Submitted by Ruel Gaviola:
Check out the excellent biographical piece on Manny Pacquiao in Grantland by Rafe Bartholomew, author of the fantastic basketball book, Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin’ in Flip-Flops and the Philippines’ Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball.
Manny Pacquiao of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world is Filipino and the Filipino, Filipino American, and Asian American communities are excited about his fight against Floyd Mayweather this Saturday night.
When most Americans first heard of Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer’s life was presented as a fable. This is true whether they came across Pacquiao in the early 2000s, when he burst into the boxing mainstream with upsets of Lehlo Ledwaba and Marco Antonio Barrera, or whether they learned of him in 2008, when he invaded the actual mainstream with another upset, this time over Oscar De La Hoya. Even now, after years of being one of the highest-paid athletes in the world and just days away from facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the biggest fight of his career, Pacquiao will be introduced to casual fans as a boy who was born into intractable poverty in the southern Philippines, who started fighting professionally at age 16 to help support his mother and siblings, and who somehow slugged his way to the top of the sport.
Get the day's stories from 8Asians.com, delivered to your inbox every evening.
One of the reasons I love watching mixed martial arts, especially the female fighters, is how inspiring they are in how hard they work and what they sacrifice to be the best they can be. Watching Invicta FC events always gets my blood going, and on top of that, I love following individual fighters on their Instagrams so I can see what they’re eating, how they’re working out, and the progress they make on their bodies.
One of the Invicta fighters I follow is Raquel Pa’aluhi from Hawaii, and just seeing her selfie updates on her progress makes me do more push ups.
After a lively weigh-in where she and her opponent basically looked like they were about to start the fight early, Pa’aluhi won by unanimous decision.
This week has been amazing! We had one job and we got it done 🙌🏽 God is so good! Thank you @robertdrysdalemma, @deweycooper, @bmstultz and @omalzafitness for preparing me for battle. This is the best I've ever been and we are just getting started. My team, thank you!!! You see greatness in me and you push me to new heights every day in the gym. It is never an easy day or an easy round. Thank you. Last but not least, my amazing sponsors! I keep just a handful because these are people that believed in me when I had absolutely nothing but a dollar and a dream. Thank you Ali'i, Gursh & Roman. @dangerousclique @romanamaguin @nuevesalon @athorganics @realwaterhawaii My team over at Suckerpunch… We are just getting started 🙂 @suckerpunchent @bryanhamper @shuhirata
Pa’aluhi’s turning out to be one of Invicta’s top stars, so looking forward to seeing her next fight!
So I was a bit pre-occupied at the time and did not blog when the news that Din Tai Fung was opening a new restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area at San Jose’s Westfield Valley Fair Mall – slated for opening this October 2015. Now there is news that Din Tai Fung will be opening *another* restaurant in Southern California:
“It’s quite the coup for the seriously popular dumpling house, which started in Arcadia before branching out into bigger (and in some cases glitzier) digs elsewhere. The Santa Anita location is a welcome SGV return, and will hopefully help to quell the lines at the original location by giving people the ability to head for a larger space just blocks away. That is, assuming the original Arcadia rooms remain, given the proximity to the new location (management has no official word on if they’ll stay at this time).”
I had read elsewhere that Din Tai Fung would be closing one of its two restaurants (which were apparently right next to each other) in Arcadia, California. In any case, I can’t wait to visit the San Jose restaurant in October and the SGV (San Gabriel Valley) restaurant in the future.
After the Gundam giant robot excursion to Odaiba’s Diver City Mall, we took about a 10-15 minute walk to the nearest Tokyo Water Bus stop. Basically, it’s an boat on water that takes tourists to key points of interest. Unlike the average ferry, these “water buses” are designed for optimal enjoyment of the view, so that getting there is definitely more than half the fun.
The outside of the boat is all windows, and there’s even an observation deck on the top. It’s low to the water, so you really see every splash and whirl as you fly over it, even on top of the deck, which is actually the roof of the boat.
