Thursday, December 29, 2011

Restaurants outside the normal neighborhoods

Is it me or did Philadelphia Magazine list every single neighborhood in Philadelphia except El Centro de Oro? I'm usually not one to complain about not listing something "Latino" but come on. Do they have no contact in the Latino community? Most likely not. The article lists LOVE Park, Midtown Village, Media and other neighborhoods. Even South Philly which is predominately Mexican is only about Southeast Asian foods. I'm not even sure why I'm catching myself read these articles anyways...maybe it's the free subscription.

Although the restaurants in North Philly aren't the same as those in other neighborhoods, they are still equally as delicious. Maybe they need a "name" behind the restaurant or something. I don't know...but I like my arroz con pollo and Philadelphia seems to think Loco Pez and El Vez are authentic. Riiiiiiight. Sure Mexicans seem to be dominating the population, but can we have other foods? Don't worry, I'm not judging considering I love to eat at some of the Fishtown and Northern Liberties spots but I just wish there was expansion on our community in mainstream media.

Tattoos in a nutshell

Tattoos. They are just awesome right? I've received some negative feedback about my tattoos but most positive. Some people see no point in "doing that to your body." Key words: my body. It's a form of expression that I'm very very fond of and believe they tell stories. Sure you see movies about criminals and gangs, but I'm in neither. And even if criminals, gangs, etc. have tattoos, it's their body. Western culture has turned tattooing and body piercing into a taboo for some reason. says, "The word tattoo is said to has two major derivations- from the polynesian word ‘ta’ which means striking something and the tahitian word ‘tatau’ which means ‘to mark something’." Although there are some tattoos I've seen that aren't what I would think are good but I don't judge much. Tattoos are meant for yourself and no one else. Back in ancient civilizations, they were used for various things like identifying tribes, passage into manhood and others. So why don't people like them today? Why can't I get a job with a tear drop under my eye? J/K lol.

My tattoos in a nutshell:
  1. Navaja
  2. GPHI hand sign
  3. Colombian scar
  4. Rosary with abuelito's name
  5. Kanji - "I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees"
  6. Pisces symbol
  7. Still I Rise - Pair of hands holding a rising sun
  8. Reaching for my goals/dreams
  9. Kanji - "Happiness" w/ window frame (NEW!)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Philadelphia sees a change

So the population grew in Philadelphia from 2000 to 2011. Julie Shaw said it best in her Philadelphia Inquirer article, "The city grew from the 2000 to 2010 census. We can thank Puerto Ricans, Hispanic and Asian immigrants and young professionals for that." Although Puerto Ricans and Hispanics are probably the same thing but who's counting these days :).

The article goes very in-depth about what neighborhoods grew and who is basically taking over the city. "The Juniata Park/Feltonville area saw the city's largest increase in Hispanics. Kensington saw the next largest increase. Most Hispanics in this area hail from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, with pockets of Colombians and other South Americans, community leaders say." Pockets of Colombians huh? These Latinos are quickly starting their own business and encouraging the kids to stay in school and go to college. And although there's a population increase, we somehow lack in certain industries and other "important" sectors.

Should we rejoice that Latinos will soon be the largest minority in the country? Sure but we have to educate ourselves and our children to do better. Take-charge and work for these non-profit and for-profit companies. Become a doctor, purchase a house, own two cars! Why is it that we can't seem to get over ourselves and live our lives the way the "American" does it? I understand we're not supposed to since everything is changing and I see it every day. Let's show Philadelphia and the U.S. that we can "make it in America."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some 3 Kings Day Celebrations

I never grew up celebrating Three Kings Day but ever since coming to Philadelphia that's all I see and hear about in December/January. Various countries around the world apparently celebrate Three Kings Day. Each have their own customs and traditions associated with the holiday. On the twelve days leading up to Three Kings Day, many children in Latin America dress up in king costumes and go door to door in their neighborhoods singing carols...on and kids get more gifts too. -_-

