We're back with another featured contributor for quarter one. I'd like to introduced Mark Inchoco, straight outta Riverside, CA:
"This is a short film by the Finnish artist Marika Maijala to her film, "We Are in the Same Boat," with my film score. The score is personal to me because it expresses how I feel to be a Pilipinx American composer, which has always meant "invention."
Make sure to peep the snippet in this post, then head over to YouTube to watch the full video:
Our first contribution is from Houston's own @k.e.trinidad:
Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! The year is slowly coming to an end, and I wanted to take the time to reflect on the happenings of the year. Going in to 2020, I had big plans for Pilipinx-American Stories, and while those things came to fruition, many of these things that were planned went into turbo mode. 2020 also came with a lot of unplanned blessings. I'm grateful to have had the energy to work on a lot of these projects, and collaborations with other creators, throughout the year. Let's take a look at some of the biggest parts of the year.
I can't talk about the successes of 2020 without talking about "Stories of Pilipinx-Americans: Understanding the Process."
"Stories of Pilipinx-Americans: Understanding the Process," is the second project in the Pilipinx-American Stories written series. The concept of this book was conceived on June 1st of 2019, and was released exactly a year later. When I started putting together this project, I knew it was going to be big, and probably way more dense than the first project. For a the latter half of 2019 and the first of 2020, I spent a good chunk of my time interviewing the contributors and transcribing the interviews, all while trying to balance the other aspects of my life. I thought this project was going to be more stressful, but it took an unexpected turn.
It's weird to say this, but COVID-19 helped speed up the process of putting this together. I was furloughed for that first bit of the quarantine, so I put a lot of my energy into stitching the book together, eventually finishing the transcriptions and edits a month in advance. I honestly thought I was going to be spending my time, until the last minute putting this together. I'm super grateful that I was able to unintentionally speed of the process. After finishing up, I spent a majority of the month, prior to the release date, prepping all the marketing material, this website, and the launch event.
Accompanying the book, we had a launch event on zoom, and it was one of the first events I've ever hosted for one of my projects. The energy that came from this event was amazing, and I feel so lucky to have so much support from loved ones from all across the country. For those that were able to attend, thank you for all the love. Peep the photos below:
The second biggest thing that came from 2020 is the Pilipinx-American Stories Podcast. This was something I had in mind for a while. I wanted to use it as extension of the previous written projects to continue the conversations I was having, and to also make them more accessible to the public. I thought this project was going to come later down the line, but like the written project, COVID-19 helped speed up the process of putting it together. Now, here we are two seasons, 20 episodes, and over 500 listens later.
The podcast has only been alive for six months, and I can already see how much it's grown. It started as a series of free-form conversations, and as more minds got into the mix, it became something that was more organized. Every conversation that was had on this podcast contributed to the overall growth, and thank you the people that took time to share their stories with the world. The podcast is currently on break, but will be back in 2021, so make sure to stay tuned.
And the last big thing I want to mention is the Pilipinx-American Stories blog that is right before your eyes. This was the last official thing to post content before the year ends. While it is still in the works, I have a lot of big plans for this blog. Possibly acting as a host for other writers to feature their stories. Who knows? There's an endless amount of possibilities with this blog, so we'll see what happens when the new year comes.
2020 was a content heavy year for the Pilipinx-American Stories project in terms of content. A lot of time and energy was put into these projects. And while I spent a lot of this blog talking about our content, I can't forget about the other pieces of work that I collaborated with my friends on. These included the Mental Health Kwentuhan with Reclaiming Filipinx Identity, the podcast feature with the Genuinely Genel Podcast, and the hosting opportunity with Pilipino American Unity for Progress and NAFCON USA. Not to mention the events that I've attended throughout the year, including UniPro Texas's Lumikha and SD Filipino Cinema's Sine Kwento. Below are the links and photos from these features and travels:
Mukbang with Reclaiming Filipinx Identity:
Genuinely Genel Podcast Link:
UniPro/NAFCON Livestream Fundraiser:
This year has been amazing. I never would have thought that so much could've happened amidst a pandemic. Despite all the obstacles that have come our way, we've managed to thrive, come on top, and support where support is needed. Since we're on the topic of support, I wanted thank you all again for all the love and support that this project received over the past year. You've seen our biggest triumphs, and some of our roughest processes. Again, I'm thankful for all of that.
I'm not too sure what 2021 has in store for the Pilipinx-American Stories Project, but I can guarantee that a lot of that things are in the works. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on all social media throughout next year. Till then, I wish y'all a great New Years Eve. Peace and Love -Alfredo
Disney UK recently released a new advertisement with the intention of marketing a new Mickey Mouse plush, with part of the proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The advertisement was also accompanied by a song marketed for download, with part of the proceeds also going to charity. The main thing I want to focus on is the Mickey Mouse plush.
The unique thing about the plush is the parol (Filipinx Christmas ornament) on its foot, which also helps drives the plot of the ad. The video is down below for those that haven't watched it yet
The main characters for this ad are the lola (Tagalog word for grandmother) and the apo (Tagalog for grandchild). The ad starts off with a younger version of the lola receiving the Mickey plush as a gift. The opening scene, which I assume takes place in the Philippines, shows many hanging parols in the lola's neighborhood.
Fast forwarding in time, we are now at the present day and the young woman (lola) is now officially a grandmother. She is seen spending Christmas over the course of many years with her apo; they are seen making parols throughout the ad. By the time the apo is around a teenager or young adult, she feels too old, or is too busy to create parols with her lola. We are then introduced to this feeling of sadness, as we see the apo walking past the window, where she sees her lola crying and embracing the Mickey plush. This scene ends with the lola dropping the Mickey plush in dramatic fashion, indicating a feeling of lost hope or love.
The ad picks back up when the apo arrives back home and sees the Mickey plush abandoned. She also sees a series of pictures of her lola holding the plush over the years. She comes up with the idea of filling the house with parols. The scene transitions to the lola descending down the stairs to see the house decorated, bringing her back to her days as a child in the Philippines. The ad ends with the apo presenting a gift which happens to be the old Mickey plush, bringing the ad's plot full circle.
The ad garnered a lot of praise on social media. It brought out the memories of many people in the diaspora, and reminded them of their own connection to their grandparents. It brought out a lot of emotions, and even tugged on my heart strings.
In my opinion, Disney did real well with incorporating the themes of family and culture in this 3-minute ad. I felt like the elements that were included in each key frame did their job with bringing the ad to its center. The non-key frames, AKA the frames where the plush and/or parols were not present, also did a good job with not taking away from the overarching message. Overall, I enjoyed this ad, and I applaud Disney for creating this.