The story revolves around two siblings: Sora and Shiro. The 17 year-old brother and a 11 year-old sister carry an infamous reputation in the gaming world as 『 』(yes it is a blank). They live as gamer NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) and have secluded themselves from reality as they considered it “a crappy game”. One day, after beating a mysterious challenger, they receive an offer: To be reborn into a new world. Tired of their own world, they accept his offer and are summoned to the fantasy land of Disboard by Tet where everything is decided by games. Now Sora and Shiro have begun their journey in redeeming the weak human race of Imanity and conquering the world to challenge Tet for his title of One True God.
Story: This anime served as great entertainment with it’s continuous suspense from each game that 『 』and their opponent create. It creates a rich fantasy mythology that slowly deepens as we learn more about the show. Although there were multiple comedic parts that were a bit sexual, when it gets serious, it gets Serious. It also cleverly references other animes such as Ace Attorney, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Hyouka and etc. The way 『 』 use their unqiue strengths to cover each other’s weakness and win games is a joy to watch. Also Episode 12 expertly finished up an arc while leaving a bit in order to prepare for the next one.
Characters: What held the show together was 『 』. Sora who has crafty intuition and overwhelming insight but is a bit sexual deprived, and Shiro with outstanding intelligence but is a little easy-going. The other characters who joined during the season also seem a bit interesting. Stephnie Dola, the granddaughter of the late king of Imanity, is a good asset to Sora and Shiro but is sometimes a victim of their bullying. Although she has low experience winning in games, she handles her position in politics with a lair’s smile and is more grounded in reality than her friends.
Art: The art is simply stunning. It has one of the most eye-catching and unique art styles in the season. It’s also a bit refreshing to see a bright color palette once in a while.
Continue Reading »
8Asians is proud to be a community co-presenter of Love Arcadia at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF). As a reader of 8Asians, please enjoy a discount to this and other films using the code: 8ASIANS15
Monday, April 27 at 7:00 PM (Downtown Independent, DTLA)
Wednesday, April 29 at 9:15 PM (Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo)
Happy-go-lucky Jake Chen (Anthony Ma) puts both heart and soul into perfecting his signature blends of sweet, creamy, and chewy goodness at his parents’ modest boba tea shop located in a sleepy corner plaza of sunny and suburban Arcadia, CA in the heart of the “626” (an area code symbolic of the material home of recent highly educated and solidly middle class Chinese immigrants from Taiwan and the Mainland). This influx of high rolling investors and consumers as new additions to the Chinese diaspora in the U.S. and specifically here in the West Coast, plays a central critical role in the plot of this big hearted, Taiwanese American romantic comedy-drama. As home-grown as it comes, director Lawrence Gan and screenwriter Theresa Chiu concoct this affable micro indie as both love letter to celebrate the continued, strong bonds of family and friendship in the contemporary Chinese American community and as a signpost of the burgeoning powerhouse, immigrant community planting roots and asserting economic and cultural influences in CA and the U.S.
Jake’s family business faces extinction when Joanna Lee (Michelle Huang), the precocious, no holds barred, uptight daughter of a Taiwanese real estate developer, steps into his shop to avail herself of wi-fi and simultaneously, sweeps him off his feet by her candor and confidence. Her presence sets off a chain reaction in Jake’s daily life forcing him to question his own direction. Should he go off to college like his peers and/or pursue his dream of becoming a chef? His contented attachment to home and hearth, his kind, supportive BFFs, Louie (Arvin Lee) and Samantha (Lana McKissack), and his little patch in the Shire may not be enough anymore. Can love conquer his Hobbit-like ways and teach him a thing or two about growing up and realizing his full potential?
The sugar rush comes to a head at Louie’s big brother’s wedding, where we get served cake, Shakespearian dramatics of a best man’s speech, and resolutions to long-standing family and community grievances. Transformation, reconciliation, “Arcadian Sunrise,” and maybe, a “Phoenix Surprise” await you. It is truly sweets to the sweet.