Here are some Three Kings Day celebrations I came across in the Philly area:
  • Three Kings Celebration at Taller PR. Music, presents for children, a theatrical presentation and a parade with the Three Wise Men.  Featuring the local “Bomba and Plena” traditional music group los “Pleneros del Batey” who each year assist Taller to bring this important celebration to over 150 children and their parents. Pre-registration required/Celebración tradicional de los Reyes Magos con música, obra teatral y regalos para los niños.  Requiere que los niños se pre-registren.  3 p.m.* (215) 426-3311
  • Three Kings Alumni Mixer. Please join the Latino Leadership Institute Alumni Association for ran evening of networking and celebration. Light refreshments will be served along with great music. A perfect time for the alumni to catch up, the LLIAA board will also present their 2012 calendar of events.
  •  Centro Musical is collecting toys for Three Kings: new unwrapped toys for ages infant to 15 year old.  Items can be dropped off at Centro Musical, 5th and Lehigh until January 4.
  • Salsa Caliente! sees its second installment to kick-off the New Year and close the Christmas holiday season on Friday, January 6 with the sounds of Elvis Bonilla y su Orquesta and Tony Maldonado y su Orquesta (Painted Bride Center).

Monday, December 26, 2011

Shakira's awesome...yep

Oh are and forever will be Colombia's symbol of hope. Sure there are lots of great things originating from Colombia, but Shakira sheds a positive light to el pais even more. Shakira's En Vivo Desde Paris is a phenomenal CD/DVD set. Although I haven't seen the DVD yet, the entire CD is full of awesome oldies and newbies. Starting out with Pienso En Ti brought me back to the good ol' days too. She even covers a Metallica song (Nothing Else Matters). Whether you're a fan or not, you have to give it to Shakira, she's doing it all. Living the American dream while still supporting her fans and education. Who knows how many times she's met with President Obama.

Shakira...thank you for glorious years. Now come back to Philadelphia :).

Friday, December 23, 2011

The holidays con familia y amigos

The holidays are pretty much the same every year, but you always want to do something different. So what I just said made no sense right? The idea is to spend time with your family and real close friends and celebrate the year. Although 2011 wasn't what I expected, I'm putting it all behind and hoping for a better 2012. Christmas is always a weird time because you think people are expecting gifts and what not, but the holiday isn't meant to be about gifts; that's just what America did to it.

And then there's New Years. Growing up it would always be a family function but then I realized it was supposed to be a huge party with friends! Although sometimes I feel bad I haven't spent NYE with family in years, it's okay...that's what Christmas is for right? I try not to drink so much before 12 a.m. because I can get very emotional and that's a no-no these days. But after 12:05 a.m. it's all fair game. Sure I'd like to watch some fireworks in Philadelphia, but I'd rather watch it on TV somewhere warm with mis amigos. Then there's a NYC celebration....hhmmmmm?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011: A year of chaos and revolution

2011 has been an interesting year, both personally and newsy. A lot of chaotic and not-very-interesting news was reporting throughout the year including natural disasters, weddings, assassinations, uprisings and more. Earlier today I had the pleasure of serving on Art Fennell's TV panel discussion with two very prominent journalists, Buzz Bissinger and Annette John-Hall, discussing the year. So what exactly are the top ten stories of the year?

According to the Associated Press, the top story of the year was Osama Bin Laden's death. Really? That was your number one choice? Although it is a top story, I believe it shouldn't have been number one, but then again we live in America so it only makes somewhat sense. Some other lists included the Royal Wedding -_-. Really? Thank you America for making reality TV into something that we love to hate.

During the show we also named a story we thought should be recognized and I choose the first Latino high school valedictorian in Reading, PA. Why? Because that leads into the Dream Act which wasn't passed this year. ::sigh::. I was also a fan of the "protestor" story just because I'm a firm believe one person can make a difference in the world. Now when one person sparks an entire nation to move, change must happen.

Here are the other top stories of 2011:

Art Fennell Reports will air New Year's Day on the Comcast Network at 9:30 p.m. Check your local listings for channels and all that good stuff.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Video: What do you say?

I'm sorry but after watching these "sh** girls say videos" I start to wonder what Latino girls say. I mean seriously there was even a "Sh** Black Girls Say" video. As wrong and somewhat racist they might be, it's real life here in the U.S. We grow accustomed to our lifestyles that we don't notice we all do the same thing over and over again. I wonder if one of the Latina sayings would be "Wepa?" lol. What do you think Latina girls would say?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Foto del dia: Posada

Tonight my jobs' posadas came to a close at Xilantro Restaurant in Wayne, PA. A learning experience, the four day posadas were extremely fun. Seeing people keep their traditions alive felt so good and also seeing children participate. For videos, photos and more visit

Hasta el proximo año.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Video: Shakira in Puerto Rico

Sure Shakira's Sale el Sol tour ended a while ago, but that doesn't mean her crew can't distribute awesome behind the scenes videos. The video below says one thing to me: It takes a lot of people to make Shakira who she is. That's why I love the video. And I also noticed a woman with her iPad at the concert. Doesn't she have a camera or a phone? Enjoy!

