Friday, April 30, 2010

Career is Life

Earlier today I spoke on a Latin American Studies (LAS) Career Day panel at Temple University. This was the second time I spoke on it and again I feel like I helped out some people. The panel was diverse in a way that a major/minor in Latin American Studies can take you in so many directions. Whether marketing, immigration, teaching or even social advocacy, studying LAS is a great opportunity.

It was interesting because although I studied journalism, I know work in public relations. So how does this all fit in? Well without knowing who I am culturally in the U.S., how can I market to Latinos in the U.S.? That's the connection in a nutshell. No matter what you study or what you want to do, be sure it's something you LOVE to do and something you would do for the rest of your life for free.

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...Relaxing Weekends

Warm weather and relaxing weekends are always great. Although I could easily go out and enjoy the day, I think I'm still in recover mode from last weekend's banquet. I think I'll catch up on some frat work too. However, if someone wants to invite me out for mid-day drinks I wouldn't mind escaping for a bid. Did you also know it's opening weekend for a lot of theme parks like Sesame Place and Dorney Park? Too early, I know.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

That Really Grinds My Gears...Asking But Not Really

I think it's funny how sometimes businesses and organizations always welcome your opinion yet when it comes down to it, they don't. "So what do you think? What do you think we should do?" Then when the young voice speaks, "No sorry we won't do that." Really, then why did you ask in the first place? I believe people under (or around) 30 have new exciting ideas yet they seem to always be overlooked.

Maybe it's the way we explain the project or maybe it's just not wanting youth to succeed in life, but I think it's that time for "our" generation to speak up. I'm sure I'm not the first to say this nor the last, however, I think we should continue to strive for excellence. 'Nuff said.

LATISM Moves Forward

With the online Latino population set to reach critical mass, a group of influential Latinos decided to create an organization for and by Latinos to share, network and promote themselves and their businesses within the social media space: Latinos in Social Media (LATISM), the largest organization of Social Media professionals of Latino origin. Today, LATISM has announced its newly constituted Board of Directors.

Board members include:Ana Roca Castro, Louis Pagan, Sylvia Aguilera, Giovanni Rodriguez, Kety Esquivel and Elianne Ramos. These are all great people whom I have met in the past year and are sure to move the organization forward in all fields.

Over the past year LATISM has produced several events in New York, Florida, Washington, DC, California and more coming up in the future. Latinos in social media is one of the fastest growing online populations. We are conversing all the time through Twitter, blogs, forums, etc., just follow the hashtag #Latism and you'll see.

According to recent studies, there were nearly 23 million Hispanics online in 2009 -12.3% of the US Internet population –a number that is expected to increase to 13.9% by 2013 (Source: All members of the board are considered “influentials” within this demographic, and they represent the diversity of the Latino ethnic spectrum. All six board members are Hispanic-Americans from a diverse list of Latin American countries and four of the board members are women.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tweets on a Weird Cold Day

For some odd reason the weather switched itself up today and there was a strong wind gust. Does that really matter when tweeting? Most likely no, but here are today's tweets on a weird cold day.

When people change their name a lot on Twitter, we're bound to come up with new names.

Who knew announcing new things could be so historical.

There is probably 1million ways to engage people on Twitter; and 1million lists.

With all these announcements, we know Summer is coming!

El Mundo Mágico de Harry Potter

Doesn't that just have a ring to it, El Mundo Mágico de Harry Potter! On June 18th, 2010 the Wizarding World of Harry Potter official enters our lives at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. The new park will include thrill rides for all ages, dining and of course shopping. Maybe it's just me but who wouldn't want to be part of this amazing experience?

Remember Celebrity Apprentice when they had to think of an interactive experience for the kids? I would definitely want to see if I'm part of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, RavenClaw or Slytherin. Some would say Slytherin but I'm shooting for Gryffindor haha. The park is bound to be just like the movie so watch our for those flying ghosts that take your soul.