Cast & Crew
Executive Producer: Theresa Chiu, Matt Dau, Josh Owen
Producer: Lawrence Gan, Dave Grabarek
Director: Lawrence Gan
Assistant Director: Roxy Shih
Writer: Theresa Chiu
Director of Photography: Daniel Cotroneo
Associate Producer: Arthur Wu
Production Designer: Arthur Wu
Music Composer: Kiran Gupta
Editor: Lawrence Gan
Cast: Garrett Bales, Lee Chen, Lon Fiala, James Gan, Michelle Huang, Clint Jung, George Kerr, Cici Lau, Arvin Lee, Hong Lei, Anthony Ma, Lana McKissack, Richard Ouyang, Bryan Truong, Vladimir Velasco, Dominic Zhai
Costume Designer: Pei-Lynn Juang
Visual Effects: James Brady
Sound: Andy Edelman, John Rhoads
8Asians is proud to be a community co-presenter of KTown Cowboys at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF). As a reader of 8Asians, please enjoy a discount to this film using the code: KC15 or other films with 8ASIANS15
Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 PM (Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo)
Wednesday, April 29 at 9:15 PM (CGV Cinemas 1, KTown)
What a difference five years makes: back in 2010, music video director and online content developer Daniel Park brought his brilliantly rude, crass, and homemade web series KTOWN COWBOYS to the Film Festival as a self-contained featurette, with one crucial detail — he stitched together all but the last of eight episodes to create a work that would deliver to him the Festival’s Special Jury Award for Best First Feature, and compelled viewers to visit the film’s website to discover how the whole story ended. A brilliant example of transmedia, certainly, but an experience that screamed out for a fuller, more complete story. So, working with many of the principals from the web series, director Park returned to K-Town, so to speak, and revisited much of the same terrain covered in that earlier, heralded work. The result, also named KTOWN COWBOYS, should not be confused with the earlier feature: taking place months before the events of the web series, this new iteration of the adventures of Jason (Shane Yoon), Sunny (Sunn Wee), Peter (Peter Jae), Danny (Danny Cho), and Robby (Bobby Choy, aka folk guitarist Big Phony) is even more of a comedy caper than the earlier effort, and renders obsolete Chris Chan Lee’s classic YELLOW (Festival 1997), acknowledged as the progenitor of modern Korean American cinema.
Jason, a reluctant heir and caretaker to the family-run business, is in trouble as this new story opens: no thanks to an embezzlement scheme perpetrated by a mid-level manager (a deliciously twisted cameo by comedian Steve Byrne), the company teeters on the brink of collapse. As Jason’s straight-laced uncle and v-e-r-y loopy and self-absorbed cousin Mindy (Angie Kim) fly in from Seoul to confront Jason, his buddies confront problems of their own. Sunny, an aspiring entrepreneur, chafes at the prospect of inheriting the family-owned liquor store. Hot-headed macho-man Peter toils by day at the Fashion Institute, where none of his fellow buddies can see his nascent talents as a dress designer. Danny, a struggling comic, wonders if his big break will ever come. And Robby, a Korean adoptee ensconced in a mind-numbingly suburban reality, begins to get in touch with his Koreanness and contemplates a return to the motherland to find his roots. Together, the five join forces with Mindy to seek out a solution to Jason’s problems — a trek that will take them through Koreatown’s designer hotels, noraebangs, K-BBQ hangouts, afterhours drinking spots, and lounges.
If the aforementioned YELLOW served as a travelogue through Los Angeles’ Koreatown for the uninitiated, then KTOWN COWBOYS uses a roadmap that can’t be found in any MapQuest or Google Earth app. Indeed, today’s K-Town, a “vertical city” that mimics South Korea’s own high-rise profile, is cosmopolitan, urbane, and trendy in its own right. And with such sharply-dress denizens as Jason and crew, not to mention a soundtrack inspired by state-of-the-art K-Pop, who’s to say that KTOWN COWBOYS isn’t a case of the hallyu wave breaking back across the Pacific, to where it all started? Director Park has updated and contemporized the K-Town story while — with a huge assist from screenwriters Danny Cho and Brian Chung — judiciously makes sure not to throw everything and the kitchen sink into the whole mix. Gotta save something for the next story, you know…
Cast & Crew
Executive Producer: Sam Chi, Ken Jeong
Producer: Gregory Bishop, Brian Chung, Daniel Sollinger
Director: Daniel Park
Writer: Danny Cho
Cast: Steve Byrne, Danny Cho, Bobby Choy, Peter Jae, Young Chul Kim, Daniel Dae Kim, Simon Rhee, Eric Roberts, Sunn Wee, Shane Yoon
Tonight’s Invicta FC 12 card will feature some APIA fighters.
