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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fil-Canadian rapper aims for Hollywood stardom

HOLLYWOOD, California - Filipino-Canadian talent D-Pryde gladly took the mic to perform a short rap on-the-spot because he says his Filipina mom will be happy to see him on TFC.
The rapper/singer/songwriter has been making a name in Canada where he grew up.
Fans say his talent is a mix of Justin Bieber and Eminem.
D-Pryde's YouTube channel has over 57 million views, a testament to his growing fanbase.
Because of this, he's been getting some attention from the Hollywood music industry.
D-Pryde says it's not easy for an Asian rapper to enter the business, but he works hard to prove his worth.
On his own, the rapper was able to build his following through social media.
“I used to feel discriminated. In the first stages of my career, a lot of people were hating on it, but now hip-hop has gotten very accepting towards everybody outside of the black culture. But on the label side, a lot of people are really scared and cautious as to putting an Asian artist out, they don't know how to market them. But I made so much of my own market, that it's not impossible,” he said.
At 19, D-Pryde has gone through a lot. Growing up, he endured bullying. But instead of backing down, he used those experiences as an inspiration to create, hoping that others facing similar difficulties will be able to relate to his music.
“My dad walked out on me when I was little so I relate to those kids, too,” he said.
Though he says it was tough when his father left them to live in the Philippines, it is his mother, Rosalie Teves, who supported his music dream.
“My main focus is to make life better for myself and make my mom proud,” he said.
D-Pryde recently signed a deal with music publisher BMG Chrysalis US and went to Los Angeles to record a six-song EP.

Meet the Filipina nurse honored by Obama

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  Filipina nurse Menchu Sanchez will get a rare vantage view of President Obama’s State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning, Manila time).
Sanchez, a nurse at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, will sit at the balcony as one of the special guests of First Lady Michelle Obama.
She is being hailed as one of the heroes of the Hurricane Sandy disaster that devastated large parts of New York and New Jersey last year.
She devised a plan to transport 20 at-risk infants at the Langone Medical Center to intensive care units around the city.  She organized the nurses and doctors to carefully carry the babies down eight flights of stairs with only cell phones to light the way.  
Even as Menchu’s own home was flooding, she thought only of protecting the babies in her care, the White House said.  
Menchu was born, raised, and educated in the Philippines and she immigrated to the United States in the 1980s.  
She has worked as a nurse in New York for more than 25 years, and has been at NYU since 2010.  
Menchu currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children, both of whom are in college.
The other guests of the First Lady include Alan Aleman, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico City.
In high school, Alan watched his friends come of age – driving around town with their new licenses and earning some extra cash from their summer jobs at the mall, knowing that his status prevented him from those activities.
But when he heard about news that the Obama Administration was going to provide Deferred Action for undocumented youth like him to emerge from the shadows, he was one of the first to sign up, the White House said.
Alan is in his second year at the College of Southern Nevada.  He’s studying to become a doctor and he hopes to join the Air Force.  Alan is currently working at Hermandad Mexicana, where he is in charge of final review for DACA applications.  
Also with the First Lady are Cleopatra and Nathaniel Pendleton, whose daughter Hadiya was murdered on January 29, 2013, when she was shot and killed in Harsh Park on Chicago’s South Side. 
Hadiya had participated in President Obama’s public inaugural celebration on January 21, 2013.  The honor student and band majorette at King College Prep High School has become another symbol of the victims of gun violence in the country.  
Mrs. Obama attended Hadiya’s memorial service last Saturday.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Amanpulo among travel website's best island resorts