For more information visit

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Philadelphia - Spring Mixer with the NSHMBA

Sometimes you have to be at the right place at the right time. Attending networking events out of your comfort zone is important after and even before graduating college. Whatever industry you get involved with, make sure you network; it's especially important in the Latino community. This Thursday the National Society of Hispanic MBA's (NSHMBA) is offering you that chance. NSHMBA is the premier organization for Latinos in corporate and business careers to grow in their leadership skills both on the job and via graduate studies), advance professionally and reach the executive ranks

This coming Thursday at 5:30PM, join the NSHMBA for their FREE Spring Networking Mixer at the Mission Grill in Center City Philadelphia. Take control of your career management and connect with people that are committed to supporting Hispanics in the business community! Although it's free, a suggested $5 donation is asked to support the NSHMBA Scholarship Fund.

To RSVP, click here.

Watch Out Vegas

Operation Get Navaja to Vegas has begun and I'm getting excited. In fact, it's getting a little overwhelming after viewing the Vegas tourism website. I mean being nicknamed the city that never sleeps is something I'm sure they worked on, or maybe not even on purpose. I believe I am staying at the Stratosphere Hotel and from the look of things, I'll be having a good time.

The Stratosphere not only includes dining, nightlife, pools and what not, but there's also a mini theme park at the top! But I'll I won't seclude myself to the hotel I'm staying, I mean it is an entire strip of "awesomely awesome" things to do day and night...or whatever you call it there. My only concern is the heat, I hear it's unbearable.

Does anyone have any suggestions of a "must-do" and how to control the heat? Also, any clubs you suggest at a reasonable price? I mean I am a guy after all so I won't be getting in free anywhere.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Arizona, Latinos, Immigration = Controversy

So what the hell is going on in Arizona? A few days ago Arizona lawmakers passed a bill which has been the center of a lot of controversy. Can the cops really just stop someone based on what they look like and request legal documentation? An article in the NY Times summed it up, "Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status."

Imagine walking down the street and being asked for documentation. Will only Latinos be asked? What if someone looks like a Latino but they're something else? I think that is equal to racial profiling if you ask me. This could effect the state in so many ways including travel. In a USA Today article, some people say Arizona is off their list. International travelers might even take off the USA off their list of countries to visit; heck I would too! Do you think this law is fair in any way?

Drink Cultura

Earlier today I was given the above book and thought to myself, wow that's catchy. Not only that but famous artist Carlos Santana is even quoted in the front cover. Drinks Cultura is a collection of essays by Chicano writer Jose Antonio Burciaga, where he explores from Mexican American and Chicano viewpoints the complexities of being Mexican American. Burciaga writes about how is a "stranger" to two cultures which is something we can all relate to.

How many times have you not been Colombian enough to dance cumbia? Puerto Rican enough to live in PR? Or even Latino enough to claim your roots? This is an issue we all face everyday. How do you answer the questions our older family members throw at us? I remember my dad calling my brother and me "gringos" and it really left a bad taste with me.

Friday, April 23, 2010

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

Our lives are full of different people: Friends, Colleagues, Acquaintances, etc. But there's never a doubt in my mind that family will always be there for you. Yes we complain about family and no one is perfect, but if you think about it, they are the ones you can go to for anything. Your mom and dad brought you into this life and raised you, your brother/sister/sibling is your best friend and so on. I will always appreciate how I was raised and everything that happened while I was home in Jersey. Again, no family is perfect but I will always respect them. I know families are different, but remember your's important.

Be a Star Reporter with Univision!

I love it when huge corporations decide to give someone a chance in making it big when they might not get that opportunity in their normal life. Verizon and Univision have teamed up to find one talented Spanish-speaking soccer (futbol) enthusiast to become the Official Verizon Reportero Accion Deportiva Extra sideline sports reporter during Univision's coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South America. How cool is that!?

Beginning April 17 (which was a week ago) and through May 10, Verizon and local Univision stations in LA, NYC, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington, DC will host auditions at different locations.

For more information about the casting calls, please visit

Thursday, April 22, 2010

That Really Grinds My Gears...Late Nights

So as working professionals, why do we still go out on "school" nights? I mean seriously, we know we have to wake up before 8 a.m. to head on out to work but we still stay out until 2 a.m. Waking up after a great night is one of the most difficult things I have had to do (with and without drinking). Maybe that's why they invented Happy Hour...for the working professional.

