Monday, February 28, 2011

Latinas United for the Cure 2011

Unfortunately it took a few diagnoses and even deaths to realize how important cancer awareness is to not just me, but to Latinos. That's why I'm making it an effort to get more involved and bring awareness to all Latinos. Whether it's sending a Tweet, fundraising or volunteering at events, it's so important to stay involved.

On Saturday, March 12th, 2011, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure presents its annual Latinas United for the Cure. This year, the event will offer two general assembly seminars (breakfast & lunch) plus specialized group sessions in English and Spanish. The 2011 Latinas United for the Cure has been designed to meet the growing diversity of needs in the Latina community--whether you are a survivor, taking the breast cancer journey with a loved one or being proactive in your own breast health. The event will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on 12th & Market.

For volunteer opportunities or to register for the event, please click here.

It's possible with PapaPosible

Talk about good timing. Last month, BeingLatino posted an article about how Groupon can go gold with Latinos and now PapaPosible launches this week!? Just like Groupon and LivingSocial, PapaPosible works with city-wide vendors, you sign up for the deal in your city and boom, instant savings. The first five markets to be including in the deals should be of no surprise: New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami.

According to an article on Portada, Ron Rimkus, one of the site cofounders told Portada that his company just hired seven sales employees to work on the five local markets. He cites needs (groceries, dentist, auto maintenance), luxuries (restaurants, spas) and activities (soccer, boat cruises) as the main categories of advertisers. Looks like LivingSocial and Groupon have their next big competitor. That's of course only if they don't want our money. Just sayin.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The awesome side of Greek life - Strolling

Okay so as much as I didn't want to write about strolling I had to. I mean think about it. If there's one thing we all love doing (for those that know how) it's strolling/party walking. We not only feel good about ourselves, but we feel good for our organization. It's one of the first things we want to do as soon as we cross. And yes not all of us are good at it but even as neos you tend to just go with the flow.

Let's take the next step and move on to performing at competitions. A completely different vibe, when you're on stage with hundreds of people watching, your heart races like nothing else. Then if you win, you start to realize you were a part of something bigger. Strolling is a feel good sport. I say it's a sport because you have to train and be devoted. It also takes a lot of your time. So if you're a neo and want to stroll professionally, be sure to put in 115%.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Goodbye C. Medina - American Idol

A few days ago our dear friend Chris Medina was not selected to move on in American Idol. There was some controversy over at BeingLatino on whether or not we should support him just because he's Latino. Either way, you have to give it up to him; his story was very inspirational.

And to make things more interesting, here's J-Lo saying, "no" to Medina and turn into a waterfall of tears.

Left or right brain?

Talk about wow factor. Not sure where Mercedez-Benz was going with this but it sure has me thinking. What exactly they want to convey who knows. I believe it's saying that no matter what kind of thinker you are (left or right), you choose the right car...and apparently that's a Benz. Does this honestly make me want to purchase a car? Nope.

The ad, however, does have me thinking what type of person am I? I at time do think strategically and plan out my things but at the same time I love being a free spirit. Creating something randomly is probably the most fun I have ever had. Maybe Benz just wants us to post their ads all over our blogs and have us thinking. Either way. Great art work.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Video: Penelope Menchaca (12 Corazones)

And we're back with the next Philly Te Ama video series. And today we interview Penelope Menchaca from Telemundo's 12 Corazones. Check out what our new Philly fan had to say about our city.

Save the date: Prince Royce in Philadelphia

On March 18, for the first time in Philadelphia, the #1 Bachata singer in the US, Prince Royce, will sing his heart out at the Trocadero Theatre. I was surprised at the location since most Latino artists perform at the Felton. Thankfully someone got him to perform in Center City.

Tickets just $30 for limited time! So go online now: or if you can to avoid the service charge you can stop by the Trocadero box office and buy your tickets there. Tickets will also be available at Centro Musical in Philly, 215.425.7050. And in case you want to party a little more, the after party will be at THE TROCADERO on the 2nd level. See you then.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So what does it really mean to be AfroLatino?

My last two BeingLatino articles have been about the AfroLatino person. It's very interesting to see the different perspectives people have about the topic. What we must first understand is that Latino is a composition of three different cultures. Remember, a Colombian in Colombia is not Latino; a Mexican in Mexico is not Latino; however, a Colombian, Puerto Rican, Dominican and Mexican in the United States is indeed Latino (or Hispanic). Whatever you prefer. Latinos are a composition of Spanish, Indigenous and African cultures. The AfroLatino goes even deeper because a dark-skinned Colombiano might have more African roots than a light-skinned Puerto Rican.

