My friend, Paulo Cabezas, owner (together with manager, Cara Lewis) of Cara and Cabezas Contemporary, an art gallery in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, had mentioned the name of Filipino American artist, Juniper Tangpuz, a year ago. Today, I am making the time to feature this talented professional to the Filipino communities worldwide. When you look at Juniper’s curated videos, you’ll understand what I’m talking about… Juniper, when you want to find out more about your roots, please holler! We’d love to show you around the new cultural landscape in America that your Filipino heritage influenced.
I remember exactly when I met Nonito “Flash” Donaire. It was at the special luncheon that the organizers of the 2007 Pistahan Festival in San Francisco. Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton introduced us. Oh yes, I got his email address at that time, too! Why do I remember this? It’s because when we chatted, he had crouched, semi-kneeling on the floor beside my seat while he shared his story about a recent fight wherein he had won. I look forward to getting more stories about “Flash” so I can include them in this news curation.
Nonito Donaire: April 10, 2011 Honoree – Assemblywoman Fiona Ma’s district representative, Genevieve Jopanda, presents a certificate of recognition to Nonito Donaire Jr., though the champion is attending to his schedule in Las Vegas, his family accepts the honor on his behalf. (Photo, courtesy of Raymond Virata)
I always say that it takes a village to raise a child — and the child that Filipino fusion fashion has raised is for a noble cause — that our indigenous weavers in the Philippines do not lose sight of their traditional weaving techniques for the sake of progress: leaving for overseas employment. Anthony Cruz Legarda, ever since I started volunteering with him through ARKITEKNIK, is a couture designer extraordinaire. There is a saying that “Kindred spirits find each other, no matter what.” We are definitely like-minded. I hope to make it to this fashion show fundraiser. Please join me.
Contact: Anthony Cruz Legarda
Mobile: (415) 577 â€“ 6985
A NIGHT OF HIGH FASHION AND CUISINE
December 2, 2010, San Francisco, CA — Filipino American high fashion makes a grand entrance, accompanied by sumptuous Filipino cuisine during the much-anticipated fashion show, “PiÃ±a Couture,” on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 6:00 PM at the Intramuros Music Hall, 101 Brentwood Drive, South San Francisco. Proceeds from this fundraiser fashion show event benefits the master weavers and artisans of the Philippines.
The philosophy of the Anthony Cruz Legarda Fashion House and Textile Design Studio is fusion eco-artwear that combines beautiful Filipino fabrics with modern American sensibility. Fabrics for the collection are hand-woven, embellished, and dyed with natural pigments by indigenous master weavers from the Philippines. This encourages development of eco-entrepreneurship and sustainable fashions by honoring traditional methodologies and fair trade with native artisans.
The signature textile is piÃ±a, a high-quality cloth hand-woven from natural pineapple fibers made only in the Philippines. Other variations in the fabric palette include Philippine silk, organic cotton, and other natural and eco-friendly fibers. The workmanship of the collection is a revival of the golden era of Philippine arts and culture. Each piece is opulently hand-woven, embroidered and beaded by Filipino master artisans in Kalibo, Lumban and Iloilo.
The emphasis is the research and development of new hand-woven textiles with organic fibers and natural dyes for the world market. These fabrics are then hand-embroidered and beaded by talented craftspeople from the Philippines. Motifs of the embellishments are a mÃ©lange of eastern and western iconography and patterns. Ultimately, these translucent and iridescent textiles feature the technical virtuosity of Filipino master weavers and artisans.
Donation pricing starts at $50.00. For tickets and more information, please contact: Anthony Cruz Legarda 415.577.6985 or
This flier can be forwarded easily to your friends. EMBED code is provided. The shortened URL is http://scr.bi/fOH8in
January 26, 2011
Today is my 25th anniversary of my arrival in the United States of America, having landed in “air-conditioned” San Francisco, California on January 26, 1985 — without any clue that I would be staying here. I flew in at that time to be my sister’s official family representative during her wedding. Our father had an untimely massive stroke in October 1985 — and aside from a pregnant younger sister, Noemi, who couldn’t travel, I was the only one who could fly to San Francisco at a moment’s notice.
