Tuesday, November 25, 2008

this hisPANIC is taking a break

Cuz I'm going to Texas!!! That's right folk, Navaja & his prima will be road tripping to Dallas, TX from Tuesday until next Sunday :). Some people may think I'm crazy and some think it's cool...thanks!

Here's what Google Maps says the journey will be like...

Driving directions to Dallas, TX
1,466 mi – about 22 hours 41 mins
Philadelphia, PA
1.Head south on S Broad St/Ave of the Arts/PA-611 toward Chestnut St
Continue to follow S Broad St/PA-611
3.3 mi
2.Continue straight to stay on S Broad St/PA-611
0.1 mi
3.Take the I-95 S ramp on the left to I-76
75 ft
4.Keep left at the fork to continue toward I-95 S and merge onto I-95 S
Partial toll road
Passing through Delaware
Entering Maryland
122 mi
5.Take exit 27 for I-495 W toward Silver Spring/Bethesda
0.6 mi
6.Keep right at the fork to continue toward I-495 N and merge onto I-495 N
Entering Virginia
22.1 mi
7.Take exit 49 to merge onto I-66 W toward Front Royal/Manassas
64.4 mi
8.Take exit 1A to merge onto I-81 S toward Roanoke
Entering Tennessee
377 mi
9.Merge onto I-40 W
27.8 mi
10.Take exit 393 to merge onto I-640 W/US-25W N toward Lexington/I-75
Continue to follow I-640 W
10.6 mi
11.Take the exit onto I-40 W/I-75 S toward Chattanooga/I-40 W
Continue to follow I-40 W
374 mi
12.Take exit 10B to merge onto I-40 W toward Little Rock
Entering Arkansas
145 mi
13.Take exit 153B on the left for US-65 S/US-167 W/I-30 W/US-67 S
0.7 mi
14.Merge onto I-30 W/US-167 S/US-65 S/US-67 S
Continue to follow I-30 W
Entering Texas
318 mi
15.Take exit 47B for US-75 N toward Sherman
0.5 mi
16.Follow signs for Main St and merge onto Main St
0.8 mi
Dallas, TX

See you all next Sunday at a very special event...*giggle* And if the Dallas Tourism office is listening, I hope you guys know how to keep a tourist busy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

La vida es un carnaval

So the past week has been great. I really go into detail but as with all things, when you think positive thoughts, good things will come. Here's a good song to go by...

Todo aquel que piense que la vida es desigual,
tiene que saber que no es asi,
que la vida es una hermosura, hay que vivirla.
Todo aquel que piense que esta solo y que esta mal,
tiene que saber que no es asi,
que en la vida no hay nadie solo, siempre hay alguien.

If you ever find yourself down, think about it, why are you feeling bad...because you are thinking about those negative thoughts. So live your life as if there were no tomorrow, because you never know. Again...why so serious?! :)

Why the Please Touch Museum is awesome.

Because it is! I felt like such a kid again (meanwhile I am a big kid). Today (for work) I went to the Please Touch Museum along with 12-13 media and took a tour of the museum. It was interesting because there were Latino, Cambodian, and Chinese media on the tour; so it was a multicultural experience.

As soon as you drive by and park you are taken to another world. Memorial Hall is such an amazing piece of architecture, but I won't bore you about that part.

But seriously, there's a part of the museum (lower level) where there's a model of how Fairmount Park looked like in 1876...amazing.

Then as soon as you walk in you are presented with what could quite possibly be a WHOLE day. P.S. you gotta come with a child or you won't get in haha. There's just so much to go over that I won't tell you, I'll let you experience it.

I'll leave you with something you see once you walk in...

For more info visit the Please Touch Museum web-site and if you want a great deal, check out my jobs Play & Stay Hotel Package.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why Gamma Phi Sigma?

