Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
For the first time, a Filipino TV crew was at the Primetime Emmy's red carpet. Here's my Balitang America report featuring interviews with Glee stars talking about Charice and the Filipino fashion designers, Monique Lhuillier and Oliver Tolentino.
Below is the the Tagalog (TV Patrol) version.
I was also featured by Asiance Magazine in their photo spread of Asians at the Emmys. These photos were taken by Hollywood photographer and kababayan, Sthalee Mirador.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Miss Philippines-Universe Venus Raj, 22, is an interviewer's dream. She's open, smart, and gracious.
In the extended version of my one-on-one interview with her in Hollywood, Raj, talked about her plans after Miss Universe (politics, journalism, showbiz) and the childhood trauma that still affects her to this day. She also shared the challenges she faced being born out of wedlock as well as her desire now to inspire other Filipino children with similar background to believe that their dreams can come true. Venus also talked about the P-Noy policy she admires most, and her love life and celebrity crushes (JLC!).
And even though, she has experienced losses in life - one of them, an ill-advised run as a councilor in her town when she was a teenager, an experience that she says gave her valuable lessons - in the interview, she shows what many Filipinos already know: Venus Raj is a winner.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
By: Yong Chavez
I recently interviewed Arnel Pineda, the lead singer of Journey. His amazing voice is already well-known, but what not a lot of people know about him is that Arnel is doing a lot of charity work to help Filipino kids in need.
"It takes one person to care, to make a difference in another person's life," he said. "People helped me to be where I am today, so I want to help others, too."
The Arnel Pineda Foundation is funded mostly through Arnel's solo fundraising concerts. Once his Journey commitments start, he plans to auction off his memorabilia to keep the program running, with the help of other big-hearted kababayans.
In my extended interview above, he talks about his foundation and his upcoming Journey projects. Candidly, he also shares the price of his fame and he also talks about what he misses from his old life back in the Philippines.
And here's the news report I did about him which aired on The Filipino Channel in July.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
- Getting fired from TV job got her fired up to pursue her true passion: hosting her own travel show
- She's asking kababayans to vote for her entry, See Jane Run, a contender for Oprah Winfrey Network's contest for aspiring TV show hosts. To vote for her: http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=10268&promo_id=1
1. There is nothing more powerful in human life than faith. Faith guides our decisions in all things from business to matters of the heart. Faith enables us to openly receive and give love. And faith keeps us focused and on our feet when life throws us a curve ball.
2. In time, people always show their true colors. They may not show you who they are right away, but the truth will eventually emerge.
3. Something I’ve learned through my yoga practice: Clarity is a very good thing. If we can tune out the noise and find clarity in our lives, we will make wiser choices.
4. We don’t have to travel 10,000 miles or spend a ton of money to experience the world. We can discover, learn and live an adventure in our own backyards, simply by stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new.
5. We have only this one, short life on earth. We must make the most of it!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Los Angeles , CA-- For the first time, the Kobe Bryant Family Foundation and the Gina Alexander Philanthropy Project will host 10 underprivileged children from the Philippines with scholarships to attend the Kobe Bryant Basketball Academy in Santa Barbara, California next month. In a special event to raise funds for this partnership, the Black Card Circle Foundation, a volunteer-run organization created to assist other non-profit groups, will spearhead a special Reception on July 5, 2010 at the Americana in Glendale along with Nike.
“We are so excited and honored that Kobe Bryant has provided us with this opportunity” beamed Gina Alexander. “The kids that we are bringing over from the Philippines will actually get to interact with Kobe Bryant daily and will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn the leadership skills that has brought Kobe 5 NBA Championship rings and distinguishes him as probably the greatest basketball player of all time.” Part of the mission statement of the Kobe Bryant Family Foundation is to raise leaders and teach children to be champions.