I'm not saying we should divide ourselves into different sub-groups. That's the last thing I want. What I do want to point out is that this is a real thing. It's real because there are those which deny their roots. My aunt once said, "I'm glad I don't have black blood in me." Of course everyone around her gave her the "stank" face and someone corrected her. What I'm afraid of is that one day our youth will forget their history. Knowing where you come from is as important as knowing who you are.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Video: Strolling for a cure

Back in November, Gamma Phi Sigma held it's 6th Annual Stroll Show in honor of our fallen hermano. Here's a quick recap of some of the strolls of the evening. Enjoy!

PPRA's Social Media 201 program

This coming Thursday, February 24 I will be speaking at a Philadelphia Public Relations (PPRA) panel about social media. We all know how to use Facebook, Twitter and some blogging, but what about success stories? ROI? Tools? Well thankfully I don't have to talk about ALL of these subjects. Plus there will also be a good group of panelists joining me.

The full list of the panelists is:

So what will I be talking about? If it isn't obvious enough I'll be discussing how to reach a certain demographic using social media. I'll bring up topics like BeingLatino, #Latism and of course special projects I have accomplished at work. Looking forward to seeing everyone there and discussing social media.

P.S. If you can't make it but will be on Twitter, follow hashtag #PhillySM201

Friday, February 18, 2011

The awesome side of Greek life - Pledge Season

Okay so this may sound weird but does anyone else get excited about pledge season? Sure it's the time of the year when you or a few people end up not having lives for 7-12 weeks. But it's also the time where you get to meet your newest members...possibly. It's the time when you bring out all the hypeness as well as your leadership skills. Neo's are way different than prophytes but in the end, we want the best for our organization. Pledge season is the time when after they cross, you can show them off in a probate while everyone is yelling, "Okaaaaay, I see you. Numba! Get it!" You get the point.

With that said, good luck to Spring 2011.

They're back: Sprite Step Off

Soooooooo remember last year's most interesting step competition Sprite Step Off? Well it's back for round two. Unfortunately if you're reading this and interested in registering, you have two days to meet with your team and make sure you are committed; deadline is this Sunday, February 20. Note: only applications and videos submitted through this online process will be eligible. And if you come back to view the list of winners, you'll be able to vote for the semi-finalist Teams February 28, 2011, through March 4, 2011.

Unfortunately last year's winning announcement caused a ripple across the entire country. First Zeta Tau Alpha won the sorority division. Then it was a tie. Then the newspaper headlines read, "race this and race that." I'm pretty sure the only reason this is happening is for more African-Americans to drink Sprite, but none of this would have happened if more "minority" Greek organizations would have entered. I'd like to see more participation this year. Just saying. See you on Youtube in a few months!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Telemundo goes social

According to a MediaPost article today, Telemundo has launched its new strategic social media arm to better connect with the growing Hispanic presence on online social networks. The 5-person team called, Social@Telemundo, will take charge on all social media content and using it to spread the good word about their novelas, programs and news. What's interesting is that I've already noticed Telemundo's social media presence. They tweet, reply, mention their stars and pretty much have an unlimited number of Facebook pages. Although TV stations don't know how to see the return on investment, Telemundo and others most certainly see the value of social media.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Video: Taller Puertorriqueño

Taller Puertorriqueño was my first job right after college. It taught me a lot about Latino culture and gave me the ins & outs of Latino Philadelphia. It's where I started my career in public relations and marketing and where I met some great people. Taller PR sort of paved the wave for me caring about my career path and helping out with almost everything I could.

See you in another 35 years.

Sofia's skinny Pepsi can

Although I'm not a big fan of soda nor Diet Pepsi, I think this new ad campaign is pretty exciting. Well, the only reason why it's exciting is because Sofia Vergara is the spokeswoman...or maybe it's just her lips and shoulders? Either way, this woman's career is skyrocketing like crazy. Ever since her role in Modern Family gained her all these award nominations, she's been making appearances, ad campaigns and shoots like it's a regular lifestyle.

Sofia says this is part of her ongoing mission to promote healthy (skinnier) lifestyles and what better way than to use a skinny can. In the video below she also says her first gig was with Pepsi almost 20 years ago and says this new can is like an "accessory" for your styling needs. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

AC Slater's ethnicity

The other day I read a BeingLatino article about the Latinization of A.C. Slater. I found it quite interesting to see the difference about how we see used to watch it and now. In fact, almost the entire Saved by the Bell series was only about "high school" life. There was never anything remotely referencing ethnicity even though you had one African-American and one Chicano in the high school. I truly believe wish we could go back to this era.