Fraternities and sororities, oh my!?!? What's the one thing you think of when those 2 words come to mind...most likely parties and drinking. However, THAT wasn't my reason for becoming a brother of Gamma Phi Sigma "Hermanos Unidos" Fraternity, Inc...it was the strolling LOL <--j/k j/k. Anyways, so why Gamma Phi Sigma? Because it was just right, it was my decision, it was ME. This story begins FA 99 when my brother pledged for La Unidad Latina/Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. I probably should've payed more attention but oh well haha. I just saw how it changed him for the better and how he would help out the community. Unfortunately I decided to attend Widener University my first year at school and there really was NO Latino presence. That wasn't the only reason why I transfered but it played a good part. Then came Temple University FA 03. Boy was I in for an adventure haha.

I actually met with two fraternities during my first semester at TU: LUL and GPS. My brother gave me some contacts and I did my thing with them. But then one random afternoon I met a brother of Gamma Phi Sigma; who else but Artistico haha. Oh those famous words, "Are you Latino?" (LOL) After hanging out with both organizations I finally made my decision and next thing you know I was "about" to pledge FA 03...luckily I held back and decided to wait.

Then came SP 04...*sigh* haha. It was the perfect time to pledge; shout out to Mike & Charlie! I made my choice and my brother was happy with it. It's funny though because to this day people still have "issues" with him being an LUL and vice versa. Egh who cares haha.

Congrats Univision

This just in, Univision was named one of the Top 5 networks for fourth consecutive sweep! According to the press release on Hispanic PR Wire:

"For the fourth consecutive sweep period, Univision finished as the 5th broadcast network in primetime among Adults 18-49 -- that’s for all adults, not just Hispanics -- beating every other broadcast and cable network to get there.

Since being included in the Nielsen Television Index (NTI), Univision routinely beats at least one of the Big 4 English-language networks. This November sweep period Univision outdelivered ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX on 11 out of 28 nights, or 39% of the sweep period, among Adults 18-34."

As you can see, it's not just Hispanics! There are a lot of people in this country that believe Hispanics only like Hispanic related "things". Once again we show the world we are on the rise and by 2050...well you already know :).

Hasta la proxima mi gente!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Latino Media in Philadelphia

Ahhh yes the journalists of Philadelphia...Latino journalists that is. And as in everything else we do, there are Latinos whom work for Spanish language media and Latinos whom work for mainstream media. I've had the opportunity to work with both. It's pretty interesting to work with both because in the end they both agree that helping the Latino community is important.

Two of the best Latino papers in Philadelphia are:

Impacto Latin Newspaper


Al Dia

These 2 papers have both played an important role in the Latino community because they DON'T just spread news. They both provide opportunities for Latinos whether it's by holding programs or award ceremonies. Impacto Latin Newspaper actually teams up with MAC on an award ceremony for influential Latinos.

And now Philly's Spanish language broadcasting media is stepping up! Univision and Telemundo have stepped up when it comes to local news. This past summer Univision announced their new local news segment at 6:30 p.m. Telemundo has also just reorganized their studios and has a new anchor for their public affairs show.

I'm very proud to be working with them and can't wait for the future projects we will work on.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Latinos in HEROES

So I just thought about the Latino presence on the show Heroes. It was actually okay until about (I think) last weeks episode. Anyways, so I was actually happy to see Latinos in the show but to be honest they either weren't the best character or they died.

One of the first characters was Isaac Mendez who could paint the future, but unfortunately he died when Syler took his power.

Next we have Dania Ramirez who plays Maya...or played her until her powers were taken away from that bastard "Papa" Patrelli.She plays a "fugitive" and travels all the way to Mexico from Venezuela. Yes it has nothing to do with immigration but come on people. The worst/best part, her power. Every time she got emotional, her eyes would fill black and anyone who was in the same vicinity as her instantly dies. Way to give the Latina something powerful yet deadly.

Then from out of no where NBC created a contest for the next hero. Who won...Santiago? Not sure of his power but I know he currently resides in a Latino country and plays soccer...weird.

Come on NBC, come up with something better. Hmmm maybe a Colombian who can turn drugs into gold <---note the sarcasm.

Asociacion Puertorriqueños en Marcha

So last Friday I attended APM's 33rd Annual Gift of Love Children's Christmas Benefit. At first I thought it would just be a sit down and that's it but soon I realized the opportunity it truly was.

