Monday, November 30, 2009

LPN and Social Media

Time and time again we have to remind ourselves that Latinos in social media exist! A few weeks ago Al Dia relaunched the Latino Professional Network (LPN) which to me is probably the smartest thing in Philly to be produced. The LPN is a group of professionals looking to meet (and not hide) and share their success stories. It was difficult for me coming to Philadelphia and not knowing where to go. Although LPN was created three years ago, I'm glad they are getting the Latino voice out there.

According to a recent Al Dia article, "El sitio de internet de LPN es una página estilo Facebook, que muestra un perfil con información profesional, experiencia laboral, fotografías de eventos sociales en la comunidad latina, calendario de eventos sociales y comunitarios, bolsa de trabajo, “chat” y además se puede sincronizar con las cuentas ya existentes de Facebook y Twitter."

If you're interested in meeting other Latino professionals visit or come to their next event on Wednesday, December 9th at 5:30 p.m. at the Loews Hotel in the Solstice Room (inside Sole Food restaurant).

Get Your Caribbean Breeze

Over Thanksgiving break I went to visit my brother in Maryland. On the last night I had to get my salsarenguechata in so that's what we did...except in Virginia. A group of us went to Caribbean Breeze in Arlington, VA. And just like lots of other lounges, this is a restaurant turned nightclub por la noche. Get there early on Saturday nights because it's a $10 cover charge before a certain time, not sure how much afterwards. If you want to have a party, you can get your guests in free; click here for more information.

To be honest it's a great atmosphere. The dance floor is large enough for your dancing needs and as you can see from above, the bar is big enough for you drinkers. Don't worry non-salsa dancers, the lounge plays everything from techno to pop; this brings in a very diverse crowd. Two thumbs up to you VA!

4100 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA

(703) 812-7997

Thursday, November 26, 2009

That Really Grinds My Gears...Bad Use of Twitter

If my Twitter homepage looks like the image below, there's a problem. No offense to the Sons Of Ben but Twitter shouldn't be used to spam people. #JustSayin


Happy Thanksgiving!

Because Thanksgiving is really ONLY about the food haha. I'll be in Maryland this whole weekend, unlike last year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tweets of the Day

As you all know Wednesday is TWEET OF THE A lot of us know how to use Twitter and to be honest there are a lot that just don't know what they are doing. I've compiled some of my favorite Tweets of the day (some may even be during the week). But always remember to watch what you say. You have to be even more careful considering Google has partnered with Twitter to include them in searches *cue dramatic chipmunk*.

See, we can learn from others and social media!

Breaking News?

Truth be told. Always remember how and where you grew up.

Although they were late in answering, I was happy they did.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You're a Latino Doing Their Thing?

Are you part of #LatinosDoingTheirThing? Well if you're reading this post then I'd hope so! Last month CNN presented Latinos in America and there were a few people that were upset. Well the man behind BeingLatino took it upon himself to create these video series about...well Latinos doing their thing. It's a great concept to showcase the positive stories Latinos are living today. There are already a good number of posts so check them out.

And if you're doing your the video below and maybe you'll be featured. *crosses fingers* haha. I'm pretty sure out of the millions and millions of Latinos in America, we all have great success stories. I think the problem is that some of us lack confidence and we don't usually toot our own horn. Understandable, but it won't get us nowhere.

A Sucker for Cool Stuff

Today the Comcast Center launched the "Comcast Holiday Spectacular" in 3-D. Earlier this year my parents came and were completely fascinated by the big screen and I had to agree with them. So what's so special about this years? Well it's in 3-D! If you go during lunch or after a happy hour, you'll see many people huddled around the lobby waiting to watch this cool presentation. Did you also know the Comcast wall is the largest four-millimeter LED screen in the world?

