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June 1 - 7, 2012 Vol. V Issue 179

FilAm Star

Connecting to the homeland, via Hollywood By JUN NUCUM LOS ANGELES -- After a successful launch in Manila HDUO\WKLVPRQWKWKHÂżUVWERRN of Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ruben Nepales -- My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood, made an equally successful splash at the CBS Studio Center in Studio City, California. A host of Filipino celebrities, mostly from the entertainment industry, came not only to lend support for their columnist friend, but also to hail his book which is considered one of a NLQG1HSDOHVLVWKHÂżUVW)LOLSLQR member of the prestigious Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the group that gives out annually the Golden Globe awards. Visiting movie actress, singer and popular radio/television host Ali ‘Aloha’ Soto took the opportunity to cheer on Napales, her close friend and schoolmate at Manila’s University of Santo Tomas. “I did not have the chance to be with him and his wife Janet in the Manila launch, so I made it a point to be here today for this important event,â€? Soto said. Stage player, director and movie/TV personality Bernardo Bernardo was happy with the outcome of the launch; many came and bought the book. “This is a source of Filipino pride because what Ruben is doing is about and for the Filipinos,â€? Bernardo, who lives and works in Southern California, said of the book and its author.â€? Even if he covers achievers in and outside of Hollywood, he makes it a point to look for their Philippine connection, in order WRUHĂ€HFWRXUFRXQWU\DQGRXU Filipino identity.â€? Not coincidentally, Bernardo is one of the scores of Filipino talents featured in Nepales’ book, together with Vanessa Hudgens, Charice Pempengco, Darren Criss, Oscar nominees Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar-nominated cinematographer Matthew Libatique (Black Swan), Tony DeZuĂąiga, Alec Mapa, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Pixar’s Ronnie del Carmen and Ricky Nierva, and Ramona Diaz. According to Napales himself, the book would not have

Power ng Pinoy host Alyssa Libao, with book author Ruben Napales been out if not for the prodding of another UST alumna, Nanette Galang, who cut a good and fair deal with a publisher. “I really did not have time to pursue this although all the while my recollections and data were ready,â€? Napales admitted. “Most of these were previously SXEOLVKHGPDWHULDO,ZDVMXVW waiting for a publisher, until ÂżQDOO\WKLVFDPHDORQJ´ Nepales said the book has been long overdue, but it’s posWHULW\WKDWÂżQDOO\PDGHKLPVHHLW through completion. As colleague Prosy dela Cruz suggested to him, this could be a “chronicle

Power ng Pinoy host Alyssa Libao interviewing Ali Sotto

From left, author with Bernardo Bernardo, Ali Sotto, and Arnold Pedrigal of Pro Wave Media (producer of Power ng Pinoy)

of us (Filipinos) establishing our presence in Hollywood or in America not Hollywood alone.â€? He explained: “These are mini-stories of our struggles to make it in America .... our own stories of making it in America, QRWMXVW+ROO\ZRRG:LWKWKLV book, I hope Filipino talents here will be inspired to strive for Hollywood, but not to be easily disheartened by the enormous GLIÂżFXOWLHVDQGFKDOOHQJHVDORQJ the way.â€? He also advised Filipino talents aspiring to take a crack at Hollywood to be different, to be unique in order to stand out with uncommon qualities. “Our distinct Filipino qualities of being cheerful, hardworking, resilient, and persistent would help,â€? Nepales said. (Photos courtesy of Jun Nucum)


Fil-Am Star Article on BookLaunchin  

Jun Nucum's Article about Ruben Napales booklaunching in Hollywood

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