really into social networking will most likely wonder what, "What the hell is that." Also, if you're on Twitter and Four Square, why would you check-in with Four Square and have it update your Twitter? Wouldn't there be no point to it then?

Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Our (or one of) Favorite Mexican: Cesar Millan


Our favorite, and only, dog whisperer Cesar Millan was born in Mexico in 1969 and at the tender age of 13 he realized he would be the best damn dog trainer ever. Some speculate he crossed the border illegally but who cares; he's doing his thing now. The Dog Whisperer airing on National Geographic is in its 6th season and airs all over the world. The show became National Geographic's #1 show during its first season. Millan's book Cesar's Way debuted with the show's second season, becoming a bestseller.

So what else does he do? He has co-authored several books on dogs and dog-training, participates in numerous philanthropic activities, and in 2009 in conjunction with IMG, introduced a monthly magazine titled Cesar's Way. And he's a family man. I'd say, Cesar is a #latinodoingtheirthing.

Tweets on a Random Day

We all love breaking news and interesting announcements. So here are today's Tweets of the day.

An astounding arts festival on until April, why not check it out!?

Self explanatory.

Breaking news or just people being nosy? Either way, leave Britney...I mean Tiger alone!

Things that make you same hhmmm

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nerd Alert: Four Square!


So as you all know I love social media. Although I heard about Four Square a while ago, I just didn't feel like buying into the hype. However, a few weeks ago I learned about its video game-like features and sure enough I went for it. If you like to travel and just go out every night, you can earn points and cool badges. One of my favorite features includes becoming the Mayor of any venue! If you visit any place more times than anyone else, you become the Mayor; yep it's that simple.

And for the even bigger nerd, a company called Nerd Merit Badges recently started producing real life Four Square badges. However, they need the okay from Four Square to start selling them.

See Your Roots in Puerto Rico

So I just recently noticed the Puerto Rico Tourism Company's newest ad campaign. Although the print ads may be a bit much, the transit billboard ads are pretty simple & cool. The campaign launched in December 2009 and at the center of the initiative is a series of Elliott Erwitt photographs taken during a return trip to Puerto Rico this spring where the world-renowned Magnum photographer re-discovered the Islands' essence: romantic, rich in culture and experience.

Why not go see Puerto Rico? It's probably the ONLY Caribbean island where you don't need a passport to travel. I'd say go in March because PR will be the host of world class events such as the PGA Golf Tournament in March and Latin Billboard Awards in April. To learn more about Puerto Rico and what to do visit seepuertorico.com; you can also see more of Erwitt's photography.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why I Like The Amazing Race

Think about it. Couples, brothers, spouses, mates, etc. join together to solve puzzles all over the world! Who wouldn't want to do that. The Amazing Race clearly makes any country look good and will most certainly bring dollars to them. You also learn a lot of fun facts including most recently learning about the San Francisco of South America (in Chile).

The Amazing Race also gives the contestants an opportunity about a place they know nothing about. Unfortunately it may also make you look like an idiot. During the season premier Jet & Cord decide to convert their American dollars into Brazilian money; didn't they know they were heading to Chile?

So who wants to go on the next season with me?!

Visitanos: New Holaciudad Partnership!

Live in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. or New England? Well if you do you might notice a few things on Telemundo and holaciudad!. From today through April 15th, 2010 GPTMC and WWSI Telemundo have partnered to attract more Latinos to Philadelphia.

Throughout the 2-month period you'll find:
  • A customized Spanish-language microsite for Con Cariño, Philadelphia XOXO on holaciudad.com for Philadelphia, Washington, DC and New England markets)
  • A promotional contest for a two-night stays along with passes to some of Philadelphia’s most popular attractions
  • Video vignettes featuring regional attractions and promoting the online contest running through April 15, 2010
  • Monthly newsletter e-mail blasts and contest banners with Con Cariño, Philadelphia XOXO contest information
Let me know if you see the TV spots and what you think. In fact, enter and win a trip to this great town!

Friday, February 12, 2010

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...Spread the Love!

So for once SEPTA decides to give back to their community...riders! After what seemed to be a long strike and cancellations due to the winter storm, the City of Philadelphia has teamed up with SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority to help residents and businesses. "Spread the Love" starts this Valentine's Day weekend and includes special hotel rates, discounted meals and my favorite...$1 rides on the subway!

p.s. Free metered parking in the city until Tuesday!

