Thursday, July 28, 2011

Honoring the minority leaders

Even though I don't like the word minority, I'm glad to see the Philadelphia Business Journal (PBJ) once again honor business leaders at the third annual Minority Business Leaders Awards at a breakfast ceremony in Center City on Aug. 4. For the first time ever as well the PBJ will include four companies in their awards ceremony.

Honorees include:
  • Geoffrey Kent, Cognis IT.
  • Alfredo Calderon, Aspira of Pennsylvania.
  • Kerry Benson, PFM Group.
  • Vicki Lee, Old Philadelphia Associates Inc.
  • Cecilia Moy Yep, Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp.
  • Romona Riscoe Benson, African American Museum.
  • Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, Philadelphia City Council.
Limited tickets are still available. To register, visit tinyurl/mblpbj2011.

Never forget where you came from

"Never forget where you came from." This is what I remember from the preview to the upcoming pelicula COLOMBIANA. And how can I not be excited?! Sure it's about a Colombian assassin but still. And yes Zoe Saldana is clearly not Colombian, more a "Navi" than anything but when you think about a strong Colombian woman you probably don't think of any movie...maybe I'm wrong. The premise is simple: Someone killed her family in front of her as a young child. She grows up and trains to kill them. Today she kills them. I'm surprised the name of the film is even named after the country. This could have been a remake to the Professional for all we knew but nope. Looking forward to witnessing all the death and murder from such an awesome actress.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


No description needed lol. Hilarious. Sad. True.

All inclusive destination?

When someone says "all inclusive" I expect that to mean I won't be spending a dime on anything during my trip. Last week I was in Cancun, MX for a destination wedding. The Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort was nice but not what I expected. There was this weird "point" system and if you didn't reserve it in advance you were basically screwed. Some people were saying you didn't have to tip the hotel workers but somehow I felt weird not tipping them at all.

I have to say the Mexican (I'm sure they all are) workers in the Moon Palace are the hardest working people I've ever seen. Working long hours in the sun and trying to make everyone happy is a difficult job to have. However, there were plenty of times that I noticed some customers were very unhappy. Not sure what was wrong but some things that were promised I'm sure were not fulfilled.

Although the pools were also nice, it would have been better if we enjoyed the beach. I saw red flags but no one mentioned why the beaches were closed. Jellyfish? Contaminated water? Egh. And there's no reason why we should have to take shuttles all across the resort. Although they were labeled, these shuttles seem to be confused at times on where they were headed to. Did I mention the 10 minute drive in and out of the resort?! Sheeesh.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Goodbye Philly. Hello Cancun.

So I'll be gone for a few days. And as much as I would love to document the trip, I probably won't. Unless there's WiFi which I'm sure they have. See you next week!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Colombia's Independence Day: July 20, 1810

The party starts tomorrow! Feliz dia parce!

True Blood's Jesus

I must admit beforehand I did not want to watch True Blood at all. All the vampire craze was getting annoying. However, about a year ago I started watching because I needed to see for myself. Plus I had nothing better to do on Netflix lol. Needless to say I'm on season three where we get introduced to Jesus...could you get any more Latino that Jesus? Anyways, Jesus is not only gay but he's also into witchcraft a.k.a. santeria.

Thanks HBO for adding yet another semi-stereotypical Latino on a huge TV show. Okay so I may be complaining a bit much, but can we get someone who is semi-normal. Maybe HBO could have made Jesus' name John Martinez and made him a vampire. But then what's the fun in that right? Jesus was the introduction to witchcraft which I believe is season 4's theme. I'd also like to add that I'm addicting to the entire series. Although I can't watch it on TV, I like catching up via Netflix.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Congrats Foursquare

Foursquare: It started as two people in March 2009 to 10,000,000 strong today. Imagine that in just two short years. Surprisingly enough I found out I was one of the first million members of the Foursquare community. To be exact, I'm member #354,148! So why do I like Fourquare? There are two main reasons:
  1. I like video games. And just like any other video game I get points whenever I check-in to any venue. I get more points for checking into venues I'm the mayor of.
  2. You can also unlock Foursquare only specials like the famous "free beer" at PYT.
So congrats to Foursquare. And I'm going to need more Latinos on doesn't seem like there are that many. I could be wrong.

