Month: October 2017

Mental illness: How Francis Arevalo lost and found himself through music

British Columbia One man’s struggle against mental illness By Ted Alcuitas The Canadian Association for Mental Health (CAMH) has named Francis Arevalo as one of 150 leading Canadians who are making a difference for mental health. The Vancouver-born and raised hip-hop artist and slam poet was carving a name in the city’s artistic community before he was diagnosed as bipolar. Arevalo graduated as Valedictorian at Johnston Heights Secondary School and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree from UBC majoring in English. He worked as a Faciltator at Wordplay Poetry House. While at UBC he was the Residence life coordinator and advisor, becoming a Social Media Lead & Learning Commons Assistant at Chapman Learning Commons. In 2014, he won the Student Leadership Conference’s Faces of Today Award and was listed as one of “24 under 24” upcoming personalities in Vancouver 24 Hours. After his recovery, he started A Night With Friends,collaborating with his creative family The Lions We Are. He released two mixtape in 2017: ‘Love & Basketball’ in January, and “TLWA” with The Lions We Are in June. With his company, Francis Arevalo Music, he strives to “connect with others, exploring meaning through community-building and creative expression. He aims to uplift, entertain, and inspire through honest lyrics and performances”. Here is how CAMH described his climb back from the highs and lows of his...

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Jesus Christ Superstar features two Pinoys in cast

Two Filipinos in cast of Jesus Christ Superstar By Ted Alcuitas The iconic musical Jesus Christ Superstar will have two Filipinos in the cast – Caleb Lagayan and Jennifer Suratos who plays Pontius Pilate.   URP began as a small community theatre company in 1995 with its first staging of Jesus Christ Superstar. Since then, tens of thousands of people have been entertained by URP’s 23 different productions, which The Georgia Straight has called “jaw-droppingly slick.”   Event: URP Presents Jesus Christ Superstar Dates: Tuesday, October 31 through Sunday, November 5, 2017 Time: 8 pm Preview: Tuesday, October 31 @ 8pm / Opening: Wednesday, November 1 @ 8pm Matinee: Tuesday, November 4, 2017 @ 2pm Venue: Centennial Theatre (2300 Lonsdale Ave. in North Vancouver) Admission: Adults $44 / Students & Seniors $36 / Children 3 to 12 $28. Children must be three or over to attend. October 31 preview all tickets $28 Tickets: On Sale Now here JENNIFER SURATOS Jenn is an avid singer and performer, and has worked with many local companies including Gateway Theatre, Pacific Theatre, TUTS, and Applause. Recent favorites include Miss Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Fighting Chance Productions), Miss Sherman in Fame (Bring on Tomorrow Collective), Franny in Little Miss Glitz (Too Fly), and Sarah in Company (United Players). She is thrilled to be in this version of Jesus Christ Superstar, having appeared in URP’s 10th anniversary production in 2004. Jenn currently...

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Transpo strike! Mga jeepney nag welga

Stikers cripple parts of Manila.(Inquirer photo) Strike cripples transportation 90% of public transport paralyzed By Ted Alcuitas  “Why will jeepney operators accept indebtedness when the jeepneys they already have can be rehabilitated to fit the clean air, safety and other requirements of the government?” The transport group Pagkakaisa ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) and the No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition, pushed through with the two-day strike October 16 defying  threats issued by the government against the protesters, reports. Reporters covering various major thoroughfares in Metro Mania  noted that some jeepneys were still plying their routes on the early morning of October 16. However, drivers said in interviews that they had only set out to earn enough for the family meal that day. They would join the strike soon. Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) lawyer Aileen Lizada broadcasted threats on TV.  LTFRB would initiate charges and deny franchises to the drivers and operators participating in the strike, the spokeswoman said. Despite the threats, Piston said they paralyzed up to 90 percent of public transport. Schools and public offices were suspended owing to the strike. Highlight on fighting for jeepney rehabilitation instead of scrappage “The first day of our strike succeeded in its effort to highlight the drivers’ and operators’ concerns against the government’s jeepney phaseout and against transferring this mode of transport to big businesses,”...

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OFWs: Balikbayan box taxes suspended

These boxes will no longer be taxed until March 2018. (Photo: CNN Philippines)   PHILIPPINES The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has suspended the implementation of the duty and tax-free privileges of consolidated balikbayan boxes, a decison wecomed by the The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), reports the Philippine Inquirer. “We would like to thank the Bureau of Customs and also the Department of Finance for being sensitive to the needs of our kababayans abroad and for listening to their appeals,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement. With the suspension, Filipinos abroad are no longer required...

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