The show was about youth and the troubles of being popular, unpopular, cheerleading, jocks and so on. It was obvious that Lisa Turtle was black and AC Slater was Latino, but it was never referenced. If the show had aired in these days, I'm sure the show would bring up ethnicity all the time. However, like the BL article says, when Slater's ethnicity finally came out in the College Days, it was clear it was important to the viewers (and the producers).

Event post: Digital Sex @ 7

So after looking at the above flier I thought, "I wonder how many people put their relationship status' on Facebook, Twitter and so on." Most likely a lot. There are those who fall in love via Facebook then those who get married via Facebook. However, that stirs a whole lot of controversy due to photos, wall posts, events and everything else Facebook does to keep you in check. Is it okay to start a relationship via Facebook and tag every photo you and your GF/BF have? Relationships have clearly been broken due to certain actions over these social networking sites.

I can go on and on about this but if you have an argument, then join my fraternity and Lambda Theta Alpha at next Tuesday's program SEX @ 7 - The Digital Edition. The program will dive into the taboo issue of relationships in the digital age. Event details are on the flier above. Don't be too afraid to voice your opinion. Who knows, you might meet your significant other that night :).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Identity in the U.S.

The other day I attended Taller Puertorriqueno's opening of their new photo exhibition. The exhibition, What it means to be Afro-Latino in Philadelphia, looks at eight distinct stories from Philadelphia. Each photograph tells a story by itself. However, they also have text next to each photograph which goes deeper into their lives. Very inspirational, everyone should look at themselves and ask, "Who am I?" Identity is very important in the U.S. and these photographs area great portrayal of just that.

Re-electing your city councilwoman

I was never a political person. I never really understood the difference between republicans, democrats and everything in between. College just made things worse when I was forced to register to vote, take classes and attend rallies. But there comes a time when you realize this world revolves around political clout. Sometimes it pays to know certain people in certain places. Not saying you should use this to your advantage, but you should be on everyone's good side :).

Tomorrow Maria Quiñones-Sanchez will officially announce her re-election for 7th District City Councilwoman. In the Facebook event page, Maria says, "In my first term as Councilwoman I have worked hard to represent the interests of my constituents and to help deliver services and resources to all the neighborhoods of the 7th Council District. I have been blessed with the support of many good friends and while we have accomplished a lot, we still have a lot of work to do, and challenges to meet." Here's to another great few years with great city leaders..

Re-election Announcement
Tuesday, February 15, 2010 at 4 p.m.
Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School
4256 Paul Street
Philadelphia, PA

Friday, February 11, 2011

The awesome side of Greek life - Sister of AKA

As we get older, we start to think about all the crap we did as a young man/woman. We go through our high school and college period and think, "Woah did I really pledge this organization." Some people tend to push themselves away from the Greek system but then there are others who truly love and admire their organization. And there's nothing you can do about it.

That's why I admire Melanie Burney. I first met Melanie through work since she's at the Philadelphia Inquirer and it's my job to know her :). Little did I know she was (and still is) a sister of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc (AKA). AKA is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-lettered organization established by African-American college-educated women.

Via my usual Facebook stalking, I saw her entire devotion to AKA and if you bring it up, she speaks as if she just crossed yesterday. You know you're still devoted to your organization when your bags, sneakers, shirts, blouses, etc. are your colors and Melanie knows how to show off the pink & green. Remember, pretty girls wear 20 pearls. Melanie, you're truly the awesome side of Greek life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A positive role model

Every now and then I start to blog about mushy subjects. Over the past week I realized as Latinos we don't really compliment ourselves a lot. Sure you get some "good jobs" and "great work" from colleagues and parents, but it usually means a lot when it comes from unexpected people and your closest friends. These are the people we hang around with on a daily basis; the ones we tell our stories and it is natural.

Friends usually talk about regular things like the weekend, family problems, who we're dating and fun stuff (in my experiences). However, it's always nice to hear what we're doing to improve our lives as people. Our business trips, graduations, promotions are the best stories because they are rare. Some people find themselves stuck in on place and end up "settling." We really need to hear more of these stories; it helps us a whole lot. We need these positive role models, young and old, so we can start believing in not just mi gente, but in ourselves.

Bullied Latinos?

As I'm reading the March issue of Latina Magazine (for work *cough*) I am shocked about an article titled, "Targeted for being Latino." I guess my thoughts were on "out of school racism" but if it's at school, this is a problem. The National Council of La Raza led a study on discrimination and Latin youth which found that eight out of every 10 Hispanic teens reported facing discrimination, and some said even teachers insulted them. Problem much?