Finally, although not of APIA heritage, Roxanne Modafferi (17-11) fought for about a decade out of Japan as one of women’s MMA’s trailblazers before moving to Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas to reinvent her game. She’ll be having a rematch with Vanessa Porto (17-6).
The event is available on UFC Fight Pass.
I’m not a Verizon Wireless subscriber, though after seeing Verizon’s commercials, sometimes I wonder if I should be, since with my current carrier, my 4G LTE data coverage often sucks and am amazed that I get switched to 3G – and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area! But generally, Verizon is usually more expensive (but I guess you get what you pay for…)
If you follow the mobile handset industry, you know that the Samsung Galaxy S6 was announced a few months ago and will be released soon. The woman in the commercial (who definitely caught my eye – who’s the actress?) loves her Galaxy S6 and loves her Verizon coverage.
With the current price wars going on started by T-Mobile, matched by Sprint and being aggressively defended by AT&T and also Verizon, it’s not a surprise that Verizon is trying to compete on quality of service rather than on price – something Verizon has always done since its very successful “Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign with “Test Man.“
8Asians is working with McDonald’s to give away free tickets for you and a guest to watch the highly anticipated documentary Twinsters at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on April 25, 2015, AND reconnect over a shared meal at McDonald’s.
In February 2013, Anaïs Bordier, a French fashion student living in London, stumbled upon a YouTube video featuring Samantha Futerman, an actress in Los Angeles, and was struck by their uncanny resemblance. After discovering they were born on the same day in Busan, Korea and both put up for adoption, Anaïs reached out to Samantha via Facebook. In Twinsters, we follow Samantha and Anaïs’ journey into sisterhood, witnessing everything from their first meeting, to their first trip back to Korea where their separation took place.
Twinsters explores the meaning of family and connection through a story that would have been impossible just 10 years ago without the creation of YouTube and Facebook.
Twinsters at LAAPFF 2015
Date/Time: April 25, 2015 @5PM
Location: Aratani Theater, 244 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Winners will be provided with a “Lovin’ Meal on Us” (via a $15 value Arch Card) to share a meal with a loved one at McDonald’s. If you cannot attend the screening, you can have a still win a “Lovin’ Meal on Us” at McDonald’s.
For more information, check out the Official Rules. This giveaway closes soon, so hurry up!
Ok, ok… you want a chance to win? Read on!
8Asians is proud to be a community co-presenter of Everything Before Us at the 2015 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF). As a reader of 8Asians, please enjoy a discount using the following codes: Opening VIP Discount Code: OPENINGVIP15, Opening Discount Code: OPENING15, all films 8ASIANS15
Thursday, April 23 at 5:30 PM (Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo)
Thursday, April 23 at 7:00 PM (Aratani Theatre, Little Tokyo)
Many exciting and wondrous things have happened to Wesley Chan, Ted Fu, and Philip Wang in the decade since they produced the cheeky comedy short YELLOW FEVER — the trio formed an independent production company, Wong Fu Productions; established a beachhead on the then-nascent streaming web destination YouTube; formed, with hip-hop/electropop artists Far East Movement the International Secret Agents (ISA) as a means of bringing together Asian American talents from the online universe and their adoring audiences; and built an ongoing legacy as pioneers (and game-changers) in Asian Pacific American cinema. As their latest endeavor, EVERYTHING BEFORE US, makes clear, the guys still feel they have things to prove. Having cornered the market in the online cinema realm, the trio (recently augmented to include producer Christine Chen and screenwriter/actor Christopher Dinh Nguyen) had always set their sights on producing a proper feature-length theatrical narrative. Not that they haven’t accomplished even that lofty goal: their 2006 A MOMENT WITH YOU, completed as their informal graduation thesis from UC San Diego, helped jump-start the trio’s online subscriber base as it was taken to college campuses throughout the country. These days, though, Wesley, Ted and Philip downplay the film’s impact, insisting that their growth as artists and filmmakers have set the stage for the “proper” creation of a full-length feature. Developed and incubated through Visual Communications’ VC Film Development Fund and augmented by a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, EVERYTHING BEFORE US finds Wong Fu, and indeed its very own legion of fans and supporters, at an important artistic crossroads.