Today is also the day that I announced to some of my mentors the following message: http://bit.ly/eYEhqZ (details are found in this link)
My sister, Myrna de Vera, is officially Vice-Mayor of Hercules, CA, thanks to fellow councilmember John Delgado’s nomination. Congratulations! Ang galing ng Pinay — and thank you to my special friends whose role as “villagers” in a “village raising a child” really helped out. Before you get too puzzled, those of you “who mentored me” know that I passed on many of your lessons, experiences, mistakes, and advice to my sister. From Alex E., Ben M., Rozita L., Yolanda S., Jose P., Loida N.L., Greg M., Mohinder M., Marily M., Jon M., Charito B., to Larry F. and other unmentioned villagers in the hundreds, thank you! Let’s keep building “the next generation of community advocates in an intergenerational environment” in every community worldwide! See the fruits of your labors (put on your headsets for the livestream!) at http://naffaar8.com/technology-in-empowerment-e-2010-naffaa-9th-live-on-ustream-on-nov-20/
I don’t know how the scheduling of mayorship works. Myrna, can you enlighten us with more information? If you are Vice-Mayor in 2011, then are you still scheduled to be Mayor in 2013 (one-year term)?
For those of you who are interested in Myrna’s platform (yes, she built her own political campaign website using a Google website template), here is her website: http://citizensformyrnadevera.com/
December 14, 2010
Tonight, my younger sister, Myrna Lardizabal de Vera, is officially sworn in as a Councilmember of the City of Hercules, California. My brother, David, and my sisters Noemi and Belen, and I won’t be around BUT we are there in spirit. We spent time with Myrna, campaigning and experiencing the thrill of knowing that she was most likely going to make it.
Spending more than a month in the San Francisco Bay Area at that time was definitely worth it because we had our first-ever sibling reunion in the United States. Although I was very busy with my volunteer work as one of the core organizers of the E-2010: 9th NaFFAA Empowerment Conference, I brought all my work to my sister’s dining table, quite stressed yet relieved that I was present and engaged in her campaign process. Yet, it was my two sisters based in the Philippines who stood with Myrna in the early mornings when they took to the streets and waved at all the commuters.
We may not always be together — but we did take the time to have our family photo taken at Sears Studio in Concord, then happily made our way to Seafood City to shop for my brother’s Filipino groceries.
Of course, Adin Martin Villanueva, who handles Seafood City’s Northern California events, and veteran politician (and our acknowledged Senior American Idol) Rudy Fernandez convinced Myrna to make a public service announcement about her candidacy.
Now that Myrna is officially going to be a Councilmember tonight, together with another Filipino American, John Delgado, I can now say that there are THREE Filipino Americans (out of five) Councilmembers in Hercules, California. Is this a record in American political history books — or what? Tonight is a celebration of sorts. Myrna is also the FIRST FILIPINA AMERICAN to become vice-mayor in 2013 and then, will be mayor in 2014. She told me that Hercules has a good history of electing Filipino mayors. Let see, is she going to be the 6th Filipino American mayor of Hercules in 2014?
When I had initially written Myrna’s press release announcing her “feelers” about running for office in July 2010, I had also intentionally not mentioned other Filipinos running for office. Perhaps my own intuition guided me (o.k., I’m giving myself a pat in the back especially since I had known about the reality of the Filipino vote when my mentor, Ben Menor, had ran for Councilmember in the City of San Jose in the early 1990′s but the Filipino vote was split with another dear friend; i.e. they both lost!).
Everyone ran on their own merit, thank goodness! John Delgado, 1/4th Filipino by ancestry, lives in Hercules and works in San Francisco. Ditto with my sister. They got to know each other very well during their individual campaigns. So, all’s well that ends well. No negative Filipino split vote here. We learned, didn’t we, Ben?