The show runs every hour on the hour, between 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. (except 5 p.m., seven days a week through New Year's Day. The show lasts approximately 15 minutes. The video below is when my parents came in the summer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

NAHJ & Al Dia Journalism Award

Since last September, the journalism industry lost jobs at almost three times the rate of jobs lost in the economy each month. According to Unity: Journalists of Color, "The news industry has shed 35,885 since Sept. 15, 2008, and 46,599 jobs since UNITY began tracking job losses on Jan. 1, 2008." As journalists continue to lose jobs, they are using social media to promote themselves and their writing.

Thankfully the folks at NAHJ and Al Dia have partnered to promote the Valera Awards for Excellence in American Journalism on Latino Issues. Two $10,000 awards will be presented by the AL DIA Foundation for the best examples of Print Journalism and Digital Journalism produced on American Latino issues during 2009 across the 50 states. Hurry because the deadline for submissions is December 31, 2009. For you bloggers, don't worry because you're included! This is a wonderful opportunity to continue goals as a journalist and display the hard work our Latino media produce.

For more information visit

Latin Billboard Awards en Puerto Rico

Is it me or do Latinos just love getting awards, especially in music? Well today, Telemundo, Billboard and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company signed an agreement to broadcast the 2010 Billboard Latin Music Awards in Puerto Rico on April 29th, 2010.

Jaime Lopez Diaz, executive director of The Puerto Rico Tourism Company said, "Music is a big part of our culture. Our artists and sounds have traveled the globe. While names like Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, Ednita Nazario, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee amongst so many others, have positioned our Island at the center of the music industry for years, now is our time to show the world, that when it comes to first class music events, Puerto Rico does it better!"

So if you're in Puerto Rico on April 29th, maybe you'll be able to meet some cool people. Don't worry, you don't have to speak español to enjoy the island, everyone speaks English, well almost. And yes they accept American dollars, they are a part of the United States after all.

Friday, November 20, 2009

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

Okay so let's just get this out the way, it's a shame this happened but move on. Shakira is a star like no other. She was one of the first artists to "cross-over" into this mainstream music world. With countless hits, awards and even a foundation Shakira will forever be a star in my eyes and hopefully yours.

p.s. She's half Colombian...which makes her cooler.

Video - Puerto Rican Celebration

El 19 de noviembre se celebró por primera vez en Philadelphia el Descubrimiento número 516 de Puerto Rico. A diferencia de la tradicional Parada Puertorriqueña que se celebra en septiembre, esta se realizó en el barrio en las calles cinco y Lehigh. (video por David Cruz/AL DÍA)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

That Really Grind My Gears..."V" episodes

Seriously why are they only showing 4 episodes of "V" in 2009? This is probably a worse tease than Heroes episodes. This next/last episode better be worthy of my time. However I don't want it to end with a cliffhanger. We haven't even gotten a chance to get to know the characters better.

*SMH* at ABC programming.

Celebrate 35 years with Taller Puertorriqueño

Way back when in 1974, Taller Puertorriqueño's founders created a community-based graphic arts workshop to provide cultural training alternatives to local youth. Today it's known for their Meet The Author Series, exhibitions, Youth Artist Program and as the the first Latino organization in the state to receive the Governor’s Award for the Arts. On December 10th, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. join Taller PR and friends and family as we celebrate "Keep it Alive, Celebrate 35".

To RSVP call 215-426-3311 or visit

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Column/Post - Great Tweets

Every now and then I come across some funny, interesting, weird and crazy tweets. They may come from Latinos or they may come from some other source. Either way, every Wednesday I'll highlight some of the interesting ones (whether it's a retweets, @ reply or whatever). Besides, now that Twitter decided to add lists, retweets and god knows what now, Twitter just got more fun.

Here are the first few:

The #Latism folk on Twitter are some amazing people.
You can learn a lot about certain issues in the Latino community including health topics.
Gossip is important in everyone's life, especially a Latino star haha.
Technology at its best lol

Oscar Nuñez on The Office

I've started watching The Office more and more (old episodes) and I must say it's Top 5 in my book. I mean the documentary style TV show works for me and the jokes are really really really. And although I didn't really care whether or not there was a Latino on the show, to my amazement there was!