LONDON, United Kingdom - Owning your own idyllic island may be out of reach financially, but online boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith have come up with 10 exotic locales where you can feel as though you're the king of your own small world.
Reuters has not endorsed this list:
1. Romantic retreats
Matangi Private Island Resort, Fiji Islands, Fiji
Go all Robinson Crusoe with a hint of romance at Matangi Private Island Resort in Fiji where some of the 12 villas nestle in the tops of the trees (others hug the golden beach). Add a serene seaside spa and some dreamy diving and you have all the elements for a chic castaway stay. You definitely won't need to fend for yourself though: the kitchen crew can pack a picnic basket for the two of you to enjoy on heavenly Horseshoe Bay.
2. Eco indulgence
Song Saa Private Island, Koh Rong Islands, Cambodia
Australians Rory and Melita Hunter built Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia both to sustain the local community and provide important reef restoration and education programmes. So far, so green. If you then imagine rustic bures with minimal luxury, you would be so, so wrong. Thatch and stone villas, all with private pools, are scattered over the water and in the jungle. And with just 27 on twin private isles, discretion is assured. Snorkel on the reef, have a seafood feast under the stars or let expert hands soothe you at Ila Spa Sanctuary.
3. Underwater adventure
Amanpulo, Pamalican Island, Philippines
Finding a secluded patch of pure white sand isn't hard at Amanpulo boutique hotel on private Pamalican Island. Of the 40 rooms and 11 villas, 29 are Beach Casitas just steps from the water where reefs harbour jewel-bright coral and flitting fish. Inspired? The on-site PADI dive centre offers introductory dives, certification courses and trips to nearby dive sites where you can spy stingrays, splash with sea turtles and even find Nemo. For those who like to combine water with other liquids, the Kawayan Bar is a pontoon where you can lounge with a cocktail between bouts of duck-diving.
4. Ultimate escape
Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort, Tuamotus, French Polynesia
Barefoot luxury doesn't come much better than this sun-kissed coral atoll, especially for those whose partners are obsessed with keeping in touch with work/friends/the rest of the world. At just-remote-enough, 37-room Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort in the Tuamotus the internet connection is sketchy. There'll be no excuses for not sprawling on the rose-pink sand, lounging by the lagoon at Tianoa Bar with a piña colada or gliding down the stairs of your Premium Overwater Bungalow into the warm, clear water. This being French Polynesia, the open-air Poreho Restaurant has a menu infused with Gallic classics and local specialties.
5. A-list antics
Parrot Cay by Como, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean
Maybe you'll spot Demi Moore downward dogging at the Shambala spa or Paul McCartney reading by the pool because celebrities love Parrot Cay by Como hotel in the Caribbean, the only property on a sprawling thousand-acre island. Even if you don't, you'll feel star struck at this elegant 70-room sanctuary where whitewashed villas have draped four-posters and the infinity pool's sunloungers overlook the beach. The ultimate in luxury though are the six Parrot Cay Estates, ranging from three to 11 bedrooms, situated away from the main resort and owned by the likes of Bruce Willis and Donna Karan.
6. Hiding out
Cayo Espanto, San Pedro, Belize
A tiny speck of land in the Caribbean Ocean off San Pedro is home to seven uber-private villas at Cayo Espanto retreat in Belize. Each is hidden within palm trees with a private pool (except Casa Ventana, which is set out at sea on its own pontoon), hammock for day-long siestas and a 'houseman' who can chase up just about anything your castaway heart desires. Chef Patrick Houghton is a genius with a culinary wish-list and meals can be served anywhere on the island, including secluded stretches of sand where you won't see a single soul.
7. Serenity-meets-sociability
Naladhu, South Malé Atoll, Maldives
One moment you want seclusion, the next to be entertained people-watching by the pool; if so, Naladhu hotel in the Maldives is for you, with just 19 villas with either a lagoon view or one of the ocean. All have a breezy Hamptons vibe, with semi-alfresco baths and private pools for solo splashing. Outside, relax in a shady beach cabana or dine à deux on the sand. Naladhu is one of several small islands owned by Anantara and, should you want to mingle, boat transfers head to nearby Anantara Dhigu and Veli, where a spa and eight restaurants beckon.
8. Nature lovers
Frégate Island Private, Seychelles
While all private isles boast sand and lapping tides, many are too small to give you a taste of the wild life. Not if you venture to Frégate Island Private in the Seychelles. This chunk of granite languishing in the Indian Ocean is craggy, covered in tropical vegetation and home to fabulous flora and fauna. When you tear yourself away from your private pool deck (there are just 17 villas), wander the island's seven sublime beaches or hike trails looking for ultra-rare magpie robins and the Aldabra giant tortoise. There's jaw-dropping diving, too, and Frégate has a PADI centre.
9. Civilised wilderness
Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Leave your wallet and credit card in your room at Lizaru.s.d Island boutique hotel on the Great Barrier Reef. Here, almost everything from daiquiris on the deck at Osprey's to snorkelling gear for underwater safaris is included in room rates. Forty villas are dotted around the huge island which has 27 romantic beaches, offshore reefs and swaying eucalypts. Splodge by your private pool or ask the staff to pack a picnic basket, borrow a motorised dinghy and mask and snorkel, and head for a deserted beach for all sorts of cavorting. The spa and diving here are world-class, too.
10. Glamping it up
Amanwana, Moyo Island, Indonesia
Idyllic Amanwana hotel on Moyo Island is just a short flight from Bali but remote enough to feel as though you've travelled far, far away. Twenty glam safari-style tents - some nestled in the jungle, others by the shore for quick bed-to-beach dashes - have dark wood flooring, romantically netted beds and yards of white divans for the idle hours. Take time out to be handled with care at waterside Jungle Cove Spa. You can also get close to nature since Moyo is a reserve. Spot shy Rusa deer darting in the forest or mask up to snorkel with sea turtles.