Sunday, July 27, 2014

PAMAS 2O14 Scholarship Awards

Avi with the Santos Family holding her award
Sierra with the Harold Family and her award

Hi PinoyJeep Readers,

Last week on Sunday, PAMAS (The Filipino-American Association of New England) held its annual scholarship night, this year, awarding Avi and I scholarship for our dedication to higher excellence and for helping the Filipino-American community here in Massachusetts. Tita Lidy Chan, the President of PAMAS, hosted the event and Alpha Miguel-Sanford, assistant headmaster of Randolph High School, was the keynote speaker for the night, who spoke extensively as to how Filipinos and even pancit can be "remarkable" if put to good use. Avi received the Angelito & Esther Santos Family Scholarship Award and I received the Harold Hofman Scholarship Award, funds that will be used wisely for college! The ceremony was then followed by dancing (of course) and eating and chatting. Typical of a Filipino party. Of course. For those Filipino-Americans who will be entering senior year, if you would like to be recognized for your work in the Filipino community and want a little cash reward for your college endeavors, apply for the PAMAS Scholarship! It's easy and worth it! Click here to visit the PAMAS website for more information.

Sierra Jamir

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Year Anniversary: Continuing the Filipino Spirit at Home

Hi PinoyJeep Readers!

I can't believe that exactly a year ago, the members of IP Rondalla began their departure to the United States after a three-week tour around the Philippines. After visiting Manila, San Pablo, Bicol, Cebu, Bohol, Batangas, Bataan, Diliman and Los Baños, these Fil-Ams returned home, refreshed, renewed and excited to share their wonderful experiences with their friends at home.

Since the tour, we've continued to represent our Filipino identity in America through our love of music and family. Since we haven't posted anything recently, here are some pictures of the IP Rondalla thus far and, for kicks, some throwbacks from our memorable IP Rondalla Rocks! Tour. Thank you, readers, for continuing to make PinoyJeep a success.

Dear friends in the Philippines, if you have any photos or personal stories that have to do with the IP Rondalla Rocks! Tour or other Filipino events that you would like to share with the community, feel free to e-mail them to Sierra Jamir at are happy to share your stories online! 

Southeast Asian Fiesta at Phillips Andover

Left: Tito Manny, Tita Rose and Tita Naty standing by the Lechon served during the Second Annual Southeast Asian Fiesta at Andover Philippines. Above: The Angkor Dance Troupe from Lowell, IP Rondalla and the SEA (Southeast Asian) Club at Phillips Academy. The Cambodian Angkor Dance Troupe and the Rondalla performed during a joint event to celebrate the diversity of Southeast Asian countries during this one event. Very exciting performance and buffet! 

IP Rondalla Recital in June

Top Left: The IP Rondalla members new with some new faces! All groups performed during this event, playing songs, such as "Ako Ay Pilipino", "Bahay Kubo", "Mabuhay", "Kalesa", "Pilipina" and more! Top Right: George and our new bassist, Jaenald, playing "Kalesa". Bottom: Tita Cris, founder and previous director of the IP Rondalla speaking after receiving a honorary plant from the Rondalla teachers.

                           Philippine Independence Day in Boston

IP Rondalla members during Philippine Independence Day in Boston waving their Filipino flags! Happy Birthday, Philippines! Mahal Kita! (Photos courtesy of Tita Patty)

2014 Iskwelahang Pilipino Graduation

Say "Hello" to this year's Iskwelahang Pilipino graduates, Avi, Nolen, Sierra and Julian for your many years of service as IP members and proud Filipino Americans. Good Luck in college and beyond!

Blast From the Past...

Throwbacks from the IP Rondalla Rocks! Tour

UP Los Baños Performance

Saint Agnes Academy, Bicol Performance 

Polytechnical University of the Philippines (PUP) Performance

Loboc Children's Choir in Bohol

After Resorts World Manila Performance 

SM Mall in San Pablo City with PPP School

Villa Escudero next to the waterfall on a rainy day

 Eat Bulaga! Special Performance

Performance at Central Luzon State University

Performance in Tagbilaran, Bohol Cultural Center

Until we meet again, Pilipinas.

Sierra Jamir
The PinoyJeep Blogger

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ryzza Mae Dizon Picture!

Long time no see!

Here's a picture I'm sure all of you will love! Recognize this little girl? Well it's Ryzza Mae from Eat Bulaga! When we were at GMA waiting to be featured on Eat Bulaga during the IP Rondalla Tour, we waited in Ryzza Mae's changing room! Here's a picture taken by Tita Beth. Thanks for sending me the picture, Marisa!

