Katy Perry, Reggae-Style

Listened to 98.5 regularly while cruising the Maui highways. Their local stations always tip us off to the best mixes. And they’ve somehow managed to make me like Katy Perry! Unheard of.

Look At Me Now

She makes the song sound good.

Thumbs up for Rockabilly Busta Rhymes-rappin’ haole sista! This is what I call having fun.

By the Grace of Hip Hop

This is…oh my…I’m so…<speechless>

It reminds me of Paul Dateh, the hip-hop violinist, Jabbawockeez dancing to Singing in the Rain and Hoc from Quest Crew performing modern dance on America’s Got Talent. I am utterly inspired by the integration of two or more things that aren’t normally thought of being put together and making them work. True innovation, I say. Love it.

Source: Angry Asian Man

Waka Waka

Note to self: this song is an awesome pick-me-up. Like candy for your earholes.

*Sigh* I’d love to dance like Shakira some day.

Mood Mix

Listen to this…

…while peeping this:

Quickly and quietly the divide is widening /Between those in society surviving an economy nosediving/ And those that find their lives /In abject poverty./ A collage of impropriety./ Morally, culturally, spiritually, economically,/ Yes, undeniably the dichotomy is widening./ Nightly worldwide folks colliding violently./ Fighting over pride and historical rivalries./ Information spread virally/ Like a cyber link…/ Internet piracy/ Violating my privacy/ Always spying on me/ Playing virtual hide n seek/ My life on their microfiche/ The amount of foreclosed properties/ Rivaling those with occupancies./ Addicts spiraling out of control…/ To put it mildly/ They’re struggling with sobriety./ Government policies tolerating dishonesty./ And allowing its companies to hold/ Dynasties and monopolies./ What does it all mean?/ C’mon, people, talk to me!/ It’s like a time release capsule/ In the belly of a wild beast/ …Slowly digesting./ Meanwhile my son flutters in the comfort/ Of his mother’s stomach./ He knows nothing of the…world that’s coming./ Even on a planet…millions are suffering…/He will overcome it with love/ And overwhelming abundance./ So little brother keep shining./ Little sis keep smiling, keep striving,/ Keep climbing, keep trying,/ Keep rising./ Likewise I’ll keep writin’, keep rhyming,/ Keep stylin’, keep grinding,/ Keep minding my creativity/ Keep redefining our imagery/ Because now on every level/ More than ever/ We need variety.

Lyrics Born, The Divide is Widening, Variety Show Season Pho

Sometimes I just get in a mood.

My Funny Brown Pinay

Ahhhhhh. Such a relief to finally be able to go on vacation! I actually have time to just sit and do nothing which is quickly becoming a favorite pastime of mine: sitting in flannel pajamas, sippin’ on some green tea and vegging out on my laptop. Bliiiissss.

Coming from a Filipino family where performance is a time-honored tradition (come to any major Filipino celebration whether it’s a wedding or a cotillion and you will be inundated with contemporary and traditional music and dance numbers), my holidays were all about singing and dancing. I would’ve been more enthused about it if I weren’t still recuperating from the trek between LA and the Bay Area, hence my desire to veg out and do nothing.

But I’ve been looking for an excuse to post this video on Charmaine Clamor, an acclaimed Filipina jazz songstress and one of the founding members of JazzPhil-USA. I’m always on the lookout for influential individuals in the Filipino community, especially those who have something important to say about what it’s like to be Filipino. My Funny Brown Pinay, Clamor’s rendition of jazz classic My Funny Valentine, is a personal and historical account of how Clamor struggled with her flat nose and brown skin, an experience that is not unfamiliar to many Filipino brothers and sisters.

Thankfully, the trend of wanting to appear more White is fading (no pun intended). I remember when I was younger pinching my nose to see how it would look like if I had a straighter, Whiter nose. To be honest, I still kind of fret about my flat nose (only recently I began using nasal strips for snoring and was somewhat insulted when the strips didn’t fit comfortably over the bridge of my nose). The bathroom at my grandma’s house in Hawaii had small stockpiles of Eskinol, the papaya facial cleanser mentioned in Clamor’s song, that my family would use to lighten their skin (here’s an interesting debate about whitening products here),  and my cousins would avoid staying in the sun for long periods of time. But since then, I noticed that we’ve all come to embrace our skin color, and are actually proud the darker we become. I personally don’t try to be lighter or darker, but I notice that I do get a little annoyed when family members poke fun because I look lighter.

That poses an even more interesting question: what is the motivation for embracing our darker skin tone? Is it actually embracing our cultural identity or is it a desire to separate ourselves from the majority race? I bring up the latter because education of Filipino history has increased since my generation, which uncovers the history of western imperialism in the Philippines. And I don’t know about other Filipinos, but I remember that enraged me like no other! Parts of it sparked my interest in my dissertation study (the psychological experiences of Filipino mail-order brides in the United States), thus propelling me along my own, tumultuous cultural identity development.

Anyway, I plan to meet Charmaine Clamor one day to 1) thank her for releasing this anthem of Filipino beauty and to 2) write an issue on her for my future publication. It will become a reality.

Jumpin’ Geminiz!

I’m so in love with these two!!! Ever since their solid debut on America’s Best Dance Crew, I’ve been all about Beat Freakz. A B-girl crew that knows how to throw down. Plus, they’ve remade an old 90’s fave. I think Kris Kross was the first album I ever copped back in the day. It’s all love, baby.

Kris Kross’ll make ya…jump, jump!

Geminiz’ll make ya…jump, jump!

Fireworks’ll make ya…jump, jump!

Happy 4th y’all.

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