Archive for the Stuff Category

Leap OFTEN. Stick the Landing.

Posted in Stuff on February 26, 2011 by Leonard

Almost EXACTLY five years ago, I happened into the dusty basement of Toronto’s Masonic Temple — the future home of MTV Canada.  It was a brand new start, a chance at reinvigorating my career and the opportunity to be a part of something big, shiny and new.

For five years, I worked hard, did some really cool things and racked up some cool stories.  Who else can say they’ve sat down to interview Ice-T, Ice Cube, Akon… Chuck D and Snoop Dogg?

Who else can say they pissed off Ludacris in an interview?

Who else has a clip on Youtube of them teaching Justin Bieber how to operate a live web chat?

I had fun telling people where I worked and for the most part it was great.  I worked with great people, it was high profile, I didn’t have to explain ‘where I worked’ after telling people where I worked.  People just knew.  After a while, something started tugging inside of me.

It’s hard to think back and isolate the exact moment when you realize that it’s time to move on. What was it that made you think “I need to do something else”?  Maybe we get bored.  Or don’t feel challenged.  Or worse yet, we’ve begun to hate our jobs and the people we work with.  Or for. Maybe we get on the wrong side of the office politics.  Maybe we can’t understand why the promotion train never seems to stop at our station.  Then again, maybe we’ve just lost our passion.

Maybe, it’s none of those things.  Maybe at some point… it’s just time.

Have you ever gotten to a point where you are so efficient at what you do that you yourself become invisible?  Taken for granted and assumed to always be there, never to leave?  You’re at the top of your game, delivering each and every day to the point that its no longer rewarded nor noticed.  They see you as ‘a lifer’.  “Oh, he’ll never leave.”  You feel undervalued, underpaid and under-appreciated.  The worse thing is, you’ve done it to yourself.  You’re a victim of your own success.  But, how do you fix things when the only thing that is wrong is that you’re too good at getting it right?

You leap.

You stand up.  Stand up outside of your comfort zone, swing your arms for momentum, throw your weight upward and forward… and you leap.  Leaps of faith don’t only have to come when you’ve been pushed to a cliff by circumstance.

Perhaps the platforms from which we leap are places that we have to look for with purpose.  It’s almost like identifying a mountain peak to conquer.  You point to it and decide to scale it.  It doesn’t “just happen”.  Opportunities in life are the same.  They don’t just happen cosmically.  We create the opportunity.  Like portals between dimensions, we have to look for the jump.  We jump into the unknown, because it is that feeling — the feeling of uncertainty, the weightlessness of chance and ultimately the power that comes at that split-second moment in the air when you convert falling into flying.  If you’re not scared, maybe you’re not truly living life.

Five years later, almost to the day… I’ll be walking, head held high — out of the place I walked into five years earlier, scared and uncertain if I made the right choice.  If there is one thing that life is teaching me, its that we need to leap and leap often.  We need to reach upwards and forwards — not once but many, many times.  We need to make it a habit.

Five years later, almost to the day… I’ll walk in to a new place.  I’ll be armed with five years of experience under my belt, ready to make ’em burn with regret at the last place because I’m just so excellent and they lost me.  Time to make em’ hurt and want me back.  Time to take pride in the fact that I made the choice of where I want to be, what I want to be doing and what I’m truly worth… all by taking my own leap.

The truth is, I’ll be just as scared as I was five years earlier, only this time it’s by design.  This is exactly how flying is supposed to feel.

I’m excited to be in the air again.  Time to stick that landing.

p.s. – Thank you Mr. Dressup and Friendly Giant.

My Coca Cola tastes Sour Today

Posted in Stuff with tags , , on February 4, 2008 by Leonard

by Leonard Cervantes

Today in Manila, they’ll celebrate the commemoration of the 109th anniversary of the first shot that triggered the Philippine-American War, which left at least 600,000 Filipinos dead.

Author and historian Ambeth Ocampo says the Philippine-American War is an event that young Filipinos should know about. Continue reading

We’re the Best! In Women’s Golf!

Posted in Stuff on January 23, 2008 by Leonard

We’re #1 The ladies are elated that their Filipino flag golf shirts are a hit.

by Leonard Cervantes

It’s always nice to see Filipinos do well in sports. Makes me feel better about not having shit-all to be excited about during the Olympics (even Jamaica has a bobsled team).