“Raising leaders is a sentiment we echo with each of our projects,” says Black Card Circle Foundation Founder and Chairman Lotay Yang. “We are honored to be able to part of this endeavor to help Gina and Kobe with their goals.” The Black Card Circle Foundation exists to attract influential donors, supporters and corporations to promote and spotlight non-profit organizations who empower individuals who otherwise may not have access to opportunities and resources to reach their full potential in life. “Charity is the backbone of BCCF. We want to emphasize that giving back to the community or helping philanthropists and worthy causes is our priority,” says Yang.
The event will include appearances by some of Hollywood ’s top celebrities, a gourmet selection of foods and live entertainment and proceeds will go directly to the Gina Alexander Philanthropy Project. To purchase tickets and for further information, please log on to www.BlackCardCircleFoundation.org.
BLACK CARD CIRCLE FOUNDATION
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
KOBE BRYANT FAMILY FOUNDATION AND GINA ALEXANDER PHILANTHROPY PROJECTS and NIKE
“A Reception for Underprivileged Children”
MONDAY, July 5, 2010
6:00 pm – 10:00pm
Katsuya at the Americana
589 Americana Way, Glendale, CA. 91210
Ticket prices: $300, $150, $75
Available only at www.BlackCardCircleFoundation.org
No tickets available at the door. This is a pre-sale event.
It's official - Charice will be joining the cast of Glee next season!
The international star - who had to deny premature announcements that she will be on the hit show a few weeks ago - has confirmed that she will be harmonizing with TV's most popular show choir.
"Charice will have a recurring role. Multiple episodes," said Karen Moss, Charice's press agent in the U.S. The star's mother, Racquel Pempengco, also confirmed the good news via text.
Charice is currently in London. She has been performing all over the world and promoting her chart-topping album.
Earlier this month, no other than singing legend Patti Labelle called her "phenomenal" and "will be the biggest artist in the world."
Entertainment Weekly reports that Charice will be playing a "foreign exchange student" with killer vocals. She's expected to give Rachel, New Directions' resident diva, some competition!
Stay tuned for more Charice news - Glee's scripts will be written in July. More information about Charice's role will be available then.
Copyright © 2010 FilipinOnline.com. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Seeking children ages 9–12, with a maximum height of 58”, who can sing, dance and act to play the African lion cubs Simba and Nala. We encourage children of all backgrounds to attend. No performance experience necessary.
Be prepared to be taught the last verse of Just Can’t Wait to be King. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parents or guardians must remain at the audition site at all times. Be ready to wait.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
9:30am - Sign-in begins
10:00am - Auditions begin
11:00am - Sign-in ends
10501 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Casting children for the Broadway, Las Vegas and National Touring companies. Minimum weekly salary is $1,605. Payments subject to applicable state laws regarding trust funds for minors.
FOR AUDITION INFORMATION:
www.lionkingcasting.com • Audition hotline: (212) 827-5450
If you are unable to attend this audition, send a HEADSHOT and resume ASAP to: Binder Casting • Attn: The Lion King Kids 321 W. 44th Street • Suite 606 • New York, NY 10036 http://www.bindercasting.com/
Temporary Academic Position
Tagalog Language Lecturer
University of California, Riverside
The Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages at the University of California, Riverside invites applications for a part-time lecturer position in Tagalog language for 2010-2011 academic year. Candidates must have at least an M.A. degree in Tagalog, teaching experience at the college or university level, and a dynamic classroom presence. Duties include teaching five courses in beginning or advanced Tagalog, pending final funding. Salary per course is $4,959.56. The Fall Quarter begins September 23rd.
Please send cover letter, curriculum vitae, teaching evaluations, two or three letters of recommendation, and (optional but recommended) 20-minute VHS/DVD teaching demo to: Chair,
Tagalog Lecturer Search Committee, Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0321
Questions/inquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Review of applications will begin June 4, 2010; the position will remain open until filled. The successful candidate must show proof of employment eligibility. The University of California, Riverside, is an AA/EEO employer.
[File photo: Ginang Oliva teaching Filipino classes at Cerritos]
Thursday, June 10, 2010
The show will air June 17th on the Logo channel. The awards show, now in its third year, is about discovering today what will be trending next year. To that end, the New Now Next Awards gathers icons and stars-on-the-rise to crown the next "big things" in TV, music, film, print and new media long before they hit the mainstream.
