Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sale el sol...finally

Is it wrong that Shakira is the only artist I support by purchasing her CDs? I'm pretty sure that's sad but hey I love her! Sure the album came out in October, but I was bound to purchase it. And I'll be honest, it'd WAY better than She-Wolf. I did read some reviews saying her She-Wolf producers weren't the best choices but Shakira redeems herself with Sale el Sol. The album brings a mix of merengue(like) tunes along with some softer music. Although I was a little disappointed the "Waka Waka" version on the album isn't the one I'm used to; but to each his own right?'ll always be my favorite :)

Reflection on a commemorative site

A few weeks ago the President's House commemorative site opened up in Philadelphia. Today I was finally able to walk through it (during my free time). What I found interesting wasn't the site nor the videos, but what I heard people talking about. People were shocked and surprised to see President's Washington house and also about the controversy behind the structure and what was being honored. I also noticed a lot of people pass by as if it was another attraction with no cause. Although YES it is an attraction, it's still a little more than that. It honors not just 9 enslaved Africans, but the idea of struggle within the United States (and that it still exists).

I only hope the National Museum of the American Latino can do the same for Latinos. Walking through the site really made me wonder about us in the U.S. I'm a quote kind of guy so I loved seeing the inspirational quotes. The President's House commemorative site also had a space for reflection which really adds to the entire area.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Veronica Robles - an inspiration

Today I received a thoughtful gift in the mail that made me truly appreciate the people I meet. Veronica Robles, all around GREAT woman, sent me a copy of her new 2011 calendar and Serenata Guadalupe CD. Veronica is someone everyone should look up to because she loves Latino culture and she finds so many ways to promote our gente. Either through her awesome program "Orale con Veronica" or through her music, she is the definition of a "Latina Doing their thing".

Veronica's mission is to create interest in Mexican and Latin-American Culture and to promote diversity and cultural traditions among general community. While I believe all Latinos should follow this mission, we should find ways of doing it in our own way. I had the pleasure of meeting Veronica this past July during a Philly adventure. She was so full of life and a great combination of professional and friend. Did you know the Mayor of Cambridge proclaimed September 17, 2005 as Veronica Robles Day? If only everyone had a little bit of care in them as much as Veronica does.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Reflection - Family Time

This past weekend was family time...but it was different. The parental units and I went to visit the hermano and the GF in the DMV. It was the first time our parents spent XMAS in another town since 1980. Imagine that. The wekend was good, relaxing and tiring but nonetheless fun.
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Everyone's favorite scene: Nativity

We all love to decorate during Christmas. Yet our families love it even more! But what even more do our religious parents love? Of course it's the nativity scene. But why? Well it's because in my family el Divino Niño who gives us the gifts, not Santa. But baby Jesus does not come out until Christmas Day. I used to wonder where my mom hid him but then I realized it was behind the CD case. Eghh. Merry Christmas mi gente!

That Really Grinds My Gears...Not coming because of TV?

Today my brother told me a story about my dad yelling and saying, "If our DirecTV is not fixed before Christmas we are NOT coming to visit you." Really? Really? I did not know DirecTV was THAT important in your life and more important than family. I find it extremely disappointing that he would even say something like that. Nonetheless the journey to MD/VA is going to be itneresting. I just hope I don't yell while driving because to be honest I'm not a good multitasker while driving. My eyes and ears will be on the I'll be sure to keep the radio on lol.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Promoted Post: Honoring our history with a museum

Normally don't do this but I was just so interested in my own topic I had to self promote the blog. I write for BeingLatino's blog and my latest post was about honoring our ancestry/history (whatever) with a museum. There's a lot that goes on when proposing such a museum so it might be years until we see the National Museum of the American Latino. It's a sensitive subject because Latinos (in America) are a combined force of Puerto Ricans, Colombians, Cubans, Dominicans and every other Central and South American ethnicity. Do we think it should happen? Of course, but we all have to come together as a people and realize it's not important for us, but for the GENERAL population so they can understand what we're about.

Art of Steppin' enhances website

Last week REMO INC. officially relaunched the "new" Art of Stepping website. The Art of Stepping™ Organization is overseen by Remo Production, Inc. and was founded by Jessica 'REMO' Saul, which operates nationally providing interactive and exclusive curriculum on the Art of Stepping™. Remo’s unique step curriculum based programs and events have helped to enhance the quality, availability and sustainability of daily after-school programs in urban areas as well incorporate a better understand of this art form.