History in poetic words

I mean honestly who doesn't wish they could publish their own book. Especially when it's about your own life growing up in (insert city). Twitter friend Charlie Vazquez has published his first-ever bilingual poetry collection based on the Bronx and (almost) everyone's favorite salsa. At a reasonable 152 pages, “Meditations/Meditaciones – Bronx/Salsa,” this collection of bilingual poetry examines the earliest memories and impressions of a Nuyorican writer born and raised in the turbulent and dynamic Bronx of the 1970s-1980s. It explores a wonderland of emotions—from ecstasy to grief to mystery and is a crucial turning point for a writer who has, until this publication, charmed readers with a unique brand of dark fiction that employs spirituality and surrealism.

But again with fiction comes some truth. I didn't grow up in the Bronx but from what all my Nuyorican friends say usually all sounds the same. Read the book and I'm sure you'll be proud to not just be a Puerto Rican, but a Latino living in the Bronx. The best part? Of course living in 2011 it has to be bilingual #win. To purchase the book visit

Friday, July 15, 2011

A completed event

Yesterday I had my first big event at work. It's funny because you always prepare for the worst and need to be on your toes in case something does happen. Yesterday was Telemundo Philadelphia's local upfront featuring Maria Celeste from Al Rojo Vivo. And what can I tell you, the day went by smoothly!

Sure there was the scare that people weren't going to show up on time but they did. Plus the Belle was due to embark on its journey at noon. In my time at GPTMC I valued their events because it showed me how much detail is needed. The A/V, food and venue are all essential to the event planning. And since I knew a few media friends, why not get them to run a story. Here's to many more events...or not lol.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A growing community

Fun fact: Did you know Phillies own Ryan Howard has donated a big chunk of money for a new baseball field on the south side of Hunting Park? This coming Saturday, July 16 at 11 a.m., join Hunting Park United as they celebrate their first ever Family Field Day. HPU will highlight all its neighboring partnered organizations who support & care for its mission. From Esperanza Health Center (who will open a new facility in Hunting Park late December) to churches in the area 8th Street Community church, the day is bound to be fun for the entire family. I mean besides, what else are you going to be doing on a nice Saturday afternoon? P.S. I heard there's a pool in the park!? ::score::

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taller PR keeps growing

If there's one place that everyone loves as an arts & culture destination it has to be Taller Puertorriqueño. Taller has had a commitment to Latino arts & culture in Philadelphia for over 35 years now. And now as the years go by, of course it's about reinventing what they have done for years now. Well this Saturday, July 16, 2011 Taller PR will inaugurate its new gallery space El Vestibulo. Located at the entrance hall of 2721 N. 5th Street, visitors iwll have the opportunity to enjoy the newly renovated space and the delightful exhibit featuring artist, Adrian "Viajero" Roman.

Expanding gallery space is always fun, especially when it gives you the opportunity to create new opportunities for the community. Because after all, without the community any organization/business wouldn't be able to sustain itself. As Taller PR's executive director Carmen Febo-San Miguel explains, "We are interested in cultivating an artsy and inviting atmosphere to our community, current members and younger audiences. We want our visitors to come early, check out the art, get comfortable in the space, have a sip of wine, and establish a dialogue with the curator of our galleries and featuring artist."

Monday, July 11, 2011

This weekend's Global festival

A little over a month ago the Multicultural Affairs Congress announced this year's Global Fusion Week & Festival theme, "Carnival." Today launched day one of a week's worth of events and I must say they are some exciting events coming up. There are up to almost four events everyday including networking events and salsa lessons. I mean who doesn't love free salsa lessons? As far as a musical line up is concerned we have J-King and Maximan. I bet you're asking, "Who?" Well they were originally a part of Casa de Leones! Want more? Well Brenda K. Starr is bound to make us believe again in her music. Yes...Brenda K. Starr.

See you this weekend at Penn's Landing! Last year I honestly had a blast. Not just because En Vouge, Huey Dunbar and other artists performed; but also because a friend decided to go "fan crazy." But I have to give it up to her; she got Dawn from En Vouge to say, "I love you too." :-)

Sin nombre y sin vida

I've been watching way too many indie films on Netflix lately. The worst part is that they sort of have a "emotional" sad ending. Just yesterday I watched Sin Nombre and although it sounds bad, it made me feel a whole lot better about my life. The movie talks about some of the trials and tribulations immigrants face when attempting to cross the border. It may sound easy but there are hundreds of other obstacles they must go through even before reaching the border.

