In The Basement – Sugar Pie DeSanto & Etta James

“Born Umpeylia Marsema Balinton to a Filipino immigrant father and an African American mother, who was a classical pianist, Sugar Pie grew up in San Francisco during the city’s blues and jazz renaissance after World War II. She signed with the illustrious Chess Records in Chicago in the 1960s, and performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem with the likes of James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and other greats of American music.”

Get involved in the documentary by donating to the project:
Sugar Pie DeSanto Documentary Film Project

Manny Pacquiao leaves no doubt, beats Timothy Bradley


LAS VEGAS — When Manny Pacquiao finally arrived at his post-fight press conference at the MGM Grand about two hours after his redemption fight had ended Saturday night, he came with 32 stitches in his left eyebrow and the gait of a man who had met his match.

But the wide grin and look of utter relief said otherwise.

Nearly two years removed from one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history, Pacquiao had finally gotten his revenge and the WBO welterweight belt he wanted so badly back from Timothy Bradley. And now he could return to the Philippines in peace and await the birth of his fifth child later this month.

This time, the Filipino politician left no doubt. And no controversy.

Even Bradley had to agree that Pacquiao defeated him in their rematch before 15,601 raucous pro-Pacquiao fans at the MGM’s Grand Garden Arena.

And unlike the first bout, there was no argument from the ringside judges. They gave Pacquiao the unanimous decision — by scores of 116-112 twice and 118-110 — after watching a skillful exhibition of speed, power and footwork from the 35-year-old southpaw.

Nearly two years ago, Bradley won by split decision, which sparked widespread criticism of the judges and an investigation by the Nevada Attorney General’s office.

RECAP: Round-by-round breakdown

PACQUIAO: Mom steals the show

On this night, Bradley had no answer for Pacquiao and acknowledged as much after the fight.

“I tried, I really tried,” Bradley said. “I really wanted that knockout. Manny is a great fighter, one of the best in the world. I tried throwing something over the top. I knew I had to do more in this fight than the last fight.”

While Bradley threw more punches than Pacquiao (627 to 563), he connected on only 22% of those, with Pacquiao deftly blocking many, and Bradley going for the big shot, swinging wildly and missing more often than not.

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said he thought Bradley was going for a one-punch knockout. “He was swinging for the fences,” Roach said.

No compassion: Pacquiao relentless, superior

Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) acknowledged he was going for the knockout throughout the fight to prove he still had the killer instinct. “Yes I tried to finish him several times,” Pacquiao said. “Many times I hit him hard, but he was still there,

“We cannot underestimate Bradley. He’s very tough.”

Bradley said he pulled a calf muscle in the first round and his trainer, Joel Diaz, said, “Once that happened, I knew there was really nothing to work with.”

Bradley did not use it as an excuse and refused to talk about it in the post-fight press conference. “I have no excuses,” said Bradley, who limped into the press conference. “Pacquiao was the better man. The reason I love Pacquiao is that he doesn’t duck anyone.”

Pacquiao said he suffered from leg cramps, which bothered him in the second half of the fight.

Pacquiao, who was guaranteed $20 million, was careful not to get caught by a punch as he did in 2012 against Juan Manuel Marquez that knocked him out cold with one second left in the sixth round. “I didn’t want to get careless,” he said.

But he did suffer a nasty, jagged cut over his left eye from an accidental head butt in the 11th round that took 32 stitches after the fight.

Pacquiao said he could probably fight for another two years and wouldn’t mind a fifth fight with Marquez next. “But it’s up to my promoter Bob Arum.”

That fight could very well happen. Pacquiao is the mandatory for the winner of the May 17 Marquez-Mike Alvarado fight at the L.A. Forum.

The heavily pro-Pacquiao crowd was a pleasant surprise for the new champion. “I was surprised. I felt like I was in the Philippines,” he said. “Even the Mexicans and the Americans were cheering for me.”

Bradley (31-1, 12 KOs), who earned $6 million, suffered the first loss of his career. “Life goes on and I’ll just get back to the gym,” the 30-year-old Californian said. “I will be a world champion again.”

*Source: USA Today

Rebuild! Philippines: Benefit Concert – June 8th in Los Angeles

Join us for the “Rebuild Philippines” benefit concert on June 8th 2014 6-11pm at the Greek Theatre in LA for some music and healing laughter. Full artist line up coming soon and surprise guests!!! Hosted by Nia Peeples and Marc Dacascos. Benefit concert for the Philippines #RebuildPhillipines #ApldeApFoundation

Rebuild Philippines Benefit Concert

Movie about life of Cesar Chavez simply got it wrong

Written By Matt Garcia

Most great men have one. Malcolm X, Gandhi, Mandela all have one. And now, Cesar Chavez has his.

