Friday, October 30, 2009

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

So why do I like to eat? Although sometimes I can be a picky eater but generally I like to eat anything. My favorite dish would definitely have to be the bandeja tipica. What sucks is that I have a few allergies which include peanuts, string beans and soy...random I know.

Hopefully one day I'll be able to cook in a good clean kitchen, but until food it will be!

Dia de los Muertos in Philly

Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC

So do people really know what Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is all about? I want to assume a lot of mainstream America thinks it's just another Mexican holiday like Cinco de Mayo...negative. Dia de los Muertos is celebrated throughout Mexico and in several regions of the United States. It's not necessarily a mourning holiday but more of a celebration. The celebration occurs on November 1st and 2nd in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saint's Day which occurs on November 1st and ALl Souls Day which occurs on November 2nd.

According to an article in the Arizona Republic, unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake.

Here are just a few happenings in Philly you can check out today and tomorrow:
  1. Dance Party at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
  2. Yummmy specials at Xochitl
  3. Folk art at the Eye's Gallery on South Street
  4. MÜtter Museum's 2nd Annual Day of the Dead Festival

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fun Facts brought to you by...

none other than the U.S. Census Bureau. Think you know a little bit about Hispanics (Latinos) in the United States? Well the bureau has put together a fun quiz about...yes you guessed it HISPANICS! Questions include "What was the median age of Hispanics in the US in 2000?" and "In 2000, 88% of Non-Hispanic Whites are high school graduates; What percentage of HIspanics high school graduates?"

It's actually a pretty fun quiz to take; don't worry though it's only 5 questions. So why are any of these statistics important? According to the Census2010 web-site: the information the census collects helps to determine how over $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services like:
  • Hospitals
  • Job training centers
  • Schools
  • Senior centers
  • Bridges, tunnels and other-public works projects
  • Emergency services
To take the quiz click here.

That Really Grinds My Gears...GMAIL

What is up with GMAIL? How can you people like it so much? I get the conversations and the layout but if you're used to Microsoft Outlook, this is CHANGE! I am all for change but this is drastic. As a good friend would say, "GMAIL is not thinking of the children!"

I am so used to filtering my e-mails by subject, contact, date, etc. but now with Gmail I can't. Again I love technology but when you make things harder for me to find I suggest you fix the problem...especially for work.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To Support or Not Support the Artist

Wow so has it really come to this? In a world of technology where anyone can download ANYTHING on LimeWire or other services, are recording artists doing better or worse than they were 10 years ago? Is this why a lot of singers, rappers, bands, etc are more and more going into other industries like clothing and movies? I must admit I have not purchased a CD but I still support the artist.

Just take a look at this tweet:
If you're album (from a few years ago) is selling for $3.99 then something seems to be wrong. Sometimes even Twitter only deals seem to help out the artist or any other industry. Hopefully 5 years from now Twitter won't start charging users. Although it's a free advertising/communications tool, sometimes we have to be careful of how we relay this messages.

Today is the day...Phillies/Yankees

Today...oh boy today. It's what everyone's been waiting for...but really why? Are we that insecure with ourselves that we have to have a rivalry? Everyone is talking about how Philadelphia is always in New York's shadow...okay well who cares? And didn't you know some of your (NYC) people are moving to Philly and working in NYC? And does it really take 3 people to right a story about how NYC is better than Philadelphia?

To be honest, no matter who wins, the negative aspect of the story will still rise. Sometimes the media just wants a GOSSIP story so people can link, post, etc. In the world we live in today, once you post it on the internet, it's out there forever. And Philadelphia on the other hand is taking a better approach. We have decided to train it up to NYC and give out free cheesesteaks! If/when the Phillies hit a homerun, one lucky fan will win a $100 giftcard to one of Philly's BEST restaurants.

And if you NYC fans plan on visiting Philly for future games, be prepared.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Greek slay me

Every now and then I start wondering what is it about Greek life that keeps us going? By us I mean everyone in general. I've heard of a good number of people just stop supporting their organization. However, when they were NEO's or undergraduates, they were just as hype as their line brother.

However, I am proud of those that stick to it until the end. The brothers and sisters of those orgs (whether black, white, Asian, Latino, etc.) whom continue to represent their organization. Remember, it's an organization...not a club. And if we didn't represent our org's, we wouldn't be able to do cool stuff like unity strolling or event collaborations. Why do I keep doing it? Because I respect Gamma Phi Sigma "Hermanos Unidos" Fraternity, Inc. and everything we do. So who cares we only have 6 chapters? What's it to you? You may have hundreds of chapters but I don't see you working as hard.