It just hit me that the political climate is really hitting everyone. The article says, "The current media and political climate is a big factor; immigrant- and Latino-bashing are far more common overall, and that's affecting our kids." Apparently it's also worse if you're Latino and gay. If this is getting a little too common, action must be made. I look at all you minority Greek-lettered organizations for support. Fortunately this wasn't the case when I was growing up. Could it be because I grew up in a huge minority populated school? BeingLatino raised the issue a few months ago and came up with some interesting results.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Philly Te Ama: Ivan Barias

This week's Philly Te Ama post includes R&B producer Ivan Barias, partner of Karma Productions. Interesting to see a Latino work in a African-American dominated field; but that shouldn't stop anyone from doing what they want to do. Good luck at the Grammy's!

Watch the video below:

America isn't the problem, you are

Self explanatory. From ABC's What Would You Do

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not-so-great Latino marketing

Sure I've only been in the business for less than 10 years, but if it's one thing I's my culture. If Smirnoff wants more Latinos to drink their Smirnoff Ice, don't just add exclamation points to your flavor. The worst part is that "pineapple" isn't even in Spanish. Someone please explain to me what they were trying to accomplish. Maybe it makes it more party-like? Either way, I don't drink that stuff.
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Schomburg: African Influences on Latino Poetry

Every year we celebrate Black History Month but as we all know our heritage is celebrated all year long. Last week I told you about an upcoming exhibit at Taller Puertorroqueño that explores what it means to be AfroLatino in Philadelphia. Well Taller PR has another interesting event which dives deeper into the connection between African-Americans and Latinos.

Each year, the Arturo Schomburg Symposium explores a different aspect of the intricate and complex relationship of the African Diaspora influences within Latino American culture with presentations by distinguished scholars, a panel and Q&A sessions. This year's 15th annual symposium is no different. This year Taller PR will discuss the "African Influences in Latino Poetry" including presentations by Dean Warren Schomburg, Tomas Fernandez-Robaina and Sonja S. Watson, Ph.D.

The cost of registration is $20 but includes breakfast and lunch. And don't forget the opportunity to network at an important event.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Concilio's fancy new website

I love it when organizations launch new websites. It seems like their image and branding turns a whole new level. Even if it isn't the best or greatest, a new website for the technologically enhanced Latino seems appropriate. Founded in 1962, The Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations, Inc. (Concilio) is the oldest Latino organization in Philadelphia and has a well-established reputation as a leader for Latino family services. Our mission is to ensure that equitable social, educational, cultural, prevention/intervention services and programs are made available to the Philadelphia community.

The new website has easy navigation, vibrant colors, easy access to event info and great ways to get involved. There's even a search bar at the top right which was not available on the site before. What's most important is your core values and Concilio clearly defines them through their right side navigation bar. And for the first time, the new site contains photos! Photos are extremely important when building a website, they have to match your content; but remember to update the content. Here's to a new look and new leadership...congrats Concilio.

New Jersey...home of the Latinos

“Nearly one in five New Jerseyans is Latino. In order to ensure the state’s future prosperity and well-being, New Jersey’s policies must promote the economic, social and civic progress of the Latino community,” said NALEO Educational Fund Executive Director Arturo Vargas. I wish this was true when I lived in New Jersey. Growing up in Plainfield, NJ was different from my experiences here in Philadelphia. All my friends were African-American and I had no idea what it really meant to be Latino.

“New Jersey’s Latinos will continue to make vital contributions to the state’s economic and civic life. The newly released numbers from the Census suggest that the New Jersey Latino community placed a high priority on being counted in the 2010 Census and of being full participants in the American political process." Newark, Elizabeth, Trenton and Jersey City were among the cities with the most Latinos in New Jersey. Plainfield has actually changed over the last 5 years. Ever since I left more and more Latinos are populating the area and Front Street has more Latino-owned stores than ever.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The awesome side of Greek life - Brother of LSU

Greek life. Once you graduate, it completely changes. You sort of now take a different view on everything, the undergraduate life and many other things. Fraternities seem to have differences more than sororities even after graduating. However, there are those few which are well respected not only because of what they have done for their own organization, but for Greek life entirely. This week's "awesome side of Greek life" goes to J-Romeo, hermano of Lambda Sigma Upsilon, Latino Fraternity, Inc. He's probably one of the people you think of when you hear the words, "stepping, strolling and even LSU." Heck I don't even know his real full name but the guy sure as hell knows what he's doing.