The biographical film titled “Cesar Chavez,” which came out this past weekend, lends itself to the creation of legends. In the case of Chavez, the legend is complicated by the fact that his story did not exactly lead to the liberation of the people he represented. Great strides were made during the heyday of the farm workers movement – namely the first contracts for farm workers and a California law that recognized their right to unionize. But field workers today suffer indignities familiar to those who worked in rural California prior to the 1960s.

These facts are not the concern of Diego Luna, the new film’s director. “We have to send a message to the (film) industry that our stories have to be represented. And with the depth and the complexity they deserve,” Luna said recently.

Fair enough. As a Mexican American and a historian, I too long for dignified cinematic portrayals of Latinos that convey the struggles for equality our people have initiated. Our yearnings, however, should not come at the expense of historical accuracy.

I recently published a book on the United Farm Workers and Chavez, and I understand the need to play a little loose with the timeline for dramatic effect. But Luna’s omissions and alterations are really historical subversions. His interpretation, I suspect, is a product of his unsophisticated handling of U.S. identity politics. He rejects the multiethnic community that made up the farm workers movement in favor of a simplistic notion that Mexicans did all the work. Creating a hero comes at the expense of depicting an entire social movement.

The Filipino American National Historical Society has rightly come out against the film’s misrepresentation of labor leader Larry Itliong and have questioned Luna’s failure to acknowledge the largely Filipino Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, which initiated the 1965 grape strike, a turning point in the film.

The film doesn’t mention white volunteers and organizers beyond Fred Ross, Cesar’s mentor, and Jerry Cohen, the talented leader of the UFW legal team. Several white ministers and students played a critical role in the movement, including Rev. Jim Drake, who came up with the boycott strategy. As the film lumbers toward the epic signing of the first contracts in 1970, Luna’s most egregious distortion of history comes when he shows Chavez in London. We see the labor leader lobbying dockworkers on the Thames River wharf and appealing to consumers not to buy the fruit. Though this work actually happened, it was a young Jewish American volunteer, Elaine Elinson, who almost single-handedly kept the grapes out of Europe.

The film even fails to represent accurately the supporting cast of Mexican American activists in Cesar’s orbit. Gilbert Padilla (Yancey Arias) and Dolores Huerta (Rosario Dawson) come off as nothing more than a yes-man and yes-woman to Chavez when in fact they were distinguished organizers in their own right. Only Helen Chavez, Cesar’s wife, is presented as a character with her own mind and story, a tribute to America Ferrera’s standout performance.

But the film probably does the greatest disservice to Cesar Chavez himself. The director opts out of the 1970s altogether, a period in which Chavez struggled with personal and professional demons and became invested in creating a community rather than solidifying earlier gains. Such a storyline would have done little to burnish his credentials as a civil and labor rights leader, but it would have made for a more compelling film. More importantly, it would have made for a much more accurate portrait of the real man’s depth and complexity.

These omissions reflect the limitations of the genre and the hero-making project of this film. With rare exception, biopics elide complexity and avoid overt criticism of their subjects. The most extraordinary and entertaining renditions of historical figures have often via fictionalized characters, like Orson Welles’ Charles Foster Kane based on William Randolph Hearst (“Citizen Kane”) and P. T. Anderson’s Daniel Plainview based on Edward Doheny (“There Will Be Blood”) .

In fairness to Luna, Chavez was delivered to him with decades of historical baggage, thanks to hagiography and political stamps of approval from Robert Kennedy, Jerry Brown, and Barack Obama. Though new histories are now being written, it will take time for the public’s perception of the hero to catch up with the all-too-human Chavez. Sadly, Luna’s film does almost nothing to assist this move toward a new understanding of Cesar Chavez’s life and the successes and failures of the movement he led.

*Source: Merced Sun Star

Dan Inosanto: A True Fighting Spirit

A martial arts legend in his own right, he holds advanced rank in many martial arts systems including Jeet Kune Do, Filipinio Martial Arts, Silat, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and others….

He has been directly responsible for introducing many prominent martial artists such as Pendekar Paul de Thouars, Edgar Sulite, Chai Sirisute, Leo Gaje, Johnny Lacoste, Maung Gyi, among others to the general martial arts public.


*Source: Fighting HQ