Also, don't let this EVER happen to your organization. Now of course there have been rumors of who these "people" are; we cannot assume until the organization makes a statement. Crisis Communications people!

(Picture removed)

Census web-site

As we all know next year we will be getting those important forms in the mail to count none other than US! And to help you navigate throughout this process the Census not only will send you mail, distribute collateral at festivals, advertise during major events but they'll also want you to check out their cool new site! I am a fan of cool web-sites and when I saw their's I was glad to see it's usefulness. If you hover over the people you hear typical questions asked by concerned citizens. You can also read about the importance of the Census, how it works, privacy and how to get involved.

They're also twittering! Follow them @uscensusbureau.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Latino on Late Night Show...Check

So now we can add someone else to the list of Latino "FIRSTS". For the first time ever a Latino will host a late night talk show. Starting November 9th, George Lopez will premiere LOPEZ TONIGHT on TBS at 11 p.m. Why TBS...who knows. And unfortunately I do not get TBS. Lopez will join Arsenio Hall as an "elite" group of minorities to host late night talk shows. Soon after Mr. Hall, there have been a good number of minorities starting talk shows including Ellen, Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah. I mean it is 2009, one would think someone was good enough for a late show right?

LOPEZ TONIGHT will feature a fun, high energy format, with lots of audience interaction. Viewers will be swept into a spontaneous street party, with George playing the consummate host. So who will be his first guest? I vote for Lou Dobbs...just saying.


Can you believe it's been one year since I started this thing called a blog!? Amazing I know. Over the course of this year I've learned so much about blogging and Latinos in social media. Thank you to everyone who has commented, read my posts and the idea givers! I have started getting more and more pitches and more compliments about my blog which is big.

Remember, I do this for fun! I started out expressing my thoughts but soon the blog turned into promoting Latinos/Hispanics and our importance in the community (on a larger scale). So what exactly is a hisPANIC? Why did I call it hisPANIC2050 and not LATINO2050? Well I got the inspiration from reading Geraldo Rivera's book Hispanic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in the U.S. I have no preference but I know a lot of people do.

So again thank you to all the supporters and remember to COMMENT! I love commenting on blogs and starting conversations. Below are some of my most memorable posts (again thank you):
  1. My first post *tear*
  2. Where were you (When the Phillies won 1 year ago)
  3. The Cure for anything Latino
  4. The First Ever "That Really Grinds My Gears Post"
  5. Are Hispanics a Race?
  6. They did it JustBeCus

Friday, October 23, 2009

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...trips to Maryland

This weekend I'll be road tripping it to Maryland to visit my frat brothers and of course my real brother. The last time I went to MD was for Gamma Phi Sigma's annual camping trip and it was actually my first time. This time I'll be staying in College Park and relaxing...hopefully. I always have a good time in MD, I think it's a sign.

Maryland is completely different from Philadelphia. Yes I know one is a state and one is a city, but the Latino population is just different. Central Americans populate most of the Silver Spring
area while Puerto Ricans tend to populate Philadelphia more. Although we're all the same, we somewhat take different paths.

Today's plug in goes to...5th Annual Stroll Show

When promoting the stroll show at Temple University, we have to have the best and the best produces! Although the super-hero poster will be my personal favorite, this one will do for now. This stroll show is bound to be one of the best events of the year, and not just because I'm putting together the unity stroll, but also because of the diverse organizations involved.

5th Annual Stroll Exhibition
Temple University - Mitten Hall
Friday, November 6th, 2009
Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
$5 to enter

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Latin Music USA

Did you miss the PBS special Latin Music USA? Well thanks to the wonders of the internet you can watch the entire documentary on their web-site. Learn the origins of Salsa, the history of Richie Valens, Selena and more.

Once you watch it, let PBS know what you thought about it.

That Really Grinds My Gears...Crazy Fans

Okay as we all know by know the Philadelphia Phillies have won the NCLS and everyone is excited. However, does that mean we have to act a fool? As I was walking back home last night when the Phillies won, I heard yelling, fireworks, honking, cars revving, sirens and more. To my amazement I see calm fans on the news...but of course the news decides to capture the crazy fans.

According to MyFoxPhilly, "a fan decides to climb a tree at Frankford and Cottman in Northeast Philadelphia. Fellow fans decided to get him off the tree by firing a Roman candle firework at him." That is probably the most idiotic thing one can do. Yes you can celebrate, but please be smart about how you celebrate.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One Person Can Make a Difference...You

Join the campaign against Dobbs...Basta!