MVSCAP has Returned

That's right, the saga continues with Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two World's is being released Spring 2011. Why they would tease it now is completely outageous but I still approve! What makes it more interesting is the preview/image only shows 6 characters and they are old characters! However, according to this article, some people speculate Captain America, Super Skrull, Chun-Li, Deadpool, Felicia, Dante, Frank West, Mephisto Dormammu, Trish (from Devil May Cry) and Doctor Doom all appearing.

Who do you want to see in MVSCAP3?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tweets on Spring Showers

What can I say, Tweeting = freedom of speech and sometimes gets people in trouble. Either way, here are today's tweets of the day.

Live tweeting during TV shows is hilarious

Tweeting during shows, we can get a little rough talking about celebrities

We express our own opinions a lot too.

We must also celebrate our anniversaries and tweet about it

Free Press in South America?

As we all should know the press have a right to publish anything in the United States. However, we cannot say the same thing about our neighboring countries/continents. As you can see in the picture above, South America is somewhat free. But what exactly does that mean? And just recently, the Venezuelan court has filed a motion against the Venezuelan media owner for spreading false information and insulting the President at the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) meeting the week before.

However, thanks to social media, things are getting a little sketchy. In Cuba, Yoani Sánchez, takes the internet by storm by writing her posts then sending them to some friends in the U.S. And think South America is bad? You should see the other side of the world, it's The image above is part of the Newseum's exhibit which shows who has free press and who doesn't

Do you think the press has a right to publish anything?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Celebrate Día del Niño

Once again WWSI Telemundo and the Please Touch Museum have teamed up together to present Día del Niño. The one-day, all-day celebration on Saturday, May 1st brings Latino (and non-Latino) families together with their kids to celebrate with entertainment, learning, games, music and more. Louie Miranda, a bilingual educator/artist, will also be in attendance teaching flamenco, theater and more.

One of the most exciting features, Telemundo will open up their studios at the Please Touch Museum and let kids become reporters! Afterwards, kids will be able to go to and watch the recorded segment.

Tampico Makes a Comeback

Remember Tampico? If you do then you're either Latino, or your in college so you can't really afford the more expensive juice. Well just last week Pepsi Beverages Company (PBC) and Tampico Beverages, Inc. today announced an agreement to distribute TAMPICO PLUS® fruit-flavored beverage products via PepsiCo’s direct store delivery system in select U.S. markets. So what's different? Well how about 50 percent less sugar than regular Tampico products. I think that will reduce getting thirstier.

According to the press release, you'll be able to find TAMPICO PLUS® in the second quarter of 2010 across parts of California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Georgia. What about New Jersey and Philly...wait I actually think we get the regular one right? Hmm I think I remember a few college parties where Tampico was mixed in something; help me out here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Music for Social Change

Here in Philly, culture runs through a lot of neighborhoods. There are a lot of organizations which promote art but there are few which promote our musica; cue the Artistas y Músicos Latino Americanos, or Artists and Musicians of Latin America (AMLA). AMLA promotes the development, dissemination, and understanding of Latin music in the Philadelphia area and beyond. Although they mostly serve Latino youth and families, anyone is open to participate. Here you can learn how to play several Latino influenced instruments, learn about our musical culture and more.

AMLA has several programs which includes:

AMLA will also be part of the exciting Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts coming in 2011.

Bridge-building Art

Have you ever lived in a city wondering when the next big thing is going to happen? Honestly, we have annual festivals but it's very rare something new comes along and you start to wonder, "Wow what will that be like?" Well in less than one year that very thing will happen. The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts is coming and it will be huge. With over 100 collaborations, the festival is bound to bring diverse audiences from across the world.

For those who support Latino arts and culture, for the first time the Philadelphia Orchestra will leave their home at the Kimmel Center and join el Centro de Oro. During the festival, members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, including principal clarinetist Ricardo Morales, will join adult and advanced student musicians from AMLA for a concert outside Taller Puertorriqueño. The performances of classical and popular works by Latino composers will follow an evening of multicultural art inside the gallery.