Through its past discoveries, has proven it's one step ahead of the hype by calling out some of today's hottest pop culture phenoms long before they were on the mainstream radar. Highlights include Lady Gaga's first ever televised performance with a sizzling rendition of "Just Dance." Hit drama series "True Blood" received the "Best Show You're Not Watching" award months before its Emmy© nominations. Wendy Williams won "Best New Indulgence" before her daytime talk show "The Wendy Williams Show" went national. Leona Lewis received "The Kylie Award: Next International Crossover" as she was just emerging onto the U.S. music scene with her hit "Bleeding Love" and now she is a household name.
Niecy wore a black Oliver Tolentino stretchable beaded long gown for the red carpet arrival ceremonies and then changed into two other gowns for her on-air hosting duties. One was a champagne sequined gown and the other has been described as a “red cloud with shimmering, electric top.”
“Niecy told me she wanted a very dramatic entrance so I’ve tried to provide her with one,” Tolentino said.
Since launching his shop in the U.S., Tolentino has been making waves in Hollywood. His celebrity fans include Kimora Lee, who wore his dress on a cover shoot, Lea Salonga, and Patti Austin.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Watch out for this Filipino-American actress. I have a feeling she's going to have her big Hollywood moment soon.
Liza Lapira is best known for playing one of the leads in the 2008 film 21, and as the duplicitous agent who dared take on Agent Gibbs in NCIS. Her recent work include guest-starring in Joss Whedon's Dollhouse as Ivy, Topher's assistant.
She's one of the stars of a new Fox series, Mixed Signals.
Monday, May 31, 2010
NEW YORK - On Memorial Day millions of American families and friends remember and honor the sacrifices of their fallen warriors. Filipinos in the United States also fondly recall their fallen like World War II veteran Pacifico “Tatay” Timbol, who passed away on May 18.
Timbol was the longtime commander of the American Legion Douglas MacArthur Post in Woodside NYC with more than a dozen elderly Filipino veteran members. Over the past decade, Timbol and comrades were regular parade marchers in the Philippine Independence Day festivals on Madison Avenue. They often visited Capitol Hill in Washington to lobby for their equity benefits and family reunification bills.
Timbol's widow Rosalina and two daughters, Marilu and Carolyn, welcomed more than seventy guests during his May 21 farewell mass in a funeral home in their immigrant neighborhood.
According to the widow, "Tatay" Timbol was born Dec. 5, 1922 in Concepcion Tarlac. During World War II, Timbol was wounded in leg in battle and was held as a prisoner-of-war. There was also a movie script entitled "Kilabot ng Hapon" (Feared by the Japanese) featuring Timbol’s WWII exploits. Rosalina remembered their first meeting and feeding him as a guerrilla when he visited her family. They have seven children and “about eighteen grandchildren.” He worked after the war as a rail inspector for the Tutuban railroad and became a business man in real estate. One of his four sons is Edgardo Timbol, a current town mayor in Davao Del Norte province.
Father Neil Villaviza, a close friend and kabayan from Tarlac, officiated the mass. In his homily, Villaviza said, “Tatay has finally surrendered to God, even his sins. He has returned to his beginning.” Villariza asked his audience to celebrate Tatay’s life and legacy with the loving family.
Legionnaires: Rafael De Peralta, Jesus Novoa, Paul Hipolito, Elpidio Ramos, Mario Lumida and Sonny Sampayan paid their respects to their departed commander. Sampayan, a retired US Air Force Desert Storm veteran, tearfully eulogized Timbol’s dedication and caring leadership in serving his low-income comrades to win US government recognition and veterans pensions. In previous years, Timbol organized his team who were dressed in blue Legion satin jackets to proudly march several blocks on Madison Avenue to draw attention for their campaign during veteran day parades.