Oscar Nuñez plays well who else but Oscar Martinez, an accountant for the oh so popular Dunder Mifflin paper supply company. Weird enough his character wasn't originally gay. In an interview with Star Oscar says, "I was just playing a character then in the middle of the first season or the second season they made him gay. Greg Daniels comes up to me and is like, "Hey, do you mind if we make your character gay?""

Shocking moment #2...he grew up in Union City, New Jersey which is almost 30 minutes from where I grew up!

p.s. That's what she said.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Latino is Doing Their Thing

It's always good to see a Latino in mainstream shows. This Sunday on the Food Network's The Next Iron Chef we find out who wins between Jose Garces and Jehangir Mehta. Chef Garces is originally from Chicago but after opening his first restaurant in Philadelphia in 2005, he has since created an empire. He has opened four additional restaurants, in both Philadelphia and Chicago; authored a stunning cookbook, Latin Evolution (Lake Isle Press, September 2008); and appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, defeating Iron Chef Bobby Flay.

Chef Garces is probably one of the few Ecuadorians in Philadelphia because I haven't met many. I've been to a few of his restaurants including Chifa and Distrito...I recommend them both. If you're interested in celebrating his upcoming "win" I believe Distrito has some spots left open for Next Iron Chef viewing party.

In conclusion, Garces = #LatinosDoingTheirThing.

When laughing at yourself can go right...or wrong

Sometimes it's good to laugh at yourself...then again this is why "they" stereotype us haha. For those that remember (which doesn't include me): House of Buggin' with John Leguizamo.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bring futbol to the U.S. (and Philadelphia)

As we all know Philadelphia is getting their own soccer stadium and team, but did you know also several cities in the U.S. including Philly are bidding on the World Cup! The last time the World Cup was in the U.S. was back in 1994 and drew a record crowd of 3,587,538 and an average match attendance of 68,991. It'll all end in December 2010 when soccer’s governing body—the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)—will select the countries that will host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup™. Other bidding countries include Japan, Spain, Qatar (really?) and Australia.

Sign the petition and help bring futbol back to the U.S.

Movie Review: 2012

So remember all those signs about being warned about the end of the world in 2012? Well not only are we ignoring the Mayans but I guess the movie did too! I, like everyone else, assumed there would be a much stronger message about the Mayan culture but I guess not.

The end of the world? Yes it was but civilization survived, well only a few. The Earth's entire structure changed causing havoc across countries including 9.0 earthquakes in Tokyo and Los Angeles. Yellow Stone National Park became the largest active volcano causing an explosion reaching Washington, D.C. Hawaii doesn't exist anymore. And my favorite, tsunami's reaching up to Mt. Everest across the globe. But I like disaster movies, you truly find out about a person when they are about to die or under extreme pressure.

What did we learn from this movie? I suggest everyone purchases a plane ticket to South Africa ASAP.

p.s. Wisconsin is now the South Pole.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Special Saturday Edition - To FA09

So who would've thought PM Navaja could make a comeback. Congratulations Alpha Chapter Tau Line - FA09! You guys made me so proud and will continue to do so throughout the years. This was just your second of many journeys as a Gamma man you will face. Remember why you did it and keep that close to your heart...and those names: #1 Animo, #2 Explorador, #3 Sabio. "Los Caminos de la Vida" are hard but as you have proven, anything is possible when you set your mind to it.

Spring 2005, Spring 2007 and now Fall 2009 have not only made me proud, but also taught me a lot about myself. Three lines in four years is a lot but as we all know, anything is possible. As Latino men we need to strive for excellence. Although the journey is difficult, we know there is help and that is why we are there. Never dwell in the past but you should definitely learn from your mistakes.