PIFA will debut on April 7 and run through May 15 at various locations across the city of brotherly love.

Friday, April 16, 2010

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

Okay so as bad as this sounds, I really do love food lol. I mean really who doesn't like eating. Most of my conversations some how lead up to talking about going out to eat, or asking, "Are you going to eat that?" Arroz con pollo, steak, french fries, pizza, tortilla soup, lasagna, etc., I'd eat almost anything. However, I have the tendency to keep my food simple. I hate going to restaurants and reading some menus and have no clue what it means. Although after just picking something that looks familiar, I end up liking it. I love my arroz con pollo but I'd also eat any bacon cheeseburger.

Happy 18 Years Gamma Phi Sigma!

On April 16, 1992 Gamma Phi Sigma "Hermanos Unidos" Fraternity, Inc. was founded on Temple University's campus. 18 years of excellence have gone by and we are still here. I've heard stories of doubt about the fraternity but I am happy to hear it's still going strong. And as you can see from the image above, perseverance can happen. When putting your mind to something and teaching it the right way, you can achieve greatness.

So what happens now? Well like all Greek organizations we will host astounding programming, "educate" those who are willing to become brothers, continue our expansion (Theta!?) y mucho mas. So hermanos, be the change you want to see in the world!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

That Really Grinds My Gears...Prices

Totally random but remember when things were way cheaper "back in the day"? Seriously. I'm looking at at "Remember When" magnet for 1984 and things were more affordable back then. Here are some of the items listed:
  • Vitamin D Milk - $2.26/gallon
  • Gasoline - $1.10/gallon <--amazing
  • U.S. Postage Stamp - $0.20
Things have really gone up in price! At the rate we're going, and all these job losses, the future doesn't look to bright. Unless someone comes up with an amazing idea and starts a new business which brings income to the casa, I don't think I'll be retiring anytime soon.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tweets to Make You Share

Almost 300,000 new users join Twitter every day. More interestingly, 60% of these users are coming from outside the U.S. Could it be because of "free speech" in the U.S. makes people less interested in joining a new network? Either way, there's a lot of information over Twitter and we are all very careful about what we share and what we don't. Enjoy today's Tweets of the day!

Everyone loves Greek humor...or do they?

Gotta love #Latism and how it's growing.

Networking at it's best.

Great cause. Great contest. Awesome use of Twitter

Shakira brings hopes

Big surprise here but last Sunday one of my favorite artists visited Haiti three months after the crude earthquake devastated the regions of Haiti on 12th January 2010.So what does she plan on doing? Thanks to her continuous support via Pies Descalzos, Shakira is currently searching for a suitable site so that she can build a school for the unprivileged kids.

According to a recent article, "Latest reports confirm that Shakira has visited a makeshift camp that provides shelter to 50,000 homeless earthquake victims. She met 100 kids at the site of her proposed school and encouraged them to look forward to a much better future." This just proves that musicians like her don't just make money to spend money. I'm glad she is interesting in helping out not just Latinos, but those devastated by tragic events.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Emerging Latino Leaders

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is always looking for opportunities for Hispanic Americans. One of NCLR's amazing programs is the Lideres Initiative. The Líderes Initiative is a national program designed to create opportunities for Latino youth that will elevate their influence as leaders in the United States.

And now, if your in the process of getting into college or looking for ways to enter, the NCLR – Best Buy Emerging Latino Leaders Scholarship Program is providing an opportunity for Latino high school seniors to share their leadership experiences and win a prize. Applicants should submit an essay in response to the following topic:
Please discuss the biggest challenge or challenges that you have encountered as a Latino youth. How have these difficulties impacted your life and personal goals? Describe your determination to overcome these obstacles and how you have worked to excel beyond your existing limitations. How have these experiences inspired leadership in your life? Lastly, please discuss specific ways in which you have positively influenced your community.
In order to participate, you must be a High school senior of Hispanic descent and of course currently enrolled in high school with a minimum GPA of 2.0. You also must submit your application online and submit supported documents. Applicants have a chance to win $15,000, $5,000 and $2,500. Hurry because all entries must be submitted no later than Friday, April 20th, 2010.