Through his leadership he reinvented the art form of stepping and strolling. His infusion of dance, theatre, and athleticism has given him and his team numerous championships. J-RoMeO is well known for “thinking out the box” and always presenting the Greek and non-Greek community with a performance they have never seen before. He is known for making massive stage productions at step and stroll shows. He works around the clock to have the best music, best outfits, best lighting, and best step or stroll performance. J-Romeo, you are truly the awesome side of Greek life.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Afro-Latino in Philadelphia

I love photography and sometimes even wish I became a professional photographer (on my spare time). However, there are many other people out there who are good at what they do and know how to tell a story with pictures. One of which I didn't even know was a photographer! Sandra Andino works at Taller Puertorriqueno as the Director of Education. Tomorrow she opens up her own exhibit at her own job entitled: “What it means to be Afro-Latino in Philadelphia: Stories from El Barrio." Some title huh?

This exhibition is a photo-documentary project that will explore the Afro-Latino concept, experience and artistic/cultural expression of Latinos in North Philadelphia based on the creation of a series of portraits of a selected group of participants. The project will represent in photos the presence of Afro-Latinos in Philadelphia and record their experiences and opinions about being Afro-Latinos in the urban Diaspora. The artist will engage in a series of conversations with the participants to dialogue about what it means to be Afro-Latino and how they are represented. Looking forward to the opening reception on Friday, February 11, 2011 at the Lorenzo Homar Gallery (in Taller PR).

BBC: We got a problem

Some of you may have seen the YouTube clip featuring BBC's popular car show, TOP GEAR, where the hosts decide to get a little ummm racist to say the least. According to FoxNewsLatino, the show is stuck in neutral after the controversial comments which led to condemnation by the Mexican ambassador to the United Kingdom and forced the BBC to issue an apology.

First of all, this shouldn't have all. Second, apologies may have been made, but what about the hosts? They knew what they were going to say and they said it anyway without hesitation. Luckily the Mexican ambassador acted quickly and with ease. I'm sure some other people weren't as polite. In fact, I'm sure there were not only numerous complaints but many people attempting to sue.

The BBC pulled the video from Youtube, but the full video can be seen here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Philly's creative ambassadors

Last night, February 1, Black History Month starting with a special Philadelphia announcement. Philadelphia once again named their Creative Ambassadors. Philly 360, an African-American marketing campaign launched in February 2009 as a way to lure the younger tech-savvy traveler to our exciting city. To be honest, what better way to spread the good word than by Philadelphians themselves. They don't have to be born in Philly, but there does have to be a tie-in.

Philly 360 Creative Ambassadors are trendsetters in their fields who help shape Philly as a major hotspot and build buzz around the city. This year they picked a group of Philly's hottest musicians, DJs, producers, dancers, entrepreneurs and more. One thing I do appreciate is when African-Americans and Latinos work together instead of against each other or separately. Which is why I'm happy to see Grammy-nominated duo Carvin & Ivan were chosen as ambassadors. They've written/produced some of the most popular R&B music out there including hits for Musiq Soulchild, Chris Brown, Jazmyn Sullivan

For a full list of Philly's creative ambassadors, visit

Video: Philly Te Ama and AfroTaino Productions

Last week "PhillyTeAma" brought you chef Guillermo Tellez. Well this week we've got Marangeli Mejia and Rahsaan Lucas from AfroTaino Productions. These guys are amazing to work with and have collaborated with almost every single arts & culture organization in the city. Learn more about them on the uwishunu post.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1000th Blog Post!

Yes it's cheesy but this is my 1000th blog post! It was in October 2008 when I decided to venture on this journey called blog posting. In the beginning I really only wrote about my life and what I like. Soon it turned into revues of anything remotely Latino and today it's PR professionals pitching little ol' me!

Yes I love to write, and this blog is a really great way to:
  1. Vent some steam
  2. Share with others what I randomly find or what is sent to me
  3. Support our community
So what's in store for the next few years? Who knows. Maybe I might make this blog into a $$ maker; but we all know the drama involved with that. Taxes, net neutrality, blog rights and a whole bunch of other crap I don't want to deal with. Remember to feel free and e-mail me with anything you think I should post. My e-mail is to the right next to mi foto.

Penn Station gets a makeover

Credit: Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC

Throughout February, six million people passing through New York’s Penn Station will receive an invitation to visit Philadelphia—actually, 225 invitations, all signed “With Love.” The first U.S. destination to dominate the station with 225 displays on the Amtrak level, Philadelphia makes its mark with column wraps, posters, banners, kiosk dioramas and a stair riser decked out with lines.

I kind of wish I was able to pass by because it's one thing to look at different advertisements in one room, but this time it's all over! Not only are the "lines" in English but there are also several different languages all sending their best wishes from Philadelphia. So the next time you're in Penn Station (in the next few weeks) snap a pic and TwitPic it or just post it online! I might send you a cool item ;).