So what makes the website different? Well it's now a "social networking" website. You (the Greek) can make a profile and update everyone with photos, videos and events. However, unlike other sites, this one is an "understandable" $20 to register. However, by signing up you can be the first to know about events and get member-only discounts to these events including the annual RISC step show. My favorite part is you get to read the awesome exclusive articles about LGLOs, BGLOs and non-Greek organizations. So sign up and get ready to become a fan of the stepping and stroll community.

p.s. Yes that Rihanna song is STILL playing in the background :).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My drink of choice (for now)

The holidays are upon us so that gives us an excuse to want to drink more. My absolute drink of choice, most likely Aguardiente: Cristal. Sure some of you might not like it but it sure does pack a punch. How is someone supposed to drink it? Well the only way I know of is straight shots! Be careful, this drink sure does sneak up on you. P.S. Yes it does taste like liquorish.

A serious novela

We all know we don't take the novelas seriously. Sure Univision and Telemundo work hard to produce the novelas our parents love but seriously, they are just a bit too dramatic. But what a way to reach an audience right? The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) launched a series of mini telenovelas in an effort to extend the message to the Hispanic community about the consequences of drinking and driving.

The three, two-minute episodes will be available online at and will be used as teaching tools by civic and social service organizations throughout the state. Just as dramatic as their "real" counterpart, but these videos have a great message behind them. You know you've drank and drove so watch and learn.

Monday, December 20, 2010

You're a racist when...

These are probably the most hilarious things I've ever read in a while. Sometimes I think the "general population" doesn't get race anymore. And by race I only mean other ethnicities. Because as we know there is only one race...the human race. Anyways, yes racism exists. Although it might not be as blatant as in the 1960's, but it does exist...just check out some of the comments on a immigrant news article or something that has nothing to do with "them".

One of the few Latino gossip blogs I read, Guanabee, listed their "Top 5 Racists Things I'm Sick of Hearing" and OMG I couldn't have agreed more. The list is as followed:
  1. You're playing the race card
  2. You speak like a white person/you don't have an accent.
  3. You succeeded because of affirmative action
  4. You're not like most Latinos I've known - You're different.
  5. You don't look Mexican
And by god I was so happy to see some of these points made. Even as Latinos we like to pull this card separating ourselves from the rest of the population. So what is it? Is there ever going to be a time we can not only support ourselves, our community and also mainstream America? You let me know.

Gala season in Philly!

January is what I like to call the official start of Latino gala season in Philadelphia. You have Congreso, Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Aspira and many more lining up with tremendous themes and interesting prices. Take a look at Congreso's video from last year's gala.

Save the date: March 19, 2011, Congreso's 5th Annual Gala Latina - Chillen' in Chile.

Friday, December 17, 2010

MVSCAP's diverse cast

Notice anything strange about this photo? I bet I'm the only one that does. As much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE MVSCAP and the new video game to be released next year, no Latino love. Sure it's just a video game, but didn't Street Fighter IV have at least one...and Vega haha. MVSCAP3 has everything from devils, Gods, Japanese, Chinese, Caucasian, African and so on. I tend to think too much about this stuff but it's good to notice these things. Maybe I'm also jumping the gun as well. We'll see in a few months if "new" characters pop up and maybe just maybe one of them will be Latino. Anyone even know of any Marvel/Capcom Latinos?

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...Benny Benassi

During my Chicago trip I discovered Benny Benassi is the genius behind the song Satisfaction. And after pregaming to all his musica, I just fell in love again. Sure house/techno and what not has always been a cool genre of music, but Benny sort of brought it back again. Remember the music from BLADE? Yep, that was all me. And even the Mortal Kombat movie soundtrack. Sure it may sound like we're "partying" but to be honest, it's good hype music; similar to B-more club music. #NP - Come Fly Away, Satisfaction, I am not Drunk

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celebrate Carnivale!

Not exactly the Carnivale you were thinking but it's almost as festive. During a trip to Chicago I dined at Carnivale, an authentic "nuevo" Latino cuisine in Downtown Chicago. So what exactly does that mean? It's probably owned by an American and mixed in fusion to the menu. I must say I am a fan because it reminds me of El Vez in Philadelphia. A very large venue with different rooms including a lounge/bar area and a large dining area surrounded by private dining areas. Sure it may not be authentic Mexican food, but it's a place to take a date or a large group...most likely business group. Although it seems like a "too bright" spot in a shady part of town, this would probably be my regular margarita spot. Enjoy :).