For more information visit the Lideres page.

Did you mail back your Census form?

Well although I am not pleased with preguntas 8 and 9, I still think you should mail back the form. Friday is the last day to mail your form and to be honest it's really not that difficult. I think people are just not used to getting something in the mail right? Household that return their forms after the Friday deadline may still be visited by census workers on May 1st. I'm sure there are a lot of homes who do not want this to happen.

If you have lost or didn't receive the form, please call the Telephone Questionnaire Assistance Center to receive a new form or to complete the form over the phone call 866-872-6868.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Art in Your Own BackYard

Live on Girard Ave and looking for some new stuff to do? Check out Orlando's Art Collection on Girard Ave between 4th and 5th Streets. Below is a video by Al Dia where the artist, Orlando, describes his work and influences.

For more information visit Orlando's Art Collections.

Congrats Neos!

On Sunday, April 11th four outstanding individuals crossed Gamma Phi Sigma "Hermanos Unidos" Fraternity, Inc.'s Alpha Chapter at Temple University. There were also 4 other men who crossed from other chapter's so congratulations to them as well. Every time a line crosses (and I'm sure it's with everyone) I feel so proud. Maybe it's because I have been a Pledgemaster three times and a big brother 3 times? The other day someone said, "Didn't you graduate?" It surprises me they don't understand the bond Greek organizations have.

On another note, it was 6 years ago I crosses into the fraternity. Six years strong and I still continue to do what I can for the fraternity. Why do I do it? Because I made a promise and I plan on keeping it. What's your reason for not doing anything?

Friday, April 9, 2010

That Really Doesn't Grind My Gears...*Score*

So I just scored tickets to Mexico vs. Ecuador at Meadowlands stadium on May 7th. Did I purchase them; of course not. Thanks to the wonders of networking and all that good stuff, I was at a happy hour/dinner with some people I work with and I was offered one!

I guess it pays to meet with people you normally wouldn't meet with. Remember, we have our friends, coworkers, family and our frat brothers and sorority sisters. Most of the time not all of them know each other.

Their Dream is Our Dream

Many people from across the world come to the United States of America for better opportunities. Some have no choice but to come. However, there are many whom enter the country undocumented and thus begins a hard journey for citizenship. In 2001, a piece of proposed legistation known as the Dream Act was presented and reintroduced to the House and Senate in 2009. Under the provisions of the Dream Act, undocumented immigrants would have the opportunity to obtain conditional citizenship in the U.S. and eventually become an American citizen at the end of the process by completing two years of college or two years in the military.

On January 1st, 2010, four students started their powerful journey from Miami, FL to Washington, DC in support of the Dream Act and human rights. Known as the Trail of Dreams, these four students will face hardships beyond imaginable.

Follow their journey here

Thursday, April 8, 2010

That Really Grinds My Gears...Allergies

And so begins another allergy season. I tell you allergy season is probably the worst thing in the world. I mean seriously, think about sneezing, chapped nose, sore throat, sinus headaches, etc. all at once. I thought Clariton worked for me but apparently it hasn't. Luckily the weather is getting much cooler and it's going to rain; but we'll see how long that lasts.

Latism Fiestas

I'm a big fan of Thursday nights; no I don't go out and party and drink until 2 a.m. What I do is engage in the famous #Latism parties. These are virtual parties hosted on Twitter where you engage with every #Latism member. You can either follow the hashtag #Latism on your own or use Tweetchat. And yes you have to have a Twitter account. Do you have something to share with this already growing audience? I wouldn't be a sales person at the fiestas, I'd be a conversation starter. However, remember that 80 percent of Hispanics use social sites and collectively total $1 trillion in buying power.

Here is a list of themes for April 2010.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tweets on an Allergic Day

Spring is in the air and that means allergies are on full blast! So what do we do, but of course tweet and as Twitter gets bigger and bigger, one can only wonder what should we join next...FourSquare?

Here are today's Tweets of the Day:

It's always to get great feedback from an event.