First off, APM:

Before the creation of Asociación de Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM, Inc.), basic social services were practically non-existent for Philadelphia’s Latinos. Few resources flowed into the community and residents were overlooked and politically marginalized. In the critical areas of child welfare, mental health, and mental retardation there were few caseworkers and therapists who could actually speak to many of their clients.

In 1970, a group of Puerto Rican social activists sought to energize the community and help bring to it a fair share of resources from the majority culture. The success of APM is the result of those efforts.

This past summer, my fraternity helped APM during their annual sugar cane festival. As a result, we were able to obtain tickets. Although Temple's Greek Showcase was the same day, we divided and conquered. Representing GPS was Charlie, Rafael and me; there was also a Temple table haha. Anyways, little did I realized the connections Gamma Phi Sigma had.

Who did we share a table with??? It was the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, Rafael's current job haha. I met a lot of good people from there and this woman (Maitreyi Roy) even knew some of the older brothers! She used to work with Norris Square and she said, "The guys in the purple house." Crazy i know. She even worked with my job too.

Random note of the night: The leader of Kenya was there too lol.

Anyway, it was a great event. All the important people we knew were there included Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, Nelson Diaz, and members of the media who I work with from Al Dia, Impacto, 6ABC, Univision.

The best part...NCLR's Pres/CEO's speech. All I can say is WOW. I felt so empowered, I could've easily just decided to run for Pres haha. She was truly a motivational speaker.

Friday, November 14, 2008

So where do all the Latinos come from?

First thank you Jen Miller for posting this, classic. It just inspired me to rep Jersey :). But then I realized is that where I came from? Where I was born? Meanwhile, Muhlenberg hospital is being scheduled to close...to shame.

Anyways, over the past few years I've noticed Philadelphia is a "Puerto Rican" kind of city. No that's not a bad thing, I'm just saying that a lot of Puerto Ricans find themselves in either New York City or Philadelphia. However, go to Maryland and you'll see a lot of Central Americans, go to Florida you'll find Cubans, Texas...Mexicans. And for some odd reason, Chicago is filled with Mexicans.

I think I can probably name like 10 Colombians in Philadelphia, I know there are more out there, I just can't find them. Even at Tierra Colombiana, a lot of non-Colombians go there...especially during Reggaeton night...booo haha.

Soon however you probably won't get one single ethnicity. I've seen everything from Salvadorian/Mexican, African-American/Mexican, Cuban/African-American and even someone who "claimed" to be of like 6 different backgrounds haha.

2050 is going to be interesting :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2 Types of Latinos

  1. The the Latino that's only interested in Latino culture
  2. The Latino that loves mainstream stuff.
So which one am I? Hell I'm both. I think that's what's wrong with some corporations. I recently spoke with a friend of mine (who has an advertising internship) and she told me some funny yet sad things.

I can't go deep into it but the main "point" was that by adding an African-American or Latino person to a commercial, the "brand" would appeal to that audience. Are you kidding me!? That's probably the worst idea. Hey let me give you an example of one of the worst campaigns I've ever seen:

Direct TV

This ad may not be as bad as what I'm going to tell you. I was watching something and out of no where a Direct TV commercial comes on...it was a fake Reggaeton artist "rapping" about Direct TV. I was immediately pissed off. Is that what you think we are? Is that all you think we listen to...sheeeesh. Note: I have Direct TV but it wasn't because of that commercial

Latinos enjoy anything and everything...especially if it's affordable; or free haha.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The hisPANIC worker

I can't help but wonder if mainstream audiences understand the hisPanic family. In corporate America, I don't think VPs, CEOs, etc understand that if I need to go home because this and that happened, that usually means I gotta go home.

A few weeks back I went to a program at Temple University called, Te Conozco Bacalao: Differences in Communication Styles Between Latinos and European Americans. It was pretty good and it inspired me to become more prone with who I am. Here's a brief description about the program:

This phenomenal seminar addresses the differences in nonverbal and verbal communication styles between Latinos and European Americans and how these differences can cause misperceptions, misinterpretations leading to misunderstanding in the workplace. It addresses the common wrong to deal with the differences and provides skills to effectively deal with the differences to prevent misunderstanding.

