Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Feria del Barrio returns

After a one year hiatus, Feria del Barrio returns to El Centro de Oro. Feria del Barrio 2011 invites residents and visitors to celebrate and recognize the remarkable contributions of Hispanic Americans to this country with more than five hours of live music, traditional food, arts, crafts, and more. Feria del Barrio is produced by four amazing organizations whose mission is to provide services to our community in Philadelphia. Taller Puertorriqueño (leading agency), Congreso del Latinos Unidos, the Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises, and Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas all have some part in the cultural festival.

So glad to have heard Feria has risen again. Last year was a big disappointment but I can completely understand why it was postponed. I've seen this festival grow year after year and it was exciting when I helped plan one in 2007. The most exciting's free! Kids can have fun in the kids corner and adults can enjoy the live entertainment. Don't forget to visit Taller PR's gallery as well. See you then and don't forget to celebrate your Hispanic heritage all year long.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hispanic media wins again

Okay so is it me or do more stats about Hispanics leading in this and gaining numbers and more viewership keep getting released? According to the Pew Hispanic Center, "In the last year, this media sector tended to fare better overall than the mainstream English-language media, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism." Although both mainstream and Spanish-language media both dropped in circulation, some bounced back up.

On to the online era. Although Hispanic Americans don't access the interenet at the same rate as other Americanos, there is obvious growth and bilingual Latinos are already heavily online. ::Looks at #Latism:: And look at the creation of Huffington Post's Latino Voices. Imagine a space where you are the reader and the writer; we definitely have voices to be heard. People my age do speak English more so than Spanish, but we definitely need our dose of Latino culture; whether it's in English or Spanish is up to us. It can most certainly vary as well. So where do you get your media? (what's that)...print?

Monday, August 29, 2011

My paradise to DR...maybe.

"Dominican Republic is a charismatic and unforgettable island nation boasting intricate architecture, rich culture, amazing accommodations, world-class golf courses, pristine beauty and unlimited eco adventures," says Magaly Toribio, DR Ministry of Tourism's Vice Minister of International Promotion. And she may be right. In fact, without a tourism website I'm sure the Dominican Republic is a top Caribbean destination on everyone's mind. Award winning has earned itself ADDY and Summit awards for its clever design and function. But does a website really influence your trip planning? I believe it can.

After trying their "My Paradise" planner I almost made the "wanted" mistake of hitting confirm and purchase. Easy and fun to use, this planner makes travel arrangements seamlessly comfortable. One thing I must say is that I appreciate websites allowing you to log-in using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Eases the frustrations of starting a whole new user name for some other website. So...anyone down for a DR trip?!

Mexicans...the usual suspects

The last thing anyone needs is to be caught saying some racist remarks...especially if you're a public figure. According to Latino Rebels today, Mr. Kat Williams decided to go into a "racist rant that is hard to describe." Sure the comedian can say he was using it as comedy, but things might go a little too far if you keep on going and then bring out the "Black vs. Latino" card. Let's add something else to this act of was in Phoenix. As if Phoenix didn't already need anymore attention. Note to self: When going to comedy shows, laugh and keep your mouth shut.

Viewer discretion is clearly advised.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A fallen cheesesteak

Joey Vento. People who come from another country or have family from outside the U.S. wouldn't necessarily like him. Well just yesterday he passed away after suffering a heart attack. Kind of awkward how it happened after the earthquake but nonetheless, anytime someone dies it's really a bad thing. Sure Geno's Steaks had a huge controversy around it because of their "This is America, Speak English Sign," but that has come and gone. Or has it?

Some people will probably still refuse to eat there. I myself wouldn't go there just because I don't think they have the best cheesesteaks. Just a few years back some of my family came to try it out and when I told them about the story they said, "We don't care, you order for us." I also read some pretty nasty things on Facebook and to be honest that's not cool. Death is a sensitive subject and shouldn't be made fun or nor messed with. I don't agree with the sign nor the way he treated customers, but you don't see me making a big fuss. Just don't eat there that's all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today's new-age Latino family

I love a good Latino marketing campaign. Especially when it's from a huge corporation that knows what they are doing. Because we all know there are a lot of organizations that just slap some racist comedy together to make it market to us. Anyways. K-Mart recently launched "Madres y Comadres" which celebrates the challenges, drama and humor of raising Latin American children to identify with both cultures. The multi-faceted campaign features 12 interviews of real Latina moms from all over the country, shoppable back to school videos and a plethora of funny but true webnovelas. The videos bring basic real life situations with moms and their kids...hilarious. These videos sort of remind me of Modern Family. Not the whole show but the obvious family with Sofia Vergara.