Why Express...Why!?

So why does Express continue to blast me with sales?! Honestly this is probably one of the few stores I shop at. I have a lot of polos and 1MX shirts from Express. It may not be what NYers call high fashion but hey I have to look presentable.

Let's not start with the coupons too. I think every week I get a new coupon either in the mail or through an e-mail. These aren't just regular coupons, these are mega coupons! $30 off your $75 purchase is definitely a good deal. I think the best coupon I got was $50 off your $125 purchase or something in that area. Good deals and bargains = my wardrobe filling up with polos, jeans, socks, button ups and more.

Let's just hope they don't start selling shows!

Americans more familiar with Latinos?

I just finished reading an article on about Americans being more familiar with Latinos. Does this make any sense? Isn't this sort of obvious considering the population change in Latinos? I found this quote to by quite disturbing, ""But nearly half of people we questioned said they assume that Latinos who they have never met are immigrants, and one in five believe they are illegal immigrants," adds Holland. I don't think it's difficult to understand a minority group. I mean everyone is different why not just accept it.

Thankfully I live in a city where people understand diversity. Would I feel differently If I lived in a small town in Colorado or Minnesota? Most likely yes. People are actually surprised I am Latino. If I was at a regular event with a white crowd, I doubt anyone would spot me to be the Latino. But of course if I was at a Latino event one would just assume I'm one of "them".

Is the media changing the way we view people of color? Although I have yet to watch CNN's Latino in America, I hear more and more everyday people's discontent with the program. Have you watched Latino in America yet? What do you think?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Unity Stroll at Temple University

On Friday, November 6th, 2009 at Temple University, Gamma Phi Sigma will host their 5th Annual Stroll Show. For 5 years we've been proud to host this outstanding event featuring some of the best strollers in the nation including:
  • Chi Upsilon Sigma
  • Omega Phi Beta - National Stroll Team
  • Psi Sigma Phi
  • Lambda Upsilon Lambda
  • Lambda Pi Chi - National Stroll Team
  • Lambda Tau Omega
  • Lambda Alpha Upsilon - 2009 Smooth Stroll Champs
So what's going to be so different about this year's show? Well how about the fact that there will be a unity stroll...for the first time ever! Who will it feature? Not like it's a secret but this unity stroll will feature Lambda Theta Alpha, Chi Upsilon Sigma, Lambda Tau Omega and of course Gamma Phi Sigma. It will most certainly be one to remember. Yeah there's only one fraternity, but before you start assuming things, there's a reason why there's only one fraternity. So mark your calendars because this year's stroll show will be completely different.

Did you forget? We are the champions

I may not be the biggest sports fan out there but hey it's always good to see the city you've lived in for years win a championship. It's even better when they are "this" close to doing it again! I still remember last year walking from Citizens Bank Park all the way home to 5th and Girard...that's a 6 mile walk on a school night haha. When you think about it, 6 mi isn't really that long.

Only one more game and the Philadelphia Phillies make it to the World Series. Who should they play? The Yankees or the Angels?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Form of Expression

I am a firm believer in art expression...this includes tattoos! I know a lot of the older generation frowns upon them and even my one aunt. My grandmother called me a hippie when I showed her some of my tatts.

There was a recent Al Dia article about a Fairhill man starting his tattoo business in his friend's store. It was sort of inspiring to see a Latino attempting to start his business from scratch. I wish I was an artist because I love tattoos. Although not every tattoo amazes me, I think it's great to see people expressing themselves through tattoos. Just look at the picture above, those are just 5 of my 7. They all have their own individual meaning, some self-explanatory.

Are you a fan of tattoos?

El sueño americano

Next Wednesday, Oct. 28th the Open Borders Project and Accion Colombia present the first Philadelphia showing of "Sin Papeles/Papers, the movie". As teenagers we always wonder what our next step after high school will be. The "American Dream" would tell us to go to college of course. But what about those Latinos who come to the U.S. to study (have good grades) but cannot because of their status? Do they deserve the right to study in the U.S.? Of course they do! Education is important to everyone.

