The Filharmonic’s Breathtaking ‘All of Me’ Cover

We’ve seen a lot of covers to John Legend’s “All of Me” over the past  couple of months. Just when we thought we had seen the last of these covers and remixes, The Filharmonic releases what may be our favorite “All of Me” cover ever.

Fans of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” will recognize The Filharmonic from season 4 where the boys reached the final four. Needless to say, the group has continued to gather fans since their appearance on the American television singing competition.

The all-male a cappella group consists of six Filipino singers: Vocalists VJ, Joe, Trace and Barry, Vocal Bass Jules, and Beatboxer Niko. The Filharmonic’s official website goes into further detail about the singers:

“What started as friendly chance encounters at singing competitions eventually solidified into a harmonious group as the boys discovered their shared genuine chemistry, unparalleled love of music, and undeniable musical talents. Through social network and a strong kinship to their Filipino culture they have found their niche in the musical community. Though their passion for great music is on par,  their combined talents come from a wide variety of backgrounds in the performing arts industry, including pop, a capella, jazz, opera, theater, classical, etc.  Together they honor their Filipino heritage through incredibly nuanced musical performances that are both moving and fun to experience.”

 

Just today, the group released a breathtaking a cappella cover of John Legend’s “All of Me.” Trust us when we say this is a must-see. Check it out below.

 

Is This Why Asian Women Are “Most Preferred” In The Online Dating World?

AYI, one of the largest online dating applications on Facebook, decided to do some research to determine if race is taken into consideration while online dating. They analyzed over 2.4 million interactions in the US to determine the likelihood a user would respond to a message based on race.

The results showed that Asian women are the most preferred by all male users with the exception of one group: Asian men. According to the data, Asian men are most likely to respond to Hispanic women and Asian women are most likely to respond to Caucasian men.

USA Today found that another online dating site, OkCupid, had users who generally dated within their own race, but only because of preconceived notions.

“It’s not that people’s levels of prejudice are changing,” says Sociologist Kevin Lewis. “People are avoiding others from a different racial background because they think those other people won’t be interested.”

This suggestion is supported by The Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences. They report that although people tend to date within their own race, everyone is more likely to reciprocate to interracial exchanges rather than initiate interracial exchanges.

“Our own behavior can, in fact, impact the prejudices of others, even if it is a short-term effect,” Lewis said. “It says some degree of the biases we display are based on a false premise.”

By acknowledging that prejudices hinder or encourage dating a particular race, Lewis has hit an even larger issue. If data from AYI reports that Asian women are the most sought after on their site, why is that so?

Time and time again, Asian women are told that they are lucky because “all races of men like Asian women.” Upon further inspection, we discover that this “compliment” may be laced with negatives. The public responses to Jezebel may have the unfortunate reason behind the popularity of Asian women.

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So is the popularity of Asian Women in the online dating world based on a stereotype? Are Asian women sought after simply because of the belief that they will be submissive partners and good house keepers?

While we know Asian women have much more substance than these stereotypes, it turns out that this popularity in the online world may not be something to boast about after all.

This story was originally published in November 2013. 
(photo source)

Shay Mitchell’s Steamy ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Photoshoot

Shay Mitchell, the Filipina-Scottish-Irish American actress most known for her role as Emily in Pretty Little Liars, recently took over the pages of GQ along with her PLL cast members.

In the original books that Pretty Little Liars was based on, her character Emily is a redheaded Caucasian.

“She doesn’t look anything like me,” Mitchell tells Audrey Magazine. “I think it says a lot. The girl-next-door isn’t just blond-haired and blue-eyed anymore.”

“I’m finding there are so many auditions that I can go to that I’m sure actresses before me couldn’t go to five, 10 years ago,” Mitchell adds. “If I feel, looking as I do, that I can be a girl next door, I think that’s a really good thing for Asian American actors.”

Mitchell joins her co-stars Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale and Troian Bellisario for this steamy photoshoot. Unfortunately, the photoshoot has gotten some criticism for being photoshopped and the actors have responded by saying they are proud of their natural bodies.