Myrna also had a hard-core, dedicated group of campaign volunteers. Her husband, Manuel de Vera, multi-tasked as the campaign manager. There are many people to thank BUT I think I’ll let my sister do the honors. All I know is that all my friends who have been my worthy companions in our political empowerment activities these past many years have had a hand in helping Myrna reach “her place on the table.”
We truly are like a “village that raised a child,” my friends.
Here is the “thank you” video that my sister, Noemi, and I worked on (truly, I produced it while Noemi was the creative) that was shown to appreciative volunteers during the post-election party at Myrna’s home on November 2, 2010. I remember the night so well because I had to prepare for the Giants victory parade the next morning, dragging my Manila-based sisters with me for — work-related stuff! (This really does happen in the life of a public relations consultant!)
I took some Flip videos during the street rallies (a tradition in Hercules, California). This is the first time I’m making them into a movie.
While I wait for the photos to arrive in my INBOX for my Filipino American press friends, I decided that I could, at the very least, share my unedited article that I had written for Zee Lifestyle a few months ago, while Myrna was still going through the graduation activities of her three sons. The final article was edited to fit the space requirements. Someone had taken the photo of Myrna from the magazine. Here it is.
“the unedited version”
By Lorna Lardizabal Dietz
For Zee Lifestyle Magazine
Originally published in June 2010
I thought that writing about my younger sister, Myrna Lardizabal de Vera, was going to be a â€œcakewalkâ€ — easy and sure. I was wrong. My first profile about my self-assured sibling was a relatively effortless assignment. The article had been published by a Filipino American newspaper five years ago, heralding Myrnaâ€™s debut into politics when she was sworn in as a Planning Commissioner in the City of Hercules, California.
The perfect opportunity arrived when one of Myrnaâ€™s friends, Jojo Soriano, asked me for information about Myrnaâ€™s impact on our family life in Cebu City — from Mabolo to Lahug. Eureka, my â€œwriterâ€™s blockâ€ disappeared after his request! I just needed to capture the essence of Myrnaâ€™s metamorphosis from the â€œdollhouseâ€ to the â€œpowerhouse.â€
The night Myrna was honored with a special recognition, Jojoâ€™s introduction took her by surprise.
â€œYou, however, were known as the â€˜Pretty One!â€™ — a label you struggled with, growing up, since your family values intellectual prowess rather than external beauty. But this compelled you to do and be more,â€ Jojo informed the audience.
Our parents, Joe P. Lardizabal of Sariaya, Quezon and Sally Veloso Lardizabal of Mandaue City, did not encourage descriptive labels for us during our teenage years. Our friends were relentless. I was considered the â€œFriendly One,â€ Noemi Dado was teased as the â€œSexy One,â€ and Belen Dofitas was praised as the â€œIntelligent One.â€
â€œTonight, your community and the Hercules Chamber of Commerce present you the SPECIAL RECOGNITION award. Weâ€™re simply saying to you, Myrna, that your fatherâ€™s beautiful spirit lives on through you. Your sister Lornaâ€™s mentoring and your creative response to tragedy have shaped you and made you the person who â€˜responds beautifullyâ€™ to lifeâ€™s circumstances; and we, too, recognize the healing effect of creativity amidst lifeâ€™s painful circumstances. Your generosity to help out in front of the public or behind the scenes, we recognize, as well as having an abundant mentality. Give and it keeps flowing through you. And this is why, Myrna, you are the Special Recognition award recipient.â€
â€œThis moment is a major milestone in my life. I feel I have arrived â€˜full circle,â€™â€ Myrna responded with a hint of validation. â€œYour award also means so much to me because you recognize me as a person — for all that I do, as Sylvia Serrano explained to me — not just as a woman OR not just as a Filipina.â€
It had been a very hectic week for the woman previously acknowledged as â€œThe Pretty One.â€ Three days before the event in Hercules, Myrna de Vera had been honored, together with nine other women from West Contra Costa County, at the John & Jean Knox Center for the Performing Arts in nearby San Pablo. The West Contra Costa branch of the American Association of University Women and the Contra Costa College established the on-going CCC National Womenâ€™s Program to show appreciation to some of the local women who were making a difference in their communities.