Much Ado About Frijoles and Huevos

When organizations attempt to cater to a younger audience, sometimes it works. However, when you don't consult with someone first whether your product will be offense, 100% of the time it will end up being offensive. An NBCLatino recently stated, "A Washington, D.C. production of Shakespeare’s 'Much Ado About Nothing' has recently changed the names of two lead characters - Juan Frijoles and Juan Huevos - due to a series of complaints about the the theatre company’s racially insensitive portrayal of cultural stereotypes." Juan Frijoles and Juan Huevos huh? At first I chuckled but then realized it's so messed up.

I believe this is a question dealing with the generation gap. Would someone born in the 80s or 90s be offended or even notice? I would say not but you never know. However, someone who has worked and devoted their time to the Latino community would be more prone to change the names in the play. The play is set in Cuba during the 1950s and would probably draw a completely different crowd; heck I would go watch it. Besides, didn't Shakespeare mean dying is to have a sexual orgasm? O_O

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NBC gets a mini makeover con sabor

I mean everyone else is doing it, why not join the movement! A recent Broadcast & Cable article stated, "In a move that reflects the growing importance of Hispanic audiences for news divisions, NBC News is planning to launch an site targeting Hispanics sometime in early 2012, reports NBC News president Steve Capus."HuffingtonPost, FoxNewsLatino and now NBCLatino. I wonder how this move and change works with Comcast and Telemundo since everyone is part of the same family. Actually the article pretty much answered it with, "Though Telemundo creates Spanish-language content, [NBCLatino] will be working closely together with NBCU's Hispanic broadcast operation."

And why not! There are media outlets which reach the new-age Latino and there are those who reach the immigrant community. Latinos are probably the most confusing people to reach. And by confusing I mean difficult. We have those who stay true to their roots (and don't speak good English) by not leaving their community and supporting their local businesses; then we have the younger, tech-savvy Latino who likes Walking Dead and enjoying an arroz con pollo every now and then. Here's to an awesome and confusing future for marketers and media.

For now you can actually visit until the full site is launched.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A split second of racial profiling

I'm not one to judge a book by its cover, but there are a lot of people that do. Whether it's the way we dress or our hairstyle, people can be friendly or unfriendly just by looking at few things and not getting to know the person. It's even worse when you are in a certain neighborhood or location; race relations are the worst. Well earlier today, this happened to me. I think it was the first time I was profiled but not necessarily in a good nor bad way. Here's the story:
  • Me: ::Walks into Dunkin Donuts::
    Man 1: Hey you speak English?
    (Already irritated) Me: Um yeah.
    Man 1: You speak it good?
    Me: Um yes I speak it well.
    Man 1: Okay well you know what a wingman is?
So although random, it was just weird being asked if I spoke English. And out of all places I was in Fishtown -_-. Could demographics really be changing the way people think? Either way I was irritated because he asked two annoying questions and it was lunch time so I was hungry. I think about whether or not I should be angry or just brush it off. In the end I think it was funny because the dude was hitting on the cashier (hence the wingman comment). Egh. C'est la vie.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The busy bee game

So wow. I remember playing this game as a child (above) nonstop and it was amazing. My dad had these old a** cards tucked away in a drawer and I would always say, "Papi quiero jugar el juevo de la abeja." And sure enough we played for a few hours. I would really really really hate it when I would get those damn minus points with the bees, but when you got the queen bee it was fun. My dad would of course always judge us by our moves but oh well.

I miss times like these when we would play simple card games. Now with motion censored games like the Wii and Kinect (Xbox), we seem to have lost our love for the originality. However, as you get older you get back into the board games like Scrabble and Monopoly. Of course I picked the longest games ever but they are still fun when you play with the right people. Here's to the holidays!