Why social media is the devil

As you all now know a little over an hour ago the northeast corridor felt an earthquake centered in Virginia. Although a 5.9 magnitude, people in Maryland, Philadelphia, New York and Connecticut felt mother nature's wrath. Clearly people on the East coast were not ready for this tremor. Office buildings closing, people panicking, cell phones shutting down are just some of the many issues we are facing right now. However, like any other event that happens in the world, social media seems to make it fun...or not.

People flocked to Facebook and Twitter to comment about how they felt, what they saw, who they were with, why it happened and so on. And hey, why not check into "Earthquakepocalypse" on Foursquare right? Swarm badges were gained all over the East coast instead of attempting to call the loved ones. Social media is clearly the place to go when something goes wrong. Is society turning us into something other than human beings? Clearly our older generation family is not doing so well because when a cell phone doesn't work, all hell breaks loose. And here I am now writing my thoughts instead of being somewhere safe. *smh indeed*

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hispanic Summit 2011

LinkTalk about a wonderful opportunity. The Hispanic Impacting Public Policy (HIPP) is proud to present the First Annual Hispanic Leadership Summit to be held on September 9 and 10, 2011 at the Aloft Hotel in Mount Laurel, NJ. Join HIPP as they celebrate the kick off of the Hispanic Heritage month. Speakers such as Assemblyman Angel Fuentes, Senator Robert Ménendez, Author Rosaura Torres, Immigration Attorney Laura Roman Esquire, Community Organizer, Carmen Ubarry and David Leopold. There will be workshops conducted by banking experts, medical experts, immigration attorneys, health professionals, government and other financial development information will be provided at the Summit.

Workshops include business development, civic engagement, social media and more. In addition to the various musical performances and workshops, they are also provided scholarships for students whom are unable to afford the summit. This is a great opportunity for leaders in the Delaware Valley (not just NJ) to come together and discuss future opportunities and leadership development to everyone young and old. To register or to receive more information visit

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Marc Anthony en concierto

Labor Day weekend is coming up and what better way to celebrate then outside the city you live in. For me that includes Allentown, PA. Sure it may not sound exciting; but when a Marc Anthony concert and Dorney Park are involved, it's bound to be amazing. During the 2011 Great Allentown Fair, Marc Anthony will headline the entire fair on Saturday, September 3. Tickets cost an affordable $50 - $80 but you can also win tickets at See you there!

Redesigning our city of Philadelphia

Who would have thought redistricting would be such a pain. Actually we all knew that would happen. Every ten years after the Census comes and goes and soon after Philadelphia council needs to rethink or change the lines that make up their district. Luckily they don't have to make the decision alone. Residents are able to attend redistricting hearings to basically voice your opinion.

According to a article, "Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sanchez, whose Seventh District corkscrews through Northeast Philadelphia and has become a poster child for gerrymandering, said she is pushing her colleagues to show the public a map before Sept 9. But, Majority Leader Marian B. Tasco said, there was no way to know yet if that will happen." And why is it a poster child for gerrymandering? Well if you live in the 7th council district and know the politics behind where Latinos live, you know that answer.

So again why is this important? The integrity of your political process is pretty much at stake. Don't you want your leaders who were elected to be based on merit, not because they gamed the system? The next redistricting hearing will take place August 31 at 5 p.m. at Esperanza Academy Charter High School (301 W. Hunting Park Ave.).

Monday, August 15, 2011

LATISM's Chicago conference

With the Census results and the Latism blogosphere survey out and about, it's about that time when we convene to discuss where things are going. Just a few days ago, LATISM, the largest organization of Latinos engaged in social media, announced the preliminary agenda for LATISM National 2011, the organization's annual bilingual conference. Held for the first time in Chicago, IL, the LATISM ’11 conference will feature a range of inspired thinkers from around the Latino Cybersphere.

The theme for this year’s bilingual Conference is “Amplifying Our Voices to Win The Future”. The lineup includes sessions on how to use of social media to amplify the impact of business leadership, personal influence and public service campaigns within the Latino community, in addition to exploring case studies in the areas of Health, Education, Economic Development and Civic initiatives. So who will sponsor this tremendous event? None other than Johnson & Johnson. A huge health organization, they will be a great fit for reaching Latinos in social media.

Why our family wedding wouldn't work...

It's not what you think. Well not yet at least :). I recently saw Our Family Wedding and what a disaster indeed. Although it was nice to see an interracial couple eventual get married, I believe it was a little to fast and happy for real life. There were certain situations that even for 2011, it was just unrealistic. One minute the couple breaks up and the next evening they are back to getting married...doesn't that take a week? And planning a super nice "traditional" wedding in 2 weeks?

