‘Filipino Connection’ NY launch
“My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood,” the first book of Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) columnist and Los Angeles correspondent Ruben V. Nepales, will be launched in New York today (9 a.m. Manila time) at the Philippine Center on 556 Fifth Avenue. Elton Lugay and Bessie Badilla will host the launch with the support of Tofa (The Outstanding Filipino Americans)-NY and the Philippine Consulate in New York.
A collection of mostly published pieces that reflects Nepales’ advocacy to spotlight talents of Filipino heritage making it on the world entertainment stage, “My Filipino Connection…” was successfully launched in Los Angeles earlier by Inquirer.net (PDI digital edition) and Asian Journal.
Among Nepales’ featured subjects are Vanessa Hudgens, Darren Criss, Oscar nominees Hailee Steinfeld, and Matthew Libatique (cinematographer), acclaimed documentary director Ramona Diaz, Charice Pempengco, animators Ronnie del Carmen, Ricky Nierva and Gini Cruz Santos, Louie del Carmen, Alec Mapa, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Charmaine Clamor, Bernardo Bernardo, Bessie Badilla, Luisa Mendez-Marshall, John Butiu and the Filipino-American Symphony Orchestra (Faso).
“Jazzipino” artist Clamor, awarded tribute artist Marshall and a quartet from Faso led by music director/conductor Robert Shroder, performed at the LA launch on May 19 at the CBS Studios in Culver City.
Nepales dedicated the LA event—hosted by Ted Benito, Prosy Delacruz and Rocio Nuyda to Tony de Zuñiga, legendary DC and Marvel comic book illustrator who is featured in the book, who recently died.
Journalist Cristina DC Pastor wrote about the book in TheFilAm.net: “For his beholden-to-no-one style of questioning, Ruben presents us with this beguiling collection of interviews with celebrities we can only admire on screen.”
Nepales is a finalist in the Los Angeles Press Club’s 54th Southern California Journalism Awards which will be handed out on June 24. He is the first Filipino member in the more than 60-year history of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which votes on and presents the annual Golden Globe Awards. He has served several times on the HFPA board of directors.
“My Filipino Connection,” published by Anvil, is available at National Book Store and Powerbooks.