“Photoshopped or not. I work with three of the most gorgeous women on the planet.” Bellisario added.

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See more of the photoshoot here. 

Oh My, George Takei Made A “Let it Go” Cover

That’s right. In these past few months we’ve seen dozens upon dozens of “Let it Go” covers from the beloved Disney film Frozen. As it turns out, we haven’t seen the last of it.

Takei recently posted an image of himself donning winter gear in front of snowy trees. Through the post, Takei revealed that he made a cover of Frozen’s “Let it Go” with his “own special twist.”

Of course, many good things come with a catch and Takei’s cover is no exception. The image was merely a tease for his fans. Takei revealed that he will only release his “Let it Go” cover if Allegiance: The Musical gets 5K more fans.

Allegiance: The Musical stars George Takei and Lea Salonga and is “an epic story of love, family and heroism during the Japanese American internment.” The official website goes into further detail:

“Allegiance is an epic story of love, war and heroism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II, following the story of the Kimura family in the weeks and years following Pearl Harbor, as they are relocated from their farm in Salinas, California to the Heart Mountain internment camp in the rural plains of Wyoming.

Allegiance sheds new light upon a dark chapter of American history. One of the first Asian musicals in more than a decade, with a stunning and moving score, Allegiance connects the audience with universal themes of love, family and redemption.”

 

We don’t know about you, but Takei has given us yet another reason to support this epic musical.

Get to Know X-Men’s Booboo Stewart

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1) No, thats not his real name.

One of the most noticeable things about Stewart is his name. As it turns out, Booboo is actually just a nickname. His birth name is Nils Allen Stewart. Why does he go by Booboo? The actor has often pointed out that his mother began calling him booboo at a young age and the nickname stuck.

 

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2) He has a diverse cultural background.

Fans often have a hard time pinpointing Stewart’s race. We don’t blame you. After all, the 20-year-old actor is Japanese, Chinese and Korean on his mom’s side and Russian, Scottish and Blackfoot/Native American on his father’s side.


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3) Yes, you probably do recognize him.

Booboo has certainly been getting quite some attention for himself with his role in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but he’s been in a number of other works prior to this. Aside from television appearances on shows like ER and CSI, Stewart is most known for his role as Seth Clearwater in the Twilight Saga. Additionally, Stewart acted alongside Harry Shum Jr. in White Frog.


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4) He started off doing stunts

Stewart’s father is a stunt coordinator which is probably what sparked Stewart’s interests in the business. He  has been doing martial arts since he was 3 years old (he won the Junior Martial Arts World Championship in 2002 and 2003) and did his first stunt at the age of 10.

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5) He’s in a band

Stewart currently plays lead guitar in the band 5L. The name is meant to sound like his sister’s name, Fivel, since she is the lead singer.


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6) Despite a lifetime of being in the spotlight, he can get nervous. 

During an interview with Mingle Media TV Network, Stewart responded that if he could have any super power, he would probably have someone else talk for him up on stage. As expected, this nervousness simply comes off as cute and charming.

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7) His celeb crush is Zooey Deschanel

In an interview, Stewart also revealed his celebrity crush to be Zooey Deschanel. “She just seems really cool,” he responded. “Really happy and really down to earth. Such a sweet person. At least that’s what she seems like. I never met her before.”

 

Catch Booboo Stewart as Warpath in X-Men: Days of Future Past!

Ten Seconds With This Baby Will Make Your Day

Apparently, this video of an Asian baby slurping up a watermelon is slowly making it’s way to viral fame. While it seems like such an ordinary activity, we have to admit he looks awfully cute doing it.

The video was uploaded only a few days ago, but it has already gathered nearly 65,000 views. The crazy part? It’s only ten seconds long. We know what you’re thinking. How can a ten second video get that much attention?

Well it seems like the popularity of short, but entertaining videos have increased with the rise in Vine and Instagram videos. And let’s not underestimate the appeal of an adorable Asian baby. Just check out our Adorable Asian Baby series to see what we mean:

1) Adorable Asian Babies Who Dress Better Than You 
2) Adorable Asian Babies Who Dress Better Than You (PART II)
3) Audrey Readers Have Adorable Asian Babies
4) Adorable Asian Babies (Halloween Costume Edition)
5) Adorable Asian Babies With Puppies 
So tell us, does watermelon baby deserve a spot on our Adorable Asian Baby list?