According to the Dream Act Portal, a group of about 65,000 students a year will not have this opportunity because they bear the inherited title of undocumented immigrant. These highly motivated individuals have lived in the United States all their lives and want nothing more than to be recognized as American citizens.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...Social Media

Social media...everyone shouldn't use it but I clearly recommend it. I mean look at all the networks I'm in:
  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Greekster
  5. YouTube
The list could go on and on. And today I was reminded why social media is meant to be fun and not "corporate". The folks at Cision sent out an e-mail entitled "8 Ways to Take Control of Your Social Media Brand." And let me tell you the video link was hilarious (but informative). Although it was meant for new users, it just reassured me that I'm doing it the right way. Remember, not EVERYONE knows what they are doing when it comes to Facebook and Twitter. So kudos to all the folk who use (and know how to use) social media, especially my Latism people.

Una lengua para Latinos

So yesterday MTV rolled out its raucous red carpet to honor the best of the year's pop, rock and reggaeton from Latin America with its eighth annual Los Premios MTV awards in Los Angeles on Thursday (Associated Press). However, a fellow social media pal @UrbanJibaro brought something really strange to my attention *see image above*. So while the main show (MTV Music Awards) gets a moon man, the pink tongue-shaped statue is apparently inspired by Kiss' Gene Simmons.

Does this really make any sense? Now I know Latinos are into many things INCLUDING rock but why Kiss? MTV if you're out there let us know...we demand answers :).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Introducing @PhillyTeAma

Ever wanted to know where the latest salsa club is? The nearest place to buy a vejigante mask? Or just need some cool fun facts about Latino Philadelphia? Well you're in luck because now you can follow @PhillyTeAma and keep in touch with Latino Philly! And you guessed it, this Twitter account is run by me via my job. As if I already don't tweet via 3 other accounts, this will just push my love for my cultura and the city that basically taught me to be who I am today.

Enjoy! Follow @PhillyTeAma and come be a “Philatino".

That Really Grinds My Gears...Early Winter

So according to almost every weather station, severe weather is currently hitting our region. Maybe that's why I feel like crap? Although I'm not sneezing or coughing, my forehead is burning up...go home? The worst part, this is going to continue for the next 4 days *smh*.

I don't think anyone is thinking of the children!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

They Did it JustBeCus

That's right the only Latino/a organization to enter Sprite Step Off have made it to the Sprite Step Off Regional Semi Finals and are competing this weekend in South Carolina! Who could it be? Well of course Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc. CUS will have their chance again this Saturday at the Carolina Coliseum at USC.

"With the Latinas we add a little bit of our curves and a little bit of our shakes and a little bit of salsa," says CUS sister Vanessa P. You can listen to her opinion and other Greeks in the second chapter of the Essence of Step series (at about 2:11): Also, CUS was the first Latina sorority to step and have won numerous step shows.

So congrats Sprite, ΧΥΣ and all the performers. Representing your organization in a positive way should be every organization's goal.

When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong...Texting

So what happens when you put a bunch of Latinos together and a big screen where text messages appear together?? You get a lot of random messages. I first saw the Verizon text screen at Batanga Beach Break 07. Pretty cool idea if you think about it. You text a number provided and wait a few minutes and your message appears on the screen. "Shout out to Gamma Phi Sigma" or "Good luck sisters" would be the general messages but soon some interesting messages should appear.

Last night at the Philadelphia Hispanic Choice Awards the Verizon screen reappeared in my life. Although for some odd reason I couldn't text, the messages were getting a little too weird for me including the most awkward one, "I'm pregnant." Maybe it's a joke maybe it isn't but I just think people need to think before they send out messages to hundreds of people.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Spanish Twitter Clone

It was a matter of time before this happened. According to TechCrunch, there have been numerous Twitter clones including a German version. Now we have Birddi...birddi though? was created by a 19-year-old Argentinian developer Martin Lio, who saw the power of Twitter during the 2008 presidential elections.

Do you think this is valid?! I mean it looks completely the same as Twitter! Somebody slap this kid with a lawsuit, or maybe not. All I know is that Ellen has decided to jump on this bandwagon as well. As for me...we'll see where this goes. I smell a shut down in a few weeks (or months).

Bye Bye South Africa 2010

So yet again Colombia succeeds in letting us down. Once again Colombia's chance in heading to the World Cup ceases to exist. Last Saturday Colombia faced Chile in what could have given them another chance to qualify, sure enough they lost 2-4. Some blame it on head coach Eduardo Lara and some just blame it on a bad team.