Add in a love story and you're bound to get some interesting dialogue. What I liked about the movie was the unexpected meeting of a Mexican gang member and a Honduran girl who just wanted to live. The train ride to the Mexican/Texas border brings drama, tears and the fight for survival; the fight for a better life. The sad part is that a lot of people don't know these things happen everyday. Sin Nombre gets two thumbs up from me. Just be sure to grad your tissue for those tears :).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Entre nos we'll grow strong

I'm definitely a sucker when it comes to overcoming obstacles in life. There are many of us who complain and complain about life, work, family, friends, love yet we fail to realize how much there is in front of us. I recently saw Entre Nos and it's unbelievable. Entre Nos is the story about a mother and her two children whom recently moved to New York City because of the father. Weeks later the father leaves to Miami and of course doesn't take the others. Now mom, Gabriel and Andrea are left alone to look for a place to live and survive in a world unknown to them.

This movie talks about family, immigration, health among other things. As I watched it I couldn't help but think about two things: the love for food and family. Why food? Because it seems as though it was always the empanadas that brought the family together. Even with two kids who couldn't really support themselves, the mother didn't give up and found strength. And at some point, one of the children was able to step up and realize they needed to help. With no where to go, they realized they only had each other. I give this movie two thumbs up because not only did it make me cry (lol) but it gave me strength to move on.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Entérate launches in the Delaware Valley

This past Tuesday, Entérate launched their first issue in the Delaware Valley. A very bold move by a group of like-minded individuals, this magazine is definitely something this region needed. The magazine includes information by Latinos for Latinos. Some of the articles in the first issue include "Orgullo Hispano," "Una probadita de...," "Fiesta Ideal," and "Deportes." Unlike "breaking news,", this magazine will feature stories not necessarily read in a newspaper.

This monthly magazine can be found in all Latino establishments around the city and other parts of the region. Best part is that the magazine is free! One may think that putting together is easy but according to the founders, it took them two years for this dream to come alive. I wish them the best of luck and hope to work with them in el futuro. Nubia Erives, editor, says there may be NYC expansion opportunities in the future.

For more information visit For publicity information call 856-383-4134.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A RISCy weekend

Every year step and stroll shows reinvent the wheel and look for new ways to attract visitors. This year's annual RISC (Remo Inc. Step Championship) competition will encompass an entire weekend of activities. Year after year step/stroll shows seem to be the same thing, that's why I'm happy to see Remo Inc. incorporate new activities; and not just Greek activities. Hopefully someone new will also win the show.

New and old to this year's show:

  • R.I.S.C. Workshops – Every hour they will be teaching a step and dance workshop focused on learning the basics of various art forms.
  • There is a special step class referred to as “Mommy/Daddy and Me”, where you can learn how to step with your children.
  • R.I.S.C. Pre-Game – Kicking of the National Step Championship they will have “carnival fun” celebration live games and prizes in the lobby topped off with their very own popcorn machine. A live DJ will be playing music providing an opportunity to relax & have fun.
  • National Step Championship – The highlight of the weekend is the national competition that opens up with live performances from our Art of Stepping Chapters / After School programs throughout the country and the national step teams as they compete for the 1st place prize.

RISC will be held on Saturday July 16th at York College Performing Arts Center located at 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard. For more information: 347-255-7538 or visit:

Opinion: My ideal community

After celebrating the 4th of July in Philadelphia and spending a long weekend with good people, I somehow can't come to a conclusion about how I feel about my life right now. Okay I'm not trying to complain but I had a lot to think about. This was the most I have celebrated July 4th activities since I was in college and to be honest it was fun. However, as I looked around the celebrations, there was something community. But what exactly is my community?

My community consists of intelligent people who like to have fun with their lives and don't think negatively all the time. Sure I come across a lot of negative people but like anyone else, I'd rather be around positive minded folk. My community likes and appreciates their own culture but is open to learning about others. My community doesn't just work and go home, work and go home, work and go home; my community enjoys activities outside their normal lives. For the last few years a lot of my friends have moved on to other cities yet I'm still here. Not to knock Philadelphia down, but I foresee myself somewhere else in 5 years.

I'm glad to have met these individuals for the past eight years. I've met some great people from various schools around the area (especially Temple University), my past and present employers and the various other communities in the area. Hopefully I get to keep these relationships for the rest of my life. There's a lot going on right now that most of you don't know but in due time I'll overcome this adversity. Hasta pronto.