Supervisor John Gioia mentioned, â€œThe women on this stage are great role models for young women. They really seem to care about the community.â€
Myrna explained how she had garnered the accolade for her community development work. â€œI think that the City Council appreciated my contributions in the Planning Commission for the past five years, where I served as the Chair for a couple of years. I am currently the Vice-Chair of the Commission. In fact, we rotate leadership roles in the Commission. My community is showing its gratitude for my volunteer work as the treasurer of Filipino-Americans of Hercules, my Pastoral Council and Fundraising Advisory Board membership at St. Patrickâ€™s Catholic Church in Rodeo, California as well as my Chamber efforts, to name a few of the projects Iâ€™ve been involved in.â€
A few months before her â€œdouble honorsâ€ week, Myrna received a working award from the Filipina Womenâ€™s Network. As one of the â€œ100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the US for 2009,â€ Policy Makers & Visionaries category, my sister promises to â€œwomentorâ€ one or more US-based Filipina women for a top leadership role in government, industry, or non-profit.
â€œItâ€™s a very ordinary story,â€ Myrna insists, as she describes her transformational journey from being the shy, precocious child that Cebu raised to evolving as the confident, compassionate, and personable mommy citizen leader that the City of Hercules nurtured.
Since I am the oldest Lardizabal sibling, I recalled some little-known details. â€œWhen Myrna was about four years old in our first home in Mabolo, Cebu City, our brother, Oscar, would take her out on a ride inside his home-built car, which was really a chair placed upside-down on the floor. Our creativity and imagination were somewhat forced on us because we didnâ€™t have many toys to play with.â€
St. Theresaâ€™s College in Cebu City was Myrnaâ€™s educational environment until our mother transferred all of us to her alma mater, the University of the Philippines. After spending her junior and senior years at the UP Cebu High School, Myrna studied at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, and finished with a B.S. Architecture degree. As a licensed architect, she worked in Manila-based architectural firms before moving to the United States.
During her first year in San Francisco, Myrna met another new immigrant, her husband, Manuel â€œMannyâ€ de Vera, an Ateneo de Manila graduate with deep roots in Manila. During the first year of their marriage, Manny became an exclusive agent for Allstate Insurance in the Excelsior District, San Francisco. Myrna continued working for a couple of civil engineering companies where she learned CAD (computer-aided design). In the meantime, Mark was a bundle of joy for the first-time parents.
When the twins, Christian and Emmanuel, arrived three years later, Myrna opened her own Farmers insurance agency in Hercules. She enjoyed volunteering at the Hercules Chamber of Commerce. Although she was her customersâ€™ â€œpeace of mindâ€ specialist, Myrna closed shop to become a full-time mother in 1999.
Myrna listed her duties like badges of honor. â€œTreasurer and registrar of the Hercules-Pinole Cub Scouts. Team Mom for some soccer games and Little League baseball games. Faith Formation teacher once a week at St. Patrickâ€™s. Full-time chauffeur and chief cheerleader of my â€˜boys,â€™ taking them to their games as well as martial arts classes and tennis matches. I was contented to be my childrenâ€™s mommy citizen leader,â€ she noted.
Inspired by the resiliency of our family when faced with a series of deaths, Myrna found out that she could grieve and unleash her creative writing talent by attending a class at the Hercules Community Center. She discovered several books relating to ancient Filipino and Asian practices about dealing with water curses in the well-stocked Pinole Public Library. Myrna is still working on her first yet-to-be-published novel.
My sisterâ€™s desire for a simple family life was interjected with friendsâ€™ suggestions for her to be of service. Myrna said, â€œIt took a resident of Hercules four years to convince me to volunteer. My excuse was that the boys were still so young.â€
In 2005, Myrna decided to apply for the Planning Commission since she had the requisite credentials. Today, as a seasoned commissioner, Myrna de Vera is involved in approving various projects in their conceptual to final stages of planning.