At one point in the game, fans yelled out "buro" to Lara because of a few bad calls. And my a few bad calls I mean he substituted some players which he shouldn't have. After losing the game he told press if he's meant to resign then it's meant to be.

p.s. I don't even remember the last time Colombia went to a World Cup. Thoughts?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Send a Virtual Postcard

Remember when I said you could send a physical postcard? Well now is your chance to send an e-postcard! Yes getting something in the mail is probably very flattering these days, but for those social media geeks, we've got something for you. All you have to do is go to and follow the instructions. You can choose from a small variety of images and 6 different language stamps.

p.s. When you send a card you can be entered to win a $100 Jose Garces or Starr restaurant group gift card. So send to family, friends, coworkers, etc. They'll appreciate it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The American Dream

Someone sent me an e-mail earlier today to "share my experience" in the blog. The blog entitled What is the American Dream really got me thinking. Here were my thoughts:
The American Dream was brought to "our" generation from our parents. The American Dream was to give their children an opportunity they necessarily didn't get. A lot of Latinos have low paying jobs but their kids grow up to graduate college, get a masters degree and eventually become CEOs. The American Dream is to one day not be defined by our race or the color of our skin. We must believe in our own American Dream and not let anyone stop us. I am a Jersey-born Colombiano living in Philadelphia, PA and I have made my parents proud...that is my American Dream.
So what is your American Dream? Are you living it?

Make a difference!

October in Philadelphia means community service for every local/university organization. I've been walking in the AIDS Walk for about 4 years now. It's a great cause especially when you actually raise money. AIDS Fund, supports HIV/AIDS education, prevention, and services in the Delaware Valley Region by raising dollars and increasing public awareness about the impact of HIV on our communities. Currently, 30 partner organizations are receiving funding as a result of AIDS Fund’s activities to provide critical HIV prevention education and care services.

According to The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource, "Although Latinos represent only 13% of the U.S. population, they account for 19% of the country's new HIV infections. In addition, AIDS-related illnesses represent the fourth leading cause of death among Latinos ages 25 to 44, according to CDC." My goal this year was to raise $150 and so far I up to $135! If you can spare anything (even $5.00) please donate here.

7:30AM, Sunday, October 18, 2009
Begins and ends at Eakins Oval, in front of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CNN - Latino in America Free Screening

Back in July CNN announced the airing of Latino in America. Well guess what DC folk, you get an advanced screening of the show! RSVP now because seats are limited. The preview will be followed by a Q&A with CNN's Juan Carlos Lopez.

To RSVP, click here.

The Mayan Calander

So what is everyone's fascination with the Mayan calendar. There are a lot of people that have this tattoo but do they really know the meaning behind it? Do they know how to read it? Maybe they do maybe they don't. I actually was able to read it a few years back but have since forgot what the symbols meant. The entire calendar is quite fascinating. The Maya calendar uses three different dating systems in parallel, the Long Count, the Tzolkin (divine calendar), and the Haab (civil calendar). Of these, only the Haab has a direct relationship to the length of the year.

Check out this interactive calendar which explains each symbol.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Accepted! A Latino leader in the making

As you all know I applied to be a part of the 2009/2010 Latino Leadership Institute...well I was accepted! From October 17th - February 2010 I will be taking Saturday morning courses that will eventually develop me into a (better) Latino leader. Courses include career development, grant writing and the history of Latinos in Philadelphia. Hopefully I can get more involved with the community here in Philadelphia and maybe even U.S. Latinos in general. For the 6 years I've been in Philly, I've seen nothing but positive things in our community including the first ever Latina to serve as councilperson and the first person of color serving as PPRA president.

So what does this all mean? It means you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. Even with little or no support, surround yourself with positive people and listen to what they have to say.

Carnival Cruise in Photos

You fill in the caption!

Friday, October 2, 2009

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...Scary Movies

Maybe it's me or maybe it's the "man" in all Latinos but why do we love scary movies?! Although i don't think there is such thing as a scary movie anymore I like getting frightened. Is that a disorder? For example I've watched every single Saw movie in theaters and they were awesome. Although it wasn't scary, the shock factor was amazing. Other notables include Jeepers Creepers, Drag Me to Hell (crazy, messed up ending), Quarantine, 28 Days (& Weeks) Later, Silent Hill, The Strangers and The Hills Have Eyes.

What's next...Paranormal Activity! I hope it lives up to the hype.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

That Really Grinds My Gears...Dancing Salsa?

Not necessarily Latinos or Salseros dancing, but the people who when they listen to reggaeton or even Pitbull, they have to start pretending to dance salsa. I mean that doesn't even make sense...Pitbull does not rap/sing Salsa music!

Worse when you're at a non-Latino party and you request "your" music, the DJ decides to play Suavemente by Elvis Crespo. Really? His song unfortunately has become every party's official Latino song. *smh*