Your PM
Navaja - SP04 #1

Friday, November 13, 2009

That Really Grinds My Gears...Late Edition

Anyone else having a problem with Twitter @ replies? I'm all for change but with change comes chaos. Whenever I reply to someone, the conversation isn't saved. So if someone "@"'s me from a week ago, I won't know what they are talking about. And Twitter isn't meant for someone with a GOOD memory, it's almost like GMAIL.

Either way, please bring back the conversations, it'll save me time from thinking what I said.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Helping those less fortunate

Thanksgiving is coming up so you know what that means...Taller PR's annual Thanksgiving for the Homeless. Every year for the past 17 years Taller has organized a luncheon for people who are less fortunate. This year the need is greater - they are counting for can goods, clothing and hygiene product donations.

They are also looking for volunteers to help out during the event; this includes everything from setting up to helping with the food. If you are free next Wednesday, November 25 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., please feel free to help out in any way you can.

Roberto Hernandez
2557 N. 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today's Plug-in: Latino Blogs to Follow

Over the past year I have recently discovered more and more Latino blogs, most of them are about culture and some about gossip. Not that there's anything wrong with gossip, but sometimes we have to look at the positive things in life...not who went where and dressed like this. Anyways, here is a short list of blogs which I read on a daily basis. More to come!
  • Guanabee - Hilarious and I think controversial. This is one of the most "keeping it real" blogs I read and they say a lot of stuff I think as well.
  • Tiki Tiki - What better to talk about than our culture! Anything from Dia de Los Muertos, cooking recipes, tv shows y mas.
  • Hissip - Okay it is gossip but it's positive gossip. Plus I think I find out about someone being Latino and I didn't even know haha.
  • Spanglish Baby - Think about it. We live in America but how do we raise our children? What if our spouse doesn't want our child learning Spanish? Read on and get some great advice.
  • Sofrito for Your Soul - Social media specialist, Greek, smart and loves our culture!
  • Dos Lives - This was one of the first blogs I discovered and was surprised to learn a non-Latino is an editor!

When Latinos stand up...we fight!

Remember the "horrible" NY Post cartoon with the monkey? Well apparently only one person stood up to fight for what she believed in and was fired. Sandra Guzman was fired last month after having objected to the Post's infamous "chimp" cartoon. Today we found out she has countered with her own lawsuit basically saying the NY Post is sexist and racist. Guzman had her own Latino section in the paper called Tempo and then a few weeks ago I realized it was gone. According to the NY post, "'Sandra is no longer with The Post because the monthly in-paper insert, Tempo, of which she was the editor, has been discontinued.'"

I think for every positive note we get, someone else has to go down. This actually goes against NAHJ's mission which is dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. Sounds sketchy right? Do you think Guzman was fired because of her outrage or was there another reason? Either way the timing was just horrible.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cancer and Latinos

There are so many facts I can give you about cancer in Latinos but I'll only give you a few. Cancer is actually the third leading cause of death in Latinos trailing right before heart problems. As you all know by now my fraternity brother is currently fighting cancer. Although the tumors are back, he is strong and will defeat it. in 2006, it was estimated about 39,000 men would be diagnosed with cancer and over 42,000 for women. For more cancer facts and figures in Latinos, click here for a full study.

Last Friday during my fraternity's 5th Annual Stroll Show, we raised a little over $1200 for the American Cancer Society. Para mas informacion on how to help, visit or the American Cancer Society.

Because I'm a Nice Guy... a gift for you

That's right I'm giving away a $10 iTunes gift card! I know some people don't use these gift cards and it's not a lot, but hey 'tis the season to be happy right?! Plus I think Latinos have this big ego about "our" music. It's different, internally diverse and people can really dance to it. Dancing to merengue, bachata, reggaeton, rock en español, salsa or anything else gives us a great feeling.

So what do you have to do? Well you can RETWEET and then comment on why you love our musica below! I'll choose the winner at random. Anyone can enter and you can use the card however you like. I personally use iTunes everyday en mi casa. Music makes my day go by way faster.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Are you ReadyU?