“Fresh Off The Boat” Author is Not Sorry For Controversial Title

It goes without saying that we are all excited for ABC’s new sitcom Fresh Off The Boat. After all, it’s been two decades since we’ve seen a television series focus on an Asian American family.

While our readers generally agree with our excitement, there was one reaction that popped up more than anything else: what is with that title? 

As you can imagine, many people were confused with the controversial title. “Fresh off the boat” has historically been a derogatory term and has been generally used as an insult. Many people have shared their fear that the sitcom will normalize the usage of “F.O.B.” without recognizing the oppression that comes along with the term.

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Eddie Huang, the creator/writer of the Fresh Off The Boat memoir and the co-producer of the show, highly disagrees. The Taiwanese-Chinese American writer claims that he is turning the tables and hopes to create an environment where the phrase is a badge of honor. 

“I would never call myself an American,” he told BuzzFeed. “I’m a Taiwanese-Chinese American. My parents came here in the late ’70s and had me about three years after they’d lived in this country. So I consider myself fresh. You can’t tell me to not consider myself something.”

“There are people in every race who try to speak for everybody and try to legislate what you can think and what you can’t think, with no understanding of what it means to interpret an experience,” he added. “It’s ‘fresh off the boat.’ That’s a term that Asians call each other and we claim it and it’s worn with pride.”

 

He went on to say that the title is a nod to how his family was perceived by others and how they perceived themselves.

Of course Huang recognizes that some may disagree with the title as well as the show’s portrayal of Asian Americans. He simply emphasizes that he is showing his own experience and it’s important for other Asian Americans to go and show their separate experience. After all, we are capable of having different stories.

“It’s not enough for one person to represent us,” he said. “We need many people. People are going to disagree, but, you know what? They gotta make another show.”

(Source)

20 of Asia’s Most Mouth-Watering Desserts

When we brought you Top 10 Scary Asian Dishes We Love, readers couldn’t agree more. While we may love our food, we admit that to an unfamiliar eye, some of our Asian dishes look quite unapproachable.

Thankfully, this isn’t the case with all of our food. For instance, many of our desserts look too good to be true. To prove our point, we made a list of 20 of Asia’s Most Mouth-Watering Desserts. 

You’ll probably find yourself really hungry after scrolling through this. You’ve been warned.


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1) Custard Tart/ Egg Tart 
(Chinese) A custard tart pastry that consists of an outer crust which is filled with egg custard and baked.


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2) Khanom khrok
(Thai) Rice flour and coconut milk pancakes-like pastries.


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3) Halo Halo
(Filipino) Shaved ice and evaporated milk with various boiled sweet beans, jello and fruits such as jack fruit, tapioca and ice cream.

 


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4)  Bungeoppang
(Korean) Batter is poured into a fish-shape mold, filled with red bean paste, then closed and roasted.


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5) Mochi Ice Cream
(Japanese) Pounded sticky rice (mochi) filled with ice cream.


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6)  Chendol
(Indonesian/Vietnamese) Coconut milk, jelly noodles, and shaved ice mixed with various ingredients such red beans and creamed corn.


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7)  Castella
(Japanese)  Sponge cake  made of sugar, flour, eggs, and starch syrup.


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8) Ensaymada
(Filipino)  A brioche baked with butter instead of lard and topped with grated cheese and sugar.


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9) Doufuhua
(Chinese) Made with very soft tofu and often referred to as tofu pudding.


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10) Tteok
(Korean) Rice cakes made with steamed rice flour. can It can range from elaborate versions with nuts and fruits to the plain-flavored tteok.


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11) Khanom tom
(Thai)  Glutinous rice flour, palm sugar and coconut.


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12) Leche Flan
(Filipino) A custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top.


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13) Green Tea Ice Cream
(Japanese) Japanese ice cream flavor.