The "racism" jokes were just a bit much too. Sure there are tons of stereotypes when it comes to African-Americans and Mexicans but really? "Bro" and "ese" don't necessarily makes things racists but come on. Even with the grandmother she was a bit dramatic. I think it would have been better if they got married behind everyone's back lol. Then again I'm sure the Mexican father would have been a little TOO upset and caused even more disaster among the family. have you seen the film? What do you think about interracial dating?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Huffington Post launched Latino voices

With all the Census results making everyone think twice about what direction to go in, Huffington Post went a similar route. According to a Huff. Post article, "...I'm delighted to announce the launch of HuffPost LatinoVoices. These are really challenging times for millions of Latinos. But as I said when I recently...know that the immigrant spirit and resilience that are at the heart of the American experience can help us overcome whatever obstacles lie ahead and truly move mountains." This is of no surprise since Huffington Post Black Voices launched not too long ago as well. Articles will vary from education, health, politics and pretty much everything in between. And don't worry, articles will be from all over the world, not just the United States. Looking forward to adding Latino Voices to my reading list.

Conservatives speaking to our gente

Talk about hitting the Hispanic market with a sob story. According to the story in, "The 'Despertarse' ad, which was paid for by super-PAC American Crossroads, features a Latina mother losing sleep over the country’s unemployment rate." And it actually comes at Barack Obama's job as our President. A minute long, the ad below will probably influence a lot of Latinos. I mean it works. What are your thoughts? Do you think politicians will be hitting Latinos more and more in the years to come?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our Mexican and American amigos

As I type, the Mexican futbol team is playing team USA at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. What are the odds of USA winning? Not really sure but for three consecutive years, they have lost to team Mexico. USA's newest coach Jurgen Klinsmann takes charge for the first time against Mexico. His first time out of the gate is a sizzler against regional rivals Mexico, coming nearly six weeks after the teams met in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final. Guess who won? So as fans gather in the parking lots drinking and eating God knows what, I hope...and I do mean hope no riots break out. I think we can pull off a civilized game right?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Latina leaders opportunity

It didn't take Beyonce's "Run this World" to let us know that women...well run this world. However, what I've seen in Philadelphia is a breed of Latina leaders who run the city. Whether it's at the government level or leading a small non-profit, they are everywhere. I guess that's why institutions like the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) exist. For over 24 years, the NHLI has fostered more than 500 Latina leaders through its award-winning Executive Leadership Program (ELP).

Each year NHLI selects 22 women to participate in their ELP program. A rigorous application process and requirements, this program is not for everyone. However, if you commit to sharing your profound learning experience by mentoring at least two other Latinas, then this is for you. Applications are due Friday, August 12 so hurry. Also, make sure you have $5k saved because that's roughly how much it will cost you...after scholarships.

Colombia's 20 and under

Did you know the World Cup is going on right now? Yes you're telling yourself didn't Spain just win last year...but this is another world cup. The FIFA World Cup U(nder)-20 is going on right now in Colombia. And from the looks of it, Colombia, Spain and Nigeria are the top contenders. From what I've seen and read, it seems as though Colombia is the team that might take it all the way. Unlike the actual Colombian league, these kids have promise and initiative. Even with the Costa Rican coach claiming they'll beat the favorite, the outcome was a little different than intended. So who do you see winning the World Cup U-20? To be honest this is the first time I have even heard of the U-20 competition. Does it deserve more attention?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Some lives are COMPLEJO

The issue of race and identity is always weird. Some people are comfortable talking about it and some just aren't. And in New York City, I'm sure people are bound to be confused as to what is what...especially when being black and Latino. Open now at the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) Gallery in Washington Heights, COMPLEJO aims to explore the issues of skin color, hair texture, self-esteem and what it means to be Latino and Black. And of course this exhibit wouldn't be complete with having featured Sammy Sosa. We all know what happened a few years ago....a travesty.

Check out the video below featuring an interview with a Dominican woman; she talks about being a black Latina.

Complejo - M. Tony Peralta art exhibit from Ruben Henriquez on Vimeo.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Teamwork with Dora & Shakira

Yes! As if Shakira already isn't controlling half the world with her music, philanthropy and partnerships. The all powerful performer has teamed up with kid-friendly Dora the Explorer to promote the new show "Dora's Explorer Girls," which Shakira guest stars in. And naturally there would be "cute" song to go along with the partnership. "Todos Juntos" is about the joy of teamwork. "Todos Juntos is a great song, its uplifting and its about working together as a team to make this world a better place," Shakira said. "And its bilingual, using both English and Spanish."