High schoolers Seth (Brandon Soo Hoo) and Haley (Victoria Park) are a happy, loving couple, but with the two headed to different colleges, the strain of a long-distance relationship is beginning to show in an increasing series of petty arguments and misunderstandings. Meanwhile, thirty-something professionals Ben (Aaron Yoo) and Sara (Brittany Ishibashi) are already a former couple who want nothing more to do with each other. Their opposing career paths — Ben, an artist, seeks employment at a design firm; Sara, a barista, dreams of opening her own coffee shop — have left them no time for each other. Yet the travails of both couples do not go unobserved. Their relationship activities are documented and monitored by the Department of Emotional Integrity (DEI), a DMV-styled agency that issues a relationship score to keep individuals accountable for their relationship activity and choices. The score is public for all to see, and affects various aspects of their daily lives. As the changing relationship dynamics of the two couples are monitored by a world-weary DEI case worker (Randall Park), a series of occurrences and the emergence of darker secrets threaten to unsettle the lives that both couples have attempted to build with, and apart from, each other. Can they conduct their lives in accordance with the DEI? Or will the restrictive nature of the agency undermine their aspirations?
EVERYTHING BEFORE US has much to say about today’s society as well as the legion of netizens who follow Chan, Fu, and Wang. The film — co-written with Nguyen — comments the very social network that have greatly benefitted Wong Fu and provided them an audience. That network, in the guise of the emotional integrity score, promotes classism, favoritism, a touch of racism, and even…state terrorism? That’s pretty disturbing stuff coming from a trio best known for extolling the virtues of “(f)unemployment,” among other things. EVERYTHING BEFORE US finds Wesley, Ted, and Philip a full decade removed from frivolous endeavors as YELLOW FEVER. The three have adult things on their minds. And so too, we suspect, do their audience.
Cast & Crew
Producer: Wesley Chan, Christine Chen, Chris Dinh, Ted Fu, Clay Reed, Philip Wang
Director: Wesley Chan, Philip Wang
Screenplay: Wesley Chan, Chris Dinh, Philip Wang
Cinematographer: Wesley Chan, Ted Chung
Editor: Taylor Chan, Philip Wang
Cast: Stephen A. Chang, Parvesh Cheena, Brittany Ishibashi, Ki Hong Lee, Victoria Park, Randall Park, Chris Riedell, Katie Savoy, Brandon Soo Hoo, Joanna Sotomura, Aaron Yoo
Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats, and Ramen by Abby Denson is a light read for anyone who wants a quick and easy intro to travel in Japan. It’s more readable than your run of the mill travel guides because it’s presented in a more narrative style. The book is basically a graphic novel compilation of the author’s travel experiences in Japan organize by travel tips, sights to see, and activities. It sprinkles in some mini-Japanese lessons here and there, which is pretty cool.
I personally enjoyed reading through it, as I just had a trip in Japan and also have traveled to the country throughout my life on various occasions, and I felt like I was reliving my vacation reading through it.
My main complaint would be that the art is done more kid-cartoonish to sort of fit that light and playful tone of the whole book. This may work for some people and makes the book more accessible to younger readers, but I would say the art was the aspect of the book that I didn’t really enjoy. I’m not an artist myself, so I’m speaking purely from a lay consumer’s perspective, but I especially cringed at the parts about the beauty of gardens, temples, tatami rooms, and events like hanami (cherry blossom viewing) that were portrayed with a kid-style drawing.
I’ll be putting this in my classroom library, and I think it would be a good way to inspire my students to document their trips and experiences, especially the ones who are artistically inclined.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Cool Japan Guide for this review.