Daily Archives: August 6, 2008

FilAms representing top 3 groups in MTV dance show

by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress
LOS ANGELES – FilAms are represented in every finalist dance group on season 2 of MTV’s Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance crew, a hit competition reality show that pits dance crews from the nation against one another for $100,000 cash prize and a touring contract.
On a hot sunny day at Dodgers Stadium, one-by-one the groups took the field strutting their best dance moves in front of thousands of fans and you couldn’t help but notice that many members of the groups had at least one Filipino face.

It’s a sign of things to come, according to Angelito Casal of Super Cr3w.

“This is just the beginning for us,” he said before his dance crew performed.  “You’re going to see more brown faces. You’re going to see more Filipino faces in the media and all over entertainment. This is just the beginning. Get ready for it.”

It’s a sentiment that rival member of SoReal Cru agrees.

“This is dope [cool],” said Andrew Baterina. “If you see all the teams, there’s at least one Filipino on every team and on a lot of teams the majority of them are Filipino. It’s about time. We’re getting up there especially in the dancing scene.”

Filipinos are known for dancing. With its long array of traditional cultural dances like the tinikling, Pandanggo sa Ilaw and Maglalatik, that’s how many of this year’s FilAm contestants started to dance.

“It’s in our culture. We’re drawn to dance,” said Baterina.

Top 3

Fourteen dance crews started the competition …whittled down

While the Los Angeles – based Fanny Pak has only one FilAm on the team, Cara Horibe, the other two groups rosters are made up of FilAms.

The Las Vegas based dance crew, Super Cr3w, is a heavy favorite to win the competition. The crew boasts three Pinoys including Casal, RJ Puno, and Ronnie Abaldonado. Chris Gatdula, a member of the America’s Best Dance Crew season 1 winner Jabbawockeez, was a former member of Super Cr3w.

Puno said it was just exciting to be able to perform in front a famed venue like Dodger stadium.

“We’re really excited I don’t know what to say,” said Puno. “We’re just going to get down and dirty.”

Puno added that his team is prepared to make it to the finals.

“We need to attack and execute,” he said. “We’re going to put our hearts into every performance.”

The Houston, Texas-based SoReal Cru is a predominant FilAm group. Baterina, Brian Fucanan, Mark Fucanan, Ailyn Joy Isidro, Jackie Lautchang, and Brian Puspos are all FilAms. The other member Pat Lam is a Chinese American.

Baterina said people are always surprised to see Filipinos living in Texas.

“A lot of people think that Texas is cowboys and Indians and that we ride on horses but there’s a lot of Filipinos in Houston,” he said. “It’s a big community over there.”

Baterina said America’s Best Dance Crew has so far been an once-in-a-lifetime experience for everybody in the group.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “We’re always going to remember this for the rest of our lives.”

He added that they are working hard to win the competition.

“When we wake up, we practice, we use the bathroom, we sleep and it repeats over and over again,” he said. “It’s never ending. Going to the grocery store is free time for us.”

Puno of Super Cr3w said that if his dance crew wins he’d be showing his Pinoy pride for everybody to see on MTV.

“You know I have a big Phi-lippine flag in my room,” he said. “And if we win this [competition], I’m going to show it to everybody on the dance stage.”


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How a war started

by Malou Liwanag-Aguilar/AJPress
In 1914, in the early days of August, Germany mobilized seven armies. Their plan – which took years in strategic planning – was to sweep in a giant arc across Europe, and by the end of the month, descend on the heart of their longtime enemy, Paris.

The events of August 1914 were the opening salvos of what that generation called The Great War.  The next generation later had a reason to rename it World War I.  It is in this single month that Barbara Tuchman focused her Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Guns of August (1962).

A military history book, The Guns of August primarily describes the events of the first month of World War I.  From the declaration of war to the start of the Franco-British offensive that stopped the Germans to advance through France, the book also provides a brief history of the plans, strategies, world events and international sentiments prior to and during the war.

Although an immediate bestseller, the Pulitzer Prize nomination committee was unable to award it the prize for outstanding history.  This was because Joseph Pulitzer’s will specifically stated that the recipient of the prize for history must be a book on American history.  Instead, Tuchman was given the prize for general non-fiction.

Critics considered The Guns of August as one of Tuchman’s best works, but historians generally contest the thesis of the work – that the outcome of the war was decided during the first month, August.

In spite of questions about it, one of the readers of the book was US President John F. Kennedy, an amateur historian himself.  In fact, Kennedy even encouraged members of his cabinet to read The Guns of August, to help in dealing with the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.  Also, in Roger Donaldson’s film Thirteen Days, which showed a truthful dramatization of the crisis, Kennedy mentions the book and compares the situation with the chain of misjudgments that led to tragedy nearly 50 years earlier.


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