It was interested how everyone agreed most corporations don't understand how "we" work. In fact, in Diversity Magazine, they had a list of 10 Things Not to Say to Latino Executives. The list actually made me laugh and I wonder when will people learn.

However, there is one problem: There's the side of me that wants to enter corporate America and succeed in life, then there's the other side that wants to stay true to my own culture and engage in cultural activities. So how do you blend both?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanksgiving for the Homeless

Every year (for the past 2 years) my fraternity has participated in Taller Puertorriqueño's Thanksgiving for the Homeless. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Taller organizes...well a Thanksgiving for the homeless haha. Taller collects clothes, canned goods, etc. to give to people throughout the whole day.

This year is no different. If you're interested in helping out please contact Taller at (215) 423-6320. It's really a great cause. I was amazed at how many people show up and if you're volunteering you are busy for the whole time haha. Here's some pics from past events:

Navaja would most likely visit...

...the following places.

  1. Colombia - Because it is here where his heritage was born. The place where his mother/father and all the older generations were born. The one true place he can really call home. The one place I haven't seen since 1995 and where my father's family lives. When will I return? Only time can tell.

    Plus, just recently there have been a few great published articles on Colombia's rise in tourism! Although I would love to go as a tourist, I would go as a citizen (but not) haha. Jaunted (Top travel blog) says it best, "...country's finally getting back on its feet."

  2. Egypt - Who wouldn't!? There's so much history and mystery to this place I would stay here for a month just trying to figure out who "we" are haha. The camels, pyramids, mummies, etc. are some of the most fascinating things about this country. Isn't this where the earliest known man was discovered?

    Plus I have yet to travel to the other side of the world! Why not stop at Egypt first :).

  3. China - A completely different world from the one I live in. I think I could find something to do everyday for about a year...that's stretching it I know. But after watching the 2008 Beijing Olympics I found myself more fascinating with this country.

    I'd probably challenge myself to walk the whole wall of China too haha.

  4. Australia - Why not? I love their accent and the wildlife is amazing! Plus the weather seems cool haha:

    Imagine a hot red land edged with surreal beaches. Now imagine that on this land, you can also discover lush rainforests, cool lagoons and slopes iced with snow waiting for you to explore. Yes, Australia has all of this on offer.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Una noche to remember (4th Annual Stroll Show & After-Pary)

If there's one thing to sum up last night's activities it would be this photo:

This was def a show to remember. I'm glad to have been the "executive producer" of the show haha. Thank you to my brothers Randy, Joseph and Jeff for all the hard work you guys put through internally to make this happen. We had some of our usual performers, some that have come back from old shows and as always the newcomers! Everyone's performance were memorable. But congratulations to Corazones Unidos Simpre/Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc. for taking the prize!

Here are some of my favorite highlights:
  • Shout out to those people who came at 6:20 p.m. to get early seating!
  • Shout out to Greekster (Jesus). Thanks for the support and can't wait to see the videos/photos
  • SLU's special guests :D
  • LAU's "unexpected" special guests & "Latinos for Obama" celebration
  • OPB and LPC make it out all the way from New York for their first ever stroll show in Philly. You guys def killed it!
  • Gamma Phi Sigma & Zeta Phi Beta bridge the gap with their unity stroll
  • CUS's Ballerina stroll...I'm into nuggets ya...im into nuggets ya!
  • LTA with one of the only "cultural" performance of the night
  • PSP's creepie joker stroll
  • Delta Chi Psi def entertained the crowd during intermission
  • Shout out to everyone who came out to the after-party!
  • And last but not least to the son of a bi*** that decided to push me while strolling you will get yours! I can easily say what org he is from but I won't. I think we went back and forth twice pushing as we both strolled but that's a big NO-NO in my book. Luckily I was smart and walked away. I'm not sure what would've happened if I were "old navaja".