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Road trip hasta la playa

Talk about a road trip of a lifetime. Y Tu Mama Tambien tells the story of two best friends (Tenoch and Julio) who ask an older woman to come with them to the beach. And she does right after she gets a call from her husband (Tenoch's cousin) that he cheated on her. Sure enough the trip begins with awkward conversations about love, sex and relationships. But pretty much just about sex.

So what happens during their motel stays? Well pretty much crying, sex and some form of jealousy. Although I'm actually writing this while I watch the movie, I can only imagine what's going to happen at the end. An American movie would have one of them killed, but this is a Mexican flick. But of course two best friends driving with an attractive woman to the beach can only be filled with drama. Let's see who stays friends at the end.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My HS NJ (and social media)

I don't normally write about my own personal past experiences but every since Facebook created these new semi-hidden groups, I've just been a little annoyed at one in particular. I know my 10-year high school reunion is coming up in 2012 and I'm actually happy about it. However, there's no need to have 200+ opinionated people comment on about what we should do. You have your committee and they should easily be able to make the decisions for us. Not everyone is going to be able to make it, it's that simple. And those that make it will be able to make it. I'll most likely attend just because it'll be fun...and it's something to do.

I could just be thinking way too hard about this. Or maybe I should just turn off all notifications off, but I just thought I'd give my two cents...not on Facebook. Let's turn things up a notch, I've been added to the "You know you're from Plainfield if..." <-- Annoying much? I'm sure this group will only stay active a few weeks and like any other group die out in a few. Social media...some people love it, some hate it and some just use it because it's free.

Anyways, I've actually found a lot of old friends on Facebook. Some whom I have never talked to, some who were friends and some that just because we both graduated the same year decided to friend me. -_-. Oh well, it's just Facebook. The chances of us meeting again are slim; it's possible, but slim. Well that's pretty much it. See you in 2012!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Centro Nueva Creacion's summer creation

On Thursday, August 11 starting at 5:30 p.m., Centro Nueva Creacion will present their annual summer arts exhibit at the Crane Arts Building. This event is free and EVERYONE is invited! The students of Centro Nueva Creación invite everyone to celebrate the art work they made during summer camp, including a dance performance, photographs, poems, and multicultural masks! Light refreshments will be provided. I actually went to this last year and the kids did an amazing job. You'd be amazed at how powerful the photographs come out. And what we may see in the photograph, the child may have had a totally different perspective.

El hombre araña

So news to me...Peter Parker the original Spider-Man was killed in June?! This comes as a shock considering the new film is to be release next year. Granted this is only the "ultimate" universe and not the Marvel universe but mix up story lines and kill our childhood characters is crazy. Well to add to the craziness, according to an article in NewsOne, the new Spider-Man in Marvel Comics’ Ultimate universe is a half-black, half-Hispanic teen named Miles Morales, revealed in a new issue released Wednesday.

What does this say? It must mean the system is working. Although the Census revealed the correct numbers, people already knew Latinos were here and a huge buying power. From what my brother tells me, the "ultimate" universe is meant to be geared towards the younger audience. So it's natural that the next Spider-Man be a multicultural kid. Do we see an all star minority comic book cast? Anyways, thank you Marvel for paying least you are. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Who's your horrible boss?

What's your definition of a horrible boss? They're supposed to be your motivation to work right? Luckily I have not had a slave-driving psycho as a boss, or even a touchy feely boss, or not event a completely incompetent coke-driven boss. Well these are the three bosses that are driving the main characters of Horrible Bosses insane. Now what would make you want to murder your bosses and think you can get away with it? Apparently Nick, Dale and Kurt have what it takes...that's if they take the advice of supposed killer "MF Jones." Don't ask what the MF stands for lol. Filled with lots of awkward movie quote history and new quotes to add to your list, Horrible Bosses makes your job look a tad bit more simple. And if you ever want to kill your boss, I suggest just speaking with Human Resources, they'd be more than willing to help you out.

Have you had a boss that you just wanted to push out a window? Hit with a car? Stab with a knife? Inject food poisoning?

All inclusive destination continued

So as some of you know I may have been a little too hard on the "destination" in my last post. I am not normally negative in any of my posts and in no way wanted to bash anything. Yes sometimes a bad experience can take over the best part of your travels but I should have thought twice before posting. Yes the customer service was bad in some ways but the wedding and events that took place were amazing.

I don't mean to try to turn a negative into a positive, I just want to clear up a few things. I do apologize if I offended anyone in the post. I haven't been to many wedding and to be invited to this one in Mexico was an honor. It's a lot of hard work and I respect everything people put into their events. This post could have come closer but not to bring up excuses I've been a little under the weather these past few days.