That Really Grinds My Gears...My ID is fake?

Last Tuesday I attended the Philebrity Awards then decided to join PYT for their victory shindig. The open (Vodka) bar had nothing to do with it but it was my last vacation day so I wanted to go out with a bang. Unfortunately PYT must have hired a new guy because after giving him my ID he proceeded to say, "This isn't going to work. Your ID is fake!" Really? My ID is fake? I've not only been 21+ for the past 6 years but I got my PA ID in 2007, and it's fake!? After some arguing and repeated showing of the ID, a friend said, "The hologram is right there." He finally saw it and said, okay you're fine. -_- 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fotos con Santa

What's the holidays about? It's about taking your kids to get gifts and their photos with Santa of course! This Friday, December 18th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. WWSI Telemundo/holaciudad invite you to Pennsy Flea Market (1600 S. Warfiend Street, Phila.,PA) for a good ol' fashion family celebration. The even will include arts & crafts, prizes, a *dun dun dun* clown and of course photos with Santa. Photos will be available online at after the event.

BeingLatino will rise (and it did)

A one-day scare can probably be a company's most horrific crisis. Thankfully after god knows how many tweets, Facebook and blog posts, BEING LATINO is back. If there's one thing we learned from this it's that anything on the internet can be deleted...possibly forever. Ask yourself this question, what would you do if Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social network site was deleted. Would you be mad? Why? It didn't exist 7 years ago, so we can just go back to our regular lives right?

Tek Lado magazine got a response from the Facebook team here. An occasional mistake huh? I can only imagine what was going on behind Facebook doors. "OMG the biggest Latino page is gone! Who approved this? Send an e-mail." Again, sure BeingLatino was down for almost a day, but we must remember, social media isn't the beginning or end of the world. See you next year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bring Back BeingLatino!

Earlier today we lost a great friend when Facebook shut down BeingLatino. Really? Who were those haters which thought it was cool to shut it down? Tell Facebook that we want them to reinstate Being Latino's fan page now! It was probably one of the biggest Latino Facebook fan pages out there. Don't they reach the research? Latinos use social media and it's a great way to connect with us!

However, you can still read the blog here: BeingLatino.

Esta noche: Philebrity Awards

Award shows are usually fun, especially when they're random. For the second year in a row, Philebrity is proud to present an awards show all about the people: Philebrity Awards. It's about those people we see out there in the city of Philadelphia doing their thing and making a difference. Sure they could add "Best" or "Favorite" to each award, but some sarcasm always adds a good element to the show. The "Philebrity Award for General Fabulousness" and "Outstanding Do-Gooder of the Year" just sounds like an award you would want on your mantel. Best part? The event is free! Good look to the Latino representatives for the evening: Jose Garces and Tek Lado Magazine!

2nd Annual Philebrity Awards
Trocadero Theatre
10th & Arch Sts.
Philadelphia, PA

Monday, December 13, 2010

Modern Family merchandise

Love this show. Love this merchandise. These two Modern Family must-haves were my own Christmas gifts. Is there an obsession? Sure there is but after watching the entire first season, there wasn't one episode where I didn't laugh :).

Snake in Colombia

So I finally bought a new game for the PSP, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. It was recommended by the dude at Best Buy so I took his word for it. I love games that may take a while to play but I was shocked to see the opening sequences (training) took place in Baranquilla, Colombia. Granted a lot of movies and video games do have Central and South America as a "military" theme for the background story...but it was still cool. Then a whole sequence about gaining control of Costa Rica follows and how Latin America will be attainable or something of that nature. Anyone seeing this trend of Central/South America in video games?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...Vacation

Sometimes a vacation where you do absolutely nothing is much needed. Sure I'm in Chicago and it's completely freezing, but I've been staying in the house with a TV and video games! (For those that know me you know I have no cable). So as I sit here in the warmth just remember a relaxing vacation where you do nothing is always good for the soul. Besides, there's always the weekend to enjoy all the touristy stuff!

Why do we DREAM

The U.S. House passed the DREAM Act late on December 8, 2010 by a 216-to-198 vote. However, that doesn't mean it has been completely passed. The U.S. Senate needs to hear from you now as soon as possible, as Senate leaders are expected to take up the DREAM Act on December 9, 2010. Just now, however, Senate leaders moved to table consideration on the Senate bill. They'll take up the DREAM Act House version next week.