Eric Lachica, the executive director of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, an advocacy group based in Arlington Virginia, also eulogized Timbol’s optimism and untiring leadership. Lachica recalled his last phone call three weeks earlier with Timbol who was released from the hospital. Despite his weak voice and failing health caused by prostate cancer, Timbol pleaded for ACFV’s to continue to assist his elderly members get their pension applications approved and to pass their Filipino Veterans Family Reunification bills in Congress this year.
Lachica urged the audience to honor Timbol’s memory by continuing his fight to persuade New York Senator Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to champion the Filipino Veterans Family Reunification bill S. 2757 and H.R. 2412 now languishing in Congress. More than 20,000 sons and daughters of US citizen Filipino veterans have been waiting for more than 10 years with approved immigration petitions including several of Timbol’s children.
For details, visit the ACFV website: http://usfilvets.tripod.com or e-mail: email@example.com
American Coalition for Filipino Veterans
(This Memorial Day, let's also thank people like Eric Lachica for their commendable and tireless advocacy for the veterans. -Yong)
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
No, as you all know by now, she won't be on Glee.
Yesterday, I was one of those who rejoiced when a Philippine Daily Inquirer article reported that Charice Pempengco will be a Glee castmember. I really thought it was legit because the article quoted Charice's Philippine manager and the Inquirer is a well-respected publication.
"Yay!" We all said. I sent her U.S. manager an e-mail and contacted his office in Los Angeles to confirm. I also called Fox's publicity department. Haven't heard back from them. But it's all moot now, because Charice herself tweeted yesterday afternoon - hours after the Charice-on-Glee news has been posted even by non-Filipino media including Perez Hilton -that it's all just rumors, sadly.
I hope to interview Charice soon to get more info on what really happened. Glee or no Glee, her career is soaring (she's on Billboard 200 Albums at No. 8, after selling 43,000 copies of her debut album) and I hope to get details on her current and upcoming projects.
Anyway, last night's Glee was awesome and the Idina Menzel/Lea Michele number made me think how awesome it would be if Charice AND Lea Salonga get to duet on the show. Come one, Glee, make it happen!
Here's my most recent interview with Lea Salonga. I haven't posted it here; this was done end of April at East West Players Visionary Awards night, before the Philippine elections. Below is my report last year where EWP's leader credits Lea for inspiring other Asians to make it in the mainstream.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Do you carefully check the cash you receive from anyone? Especially if it's a big amount - you always should. An LA Times story recently exposed the frustrating experiences of a local man who said he got fake money when he cashed a money order at a US Post Office, of all places. Turns out, no place is safe when it comes to counterfeits.
So what do you do when you get counterfeit money? Contact the authorities IMMEDIATELY so it will be established that you are the victim (if you didn't know that the money you got was fake when you got it), not the one passing it off.
Here are the steps, per the US Secret Service, the government branch that deals with this issue.
1.) Do not return it to the passer.
2.) Delay the passer if possible.
3.) Observe the passer's description, as well as that of any companions, and the license plate numbers of any vehicles used.
4.) Contact your local police department or United States Secret Service field office. These numbers can be found on the inside front page of your local telephone directory.
5.) Write your initials and the date in the white border areas of the suspect note.
6.) Limit the handling of the note. Carefully place it in a protective covering, such as an envelope.
7.) Surrender the note or coin only to a properly identified police officer or a U.S. Secret Service special agent
Per Secret Service agent interviewed by the LA Times: "Anyone who receives questionable cash to stop by a bank and ask what the money pros have to say. If a bill is indeed counterfeit, contact the Secret Service and turn it in to authorities. Maybe they'll be able to find out where it came from, maybe not."
Using fake money is a felony - punishable by up to 20 years in prison - and you could be arrested if you get caught passing it off.
Yes, by surrendering the money you'll lose it but, hey, the alternative is prison so think carefully and do the right thing.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Below is what Atty Jemela Nettles, a kababayan immigration lawyer in LA, said about this question. Good luck, and I hope you'll be able to get your papers in order soon. -Yong
"A person can not 'ignore' a jury duty summons. Everyone summoned is required to register by phone within 5 days of receiving the summons, even if that person cannot serve. No. 1 question is: "I am a citizen of the United States". In your reader's case, the answer, of course is: NO. By reason of that answer, the person summoned is not qualified to serve. I am not personally aware of anyone being reported to ICE on jury duty summons matters. But who knows? In these turbulent immigration times, there are no iron-clad guarantees. Good luck to your reader."
