Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 2010 - Update

November was a blessed month! Growth, travel and visions are the main themes for this month.

Mr. Hyphen, Brava Theater, San Francisco, CA-
On Nov 6th, 2010 I traveled back to California to participate in Mr. Hyphen 2010. I was chosen to be one of five finalists who would compete to win the crown of Mr. Hyphen 2010. This is an annual contest organized by Hyphen Magazine to highlight Asian Pacific American men who are devoted to community empowerment. The contest includes several exciting aspects: fashion, performance and Question/Answer. The winner would be crowned Mr. Hyphen 2010 but more importantly, a non-profit organization that serves the Asian Pacific American community would receive a $1,000 donation.

I had an amazing time building with the finalist and meeting the Hyphen Magazine community. The organization that I represented was the United Playaz, a violence prevention non profit organization based in San Francisco, CA. I was placed with 1st runner up. I gave it my all by performing an excerpt from my new solo theater production "Universal Filipino". I was dressed to impress by wearing a 3-piece suit and rocking custom made shoes designed by Jerry Macalino. Overall, it was great to see hundreds of folks come out to celebrate the positive contributions of Asian Pacific American men.

Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA)@ CUNY Law School, Queens, NY-
On Nov 18, 2010, I was the featured artist at the annual "Cafe Con Leche" event organized by LALSA at CUNY Law School in Queens, NY. This year's theme connected the importance of artist within movements for social justice. DJ Soulcrates and I shared a 30-minute excerpt of "Universal Filipino"Despite health issues this month, we were able to receive a standing ovation from the audience.

This event truely represented what it means to stand in solidarity with other communities. Here we have a Latin American student organization reaching out to a Filipino American artist. The principles of a universal struggle brought home the fact that we are in this movement for liberation together and we have so much to share/ learn from each other. In the end, we see the humanity and necessity to stand as a united force! Shout out to LALSA and everyone I met at this great event!

Fela! with the Brooklyn Public Library - Young Adult Pre-GED program, NYC-
On Nov 24, 2010, I was able to watch the hottest Broadway show in town, Fela! with my students from Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I feel very blessed because the theme of our class revolved around "Freedom Fighters" throughout the world and Fela! represented just that, an artist turned activist for Nigeria. My students were impressed by the dynamic presentation. Most of my students had never been to a Broadway production despite growing up in New York City. I am very grateful to be able to end the Fall season on this note. There is so much color, energy, creativity and dedication still alive in the movement to bring about true change, justice and freedom in this world.

It's funny because for the past 2.5 years I have watched several Broadway productions from "In The Heights", "Westside Story" and now "Fela!".....all of which I have never had to pay. God has allowed me to watch these amazing productions so that they inspire the fire within.....I am blessed! It is a dream of mine, that I am working on as we speak, to write, act and perform in the first Filipino American production on Broadway. With God and my ancestors blessings.....watch me!

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