Event: Phila. Hispanic Chamber Toy Drive

This Thursday the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's  Professional Mentoring Network program is hosting the 3rd Annual Toy Drive Mixer in partnership with Asociacion de Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM). Obviously a great cause, they help our less fortunate people who unfortunately can't afford toys. All of the toys will be donated to APM's Gift of Love toy drive that will benefit low-income children in the Philadelphia area.  This event is an opportunity for PMN members and the general membership to connect in a social environment while contributing to the local community in need during this holiday season.  Last year, over 300 toys were donated to APM and our goal is to donate even more this season! 

Date: 12/15/2011
Time: 5:30 PM TO 7:30 PM
Wells Fargo
123 Broad Street
Philadelphia , PA 19109

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beware the walking dead

The Walking Dead is probably one of the best shows I've seen yet. Sure a zombiepocolypse seems pretty intense right now but you never know. This show isn't just about zombies terrorizing the world and destroying families, it's about survival, trust, and basically asks, "What type of person are you?" The show brings up many issues along the way including your typical racist moments between whites and blacks...but that's only in the beginning. Soon all the survivors in the group above realize sticking together needs to be priority; but then others take charge into their own hand. 

So what type of person would you be? Would you stick with the group and just wait things out, would you think only of yourself and your family, would you leave the group and screw everyone or would you find ways to help others? It's hard to say because survival of the fittest is where our minds might be. But in a world of chaos we don't all have the skills in order to survive. And when your daughter or son becomes a zombie right in from of your eyes, reality soon sets in. When the show returns in February, I will be glued to my laptop (no TV) lol.

A role model in the world

A role model in the world...that's all we need. Growing up surrounding yourself with positive role models is a little hard to come by these days; especially male figures. Today I had the opportunity to speak at Mariana Bracetti Academy's College & Career Week. I spoke about my journey throughout college and how I got to where I am today at Telemundo Philadelphia. After speaking to them it hit me how much trouble our youth is in.

I'm not too familiar with the education system but from what people tell me, it's in trouble. From what I saw in just two classes, I felt bad. Kids will be kids but when they don't believe in themselves at that age, what can they look forward to? Some of the students didn't know what they wanted to do and some were just hesitant to reach their goal. I hope at least one of those kids took something out of what I said and that was really to just push forward; don't let anyone stop you. So don't turn around if you see a young person, embrace them and help them. They can be a bit much but isn't that why we have kids?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Event: Posadas in Norristown, PA!

Sure it's a work event but who doesn't appreciate holiday cheer! A first time for the station, Telemundo Philadelphia is hosting Las Posadas Navidenas, a traditional Latin American Christmas festival, in Norristown, PA and the surrounding areas. This year's holiday celebration will take place on December 16, 18, 19 and 20 starting at 6 p.m. each day. All four posadas will be at restaurants; click the picture above to find out more info on locations.

The Posadas promise to include lots of holiday and family traditions including Hershey's hot chocolate and Hershey's Kisses Chocolates provided by The Hershey Company. Each Posada will begin and end at the confirmed locations. Throughout each procession, attendees will sing traditional Mexican holiday music while knocking-on neighborhood doors requesting to join the group. Each celebration concludes with the traditional breaking of a piñata.  So come out and celebrate with us! You're bound to be on TV :).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meeting like-minded individuals

I've been writing a lot more personal posts in the past few weeks. Not sure what the reason but sometimes it does spark convo, sometimes it just means I'm venting. This morning I had the pleasure of having coffee with (insert name) whom I met at the Most Influential Latinos event. I actually rarely have coffee/lunch with anyone; and if I do it's usually about work-related things. However, this was just a casual talk about life and awesome.

I probably should have started this a while ago but it felt good. I was happy to talk to someone who felt the same way I did about some things in the city and in general. In Philly (and most likely other places), as a Latino you get stuck into two worlds. You're either for your culture and only doing Latino-related things or you're assimilated and not involved. I don't understand why you can't be both? Why can't you enjoy a nice arroz con pollo and also a cheesesteak from Jim's Steaks? The older generation in this city find and mold the younger generation into something they don't want. If you stay away, they look at look like an alien.