Gamma Phi Sigma's18th Annual Founder's Banquet

Spring is upon us so that means Gamma Phi Sigma is having their annual banquet! This is our annual event that celebrates not only the legacy of our eight founders, but also the progress and achievements of our undergraduate chapters. As a fraternal organization that prides itself on its brotherhood, we would like to extend this invitation to all of our family, friends, associates, co-workers, etc. for being an integral part of our individual and organizational growth.

Interested in attending? Let me know!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day Love in El Cafeito

Need a new place to relax and just do your work. Well head on over to El Cafeito. A touch of Old San Juan in Old Kensington, El Cafeito serves fresh fare that is both health-conscious and delicious. Open for breakfast and lunch, patrons can enjoy some of the homemade specialties while taking advantage of free Wi-Fi.

And if you go this Sunday you're in for a special treat. For Valentine's Day, there will be a gathering to share poetry (original or published), listen to some good music, play some fun date and improv games, and make some "heart pendants" for children in Haiti. The event will run from 3:00pm - 6:00pm.

1700 North 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

That Really Grinds My Gears...Not Shaking Hands

If there's something more disrespectful than spitting in someone's face, I'd say it's not shaking someone's hand. I mean really blatantly just looking at you and not wanting to shake hands for no apparent reason. So far it's only happened to me twice but it has made a big impact in how I look at the person.

Plus it's just polite and in the business world shaking hands is important. Agreed?!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tweets of the Snowpocalypse

Yes I know it's #snowmageddon, but why waste valuable tweets on the weather when you can talk about other things! Here are today's tweets of the day.


Ah yes, what is there that we "don't" like about Greek life?

Don't tempt me, don't tempt me haha

Stay positive gang!
We all love tips and tricks

The Modern Family

So what do you do when you mix a colombiana, Al Bundy, a horny pre-teen, a gay couple and a Vietnamese baby? You get Modern Family! My friends have been telling me to watch this show for the longest and thankfully due to the snow, I just saw the pilot episode.

The show follows the lives of three separate families but in the end you find out they are all related. You have Jay who is trying hard to keep up with his much younger and hotter Colombian wife, along with her passionate pre-teen son, Manny. Then there's Claire and her husband Phil, who thinks he's "down" with their three kids, much to all their embarrassment. And finally Mitchell and his enthusiastic partner Cameron have just made a major life change by adopting a Vietnamese baby...yes a Vietnamese baby.

And it's not just a sitcom, it has that reality TV show feel and includes confessionals. As you all know, we love confessionals haha. Don't forget, "It sounds better in Spanish."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowmageddon!

You win some, you lose some. For the past 2 weeks, we have lost lol.

HBO Shows How To Make It in America

So last October, a lot of Latinos were disappointed with CNN's Latino In America series because it didn't really portray us well. Some though, where are all the success stories?! Well now HBO is coming out with a new series called How to Make It in America.

The series, which premiers February 14th, follows two 20something entrepreneurs living in New York City trying to (well) make it in America; specifically NYC's fashion scene. Although the characters don't have a lot of what some people would say "book smarts", it shows how having "street" smarts and an urge to learn can help you out. I'm sure it's not just about Latinos, however, one of the main character's name is Cam Calderon *ding ding ding*. After viewing the teaser trailer, this is very much an HBO series and may actually be an inspiration to some people.

Monday, February 8, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance?

I'm a huge fan of the Mural Arts Project in Philadelphia and when you think they haven't topped their last project, they come up with something bigger and bolder! Don't want to put us in a box but Latinos love to dance. Whether it's to bachata, merengue, salsa, hip-hop, house, etc. we enjoy expressing ourselves through this art form. Remember AfroBorike, they almost won MTV's America's Best Dance Crew. You may also not have known this but Philly has a great salsa scene; been to Lyrics (haha)? Philly has a lot of dance groups including Grupo Fuego, Grupo Caliente and bomba y plena groups.

Well now is your chance to be a part of history and have your "dance" placed in front of millions of people. Last week MAP announced How Philly Moves, a project that will place a vibrant new work of community-based public art on the parking decks facing Interstate 95 at the Philadelphia International Airport. The nearly 50,000 square foot mural, incorporating the photographic work of and designed by artist Jacques-Jean "JJ" Tiziou, is scheduled for completion in June 2011. The project will employ 35 artists and individuals in various Mural Arts Program workforce development and re-entry initiatives. MAP is also soliciting participants for their upcoming shoot, March 5-7. Please sign up by 5pm on February 19th.

Student Leaders are everywhere!


