Monday, November 22, 2004

cold, cold, cold

yes, cold. the weather has been really cold, especially the past weekend.

friday. i covered the 'flavors of the philippines: a food festival' at the new otani hotel after my press work. it wasn't a festival for me. well, the concept was that they had 14 companies who were bringing their products to the u.s. and that's what they put on the buffet table. well, if it was a philippine food festival, then shouldn't they serve the best of philippine cuisine?

i mean, what would the other people (other races, other guests) think about pinoy cuisine when what they eat during an event called 'flavors fof the philippines: a food festival' is lumpiang sariwa, barbecue pork, pancit, longganisa (!!!) and others. no offense meant againts those dishes (i love them) but my point is, they are not pang-festival. but then again, they are the products of the traders who joined this food mission to the u.s. what gives then? i dunno. my beef? this is a philippine food festival. i probably expected more than just the longganisa on a stick.

saturday was jasmine trias' concert. well. what can i say. my lead sentence: guess who brought the house down? jasmine trias? not! bad, bad momar.

anyway, jay-r brought the frikkin' house down. he's a very good performer -- singer, dancer heck, he even breakdanced. brokedanced? well.

attended the 'exclusive' after-party at the palatial residence of the raquels in hancock park. there, i met the performers -- jasmine, jay-r, paolo santos and nyoy volante. i had my picture taken with them. so much for not being star-struck.


Friday, November 19, 2004

couch patatas

thursday's still must-see tv night for me. although i am not talking about joey. the oc, it is. sigh. i feel sad for seth (not for marisa)...the last scene hit me, specially when seth told marisa about where they were a year ago, and who would have thought that they would be, on that day, newport's two loneliest people. i like the chemistry between ryan and this new character lindsay. in tagalog, it's what they call "may kilig factor" something that i no longer see in marisa and ryan. oh well.

donald trump defied convention once more last night when he fired two of the contestants: my favorite maria and the project manager wes. the two groups needed to come up with in-store catalogues for levi's. ivana's group won, because of her brilliant idea about the wheel. it's a bummer, she wasn't recognized for her effort. to make it worse, the woman who did not even understand ivana's concept was praised in front of donald trump by the president of levi's no less. that sucks.

i stopped watching survivor this season. i watch it when there's no other show that i like on the tube. now, there's the oc, and joey. yeah, i'd rather watch joey than survivor. and yeah, the finale of tbs' the mansion was last night too. am i a sucker for reality tv shows or what? well, i don't watch all of them, just a few of them; namely the apprentice, the amazing race, manhunt on bravo, (hahaha! my bet's gonna take it all) and what else, the mansion, real world philly, real world vs road rules, the battle of the sexes.

i couldn't sleep early last night so i was flipping channels, between emeril and oprah and mtv's new show: date my mom. it was hilarious. i don't like like it, but i find it hilarious; not funny funny but funny hilarious, especially the mom who showed the date how her daughter cackles like a chicken. well, the searcher chose that mom. well, in order for the searcher to date the daughter, he should date the mother first and based on the searcher's impressions on the mothers, he decides which daughter he's gonna be dating. well.

it's almost 2 pm. haven't had breakfast yet. all i have in my tummy is the white chocolate latte from coffee bean. that's all. i am hungry but no one's budging yet. tons of work to do. i'm halfway done, i am just waiting for jojo's story which he said he was gonna email before 1:00 pm when i called him around 10:00 am this morning.

i have a coverage tonight at the otani hotel in little tokyo. i am not quite sure what it is but i think it would be similar to the food expos i have covered before. we'll see...


Thursday, November 18, 2004

on feng shui and magnifico (and a bit of bridget jones)

i was able to watch two beautiful filipino movies early this week. sunday night on tfc was this movie called 'magnifico.' i've heard so much about this movie from articles and reviews posted all over the web. in fact, this movie has been doing the filmfest circuit in the past couple of years. anyway, i watched it with my roomie and we ended up a bit emotional after watching it. it's kind of heart-tugging and the kid's acting (i think his name is jiro manio) is well, magnificent.

the next day, i got a dvd copy of feng shui from a friend. i watched it with a couple of friends and boy did i get really scared. this is something new. the movie is actually very good. the copy is very clear, the colors very vivid. the cinematography is fantastic and the actors were great. yes, including kris aquino. surprise, surprise. the story was very believable, it's kind of cultural, specially the filipino's belief in suwerte and malas. i'm so happy to see familiar names in the film's closing credits. the movie was edited by vito cajili, my good friend third's close friend. he was a batch younger in college. then there's the movie's writer roy iglesias. roy is one of my "older" classmates when i took graduate courses at ateneo's comm. dept. years ago.

by the way, last sunday, i watched bridget jones: the edge of reason at arclight. i think i spent way too much. hah. the ticket was $14! on a sunday afternoon! well, i was bored out of my wits at home so i decided to go to arclight and watching bridget jones seemed like a good idea. well, let's just say that i enjoyed the first one better.


missing posts and jasmine trias

what happened to my previous posts? mukhang nawala. well, obviously. i'm going to start all over again. naaliw kasi ako sa mga blogs na nabasa ko, at the same time, na-inspire din.

it's thursday today. load's kinda light, i finished writing an advertorial for a real estate broker who is based in west hollywood. i did the interview earlier in the afternoon and wrote the draft after the interview.