About Atty Nettles:
Law Offices of JEMELA AGRAVIADOR-NETTLES 700 South Flower Street, Suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90017 Phn: 213/234-9591 Fax: 213/234-9589 Txt: 213/675-1281 www.jemelanettles.com
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Jason “Jazz” Araquel, 21, is alleging three years of sex gender humiliation, harassment, discrimination, intimidation, coercion, and emotional distress.
The case was filed today at the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Per Business Wire: "According to Ms. Araquel’s attorneys, Eric E. Castelblanco of the Los Angeles law firm of the Law Offices of Eric E. Castelblanco and Kelly Y. Chen of the Law Office of Kelly Y. Chen, the plaintiff is a pre-operative male-to-female transgender individual whose sexual status was known to store management at the time she was initially employed in a part-time capacity in November 2006. She subsequently became a full-time employee in March 2008 and worked there until September 1, 2009, when she was terminated.
Ms. Araquel alleges that she had repeatedly been subjected to “unfair treatment and humiliation.” This included having to work as a part-time employee for nearly a year-and-a-half during which she sought full-time work, only to witness others being continually hired from outside the store. She received full-time work only after threatening a lawsuit against Macy’s.
Castelblanco said that Ms. Araquel was ultimately terminated by Macy’s for alleged insubordination and use of foul language."
Thursday, May 13, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Make-Up and Model Like a Pro!”
LOS ANGELES (April 23, 2010) - Calling all make-up and model enthusiasts. ‘Tis the spring workshop season and an elite group of successful make-up artists, international model and photographers in Los Angeles and Asia will be having a one-day makeover workshop on May 15, Saturday at the famed film school IAFT (International Academy of Film and Television) at the chic and urban Abbott Kinney Rd in Venice Beach.
‘Make-up and model like a pro’ workshop is a combination of lecture and guided practical application in make-up and modeling. Hollywood based make-up artist, Eugene Conde, who has done several music videos, films and commercials, together with fashion make-up artists Paula Mauricio and Rod Alcover will share their beauty secrets in make-up application that will enhance your natural beauty. International model, Zara, who has done numerous TV and print ads all over Asia, will give tips on how to look best in front of the camera. There will be an after party capping the day’s workshop with VIP’s from different industries such as film, fashion and entertainment. All artists will personally handle everything; so expect to rub elbows with gorgeous models and modeling insights directly from the experts.
Boost your confidence, overcome shyness and identify your best angles, be with the pro! The workshop fee is $99 per person all inclusive of an IAFT Certificate of Completion, 5 professionally shot studio photos, a $50 worth beauty gift bag, and an after party ticket. So, mark your calendars!
This workshop is a collaboration of IAFT, FilAmNation, and M&P Design House and is sponsored by Red Glass Photography, Design K Studios, Terry’s Essence of Beauty, VuQo Premium Vodka, Good Buzz, and Human Heart Nature. For tickets please call Au at 949.331.8328 and Manny at 310.384.1586.
YONG's note: This event is organized by enterprising Fil-Ams, so come and support - and get gorgeous! - this Saturday.
See you there.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
LOS ANGELES -- She breezed into the interview room all-smiles and with none of the diva attitude that emerging stars seem to wear as a uniform in young Hollywood.
Possessing one of the most unique voices in the recording industry today, Allison Iraheta, American Idol season 8's raspy-voiced rocker, has won the respect and admiration of fans and music industry players alike since taking the Idol stage last year and finishing as the best-performing female contestant in one of the show's most memorable seasons.
With her fierce, emotionally-bare performances and sunny disposition off-stage, Iraheta is a refreshing talent, someone that stands out in an era of auto-tuned and manufactured performers.