â€œEmpty nestâ€ is a common word in the de Vera home after celebrating three graduation ceremonies. Mark graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.S. in Business Administration degree, Minor in Performing Arts and Media Studies. Christian and Emmanuel have just left De La Salle High School in Concord, California.
Myrna discloses the importance of the familyâ€™s next milestone. â€œMy hopes are that they discover their place in this world, have a positive impact, find true love, be safe and healthy, and be financially-independent. Right now, our utmost priority for the twins is preparing them for the universities they will enter during the Fall — after making such an important decision that can change oneâ€™s life.â€
In 2009, 10 years after she closed the doors of her Farmers Insurance agency, Myrna purchased an existing Allstate Insurance Agency and its â€œbook of businessâ€ in the busy corridor of 19th Avenue in the Sunset district, San Francisco. Her nascent entrepreneurial endeavors are starting to bear fruit.
Myrna de Veraâ€™s inner powerhouse of energy, talent, intellect, and experience is waiting of the next chapter of her life story.
The â€œCebuanaâ€ and â€œAmericanaâ€ — formerly known as The Pretty One — isnâ€™t ready to reveal her plans. My sister chose to share snippets of her acceptance speech when she was honored as â€˜Woman of the Yearâ€™ of Hercules, California during the West Contra Costa County event.
â€œI believe that every woman is a citizen leader. She listens, she facilitates, and she arbitrates. In my ideal world of writing women back into history, I envision more mothers stepping out of their comfort zones and finding a vocation in community development, such as a planning commission. A mommy citizen leader would know how to work with dissonant voices in her community — and help all stakeholders find the common ground they can work on.
As author Marianne Williamson wrote: â€˜We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.â€™
My message to all women and girls, wherever you are: â€˜Be fearless! Just do it! And shine! Thank you!â€™â€
About the blogger, Lorna Dietz (in case you’ve noticed, my ABOUT LORNA DIETZ section isn’t updated). You can check me out at http://www.linkedin.com/in/radiantview.
Somehow, I am finding the energy and the motivation to work on all three of my major projects: My new public relations consulting gig with GMA Network, Inc. through its flagship channels, GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, my “about-to-be revived insurance career” — where I get to recruit new insurance agents in 48 states — at http://YourInsuranceCareer.com (Team John Oei), and the E-2010: 9th NaFFAA Empowerment Conference this November 19-21, 2010.
For the past four months, I know I lost some more weight because I am TOO busy working on all three projects — one after the other. At least I now know (I’m new, remember?) that at GMA Pinoy TV / GMA Life TV, we have a very tight-knit, efficient team — especially after working on the “PNoy sa GMA Pinoy TV” interview. My heart goes out to my business partners in the insurance business, John and Vonny Oei, who make sure that I bring out the best of my talent and creativity in my marketing and copy-writing, aside from making sure that I take my vitamins.
Everything is as it should be.
I somehow found time to sleep — and best of all, I found time to pray, to meditate, and to reconnect with old friends and family. My husband can feel comfortable knowing that “Lorna has gotten her groove back!”
I’ve teamed up with my former mentor, Ben Menor, and a mutual colleague, Baylan Megino, to provide the first tier of conference management support before the rest of the NaFFAA leadership comes in and helps out. I’ve known for the longest time that this day was coming: the day we can open our doors and welcome everyone to the conference and shout: “Yippee! The YP’s are here — and they’re coming in strong!” (You have to see the slide show if you want to know what YP means.)
I am truly enjoying everything that I am doing in my personal and professional lives. I am unstoppable. I am unbeatable. My creative quotient is on over-drive (not the adrenalin!). My angels are with me every step of the way. Whenever I feel down and out, I allow my pity to wash over me BUT only for a few minutes. Then, I stand up and say to myself, “Lorna, it’s time to SHINE! Remember that you are using your gifts for the good — and that others will share their gifts with you.” Folks, it is AMAZING what a pep talk to yourself can do!
Although I had created a slide show invitation for the E-2010: 9th NaFFAA Empowerment Conference that has an upbeat, almost rhythmically-monotonous cadence, I created a second version — just for me — so whenever the going gets tough, the tough gets going… This conference is already a success because its mission is truly amazing.