It's great to have your immediate friends who probably work in different industries, but it's even better to see who else is out there. Sometimes I feel as though people have hidden agendas and want to take advantage of who you know and where you work. It's rare to meet the other kind that just want to pick your brain. With that, go forth and learn. Be someone who wants to meet people just because, not to grow your network/business. Keep in mind that's what networking is, but don't be selfish. Anyone up for coffee? lol.

Video: Mauricia judges Miss (Latina) Universe

And I know my last post was a bit serious but let's move on to something less serious...well sort of.  Remember Mauricia Rodriguez from the Lower East Side? Well she's back and she's discussing a very important topic: Miss Universe (The Latinas). We all have our own opinion about how people should answer and the questions being asked. Well Ms. Mauricia pretty much just sums ups everything we think about but are just too afraid to say in person. Can someone cast her/him (ze?) in a movie lol.

Hilarious. True. Hilarious.Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is life meant to be stable?

Ever want to just get up and leave? I don't mean literally but sometimes I wonder how life would be like somewhere else. I've seen a lot of people get up and leave to other countries and the other side of the nation to start another life. Yet I see other people or become comfortable with how they are leaving. Then there are those who are forced to stay (i.e. you got somewhat pregnant).

Anyways, I always tend to wonder why I don't just find a job in L.A., Miami or even Colombia; but then I stop to think about it. As if life isn't already difficult, starting a whole new life where I basically know no one can be a little scary. Reason number two, I need to be close to the parents. Yes it's torture every now and then but you have to admit you love them. I know everyone's different but my parent's came to the U.S. to give my brother and I a better life. What would it look like if I just got up and left?

I just have to remember it's my life. The decisions I make will remain mine with no regret. Don't worry, I'm not saying I'm going to move somewhere far (from Philly) anytime soon. I'm only saying it could be a possibility. I mean am I to say I will say no to a job offer in Costa Rica? Colombia? Miami? Maybe. Maybe not. Only time will tell.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pitbull meets BeingLatino

Being Latino (BL), one of the leading Latino community and social media platforms in the U.S. and publisher of Being Latino Online Magazine, has finalized a content partnership with the entertainment site, Planet Pit. The partnership combines two of the most influential and innovative entertainment platforms on the web. BL already has a partnership with several content sites including FoxNewsLatino.

Through this initiative BL will expand their coverage of Latino-relevant entertainment.  The week’s top cinco stories will become a feature on Planet Pit’s site, giving the Being Latino audience an opportunity to be a part of dictating what’s hot in entertainment each week. Although I am disappointed I am not writing for them anymore, I am glad to see BL do big things. Congrats!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Movie review: Aftershock

Yes I am aware the movie Aftershock is not related to Latinos but I had to write about it. Imagine 23 seconds turn in 32 years...32 years of waiting to confront your mother about why she decided to save your brother and not you. It was 1976 when a small town in China was hit with the most devastating earthquake in possibly the 20th century. Roughly 240,000 lives were lost and torn apart. I won't tell the whole story but it's quite an emotional roller coaster. If you were a mother or father how would you be able to live with yourself when making a decision like that. Or what if you were the daughter and all your life you asked yourself, "Why did my mother abandon me?" Was anyone at fault? Of course not, it's one of those decisions we should never have to make. The film dives into not just family, culture and disaster, but there's a hint of politics as well. I highly recommend watching it with a box of tissues...on Netflix lol. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Delaware Valley's Most Influential Latinos in 2011

Earlier today Impacto Latin Newspaper and the Multicultural Affairs Congress presented their annual Delaware Valley's Most Influential Latinos event at the Hyatt @ Penn's Landing. The event honored 50 emerging and current leaders in the region. Categories included 10 under 40, Latino Leaders, Movers & Shakers and the Most Influential.

This year's (new) honorees included:
  • Edwin Desamour, MIMIC
  • Cristian Hernandez, Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Michelle Angela Ortiz, Visual Artist (and all around cool person lol)
  • Carlos Giralt Cabrales, Consul of Mexico in Philadelphia
 But of course we can't honor Philadelphia's leaders without mentioning Maria Quiñones Sanchez, Kenneth Trujillo, Alfredo Calderon, Ruben Amaro, Jr. among others. This year's ceremony also included the launch of the DVMIL commemorative book which features all honorees from the past six years. Not sure where you can find the book since it was only being sold at the event, but you can probably contact Impacto. Congrats again to all the honorees and here's to another year.