Prone to speaking her mind and unwilling to be anyone but herself, the young singer is proud of how much creative control she was able to assert in making her debut album, "Just Like You".
"I had a lot of control, and I was definitely grateful for that. They sent me songs that they thought suited me, and I chose the ones that I could really relate to," she says. During recording, she also gave a lot of feedback on which tracks she thought worked best with her voice and which didn't.
Iraheta says being able to come out with a good debut album contributes to her long-term goal: longevity. "Ten years from now, hopefully, I'll still be singing and will be known for the music I write."
She recently made a stop in the Philippines for a promo tour. "It's my first trip abroad on my own. I'm 18! I'm so stoked," Iraheta said. She turned 18 on April 27, a week before performing to Manila.
In honor of her first international concert as a recording artist and her first trip abroad since turning 18, the singer shared her other firsts in an exclusive interview.
Yong Chavez: What was your first memory of singing?
Allison Iraheta: (At) La Curacao (laughs). It was called Dias delos Ninos. They closed the parking structure. It was a huge stage, and there was a bunch of people. They had me sing “Mi Ranchito, My Little Ranch.” I was 7, I think. I remember my dad recorded it and when we looked back at it, it was shaking so much, and we were like 'What's going on?' And he said, 'I was so nervous.' It was the first time for me and I will never forget it."
What's the first big mistake that you ever made?
Jeez. And this is anything? Eat wasabi. It was so gross! I can't handle it. No, thank you.
What was your first paycheck? How much was it?
Um, La Curacao (laughs). Actual first real good paycheck... Don't remember. The only thing I can remember was the $50 thousand for Telemundo (TV reality show) Quinceañera, the one that I won.
You were supposed to get a recording contract from them, too, right? Didn't happen?
To read the full article: Philippine News
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Here's an announcement/invitation from my reporting mothership, The Filipino Channel's Balitang America.
Bilang Overseas Filipinos, lahat po tayo ay may saloobin tungkol sa mga kandidato, sa halalan at sa bayan.
Ano ang inyong opinyon?
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
1. Record your comments on video, then upload to www.youtube.com. Keep it short (10 - 15 seconds is best!)
2. E-mail the youtube link to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Tell us your name, city, and state where you're from.
4. Watch yourself on Balitang America (TFC 5:05 PM PT/8:05 PM ET) or check www.balitangamerica.tv *
*Submissions may be edited for length.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The event is planned and operated by Remote Area Medical, a Volunteer 501(c)(3) charity providing free care to uninsured, underinsured, and indigent Individuals throughout the United States .
I'm working to get several interesting interviews - stories of Fil-Ams doing well and doing things that matter, as well as those whose lives can serve as inspirations and even lessons for the rest of us.
Also coming: more consumer-related posts and news you can use.
Most of these posts will be FilipinOnline exclusive. It's the only way I can do some of these stories - some of them I won't be able to do for TV or print due to various reasons. There are a few that I've pitched and hopefully will be approved for TV but now I won't stop pursuing a story if the show can't approve it. I understand that TV reaches the widest number of people and I would love for some of the stories to end up there but due to the show's budget constraints or editorial decisions (such as when a subject has already been featured in a short report by a colleague), that is just not possible at this time. This way, I can do more comprehensive stories and try to provide more information and hopefully inspire or caution kababayans as needed.
It won't be easy. Blogging doesn't pay - not for me, anyway. I don't have a sponsor; I've never really looked for one. Maybe soon, but for now, I'm okay with doing this because I feel it's important not because it will give me something back. This is on my bucket list: to be able to make a difference to someone's life even in the smallest way through the opportunities I've been given. I won't wait till it's too late to do this.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Oftentimes, because the show I do reports for (Balitang America on ABS-CBN's The Filipino Channel) is a news show, some of the other interesting soundbites are cut for time so I try to post these longer versions on YouTube when I can.
Other videos are available on my YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/YongChavez.
Cat Deeley of SYTYCD:
Twilight series' Billy Burke:
Harry Shum Jr. of Glee:
Adam Lambert & Kris Allen at AMA & PCA nomination announcements: