2009 Philippine Independence Day Parade – NYC

Cori, Anne, Cory Aquino (aka Liz Casasola), & Ardith @ NYC Filipino Day 2009

Cori, Anne, Cory Aquino (aka Liz Casasola), & Ardith (Photo courtesy of Cori Kaylor)

Today was absolute chaos at the Philippine Independence Day Parade and Festival here in NYC!  Chaotic in both good and bad ways… It’s always an amazing feeling to be surrounded by THOUSANDS of Filipinos who are out celebrating their Pinoy Pride.  But it was SO packed that it was almost impossible to get food!  The one booth we chose even ran out of rice!  Needless to say, the crowd was appalled!  “Can you ee-MAHHHhh-jeen!?!”  Oh well…  It was still well worth the 45-minute wait for our 2 skewers of BBQ pork and the high price of my hair stinking like sweat and smokey, barbecued meat.

While I may be proud to be Filipino, I had no intention of showing up at the festival until the very end… Only our homegirl, Liz Casasola, could drag us out of bed before noon on a weekend!  She was scheduled to walk with fellow cast members for “Imelda – The Musical” which will open in NYC in September 2009.  She’ll play the role of Cory Aquino!…  She wisely gave us a 12:15pm time to show up at the parade.  So, Brian and I ran up to Madison Park by 12:30pm which meant we were in time for the REAL appearance of Liz in the parade at 2:15pm.  (I should’ve known she was gonna use the Filipino Time trick on us!)  Of course, we love Liz and we’re so proud of her!  You should all buy your Imelda tickets today!

All in all, it was a fun, sunny day in NYC hanging with the girls and bumping into old friends in the crowd.  Before we left, someone stopped and pointed to the stage and asked me, “What’s going on here?”  Being the big Filipino dork that I am, I shouted, “IT’S FILIPINO DAY!”  One day, I hope no one will have to wonder.  People will just KNOW that it’s Filipino Day.  Watch out!


Barkada(ko) Store Grand Opening!!!

Barkada(ko) Store Grand Opening!!!

This is my first attempt @ posting a blog from my phone! Stayed up late last night testing the new store with Ging (pronounced “Jing”, aka my sister, Arlene) so we haven’t had a chance to blog… Now here I am on the bus back into the city after working all day on MallyBeauty.com…


It has been 5 years since we started Barkada(ko) & 4 since our last appearance selling our shirts at Filipino festivals across the country. We took a little break and now we’re back! Our goal is to liquidate our inventory of first edition shirts so we can pave the way for the next projects. We’re really excited about using bigcartel.com as our web store thanks to a blog post we stumbled upon in MyModernMet.com! Since we’re a very small sis-n-sis operation, this will help out tremendously in fulfilling orders & managing our inventory! YAY!

Thanks again to family, friends, & newfound fans for your love and support over the years!!! We couldn’t have done this without you! But thanks most of all to my lil sis! She painstakingly counted, recounted, triplechecked & polybagged each remaining shirt — getting everything ready for the launch!!! All in all, she spearheaded this whole effort. She’s my inspiration! Can’t wait to live in the same city! It’s been almost 20 years!!!

Celebrating Filipino Pride Worldwide!!!

Hotel Toiletry Temptation

Toiletries at London Hotel, NYC

Toiletries at London Hotel, NYC

Brian and I did a video shoot for a press event in the Penthouse suite at the London Hotel in NYC.  The suite was jigganormous!  Two floors!!!  2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (which were as big as the bedrooms), huge living room, and a kitchen.   And there was a spectacular view of the Hudson.

(We were there to trail celebrity makeup artist, Mally Roncal, who was doing the event as a spokesperson for Q-tips.  Who woulda thunk that Q-tips was so ballin’?) Anyway…  we used one of the bathrooms as our charging station and storage for all our equipment.  You might think that a bathroom would be GHE—TTO.  But goddamn!  That bathroom felt like it was bigger than our apartment!  All day long we were going in and out of this bathroom to replenish batteries or download photos/videos.  Each time, I kept on eyeing the toiletries!

I had to fight every Filipino fiber in my body and soul NOT to dump all this loot into my shoulder bag!  These bottles were HUGE for hotel toiletries!  In the end, I resisted the temptation…  After all, I don’t have any room (or need) for them.  I know.  So un-Filipino of me.

New Tea Kettle

OXO Tea Kettle

Waiting for the bus today, I decided to make a quick stop at the “Gourmet Chef” store to pick up a much-needed tea kettle.  (My husband, Brian, and I had trashed my little 2-cup bachelorette one by melting the plastic spout cover and sealing the damn thing shut.)  Yesterday, I had already dutifully scoped it out and later did a few price comparisons online.  OXO was definitely the way to go!  Coupon in hand, I marched in to make full use of my 5 precious minutes before the bus’s arrival…  I grabbed it ready to go but then was shocked by the price tag.  $59.99!!!!???  What the..?  For some reason, I had $39.99 burned into my brain.  Wishful thinking, I guess.  I was so disappointed.  Was it still worth it?

After some tedious questions and inspection by the cashier and her manager, I did it!  I scored an extra 10% off in addition to my 20% off coupon!  Yippppeeeeee!  Just when I thought I was causing a scene and feeling ghetto while I was at it…  (I did in fact look like a bag lady today.)  The deal was done!  “Sure,” just like that, the manager just ordered the cashier to do it.  I didn’t even have to try very hard!

As I stood in line for the bus, I was beaming ear to ear.  I normally would never have tried to do that.  I don’t know what possessed me.  Probably tax time and the need to save every damn dime….  It was so Filipino of me!!!!  I should call my mom and tell her.