Sierra Jamir

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2O13 Palaro Olympics!

Aaron plays sipa (cred: Tita Patty)
Pa Pa Pa Palaroooo 
Wooohoooo ! \(^_^)/

Hi, I'm Avi, and I am a senior student at IP.

This year, we had an early Palaro games for the Sochi Olympics that just began a few days ago. So, two weeks ago, many of us dressed up in different colors to represent the five different teams: pula (red), puti (white), bughaw (blue), verde (green) and dilaw (yellow). Nolen headed the games. 

I was captain of the Pula team, so I was in charge of volunteering my teammates to participate in the events. There was this one 8 year-old little girl who was experiencing her second day at IP. She was shy and nervous, but I persuaded her to try one of the jumping games. Although reluctant, she followed me up to play the game. She had to jump over hands. I told her to pretend she was a jumping bean. A smile began to form as she began jumping. I cheered her on until her turn was up. Just like many of the kids who finished their game, she was smiling as she walked back to our corner.

Luksong Tinik (credit: Tita Patty)
I enjoy seeing everyone smile during the games, especially the little kids. As the competition brewed everyone becomes hungry to win, which is a little nerve racking. It was this little girls second day at IP and she was definitely nervous. But after that jumping game, she euphorically volunteered herself to participate in the relay race and other events. We had a few cheater (ehem...), but of course, it was all about the fun fun fun!  I can tell the girl had fun and so did we. 

Unfortunately, my team ended up tying with yellow for third place. Puti ended up winning the event with Bughaw trailing a few points behind. Verde came in last. 

At the end all teams got candy. I love how the little kids eager faces lit up when they happily grab candy from the box I was holding. 

Thanks IP, for a great start to Sochi!

2O13 IP Caroling! Thank You!

Hey PinoyJeep Bloggers,

This is Avi, an IP student and an IP caroler!
Sleigh bells ringing, carolers singing
its that time of year.

During Christmas time, Carolers and rondalla performers are requested at several households to sing. The IP Christmas Carolers, who consist of IP parents, alumni, and students, are more than happy to sing upon the requests. Practices begin in September and continue each month until the days of presenting begins. We also perform with the IP Rondalla!
IP Carolers getting ready to sing!

The carolers raise money to help fund IP programs, but last year funds were also raised for the typhoon victims in the Philippines.  Every year we raise money for our organization, but this year meant more because we were able to raise money for the victims in the Philippines. Some of us have loved ones affected by the disaster. Christmas is a time of year to recognize and appreciation our loved ones. Christmas is the time of year when generosity is most noticeably warm-hearted, with love so proud and loud. The IP Carolers sing loudly and proudly not to just solely raise money, but also to spread warmth and joy to the Greater Boston community. This was definitely a wonderful year to celebrate family and spread the Filipino love.

IP Rondalla performing Kalesa (cred: Tita Dolly)
As the dancing snowflakes listen to the sweet sound of song, the carolers remind everyone how love is a simple joy that is spread even during the coldest times of the year.

Sorry for this extremely late post...
Thanks for an awesome caroling season!


Friday, January 17, 2014

College Apps, College Apps, College Apps...

Hi y'all,

So just two days ago, I submitted my last college app. Woot! Woot! Honestly though, I thought I would feel a pang of relief once I clicked the last "submit" button and got a note that says, "Congratulations, your application has been submitted!" but frankly, I don't feel any less stressed and exhausted than I did when I first started this long, grueling process. Gosh, I can't believe I'm graduating...Anyway, speaking of colleges, today, I decided to unearth some college apps I wrote over break and came across this one short answer.

Please tell us what you found meaningful about one event that you attended within the last year.

I won't tell you which college(s) asked this question (I even reworded the question) but I thought you might enjoy my response. So here it is: 

Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) a.k.a. the cheapest university in Asia.

On the second day of our three-week Philippine tour, we were scheduled to perform with PUP’s musical groups at their main campus in Manila. Mind you, we had just performed for the President of the Philippines and had our largest show at the prestigious Resorts World. So, driving past PUP’s dilapidated gate was kind of a shocker to all of us.

Group picture with all of the PUP performers
The university’s interior didn’t impress us either. The ceiling was moldy. There were no toilet seats, soap, or toilet paper. I guess we were pre-judging the pending performance of our PUP partners, partly due to our high-browed American standards…and because we were “stars.” What we didn’t realize was that we were in for a big surprise.