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14) Almond biscuits
(Chinese) A light biscuit/cookie often topped with sliced almond nuts and sometimes  prepared with almond flour.


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15) Bánh chuối
(Vietnamese) A sweet banana cake or pudding.


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16) Kutsinta
(Filipino) Rice cake made from rice flour, brown sugar and lye. Often topped with coconut.


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17) Coffee Jelly
(Japanese) A gelatin dessert that has the color and flavor of black coffee.

 


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18) Gyeongju bread
(Korean) A small pastry with red bean paste filling. A local specialty of Gyeongju City, South Korea.


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19) Almond Jelly
(Chinese) Apricot kernel milk extracted, sweetened, heated with a gelling agent and solidified into a gelatin dessert.


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20) Sikhye
(Korean) A sweet rice beverage served as a dessert. It is created by pouring malt water onto cooked rice.

 


Know more desserts that deserve to be on this list? Comment below and let us know!

Bollywood Actress Sonam Kapoor Talks Homosexuality on the Big Screen

The beautiful Sonam Kapoor is known for a number of achievements. She is a famous model and Bollywood actress, she is known as the daughter of Indian actor and producer Anil Kapoor, and at the age of 28, she has over a dozen films under her belt as well as a number of award nominations in recognition of her talent.

As it turns out, Kapoor should also be known for her strong opinions and ability to stand up for what she believes in. She demonstrated this while in Cannes as an ambassador for the beauty brand L’Oreal.

During interviews, Kapoor discussed her disapproval of India’s laws on homosexuality. Last year, India’s Supreme Court put a ban on gay sex. On December 2013, their Supreme Court reenacted Section 377 of India’s Penal Code, which states, “whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Kapoor argued that India’s legal stance on homosexuality does not align with their cultural stance which accepts homosexuality. How does she think India can combat this law? Through the big screen.

Kapoor discussed last year’s Palme d’or winner, “Blue is the Warmest Color,” which is a lesbian love story. Kapoor voiced that having gay love stories on film would help her country become more open to the idea of homosexuality.

“We’ve regressed instead of progressing,” she said. “I think movies can influence the way people think sometimes and if we do start making love stories or we start making movies about people who are amazing human beings, people who have done something in life, people who are inspirational who aren’t necessarily only straight, I think people will start appreciating them more,” she said. “So yeah, I think we need to expose India a little bit more so we should make more movies about them.”

 

(source)

 

Asian American Woman Verbally and Physically Abused by Police

A lawsuit was filed in Chicago in 2013. Chicago police are accused of committing a hate crime for physically and verbally abusing an Asian American woman, Jianqing “Jessica” Klyzek, during a raid of her tanning salon/massage parlor.

According to the lawsuit, police came into the salon on suspicion that it was a site for prostitution. According to Huffington Post, the  5’2″ and 110-pound manager was not being very cooperative with police, however, Chicago police responded in an extreme and physical manner.

The officer can be heard asking to use his taser on the 32-year-old manager. According to the lawsuit, Klyzek was handcuffed and kneeling on the ground, but police still struck her and put their hands over her nose and mouth. Klyzek suffered from a number of scratches, bruises and abrasions.

When Klyzek tried to scream, the police began yelling racial and ethnic slurs at her. “I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the f— you came from,” the officer said, although Klyzek pointed out that she was a citizen of the United States.

“No you’re not! No, you’re not a citizen,” the officer yelled back. “You’re here on our borrowed time. So mind your f–king business before I shut this whole f–king place down. And I’ll take this place and then whoever owns it will f–king kill you because they don’t care about you, OK? I’ll take this building. You’ll be dead and your family will be dead.”

The exchange was caught on a surveillance camera. Allegedly, the officers tried looking for the footage once they realized they were being filmed.

“The alleged comments, if true, are reprehensible and completely intolerable in our police department,” Police spokesman Adam Collins told the Chicago Sun Times. “We have codes of conduct that apply to officers, and if the allegations are proven accurate appropriate action will be taken.”

CBS news recently reported that the officer in question has been stripped of police powers, pending the outcome of an investigation.

The video of the interaction can be seen below.

(Source 1, 2)