Imagine my pleasure at hearing that the Filipino tandem of Dorothy Delasin and Jennifer Rosales had won the Women’s World Cup of Golf, dedicating the win to Filipinos all over the world. Finally, we win at a sport that focuses on finesse and a softer touch — by women, no less. Continue reading

Renaldo Lapuz is your BRAWDER til the end of time.

Posted in Stuff on January 17, 2008 by Leonard

by Leonard Cervantes

Since the beginning, American Idol has seen its share of Filipino contestants. Mostly a steaming arroz caldo pot of also-rans and broken dreams, it’s hard to even remember some of their names today (Camile Velasco, Sway Penala, Jasmine Trias and Canada’s own Mikey Bustos).

He IS your brawder.
Last night, in one fell swoop, Filipinos all over the world finally got their wish – an Idol contestant that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression: Renaldo Lapuz. Continue reading

The PinoyLife Guide to Not Being a Kuya

Posted in Stuff on January 11, 2008 by Leonard

This actually wasn’t a BrownScene article, but an article that appeared on Pinoylife.com, which was a California-based site that really paved the way for our own online presence.

Sometimes, I wonder if the Editor, Moonie Lantion is still out there doing his thing. Moonie, if you are, holler at us.

Meanwhile, I post this article by Moonie out of nostalgia:

The Pinoylife Guide to Not Being a Kuya
by Moonie Lantion for Pinoylife.com

Disclaimer: This is not to be taken too seriously. It is not meant to put down Pinays but just to poke fun at the fact that most guys I know have been called Kuya and hated it.

I’ll make this real clear. This article is geared towards men. It is in no way meant to appease any women because it will reveal truths that are unspoken but very well known in the minds of most men. I write this to hopefully educate and enlighten my fellow Pinoy brothers in that they may minimize the amount of times they are called the evil word… KUYA. Continue reading

Tarantino’s Barong is so Wrong

Posted in Bone to Pick, Entertainment, Stuff on January 3, 2008 by Leonard

by Leonard Cervantes

This news is sort of old, but worth posting anyway.Quentin’s Ba-Wrong

The Golden Globes are coming up and the latest news is that they are trying to negotiate to let the show go on via striking an independent deal with writers.

Bigger news to me was that Quentin Tarantino took to the podium before the holidays to annouce the Golden Globe noms — and he was wearing a barong tagalog. The day after, Defamer blog posted comments about Tarantino’s messy un-kept look.

All I gotta say is, don’t blame the barong! We all know Quentin Tarantino isn’t the most ‘kept’ man on the planet. In fact, aside from being a brilliant co-opter (thief) of Asian and other cult film influences, he actually nauseates me. I do have to give him props for rocking the barong though… it’s an unappreciated work of fashion art that deserves to be recognized for its elegance as formal attire.

If you look at the photos online, you can easily tell that Quentin got the barong look all wrong. I should know, I wore one at my wedding and instituted a barong style code for the men — one of the smartest moves ever, garnering compliments from all our guests. For Quentin Tarantino and any other Hollywood fashionista thinking of sporting our national garb, here are a few do’s and don’ts on wearing the Barong Tagalog:

DO

1. Do Wear a Shirt Underneath – No one likes nipplage showing beneath those pina fibers. Plus, your nipples don’t like rubbing embroidered patterns (do they?) Continue reading

BSmag – Circa 2001

Posted in Stuff on January 2, 2008 by Leonard

by Leonard Cervantes

In 2001, we at BrownScene Magazine were at our most optimistic time. We were in stores, the website was picking up steam and BrownScene local events were a vital part of the city’s cultural landscape.

About that point in time, a student named Steve Shaffer contacted us for an interview in the Ryerson Review of Journalism. For us, it was another sign that our dream to make our magazine could actually come to fruition.

As you might know, BrownScene ceased to exist barely a year after this article was published. For me, it’s real interesting to read this and look back at what we were trying to accomplish as an ethnic publication. Also, it’s crazy how much the publishing game has changed so much since then with the advent of the blogosphere.

I hope this blog site gives back what the bitter reality of print publishing costs took away from us roughly 7 years ago. It feels real good to be writing again, and I think that’s the reason we started BrownScene in the first place.

Here’s the article:

Uphill Struggle
by Steve Shaffer
Ryerson Review of Journalism
Spring 2001

The founders of the eyetalian wanted to show their community in all its complexity. But commercial realities meant that they could never push their struggling magazine into the black.

To a passerby on Yonge Street, the scene could have been an Italian wedding. The Sunday crowd included not only swanky 20-somethings sporting designer Italian jackets, but also their proud parents, who clutched envelopes stuffed with money. Continue reading