As the upbeat opening music blared, wave after wave of young PUP performers entered the stage dressed in colorful costumes. Jumping, singing, dancing and smiling joyously throughout their performance, their infectious energy lit up the stage and electrified the ecstatic audience. We were all in awe! I had never seen any performance as beautiful and engaging as theirs. The choral group was dynamite while the folk dancers got everybody stomping in their feet. And the “Banda Kawayan’s” performance was - Wow, out of this world!
While our performance that day supported the PUP robotics team’s competition in Singapore as well as the performer’s new costumes, in reality they really didn’t need us. They made this performance a success all by themselves. Truly, one should not judge a book by its cover. And as this experience showed us, great talent can be found everywhere - in elite universities, in posh financial districts, in a poor man’s hovel deep in the slums of Manila…or even in the cheapest university in Asia.  

Sierra Jamir

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Rondalla Rocks - Rocking Eve 2014

Where is everyone? Oh right...they're behind me dancing. 
Posing after dancing and playing games for several hours

Hey PinoyJeep Bloggers,

Every year, Iskwelahang Pilipino hosts a Christmas party including performances by all grade levels and the rondalla, a yankee swap, and of course, lots-n-lotsa food. Unfortunately, due to the storm the night before, it was cancelled...Nonetheless, due to a little love'n care from Tita Janeth, we got our party.

IP parents and students posing for a picture with the Castro family

On Sunday, December 29th, Tita Janeth (mother of Janrey) and her family hosted a party to celebrate the IP Rondalla Tour, since we didn't have the opportunity to hold the event earlier. While the party started off with only a few people trickling in (we're supposed to start at 6:00 p.m., but hint, hint...Filipino time), by around 7 o'clock, the dance floor was crowded with kids and parents dancing to Shakira, Nikki Minaj, Katy Perry and a whole bunch of new and old artists. Even the Lantin's, our friends from Virginia who brought their daughter for graduate school in Boston, took some time off to join our party.

Tita Janeth (center) with other IP parents enjoying the party
The future of IP Rondalla rests in these brave men...who are apparently pointing at something in the ceiling.

If you've ever heard of "Just Dance," a game for the Wii that lets you copy the dancer's moves on the screen so you too can dance like Psy. If you haven't, I highly recommend renting it. Oh my! We all got a good workout from this game. Even the parents had fun gettin' jiggy with it. Of course, there's also the traditional Filipino line dance routine mixed with Zumba. We were all sweating.

Happy Birthday from the IP Rondalla members!

Besides all of the dancing, did I mention the food? There was a flotilla of food ranging from boxes and boxes of pizza, macaroni and pasta together with your traditional menudo, Christmas ham, pancit, lumpia, "Filipino spaghetti" and arroz caldo. The desserts were divine. There were French macaroons, dark and white chocolate fondue, cassava, ubi cake, and puto. Of course, as tradition dictates, we took a few left-over dishes home afterwards. We also celebrated Bo and Emma's birthday with two delicious ice cream cakes! Happy Birthday, girls!

Getting ready for the pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters game. 
Nathan adds a twist to the "Pepsi and Coke" game

After several rounds of dancing, we took intermittent breaks to check our raffle tickets and to play a few parlor games. The raffle items were pretty typical and atypical, meaning we had prizes like chocolate, perfume, a Pepsi water jug and make-up kit, but also cooking mittens, pancit noodles, packs of Mama Sita and Banana ketchup, and even a laser hair remover! We all know who wanted that hair remover...and who staked the Pepsi water jug.

Group picture with the parents! Say "Cheese"!
Then, we played a few games like "Pepsi and Coke" in which pairs have to run to one side of the room and one has to sit on the other partner's lap before everyone else. We also played musical chairs (I got kicked out on the third to last round) and the pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters game, which involves moving your hips around depending on which coin the leader calls.

The night ended close to 11pm, yet all of us were still in the mood for more dancing, eating, raffles and games. We all had the experience of our lives. Honestly, what I think this was the best Filipino party all year, and we were definitely sad that it would be our last meeting as an IP family before the start of the new year.

On our three-hour drive home to Connecticut where I currently live, all my family talked about was how great the night's party went. We arrived home close to 2:30 in the morning sleepy and exhausted but in good spirits.

Next time, let's go camping!
Thank you Tita Janeth. This was AWESOME!

Smile, everyone! Didn't you just have the time of your life? I sure did! 

Sierra Jamir