I'm a big fan of education and opportunities for young folk. After all, I am a product of what I like to call, "where will I find the money." My freshman year of college, I needed co-signers and once I received a letter saying I was going to get kicked out of my dorm room. Luckily my Tia Fela was there and so was my financial counselor. I don't understand how sometimes youth complain about college and money trouble because it's all out there!

The Bank of America recently launched their Student Leader's Program where
accepted students participate in a paid summer internship with a designated local nonprofit organization. The student leaders experience first-hand how they can help shape their communities-now and in the future. Enhancing their leadership experience, awardees will also participate in a six-day, all-expense paid Student Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, in partnership with Bank of America and the Close Up Foundation. For more information and learn how to apply visit bankofamerica.com/neistudentleaders. Hurry, deadline is February 17, 2010!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Notice Anyone Familiar?

Pick up this week's copy of Al Dia and you may find a familiar face. #Justsayin

That Really Grinds My Gears...Another Storm!?

Okay I understand it's still winter but is it really necessary for another snow storm? And isn't it ironic the groundhog saw his shadow huh. I'm pretty sure weather forecasters saw this even before that stunt.

So what are you going to do during the winter storm a.k.a. SNOWMAGEDDON!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pesi! (or Pepsi)


So a friend of mine came across Pepsi's site for los españoles and wow can you say clever/hilarious. According to an article in Advertising age, "This approach was a big hit, although somewhat controversial, in Argentina last year when Pepsi humorously renamed the brand "Pecsi" in keeping with Argentine accents. Now Pepsi is parsing different Spanish accents, adopting the "Pesi" spelling in Spain without the Argentine "C."

Along with this new campaign, Pepsi launched Pecsipedia. Pecsipedia is really just a wikipedia for Argentine slang; more than 1500 people contributed to the site. To be honest if they launched this in the United States, Pepsi's sales would most likely go up. I mean think about it; Latinos today love Spanglish!

Do you agree?

Pepsi o "Pesi".

Pepsi o "Pesi"
¿Y tú cómo lo dices?

Tweets to make you say...OHHH

Some times you come across some Tweets that make you say..."really though?" Here are today's best tweets.

Imagine that. Someone who "just" had an empanada.

Is that possible?

Completely agree with the "auto" tools. And it's great that he is reaching out!

I'm a fan of tweet announcements

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Be Counted...& Get Free Stuff!


Stereotype in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1: Latinos love free stuff and as the 2010 Census is right around the corner, Voto Latino has just launched Be Counted! Voto Latino is a non-profit organization which seeks to maximize American Latino youth civic involvement by generating voter turnout and increasing political involvement among this group.

According to a tweet which has been retweeted many times, Voto Latino is asking you to learn, pledge, and download 25 free songs featuring Pitbull, Morrissey, Mos Def y mas. Yep, it's that simple. And remember, there are only 57 days until Census day; be counted!

Forever In Our Thoughts

It was four years ago today she was taken from us. Not one day goes by I don't think about the good times we all had. I always think about that night and how it was TRULY one of the best nights I had in college, but it ended in tragedy. It really opened my eyes about under-age drinking and drunk driving.

R.I.P. Ciara 2.3.06

For more information about how to get involved and support others, visit madd.org.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Why Nominate 5 When You Can Nominate 10


Yep, for some reason there are 10 movies up for the Best Picture award at the Oscars. President Sid Ganis said, “Having 10 Best Picture nominees is going to allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories, but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize.” They might as well have nominated HANGOVER; but I'm pretty sure Avatar will win (it's what the people want).

Best Movie nominations are: "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker," “District 9,” “An Education,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Precious,” “A Serious Man,” “Up,” “Up in the Air” and “The Blind Side.”

On a lighter note, nomination for Best Foreign Film include an Argentine and Peruvian flick!

The Only Risk is Watching More: Colombia

Because I'm a fan of National Geographic and all things colombiano, check out this video via Andres Evans. Andrew, traveler contributing editor for NatGeo, explored the Colombian capital of Bogotá and documented the street life in La Plaza de Bolívar. This was just one of his many stops as Andrew bus's it to Antartica.



To see where Andrew's at next, follow him on Twitter: @Bus2Antartica.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Latino Grammy Moments...hmmm


After tweeting away the Grammy awards last night, I think it was evident why they gave the Latinos their own show. I mean you could honestly count the number of times something Latino related happened.

Here are just a few:
So what do you think? Some people were even complaining hip-hip was misrepresented during the show.

Weekend in Photos - LPI

We were looking very sexy esta noche at the Greater Phila. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Gala.

Some great giveaways; although not all of us got one.

Product placement at its best

Greeks. We are everywhere!