The purpose of the DREAM Act is to help those individuals who meet certain requirements, have an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college and have a path to citizenship. This will allow immigrant children an opportunity for a better life; the life those families wanted not just for themselves, but for their kids. Doesn't the military want more recruits? Don't colleges and universities want more minority enrollment? Pass it now so we can become a better country and set the example.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Spirit en español

Today's "good job" goes to Southwest Airline's Spirit Magazine. Why? Well because it's the only in-flight magazine which has a welcome from the CEO in both English and Spanish. To be honest they probably don't have to do this; it's not like they're international. Sure other airlines have entire spreads in español, but since Southwest is only national, they dont't have to do it. Do I smell future Spanish language content in the future?
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Everyone loves pins

It might just be me but do Latinos really love pins? Maybe it's just free stuff in general. I have the above on my bag but i don't think it's overkill. One thing is for sure, my mom has hundreds of key chains all linked up. Insane I tell you.
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Why MegaBus is good in my book...

Yep. Any transportation corporation should know the consumer needs power. Installing outlets ANYWHERE is an essential need for the leisure and business traveler.

Megabus also has off the wall prices like $10 round-trip to DC. Just saying.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Urbano TV

UrbanoTV, a new Latino video and entertainment company from actor, John Leguizamo, announced its launch plans a few weeks ago. Describe as a Latino YouTube meets Hulu platform, UrbanoTV aims to be the leading curator of culturally relevant video content for the U.S. Hispanics. At launch time, the site already touts 15 original shows, 150 original episodes 100 content partners and 1k aggregated episodic videos.

The website features different profiles, TV shows, blogs and much more. Sure at first it looks like a lot is going on, but it does seem like relevant content. Unlike news sites, this seems like a "by the people, for the people" type of approach. Why is it good for bloggers? Because you can upload your blog feed and watch the hits sore! Maybe.

FIFA's World Player of the Year

The FIFA World Player of the Year was an association football award given annually to the male and female player who are thought to be the best in the world, based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams. In a voting system based on positional voting, each coach gets three votes, worth five points, three points and one point, and the winners are ordered based on total number of points.

And now in 2010 (no stranger to Hispanic highlights), Spain gets three nominations! Barcelona players Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández and Lionel Messi are the three nominees for the Ballon d'Or World Player of the Year award. Both Iniesta and Hernandez helped Spain win the world cup this past summer. The winner will be announced in January. Clearly these are #LatinosDoingTheirThing.

Friday, December 3, 2010

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...SLEEP!

I'll keep this one short. I mean who doesn't love sleep! You ever regret going out everyday and then waking up each day like you don't have an ounce of energy? Sometimes doing nothing over a weekend is best. Catching up on sleep is a plus in my book. Besides, it's healthy to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hispanicize 2011 is coming

Hispanicize is coming April 2011. And since we all know Latinos love video and social media, here's a sneak peek at things to come. Anyone out there attending? Any East Coasters?

That Really Grinds My Gears...Epi Pen

A long time ago I blogged about my allergies and the use of the Epi Pen. Well it has come back to haunt me. Thanksgiving weekend I got some allergic reaction to who knows what. So I started breaking out and the following morning it was not better. So what do I do? I talk to my brother and without hesitation BOOM! Needle in the thigh. Minutes later I started shaking and my heart started beating faster and faster. Hours later I was fine but it was a scare. Then I come to find out "you're only supposed to use it in extreme emergencies. And you're supposed to go to the hospital right after! You can die from heart failure!" Woops -_-

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tweets on a busy week

So we just got back from Thanksgiving break which means a few days off work. What do we come back to? A lot of work and a lot of people looking to lose weight...weird. Here are today's tweets of the day!

Philanthropy work at its best!

I betta get my degree! ;)

When weird burgers attack. *nearest hospital please*

We're getting to that age where we know someone famous! Wohooo

The golden walkway

As some of you Philly Latinos may know, our favorite neighborhood (El Centro de Oro) is getting a makeover! The $3.8 million renovations of the commercial corridor will include new sidewalk (with a golden walkway...not literally) and metal palm trees. You can read more about the project in this article.

So what do you see when you see the above picture? I see change, positive change. Most people might not think this is the most important project to start but if you look at the big picture, you'll see it does make sense. Change the neighborhood, change resident attitudes. Picture a perfect neighborhood where everything you see is cultural, bright and positive. Won't that make you appreciate not only your neighborhood but also your way of life. I honestly can't wait for the metal palm trees. Hopefully this is the start of a new era for El Centro de Oro. What's next? Taller Puertorriqueño's new building/location :).