Pinoy Pride Weekend

 

Adidas Philippines Jacket (Photo by Ardith Ibanez Nishii)

Last weekend, I enjoyed back-to-back Filipino cultural events up in Seattle.  I was able to reconnect with old friends, experience some amazing art, support some important causes and express my Filipino pride. Special thanks to my hubby for being on double daddy daycare duty AND for driving Cedro to Tagalog class on Sunday without me.

I planned the trip around the Here Lies Love musical, written by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim about Imelda Marcos and the political climate in the 70s-80s in the Philippines.  The show stars some NYC friends (who I had met through my dear friend, Liz Casasola).  I thought the show was closing on June 4th, but it has been extended until June 18th at the Seattle Rep Theatre.  I highly recommend it.  It’s not just for Filipinos!  It is the most unique musical/theater performance you will experience.  Get your tickets now!

Then I found out that coincidentally a Broadway Barkada benefit concert was happening the following Monday night in Seattle.  It was the perfect excuse to have a mini reunion with friends and to support Fil-Am performing artists as well as The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project.

Liz Casasola and Brian Jose — 2 of the 3 Broadway Barkada co-founders at rehearsal, Seattle, WA

Liz Casasola and Brian Jose — Broadway Barkada co-founders at rehearsal // Seattle, WA // 04 June 2017

Filipino Festival Time with Liz in June 2017 Seattle

Filipino Festival Time with Liz — This was moments before a raven swept down and STOLE my Filipino BBQ stick that was sitting on my plate that I had put down on a table while I was buying a drink! // June 2017 Seattle

Going back to Cali #californiagirls #filipina #pinaypride #oldfriends #seattle #gno

A post shared by Ardith Ibañez Nishii (@ardiddy) on

Lately, I have been struggling with balancing Filipino culture and language exposure to my kids in our trilingual household. Those couple of days in Seattle were exactly what I needed to stay strong.  Mabuhay!

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Birthday Painting

paintingLast night, my NYC homegirls and my loving husband, Brian, surprised me BIG TIME .  For my birthday, they treated me to dinner and drinks at Pastis!!! (chosen for the French cuisine, the French fries, and the fact that it was the location for one of Brian’s “Sex and the City” episodes!)  Plus, Cyn was in town from Haiti!  IE: I was surrounded by my VIPeeps on my birthday!  The biggest surprise of all was the beautiful painting collaboration that they created for me.  Of course, it made me bawl my eyeballs out.  I was so touched.  I love my girls!  Here’s the museum-ready description that they put together to accompany it:

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Cynthia Casasola, Liz Casasola, Cori Kaylor, Anne Tamayo
“A Girl Named Ardith” (June 2009)
Acrylic on canvas
16×20 in.

Four friends of Ardith created this piece to celebrate her birthday.  They each drew something that symbolizes Ardith.  The circles represent eternity and the infinite gratitude and connection those feel for her.  The circles also represent halos for her angel-like qualities.  The heart represents Ardith’s big, open heart, her generosity of spirit, and the abundance of love she has to share.  The gem represents a rare find, as is her friendship to many.  The flowers represent Ardith’s beauty inside and out.  She sees and brings out the beauty in everyone and that makes her beautiful.  The two flowers represent Ardith and her sister, Arlene.  Arlene is an important part of Ardith’s life so the two flowers represent how close they are to each other.  The sun represents her sunny and radiant personality, as well as hailing from California.  It also represents a part of the Philippine flag, because she is a proud Filipino.  The ocean waves represent Ardith’s love of the islands and her dream of living there one day with her family and friends.

The tree that joins all the elements together represent Ardith’s roots — she represents stability, strength, and wiseness to her friends and family.  The tree also represents Ardith’s alma mater — Stanford.  It is also reminiscent of the Japanese culture, which she has embraced in her life.  The multitude of colors in the background represent Ardith’s many layers as a person as well as her depth.

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Awwwww!  Thanks for a birthday that I’ll never forget!

Me, Cyn, Cori, Anne, Liz

Me, Cyn, Cori, Anne, Liz

Pru also hung out with us to make the birthday celebration complete!

Pru also hung out with us to make the birthday celebration complete!

Last but not least, here I am with my boo, Brian.  I must've done something really good to have him in my life!

Last but not least, here I am with my boo, Brian. I must've done something really good to have him in my life!