Does not surprise me. Really though? I bet it's hot inside those tunnels though.

Truth be told.

Breaking News via Twitter. The best way to...well break news!

Art is a form of Expression

I may not be the biggest expert on art nor can I name some famous artists, but I do appreciate good art; especially if it comes from the heart. I love hearing artist stories, their experiences and how they use everything to paint, create, construct, etc. Well opening this Friday, Las Gallas presents Lo Que Aparaece y Desaparece at Taller Puertorriqueño. The exhibition is a mixed media print installation that explores the importance of mark making (those seen and unseen) in art, family and on the path of individuals.

Las Gallas is a Philadelphia-based multi-disciplinary arts collective forming a dynamic force that incorporates all of the artists developed skills in theater, visual arts, dance, film, poetry, spoken word & literature. These artists include Michelle Ortiz, Zoi cisneros, Magda Martinez and Julia Lopez.

Taller Puertorriqueño's Lorenzo Homar Gallery
2721 N. 5th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19133
(show runs from April 9 - June 5, 2010)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recording History

I'm a big fan of learning about what city's were like a long time ago. It always helps out knowing how a major city like Philadelphia became what it is today. I believe documented significant events and even little things help out in development. It was in 1982 when a threatened closure of an essential neighborhood shopping mall on North 5th sparked the formation of HACE — the Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises.

On April 7th, Raices Culturales Latinoamericanes, Taller Puertorriqueño and HACE will premiere a community-produced documentary at the International House in West Philadelphia on El Centro de Oro. According to Scribe Video's Web site, by highlighting the Latino community’s sustainability and self-reliance, the video aims to confront mainstream media stereotypes through the imagery of this beloved central street. El Centro de Oro has changed over the last 20 years and it continues to do so. There are big projects coming up that will make the area we know today look completely different...a makeover you can say.

I do...With Someone Else

So what happens when a Latino/a marries someone outside their supposed "race". All hell breaks loose that's what happens. So much is the case in "Our Family Wedding" when newly engaged couple, and Lucia (America Ferrera) and Marcus (Lance Gross) decide to announce it right after college. With insults flying and tempers running high, it's anyone's guess if the alpha dads (Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia) will survive to make it down the aisle in one piece. We can only imagine what the mothers are thinking and even better yet, the grandmothers.

Is it me or are our old school familias very certain we're going to marry a Latina? God forbid we bring someone dark-skinned home because people will start asking questions. Yet I have seen time after time my cousins do just that! Almost all of my cousins (on mom's side) have married or dated someone who is not Latino. Did this spark controversy? I'm sure it did, but in the end everyone was happy with the decision. In fact, it was the Latino/Latina wedding which brought the most pain.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mexican Culture in Philadelphia

About a week ago the Mexican Cultural Center (MCC) unveiled their new logo and executive director. The MCC is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting understanding and awareness of the cultural and artistic diversity of Mexico and its influence in the Delaware Valley in the United States. The new ED, Marcela Garza, will take over the 17 year-old organizations which works closely with the Mexican Consul.

The MCC produces the Mexican Independence Day Festival at Penn's Landing and other cultural events like the Day of the Dead.

Movie Review: Clash of the Titans

Not much has changed since the last Clash of the Titans but they sure did make it better. In both versions Perseus has to rescue Andromeda, before she has to marry a monster. Zeus has set up a few tests for Perseus on the way, like capturing Pegasus, defeating Medusa, and finding a way to kill the dreaded Kraken along with other things which were sure to kill everyone he was with.

The newly improved film brings the Gods, monsters and even heaven and hell into life in a whole new perspective. I was glad they kept the same elements including the three witches which can only see with one magic eye they all share, the sneaky Medusa and of course our favorite Kraken. However, why did they poke fun at Bubo? One would think a remake would pay homage to the original film, however this one did not.

Nonetheless, Gods coming to life and reeking havoc to mankind is always a plus in my book. I mean who wouldn't want to be on Zeus's side, or Hades? Moral of the story: Be what you want to be, not what someone tells you. You are your own destiny maker.