How do you not become a fat freshman? Need to kill downtime? I wish I had something that would answer these questions while in college. There's something out there called ReadyU and they want to help you. And by they I mean the Melissa and Mary George team.

The Facebook page says it best: Get the best spots to eat, go out, hang out and buy stuff—all rated by your fellow students. From taking polls, posting reviews and following tweets, you’ll get the scoop they don’t cover in orientation weekend. I was also told they are giving away a MacBook pro which should be everyone's dream. MAC's are expensive so every chance helps. I did notice they have sponsors out the wazoo including Herbal Essences and PUR water. ReadyU actually gives some interesting advise overall. I mean who doesn't want to live their life healthier and efficiently right.

For more information, visit ReadyU.

Hispanics do engage in cultural stuff

So when you go on a trip what exactly do you like to do? Eat, shop, museum hop? For me, I like to do anything new and exciting. Of course I like the usual Latino food and clubbing but I also like to visit the mainstream places of interest. The Philadelphia Cultural Alliance recently published Research Into Action: Pathways to New Opportunities.

According to their study, cultural engagement levels for African Americans and Hispanics are consistently higher than those for Whites. This sort of fits to the national trend that people of color are engaged and their numbers are growing. With cultural attractions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Taller Puertorriqueño, the Mural Arts Program and more, Philadelphia seems to be "our" kind of town.

Remember in 2006 when the museum of art had the Tesoros exhibit? That was just truly spectacular. Hopefully one day Philly will get something similar again to this extent.

Gamma Phi Sigma Drumline

Gamma Phi Sigma performs to the Kensington CAPA High School drumline!

Friday, November 6, 2009

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...Gamma Phi Sigma

First I want to congratulate Chi Upsilon Sigma and Delta Chi Psi...they were the winners at the 5th Annual Stroll Competition. However, congrats to Delta Chi Psi for winning the Battle of the Sexes round.

On another note, congrats to my fraternity, Gamma Phi Sigma, for putting on an AMAZING show. Everything from the drumline to the unity stroll performance was great. I know brothers were stressing with the show but in the end, it comes out great! I am glad to be part of THE guys are awesome.

TODAY: 5th Annual Stroll Competition

So today is the 5th Annual Stroll Competition. *smh* The question is do we all know the history of the show? It all started 5 years ago when Marullo decided to attend a SILK show with Syna (raawrr lol). He came back with the simple idea of having a stroll show at Temple University. Five years later it continues to be one of the region's top stroll shows.

The show started as an exhibition but soon turned into a Battle-of-the-Sexes. Past winners have included Chi Upsilon Sigma and Psi Sigma Phi. I'm actually very proud of everyone who worked on this show especially because all the proceeds are going to the American Cancer Society. There are lots of surprises in store for the show so please have your camera ready!

And yes Gamma Phi Sigma will be live tweeting!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Photo of the Day

Photo taken at Temple University's Greek Showcase. Now if only Greek life was always about unity...but we ALL know it's not. Black, White, Latino, Asian, shouldn't matter what organization you join because we all have the same goals: To empower a certain group.

But just in case you want more...


That Really Grinds My Gears...SEPTA

My first "Grinds My Gears" post was for SEPTA and today they are back. Seriously, when Philadelphians heard they were going on strike during the World Series we were shocked. They didn't actually strike before the World Series, they waited after the fact which is even worse.

It's been 3 days and there are a lot of people who just have to walk to work, school or to run errands. My commute for the past 3 days has been a 4.8 mi total (that's to and from work). I know it's good exercise but to do this Monday - Friday. Luckily I already like to walk so it's not that bad. But SEPTA, I'm going to need you to get it together. Not only are your workers on strike but there was also a fire and someone was just recently killed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Feliz Cumpleaños Sesame Place!