i DLd the pics i took during the presscon of jasmine trias last tuesday night at the philippine consulate. she was grilled during the interview but she emerged unscathed. on her "numerous" flats in her araneta coliseum, the poor girl replied, "i don't think i had that many flats. i might have had ne or two, but not that many. so i had a couple of flat notes, what do you want me to do? apologize?"

she's having her concert here in LA this saturday at the grand olympic. i have a couple of tickets so i think i'm gonna watch. i owe it to her. hahaha. i hope she does well. besides, i am looking forward to hear the music of paolo santos, nyoy volante and jay-r.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

filipino authors in long beach - asian journal article

Filipino Authors Gather in Long Beach
Fil-Am Contributions to American Literature Discussed

By Momar G. Visaya

LONG BEACH - It was a fitting finale to a month-long celebration of history and heritage.

Several Filipino authors gathered together on Saturday, October 30, 2004 at the Oceanview Gallery of the Long Beach Museum of Art to celebrate the declaration of the month of October as Filipino-American History Month and to read for book aficionados and swap stories about each other. Facilitated by the Philippine Expressions Bookshop, the event is part of the bookseller's outreach program.

Eight established and emerging Filipino and Filipino-American authors (and one from Germany) comprised the panel and each one of them took turns reading poetry, essay or stories from their books.

After the book-reading, a question-and-answer portion followed, with Linda Nietes, the facilitator who started the ball rolling when she asked the authors how it felt to write for a community that is not necessarily seen as a "reading public" and if it is discouraging for them to realize it.

Playwright, director and producer Reme-Antonio Grefalda replied, "You cannot persuade someone to buy a book when he or she does not know anything about the author so as writers here, we have a responsibility to the audience and the community to let them know about us."

Palanca award-winner and former University of the Philippines professor Luisa A. Igloria agreed. Igloria flew all the way from Norfolk, Virginia where she is on the faculty of the Creative Writing Program at the Old Dominion University. "Book readings such as this is one way where we can tell our audience about our books, and for our community to find out who the Filipino-American authors are," she said.

Grefalda, Igloria and Carlene (Kalifa) Sobrino Bonnivier are all from the East Coast; Oscar Penaranda and Barbara Pulmano Reyes are from Northern California; Blanca Datuin Nolledo is from Portland, Oregon; Edna Weisser flew from Germany and Noel Alumit is the only author in this group who is from Los Angeles.

Novelist Noel Alumit commented, "Before we become a book-reading community, we must first become a book-buying one," echoing Igloria's earlier suggestion that instead of giving other gifts this holiday season, the audience should give books by Filipino authors instead.

"I challenge everyone in this room," Alumit said, "to give a book by a Filipino author as a gift this Christmas instead of the usual gifts like DVDs."

Recognizing that this is a small step towards having a book-reading or a book-buying public, Nietes suggested to the audience to go to their local libraries and ask for Filipino-authored books. "They have a budget for that," she said, "and if they cannot find a single book by a Filipino author, then they are not doing enough. Bring this afternoon's program. The authors' books and novels are there."

An audience member, Lucila Dypiangco said that we "should light a candle instead of cursing the darkness." Dypiangco shared the story of how she, as a teacher of the Los Angeles Unified School District, was able to help propagate Filipino authors in her own little way. She said that when they were asked to give their inputs for a literature book to be used by the students, she suggested the name of poet Oscar Penaranda. As a poet and storyteller, Penaranda chose poetry to tell his stories, most notably of

Penaranda, who was one of the eight authors at the event, read a poem "Dear Mamang" earlier in the program. Dypiangco wanted that poem to be included in the list of required readings. For some reason, the poem did not make it, but one of Penaranda's other poems did, and it was placed right beside that of an Emily Dickinson's poem. "Now, at least, one of Mr. Penaranda's poems that celebrated the existence of Filipinos in America is something that is read by all of our students," Dypiangco added.

Grefalda also dismissed the notion of "writing for the mainstream." "Every book that comes out is a rehearsal of the next book. There is an audience out there. Let us not write for the mainstream, let us write because we want to. Let us stop butting our heads to be in the mainstream," she said.

Edna Weisser, an essayist based in Germany, has some of her works included in three anthologies, including the "Trans Euro Express: Filipinas in Europe," the first ever Filipino-European anthology. She read one of her essays, How to Cook Bagoong in Germany, a witty look about this Filipino condiment made from shrimp or small fish that has been salted, cured and fermented for several weeks. On her biggest challenge as a writer, she quipped, "I write in English, in a country which does not even speak it."

Poet and performance artist Barbara Pulmano Reyes read a poem called "Recipe" from her book "Gravities of Center". Born in Manila and raised in Fremont, California, Reyes was apologetic to the audience, "It frightens me when I am with a group of women who looks just like my mom. I am apologizing in advance for some of the vulgar words used in my poem."

Fictionist, playwright and essayist Wilfrido Nolledo, who passed away this year, was ably represented by his widow Blanca Datuin Nolledo and daughter Melissa Nolledo-Christoffels. The event also marked the posthumous launching of his book "Cadena de Amor and Other Stories," a collection of stories that had won prizes in the prestigious Carlos Palanca Memorial Literary Competition.