Good Guys Rule: Fans first saw Lou Diamond Phillips as singer Ritchie Valens in “La Bamba” and he’s still in demand after 25 years in the business. It’s no wonder since he’s very approachable, humble and multi-talented whether he’s singing and dancing on Broadway in “The King and I” or the chef extraordinaire on the Food Network’s Reality Series “Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off’ or interviewing military leaders as the host of the Military Channel’s series “An Officer and a Movie.” Philipp’s father, step father and uncles have performed military duty and Phillips himself has been a leading advocate for Filipino World War 2 Veterans/US Nationals who fought side by side with American soldiers and have been seeking proper recognition since the Rescission Act of 1946 stripped them of their benefits.“Let us celebrate these men while they still live…Nearly 60,000 men whose wives and children and grandchildren will know, without qualification, that their husbands and fathers were heroes,” he testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on June 13, 2002. “I take my hat off to Mr. Lou Diamond Phillips. Congress listens to him. He has been the most effective and visible Filipino advocate for veterans and he is directly responsible for them (Filipino WW2) getting healthcare from the V.A.,” says Rudy Asercion, Executive Director of the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Services Center in SF. Coming soon: The 1946 Recission Act Exhibit at the SF War Memorial Building from October 24-November 24th.
Love Child of Mad Max and Disco: Burning Man has been on my Bucket List for a decade now and it did not disappoint! During the day, people mill about (not too many naked people), look at art, attend seminars, but at dusk, the temporary city of 60,000 comes alive with bright lights, music, and fabulous outfits. Everyone is super nice, you can leave your wallets in your RV, and best of all… no Wi-Fi service so people can focus on just being present. Opulent Temple was one of the largest sound camps at Black Rock City once again headlined by DJ ICON, dubbed one of the leading ladies in the US dance music industry today. She started at the age of 16 and diligently rose through the SF underground ranks at a time when female DJs and promoters were few. The “Burning of the Man” on Saturday night is quick (as expected) but the display of all the art cars and music on the Playa after the Burn is “magical” and cannot be explained in words or photos…you just got to see it to believe it. Tips: bring a face mask, goggles, comfortable shoes, a bicycle, ear plugs (if you want to sleep) and stay off the trampoline if you weigh over 200 pounds.
Asians Got Talent: Kollaboration San Francisco’s 3rd annual talent showcase last weekend was impressive. Kollaboration was inspired by Paul “PK” Kim in Los Angeles 10 years ago and has spread across 14 cities. Witty and funny stand-up comedian “PK” himself was the Host/MC and was recently invited to the White House to be honored as a Champion of Change for Kollaboration and his nonprofit: Liberty in North Korea (www.linkglobal.org) bringing awareness to the plight and needs of North Korean refugees. The night showcased 8 very talented performances but the judges’ favorite, hands down, was crooner/guitarist Peter Chung (www.peterchungmusic.com), who quit his day job at the beginning of 2012 to pursue his passion and singing career full time. “I am honored to be chosen to play this year’s Kollaboration and I am amazed at my winning first place…..I have learned that is very important to realize that nothing anyone does is on their own. Everyone has people that have supported them and it is imperative to realize it AND thank the people that have helped you and are helping you support your dreams,” stated Peter.
The top 6 vote getters from the 14 Kollaboration cities will be flying to LA for the finale show. The winner of that competition will then be flown to Tokyo to attend the Nmet Asia Music Awards. The Audience Choice Award went to local Cal Berkeley singing “nerds” SoulFull who clearly enjoyed sing together. Clara Chung, winner of Kollaboration 2010, wowed the audience with her strong vocals and Indy sound and announced the start of her 19 city tour with David Choi in LA on September 29th (www.claracmusic.com). And my fellow guest judges: Jeremy Passion, singer-songwriter known for his soulful, melodic voice; vivacious and experienced dancer/choreographer Ellen Kim; and award winning NBC Bay Area News anchor Janelle Wang and I enjoyed all the talent including the Freestyle Dance Competitors who elicited “Gangnam Style” (122 million views today versus 2 million since my last column mention on Aug 8th http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0).
One Less Worry: “Many times I had to choose between diapers and food. It’s very frustrating. Thanks to [having donated diapers], I have one less worry and I can help my daughter grow in a healthier way.” - Lena, mother of a 10-month-old. During these tough fiscal times, safety net organizations are crucial to help struggling parents and kudos to award winning morning Anchor and “Tweet Queen” Kristen Sze (ABC7 News weekday mornings at 4:30 am, 7 am and 11 am) who signed on as an advisory council member of “Help a Mother Out “dedicated to increasing access to diapers for families in need. With an initial investment of $100, and primarily using the powerful, and free, social-networking and internet technologies at their disposal—such as Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Gmail, Google Apps, even Amazon.com—co founders Lisa Truong and Rachel Fudge mounted a campaign that generated over 15,000 diapers for families in need. The campaign lives on and has distributed 985,740 diapers since 2009 (www.helpamotherout.org). 3 ways to help: Host a diaper drive or fundraiser; donate diapers or make a financial gift; take the pledge and spread the word.
A Great SF Tradition: The Golden Gate Park Polo Fields was named as such because they used to play polo on this magnificent field. Polo started in Persia in the 5th century BC and later passed to other parts of Asian including the Indian continent and China where it was very popular during the Tang Dynasty. The Meakin’s have been hosting “Polo in the Park,” a day- long festival of polo and horse inspired fun, for the past 26 years benefitting The James S. Brady Therapeutic Riding Program. This year’s event is Sunday, September 30, 2012 from noon – 4 pm. Gates open at 11:30 am at Bercut Equitation Field in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. For more info: www.sfpolointhepark.com or (415) 221-9438.
YouTube of Month: Do you “beatbox?” Check out 2012 Miss World Philippines Queenierich Rehman, who was inspired by Justin Timberlake’s music video, Rock Your Body in 2003. The rest is history… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCZzFyTQwSI&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Don’t Gamble with your liver: The 5th Annual B a Hero Hep B Gala is set for Thursday, Sept. 27 at the InterContinental Hotel at 888 Howard St. Proceeds from the event will benefit the AsianWeek Foundation’s hepatitis B work. AsianWeek Foundation is a co-founder of Hep B Free and a steering committee member of Hep B Free San Francisco and Hep B Free Santa Clara. I’ll once again be emceeing with ABC 7 Anchor and Reporter Alan Wang. Buy your tickets online today at http://www.sfhepbfree.org.
Got Buzz? Email me at Fiona@FionaMa.com.