Holy moly it's been 40 years since Sesame Street first came into our lives. It's actually only been 37 years since Sesame Street entered the lives of Latin America. Either way congrats to Jim Henson and his entire team. If you haven't noticed, Google is running a Big Bird Doodle on its homepage. The bird's cute orange-and-pink legs make up the "L" in Google. Pretty cool if you ask me.
If you're a die-hard fan, you can pre-order the Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days DVD which has over 5 hours of iconic moments, favorite songs, celebrity segments and exclusive never-before-seen backstage footage. The series has enriched our lives ever since we were kids and continue to do so today. It's one of those shows we have to show our children alone watching because they learn so much. Jim Henson's creations have and will continue to live on.


If you're in Philadelphia, here are just a few places you can celebrate the show that touched our lives:
  1. Jim Henson's Fantastic World Exhibit at the Michener Museum
  2. Theme Park season may be over, but Sesame Place has events throughout the holidays

Aliens and the Issue of Race

So I hate to be the "bad news" person when it comes to race issues but I just had this on my mind. Yesterday was the season premiere of "V" and had us all holding our seats. Definitely a great show and everyone is telling me it's living up to the older series. However, I can't quite notice why human beings are embracing these visitors so easily?

Think about it. Aliens are broadcasting a message across the globe and the first thing you see is a white woman. Once Anna gives her speech about peace and "helping" human beings, we all decide to clap and embrace them. I understand this is probably just a portion of the human race but why can't we stop racism? It's so easy to accept an alien but some people can't accept a black president. Something is wrong with this picture. I did appreciate the different countries represented in the first scene (France, Brazil, Egypt, etc) but I'm sure we won't see that again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

¿Qué estás haciendo?

Stop the presses it's official. Twitter has invaded the land of Latinos. A little less than a month ago, a Spanish Twitter clone was release by an Argentine teenager, however, the folks at Twitter decided to act fast.

According to a Twitter blog post, Twitter tells users that the new language can be enabled by going to your Settings page. First lists and now international expansion, soon all our voices will be heard and the end of the world will come like that. I mean think about it. What if the end of the world started in Cozumel, Mexico? I'm pretty sure someone would post a TwitPic and the word would get out faster than Michael Jackcon's death.


¿Qué estás haciendo?

Latism in D.C.

Remember the the Latism conference in NYC? Well now it's going to Washington, D.C.! The conferenence will bring together organizations focused on reaching Latinos and the seasoned social media veterans that can help them. From blogs, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube to Facebook, hear about how Latinos are using it and if it's working.

Discussion topics will include:
  • Latest trends in social media and effective marketing strategies.
  • Case studies of top brands/companies; challenges and obstacles.
  • Developing social media technologies and trends
  • Latino culture and demographics in the U.S. today

The conference will be held at the National Council of La Raza from Friday, December 11th - Saturday, December 12th. For more information please visit and to register click here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Talk about lunch specials

Starting November 3rd and ending November 6th Las Cazuelas is offering a $7.00 lunch special! Get an entree and a drink for only $7.00. Although I've only eaten at this restaurant once I highly recommend it; especially the tortilla soup. Think about it, $7 (with a drink) is cheaper than what most fast food chains offer.

Plus if you're tired of the same old restaurants in Center City or wherever you live, take a visit to Northern Liberties. You can easily catch the EL or Subway to Girard.

426 W Girard Ave.
Philadelphia, PA
Phone: (215) 351-9144
Cross Streets: Between 4th Street and 5th Street

Shakira Takes Over The World

Once again my favorite singer (yes of all time) makes it to the cover of Rolling Stone. This marks her 3rd appearance and may I add the covers keep getting better. Rolling Stone Magazine asks, "Can Shakira Conquer the World?" I say yes! But what exactly does that mean? According to Shakira she is ready to reproduce. I say go for it! I mean isn't that every woman's dream; to have a family?

Shakira also performed on MTV’s first Spanish-language edition of “MTV Unplugged.” The subsequent album release of the concert program earned Shakira her first Grammy Award. During the taping, she sort of hinted at how some of her songs were created and obviously enough they were about love.

And please advise, Rolling Stone has a "Shakira's Sexiest Moments" slideshow.