ONE OF MY PROJECTS:
Here’s a thought: If more people can walk for a cause, then it would be so easy to be healthy and wise! Physical fitness + fundraising + fun always benefit our Filipino American communities. The way my friend, Mohinder Mann, explained it to me during an ALS Walk I joined last month with his team: “The best part is that you get to meet old and new friends — and walk at your pace.” Go ahead — and join the 2nd Annual Lakad Tulong in New Jersey this Sunday, October 17, 2010! Spread the word! (Exclusive TV Media Sponsor: GMA Pinoy TV)
I can also see many of our NaFFAA Region 1 colleagues are actively engaged in this event. Thanks to Roger Alama, Cora Reyes, Elsa Olsen, and Nena Kaufman (among the many, many volunteers) for supporting this wonderful “walk for a cause.”
Inquiries, please contact:
Nelsie Parrado, Board President â€“ 201.794.7321
Corazon Reyes, 2010 Lakad Tulong Coordinator â€“ 646.789.6788
Mark Habana, Public Relations Officer â€“ 201.841.5518
FEATURES FITNESS AND FUNDRAISING
LAKAD TULONG, the annual walkathon fundraiser coordinated by the Handang Tumulong Foundation, Inc. (HTFI), will be held on Sunday, October 17, 2010 in Jersey City. Marking the eventâ€™s second consecutive year, the walkathon will feature fitness, while raising funds to build and maintain a disaster relief fund for victims of natural calamities in the Philippines. This yearâ€™s theme is â€œWalk for health, Walk to Help.â€
In partnership with the Philippine Consulate General in New York (PCGNY), the foundation aims to surpass last yearâ€™s fundraising result of $12,000. To achieve this increased success, members of all communities and ages are encouraged to get involved as walkers, donors, sponsors and volunteers. Those who make the biggest impact will be recognized for their efforts. Forms and additional information are available on the organizationâ€™s website (see below).
â€œAs a volunteer member of the organizing committee last year, what became evident to me was how a fundraiser like this bridges gaps and connects people of all ages, backgrounds and professions,â€ commented Mark Habana, the public relations officer of the foundation. â€œThese disasters struck close to our hearts and it was inspiring to see a community step up to address them in an empowering and fun way.â€
The walkathon program will validate the importance of health and fitness. A pre-walk warm-up session, coordinated by a licensed physical trainer, is planned. Following the three-mile walk will be dance segments featuring hip hop artists and â€œDancing on the Square,â€ which is open to all attendees.
This yearâ€™s walkathon fundraiser will be held in Jersey City, NJ at 8:00 AM on Sunday, October 17, 2010. It is a 3-mile walk starting and ending at the City Hall of Jersey City at 280 Grove St.
All are welcome to support this initiative by raising funds, gathering pledges and participating in the walkathon as walkers or volunteers. Awards will be given to the organization that raises the most funds and the organization that brings the largest contingency of walkers. One individual will also be recognized for bringing in the most donations that day.
Registration is now open: $30 for adults, $10 for students with student IDs and seniors (age 70-80), free for seniors 80 years of age and older. Commemorative T-shirts will be available for the first 300 people that register on-site for the event. For sponsorship opportunities, please e-mail the foundation at [email protected] See the attached flyer for more details and contact information.
This event is sponsored by GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, Phil-Am Trading, Phil-Am Foodmart, Casa Victoria and Drs. Greg and Emelie Ongcapin.
ABOUT HANDANG TUMULONG FOUNDATION, INC.
The Handang Tumulong Foundation is a not-for-profit organization whose primary purpose is to raise funds for the needy in the Philippines, the USA and elsewhere around the world, especially the victims of natural disasters and catastrophes. The Handang Tumulong Disaster Relief Fund is a readiness project for the victims of recurrent calamities in the Philippines. For more information, contact the foundation at [email protected] or visit the website at www.handangtumulong.org.
