Tuesday, May 30, 2006

california dreamin'...

i'm still packed.

we returned from our california vacation on memorial day and i still haven't unpacked. this could be interpreted in SOOO many ways...

i'm definitely not as relaxed as i was when i arrived. you could say that i'm as stressed out as i was before i left, but the fact that, between then and now, the smallest sinewy parts of me actually unclenched is a triumph.

popzilla and i thought we were insane to plan a getaway (of sorts) to see extended family (my in laws) and... anD... aND... AND... a trip to dismal... i mean... Disneyland!

you're thinking, WTF were you thinking!!??? i know. a head injury followed by amnesia's in there somewhere and i suspect the children were involved...

days before leaving... we were preparing ourselves for armageddon and it just never appeared. (which reminds me of the funniest armageddon story... i'll have to share that one with ya later...)

it started with the car ride and the check in: popzilla was sure that the first ring of the apocalyptic circus would appear there. but, the car ride was calm - dare i say, enjoyable? we got to o'hare and i broke out into a sweat thinking about carting the luggage from trunk to curb side check in and k'zilla bounding out into the departure traffic while i frantically crammed the car seats (yes, we brought both) into their carrier bags. but, there was no running out into oncoming traffic. the carseats took some cajoling but slid right in and zipped right up. and after that, curbside check in was a breeze. it took longer for popzilla to actually get from long term parking to where he dropped us off at departures.

the flight to palm springs (b'zilla's first, k'zilla's fifth) had it's ups and downs, especially when we went up and down. that whole inner ear thing is a b*tch. you can tell a three year old to swallow because it helps but that doesn't mean she'll do it and we realized later that sometimes ya gotta swallow a bunch of times in a row. and to quote my three year old, "you can't tell b'zilla to do anything because he doesn't speak english." you just have to pray that you don't end up sitting at the end of the runway for SO long that your child finishes breastfeeding BEFORE takeoff (of course, you've also waited forever to feed him so that he could breastfeed during takeoff - y'know, someone needs to send a universal memo to all commercial pilots or produce a PSA or trash the pc diversity training and threaten to sick the bare breasted la leche league after them).

our arrival in beautiful palm springs airport was super easy because my in laws met us there. REINFORCMENTS HELLA RULE! we got luggage, we got rental car and we got microwaved... it was freakin' 103 degrees!!!!! popzilla and k'zilla quickly got in the spa to cool off when we got to the house.

's'all 'bout the iced tea & the AC fo' me. and at the end of the first day, mamazilla rested (ok, i had to get used to the time change too) and it was good. :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

a year ago...

( l to r, top row: d. guidubaldi, me, m.schwendener, j.wei, author jessica hagedorn, s.harrison, l to r, bottom row: m.respicio, m. villanueva, c. hood)

i met these yahoos.

and my perspective was forever altered.

Friday, May 12, 2006

chicago filipino events/opportunities

1) Chicago Filipino American Film Festival Committee
Festival Planning Meeting, Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 7:00 pm
at Sweet Thang, 1921 W North Ave, Chicago, IL

If you’re interested in joining the committee,
just show up to one of the meetings. Volunteers are always welcome!

2) Audition Notice

Arts and Education Foundation
Presentation Cast

Date: Saturday, May 20th
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
to schedule an appt. call Trish at 630-879-0244
Location: Chicago Academy for the Arts
1010 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

Requirements: Roles are available for all types between the ages of 14 – 23 who can act, and/or sing and/or dance.

Auditionees should dress to move and will a learn dance combination.
In addition, bring a headshot or photo of yourself and a resume if you have it…
if not that is okay! If you act, prepare a dramatic monologue that does
not exceed 2 minutes in length. If you sing, bring 16 bars of both an up
tempo song and a ballad with a CD musical accompaniment if available.

Performers must be available to participate in a provided summer cast
training/show development program that will be held June 12 – July 28.
Cast will be paid a modest stipend. $500.00

The show created will address issues such as prejudice, substance abuse,
violence, peer pressure and more. For more information visit REdI foundation

3) Northwestern University's Kaibigan PRESENTS

The Pinoy Show 2006: "The Case of the Missing Identity"

"In their 4th annual cultural show, Kaibigan embarks on a search
for their missing mascot, Paolo -- a mystery that takes the group
and the audience on a exploration of Filipino heritage through a
variety of modern and traditional performances."

Sunday, May 21. at 2 p.m.
Norris McCormick Auditorium (1999 Campus Drive. Evanston, IL 60201)
Tickets $5, parking is free.

For more information go to kaibigan

Contact: Louie Pascasio/Lani Montreal

CIRCA launches Drama Incubator Project

The Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts (CIRCA)
explores new heights of storytelling through a drama laboratory program
that incubates skills in acting, writing and directing. The incubator project
aims to unearth talents and voices from the community as well as to provide
a much needed venue to articulate and dramatize stories from within our
midst waiting to be told and awakened. The laboratory project includes
workshop sessions on acting, playwriting and directing. Each session is
scheduled once a week, 7-10pm, for 10 weeks from June 13 to August 15, 2006.
The workshop will build up on a two-weekend performance showcase on
September 7-10 and 14-17. No workshop fee is charged but articipants
are required to fully commit to the workshop and performance dates.
So if you have ideas or stories in mind wanting of expression, or if the acting
bug has bitten you but you don't have that space to enjoy the itch and explore
your creativity, come join our drama lab. No previous experience required
but a spirit of adventuresome is most welcome. There is a registration fee
of $45 per participant to cover photocopying expenses for scripts.
To register, call (312) 222.-1551 or (312) 451-6974 or email circatheater@yahoo.com.

5) Help support Asian American Naisy Dolar and her campaign for Alderman
of the 50th ward. We are helping to organize a phone survey that will take place
the week of Monday, May 15. The purpose of this project is to help build Asian
American political power by surveying registered voters in the 50th Ward to
uncover voter issues & concerns regarding their community.

Are you or anyone you know interested in volunteering for the phonebank?
We need volunteers ASAP!

Here are the details:
When: Monday, May 15 - Friday, May 19; Sunday, May 21
Times: 6-8:30pm each night
Location: TBD (they will be various community-based organizations around Chicago)
** The Thursday, Friday, and Sunday will be at the DePaul Steans Center - 2233 N. Kenmore**
If volunteers can commit to 1 day or more out of the above 6 dates, that
would be extremely helpful. Here is a link to an interesting article, which
may help everyone put into perspective the need for an Asian American
alderman in Chicago: a place in racial politics

6) Dear Prospective Research Participants
Are you…..
- Asian or Asian American?
- Fluent in English?
- Between the ages of 20 and 35?
- Available May 13, 2006 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm?
at UIC Student Center East
750 S. Halsted St. Room 603
Chicago, IL 60607

If your answer is YES to all the above questions, then you are the ideal
match for a research study being conducted in the Chicago area!!!!!!

This research project aims to explore the attitudes towards mental health,
psychological distress, and seeking help in the Asian American community
of the U.S. Participants will be asked to take part in a 90-120 minute focus
group with members of Asians Understanding Mental Health (AUMH).
AUMH is a project of the Leadership Center for Asian Pacific American's
Community Leaders Program and is working in partnership with the Asian
American Suicide Prevention Initiative. There is minimal risk and guaranteed
confidentiality for participating in the focus group. You will receive a $5
Starbucks gift card as compensation, but there is no obligation to participate
in the study.

Please contact Jyoti Garg at 312-933-0475 or aumh2006@yahoo.com
if you are interested in participating in this research study.

7) sari sari shots

"Sari sari" is Tagalog for "various kinds" and describes the diversity of items you can find in those ubiquitous sundry stores that abound in the Philippines. SariSariShots is my photographic "take" of the word - images of Pinoys everywhere and how they have adapted to the faraway places they now call "home". SariSariShots will feature some of my commercial assignments as well as personal images and that of my friends and colleagues. This website is dedicated to all Pinoys; in celebration of the Filipino diaspora, our resilience, our joys and continuing struggles.

Dahil sa inyo.
Armand Bengua-Frasco

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

>insert filipino heritage posting hiatus here<

image from http://www.valdefierro.com

i just had to put a pic of my two favorite moms, florida evans and willona woods, for this post about my fantasy mothers day.

as a kid, i would daydream that maybe one day i would become a mom who was the perfect mix of florida and willona - flo's sugar and willona's spice, flo's heart and willona's mouth, flo's kitchen and willona's wardrobe, etc... well, i'm not even close to either so i'll just keep fantasizing...

this mother's day, i would like to:

* oversleep and wake up to a warm, sunny, QUIET spring day.
* shower with a m p l e time to pumice my heels and "de-yeti" in an outdoor shower in tahiti.
* leisurely eat an eggs benedict & drink a mimosa for breakfast made by the barefoot contessa, ina garten in george clooney's lake como house.
* floss and brush my teeth without rushing.
* attend sunday mass at st agnes church in san francisco.
* have a day without a time out or a melt down or a tantrum from ANYBODY.
* take a nap.
* spend some quality time with popzilla and the mini zillas. separately and together. this may or may not involve a picnic and a blanket - NO BUGS ALLOWED.
* eat a mountain of desserts - magnolia ice cream, gelato, cannoli, cake, pie, chocolate, marzipan, halo halo, ube, boba tea, moon cakes, etc....
* floss and brush my teeth without rushing.
* spring clean my closet with every organizing tool known to civilized man.
* type/write an intelligent, funny, thought provoking post for my blog, with two hands & without interruption.
* eat a dinner al fresco prepared by popzilla and the grill of his dreams on a sun kissed hawaiian beach while supernanny babysits the mini zillas.
* dance, a long overdue dance, with popzilla at the casino on catalina island where frank sinatra is making an appearance.
* floss and brush my teeth without rushing.
* sleep for an uninterrupted 12 hours in bed with just popzilla, after... well.... hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge...

so, anyway, don't forget to honor yo fave mommas on mother's day, may 14th!

on the corner...

of hero and hero.

andres bonifacio was executed may 10, 1897.

in his essay "what filipinos should know" he wrote, "reason tells us that we cannot expect anything but more sufferings, more treachery, more insults, and more slavery. reason tells us not to fritter away time for the promised prosperity that will never come….reason teaches us to rely on ourselves and not to depend on others for our living. reason tells us to be united…that we may have the strength to combat the evils in our country."

heroes of the philippines
andres bonifacio
bonifacio day

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Monday, May 08, 2006

happy birthday enrique!

on may 8, 1975, enrique iglesias was born in madrid, spain, to julio iglesias and isabel preysler.

enrique's mother is a filipina, a former model in Spain, a journalist for ¡Hola! magazine, TV talk show host, and a fashion designer in Madrid, Spain.

(ok, so this isn't really heritage related. cut me some slack!!! i have two screamin' zillas and lopsided, leaky boobs...)

Friday, May 05, 2006

don't. stay. home.

for those of you lucky enough to have the means to walk outside your house... um, shall we say, unencumbered... (oh, and you should live in LA or NY) please check out these two events that two of my friends and fellow ACA associates are in:

Studio in the Park

Steed Taylor: MESSENGER - a road tattoo commemorating bicycle messengers in New York City Location: Promenade from 105th - 103rd Street, Riverside Park Materials: high-gloss black latex, names and prayer Size: 25’ x 425’ Dedication: 5/4 1:00PM, prayer by Brother Michael Moran

VC Filmfest

Mia Villanueva, producer: MANGOSTEEN takes an intimate look at the culture, education and activists of Kuala Lumpur and their connection to the rise of HIV/AIDS in Malaysia.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

a portrait of the artist as filipino

nick joaquin 1917-2004

i've heard about his book "the woman who had two navels" (winner of the first harry stonehill award) but i have yet to pick it up. i suppose today i will. i don't know enough about this man to write a tribute of any justice and honestly, there's plenty on the web about this award winning filipino novelist, poet, playwright and essayist whose birthday is celebrated today.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

bells on the brain....

the largest bell in asia at the parish church of santa monica in panay.

ok, so, i kinda forgot how time consuming, difficult and altogether confusing researching historical facts can be. well, at least for me it is...

"the capiz revolt" or the first act of revolt against spain occurred may 3, 1897 in the small town of panay in the province of capiz. the spanish filipino war began in 1896 ,but the townspeople of panay had fought the spainards as early as 1877. numerous battles & skirmishes continued until the us seized control of the panay islands in december of 1899.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

the bells of balangiga

so, on a related note...

Pintig Cultural Group &
the Center for Immigrant Resources & Community Arts (CIRCA)
invite you to....

The Bells of Balangiga the Musical
Book & Lyrics by Rodolfo Carlos Vera
Music and Direction by Louie Pascasio

"The Bells of Balangiga features a remarkably unbiased book by Rodolfo Vera (who blames the war, not the warriors) and a quasi-operatic score by Louie Pascasio that includes rousing patriotic anthems, inspirational prayers, sweet lovers' ballads and rowdy soldiers' choruses... (It) reaches beyond agitprop pageantry and emerges as an ambitious, professional production that explores a chapter in history that's still still relevant to mainstream audiences." Mary Shen Barnidge, Chicago Reader, 1997 Premiere of "The Bells of Balangia"

Light Opera Works/McGaw YMCA Child Care Auditorium
1420 Maple Ave., Evanston, IL 60201
(Davis stop on the Purple Line)

April 27 Thursday, 8 pm, preview night, $10
April 28 Friday, opening night, 8 pm
April 29 Saturday, & April 30 Sunday, 3pm
May 5 Friday, & May 6 Saturday 8pm
May 6 Saturday, & May 7 Sunday, 3pm
May 4 Thursday, Industry Night (2 for 1 for theater folks, bring headshots/programs)
April 29 Saturday 8pm, Gala Night, $35-50 with food
Students/Seniors/Groups of 20 or more, $15.00
Regular tickets are $25

For tickets & for more information, please call CIRCA (312) 222-1551; Lani (773) 814-9679; or Angela (773) 480-4824; or email circatheater@yahoo.com

In 1901, during the U.S. occupation of the Philippines, a small town rose up against American colonial soldiers stationed in the southern island of Samar. It was the church bells that announced the early morning attack that left 45 American soldiers dead and 22 wounded. The U.S. retaliation was swift. "I want no prisoners," Brigadier General Jacob W. Smith was said to have ordered Major Littleton Waller, the soldier he assigned to the duty. "I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn, the better you will please me." Targeted were Filipinos 10 years and older and "capable of bearing arms." Over 50,000 were killed reducing Samar's population to one-fourth.

This production is funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (CityArts I) and Nuveen Investments; community sponsors include United Church of Christ Montclare; HAPAG

now the interesting little tidbit that i just read about the bells of balangiga is that they have been in the possession of the us (at warren air force base) for over 100 years. they were taken from balangiga as war booty. the people of balangiga have asked for their return and apparently in 1994, clinton had promised to give the bells back - but it never happened. (yeah, go figure.) here's a philippine news story that was just written about it.

sorta makes me wanna get all political and get the bells back to their rightful belfry...

Monday, May 01, 2006

happy asian heritage month!

picture of manila bay from whoa.org

so, i thought i should challenge myself this month to learn something everyday about my own asian/pacific islander heritage (filipino, you know this, i know...). kind of a refresher course for me in my own mamazilla "cliff notes" version.

so, let's see... on may 1st, the battle of manila bay took place in 1898 during the spanish-american war. it was the first major engagement of the spanish-american war (in the philippines). it was the war that the americans won which resulted in the us gaining control of former colonies of spain (like... the philippines).

in june of that same year, the philippines declared their independence (yay!) only to be occupied (*cough* sucker punched *cough*) by the us in august (boo!). by december, the us had purchased the philippines and other territories for the sum of 20 million dollars (y'know, some overprocessed, botoxed yahoo in hollywood probably makes this much in a year, maybe even in one overprocessed & botoxed film...) at the treaty of paris with plans to make the philippines into a us colony.

in february of the following year, a filipino soldier was shot by an american soldier which is considered by some to be the start of the philippine-american war. mark twain famously opposed the war and was quoted as saying:

"There is the case of the Philippines. I have tried hard, and yet I cannot for the life of me comprehend how we got into that mess. Perhaps we could not have avoided it -- perhaps it was inevitable that we should come to be fighting the natives of those islands -- but I cannot understand it, and have never been able to get at the bottom of the origin of our antagonism to the natives. I thought we should act as their protector -- not try to get them under our heel. We were to relieve them from Spanish tyranny to enable them to set up a government of their own, and we were to stand by and see that it got a fair trial. It was not to be a government according to our ideas, but a government that represented the feeling of the majority of the Filipinos, a government according to Filipino ideas. That would have been a worthy mission for the United States. But now -- why, we have got into a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater. I'm sure I wish I could see what we were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation."

kinda scary, how familiar those sentiments are in light of the current political upheavals we're (we, as in, americans) involved in.

i'll never forget the first time i read that quote in high school. it was the first time i felt "relevant" in my history class. i looked around to see if anyone else was as moved as i was. the country of MY ancestors was mentioned in a classroom in a high school in the middle of john hughes' lushly green, sprawling, humid, suburban america.

but, the mostly caucasian populus continued to take notes in quiet concentration. it was just another answer to an essay question on an upcoming quiz. for me, it's was 1987 and i was a proud albeit teenaged and gawky pinay.

anyway, this ends today's lesson for me... i have to go shopping for some stuff for my sisters. my moms is leaving for a vacation to the philippines in a week! wee-ha!!


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