ABOUT THE PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
The Philippine Consulate General in New York provides services and assistance to Filipino nationals residing in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. (www.pcgny.net)
Chicago, IL—Chicago-based, celebrity chef Ron Bilaro runs his first ever marathon on Sunday, October 10, 2010 for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga (meaning â€œto give careâ€), a global anti-poverty movement that was founded in the Philippines.
Bilaro, the host of the popular Fil-Am TV show, â€œLife…Pinoy Style,â€ which airs on Comcast and GMA Pinoy TV, is a long-time supporter of Gawad Kalinga. He has been preparing for the 26-mile Bank of America Chicago Marathon since March.
Running the marathon is not the first of Bilaroâ€™s efforts to raise funds for the poor in his native country. In recent years, he has exhibited his culinary talent by preparing sumptuous dishes for private dinners benefiting the movement.
Born and raised in the Philippines, Bilaro has found success in the United States. He is one of the top graduates of the Le Cordon Bleu Program of The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (now called the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts).
After schooling, he worked his way up in restaurants first as a line cook and then as pastry chef. He became sous chef to Art Smith, who was then Oprah Winfreyâ€™s executive chef. This opened doors for him as a much sought-after event planner and personal chef to prominent corporate personalities in the windy city and the west coast.
For a couple of years, Bilaro was also a food columnist for the Chicago Tribune, and published his first recipe book in 2009, and is now working on his second.
While the Fil-Am chef prepares expensive meals for his affluent clientele, he remembers the less fortunate back in his homeland, where 45% of the population lives on less than two dollars a day.
â€œNot many people know about the Philippines or the Filipinos or the poverty that is plaguing the country. I want to be able to help get the message out and somehow make a difference,â€ Bilaro says.
Gawad Kalinga builds homes and sets up livelihood, nutrition, health, and other programs for the poor, not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well, including Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Cambodia.
To make a pledge in support of Chef Bilaroâ€™s run, please go to: www.active.com/donate/GKHeroesRun2010/chefronforgk.
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Congratulations to GMA Network, Inc.!
The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) honored the winners of its Excellence in Multi-Cultural Marketing Awards (EMMA) during the 24th Annual NAMIC Conference, which took place on September 14-15, 2010 at the Hilton New York in Manhattan as part of Diversity Week. The awards competition showcased marketing efforts targeting one or more cultural segments including, but not limited to African American, Asian and Hispanic markets.
Among the winners honored that night was GMA Network, Inc. (a.k.a. Global Media Arts Network, Incorporated). with two awards:
1. Direct Mail, Second Place – for its COMCAST GMA LIFE TV Upsell Marketing Tactic, GMA Network, Inc.
2. Print, Second Place – COMCAST GMA LIFE TV Upsell Marketing Tactic, GMA Network, Inc.
For Filipinos worldwide who know GMA Network, Inc. through GMA International (GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV), GMA Network Inc.’s Corporate Purpose states: “We are the most respected, undisputed leader in the Philippine broadcast industry and the recognized media innovator and pacesetter in Asia.”
The awards were received by Grace Labaguis, GMA Network, Inc./GMA International Marketing Consultant, East Coast USA. GMA Network, Inc.’s presence in North America is through GMA International, in cable and satellite, as GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV.
Complete details about this year’s awardees can be found here: NAMIC Announces Winners of the 2010 Excellence in Multi-Cultural Marketing Awards
The EMMA competition recognizes the cable industry’s commitment to maintaining best practices, while developing creative, strategic and innovative approaches to ethnic-targeted marketing. The competition is comprised of two award categories: Marketing Tactics and Case Studies/Campaign. Entries submitted within each category were judged within two divisions: Cable Companies/Distributors and Networks/Industry Suppliers. A judging panel of independent industry experts evaluated entries and selected all winners based on sound and innovative strategy, strength of execution against the strategy, evaluations of strategy, implementation and results. Deviating from the traditional “best of” competition method, each entry was judged against a standard of excellence and not against other entrants, resulting in the potential for zero to multiple winners in each category.
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VIDEOS, courtesy of Luis Pedron
INFORMATION ABOUT GMA NETWORK, INC.