Image of The Day: Tiny Girl, Giant Totoro

It seems like fans everywhere are trying to keep the Miyazaki fandom alive despite the Miyazaki’s confirmed retirement. Just last month we found an adorable little girl cosplaying as Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service. 

Now we’ve found a tiny girl with what could be the largest Totoro plush we’ve seen yet. The image is mimicking the film’s famous rain scene.

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totoro rain

 

When news broke out that Hayao Miyazaki was retiring, fans everywhere wished it was simply a false rumor. For years, Miyazaki brought us whimsical animations such as My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke. In 2003, the Ghibli studio co-founder won an Oscar for his breathtaking feature film, Spirited Away.

 

Although Miyazaki has shown a mastery of his craft, he has firmly stated that he is done with films. The 72-year-old confirmed that his film The Wind Rises is his last. The film, which focuses on a fictional biography of Japan’s Zero airplane creator Jiro Horikoshi, has already become a box-office hit in Japan since its release in July.

 

With a handful of awards, critical acclaim, and worldwide recognition, Miyazaki will retire knowing that he achieved what he set out to do. According to CBC News, Miyazaki commented, ”I wanted to convey the message to children that this life is worth living. This message has not changed.”

 

While our hearts are saddened by the finale of a talented individual, his work continues to live on.

Why Asians NEED To Care About Breast Cancer

Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we decided to look into how Asian Americans handle breast cancer. We were shocked by what we discovered.

For years now, Asians have been comforted by the fact that we have the lowest rate of breast cancer in the United States. Unfortunately, this assurance may be the very thing that hinders us from taking the necessary precautions.

Studies from both the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and Komen have confirmed that Asian/Pacific Islanders have the lowest breast cancer rates:

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Although this is true, a number of things are not taken into consideration:

There are various types of Asians.
It is not a good idea to assume you’re safe from breast cancer simply because you’re Asian. In fact, the statistics greatly differ once we take a step closer. According to womenshealth.gov, Japanese American women have the highest rate of breast cancer among Asian Americans. Furthermore, breast cancer is the leading cause of death for Filipino women. Clearly, there are technicalities within the broad term “Asian” which should be paid attention to.

Our numbers are increasing.
Sure, we have the lowest rate of breast cancer and breast cancer deaths now, but that may be changing. Our rates are increasing faster than any other ethnic group. From 1988-2005, we’ve increased approximately 1.2% every year.

Some of us are not as safe as our parents and grandparents. 
According to sampan.org, “Immigrant Asian women who have been living in the United States for 10 years have an 80 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than their newly arrived A&PI immigrant counterparts.”

We develop breast cancer at a younger age.
Compared to the other ethnic groups, we develop cancer at an earlier age, but we don’t know to address it earlier. In fact, many of us don’t address it at all.

Asian Americans are the least likely to ever get a mammogram.
Although Asian Americans need to take just as much precaution, we have the lowest rate of screenings. Is it because it’s taboo in our culture to discuss this issue? Is it because of the misconception that we’re relatively safe from breast cancer? Either way, there is clearly a lack of breast health/breast cancer education, screening and treatment among Asian American women.

 

(source 1,2,3)

Racist Calls Miss Philippines a Poor Smelly Maid

We were wrong. For once we thought the Asian community could have a win without a large of show of racist backlash. We thought we were safely out of the woods and had avoided another Nina Davuluri ordeal.

Let us all release a collective sigh of disappointment.

This past Saturday, Miss Philippines Megan Young won the Miss World Pageant 2013. The 23-year-old Filipina competed against contestants from 127 different countries. Just like Davuluri, who recently won Miss America, Young encountered negative comments simply because of her race.

A Facebook user who goes by the name “Devina DeDiva” went on a racist rant about her disbelief that Young took the crown. Devina DeDiva publicly released her opinion that all Filipinos are dirty, poor, and maids that should not gain glory.

Her post was immediately shared over 400 times and began quite the debate:

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As you can see, many individuals tried to defend Young. Devina DeDiva was not phased and continued to stand by her opinion. As nice as it was to see people calling Devina DeDiva out on her racism, one must also note that there were an alarming number of people that also seemed to agree and like her racist comments.

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Goodjob Devina, you may now join our list of racist individuals that obviously don’t know common courtesy. Devina DeDiva’s name, which has now been changed to Arabic because of all the angry responses pelted back at her, topped the Twitter trending list in the Philippines.

(source 1, 2)

Proof That This Push-Up Bra Works: The Portrayal of The Transgender Community

A few months ago, this Thai push-up bra commercial went viral. The original video gained over 9 million views since being uploaded:

In honor of LGBT History Month, we decided to bring this video back and take a closer look. It’s clear why the video has so many views with its unexpected ending. Generally, the video was well-received. One viewer commented, “He is attractive both as a girl and a boy.” Another humored viewer commented, “Well the push-up bra definitely works then.”

Although there were still a share of individuals who argued that they were “tricked” and showed anger towards the commercial, people were generally entertained. The commercial didn’t present the transgender community in a negative light and did not try to make fun of it.

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This is not necessarily the case for all Thai commercials containing transgender characters. The following IKEA commercial angered the Thai Transgender Alliance for being ”negative,” “stereotypical,” and a “gross violation of human rights.”

The commercial shows a couple walking through IKEA. The woman becomes so excited with a sale for pillows that her voice drops and horrifies her boyfriend. The end shows the boyfriend running off in the opposite direction. The Thai Transgender Alliance argues that ”the transgender content of the advertisement is negative and stereotypical in nature, perpetuating misunderstanding transgenderism as human sexuality for ‘deceitful and deviant lifestyle.’”

Unfortunately, this is not the first time IKEA has poked fun at the transgender community. Another IKEA commercial, this time coming from France, shows a woman getting ready to go out. She accidentally knocks into a low table and hits her crotch– revealing she was physically born a man.

Although the difference between the first commercial and the last two may seem slight to some, it makes a load of difference. There is a clear distinction between a commercial showing someone proud of their gender identity versus another commercial showing an individual running away from a transgender out of fear.

In honor of LGBT history month, lets try to make it a lasting habit to stay conscious of these differences.

What Does Obamacare Mean For Asian Americans?

There are various opinions to the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Some of you may be completely for it, others may be strongly against it and some (though we hope many of you don’t fall into this category) don’t care at all.

Today is October 1st which means that you may now enroll for for health care coverage under Obamacare. As we had mentioned, many seem to simply not care about the issue at hand. Is this a good idea for our Asian American community? Definitely not. Studies have found that 1 in 7 Asian Americans are uninsured. With healthcare being such a major issue affecting our community, it only makes sense that we ought to start caring about it.

Your opinion of these issues and what you agree with is entirely up to you, but what we can all agree on is that it never hurt to get more educated. So how do we do that? This is where #GetCovered comes in.

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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC are all supporting the #GetCovered tumblr project which which aims to show Asian Americans fully in support of Obamacare and ways in which it can affect our community.

Check it out for yourself here.

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The Daily SHAG | Daniel Henney For Elle Korea October 2013

It’s rare to feel the need to swoon, sigh, giggle (yes, the term “giggle” is actually appropriate here) and blush all at the same time. If you thought this overwhelm of emotions was impossible, then you clearly haven’t seen the latest photoshoot from today’s Daily SHAG (Smoking Hot Asian Guy), Daniel Henney.

This 33-year-old model and actor has been stealing hearts since 2001 when his modeling career began. He then became a South Korea favorite after staring in My Name is Kim Sam Soon. He continued to gather Korean fans through variety shows and eventually came back to the U.S.

In 2009, Henney portrayed Agent Zero in the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine instantly became a fan favorite. More recently, he is known for his role Michael Noshimuri in the CBS hit Hawaii Five-O.

As great of an actor as Henney is, he clearly knows what he’s doing when it comes to modeling. One second he’s goofy, another second he’s charming and the another second he’s steamy. Check it out for yourself as he graces the pages of Elle Korea’s October Issue:

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And our personal favorite:

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Celebrating Filipino American History Month: Ten Timeless Filipina Actresses

The art of film and television was introduced to the Philippines in the late 1890′s and although this is the youngest of the Philippine arts, it has developed into the most popular. Because of its appeal, the Philippine Entertainment Industry appears to be growing larger every year. And when we say large, we mean it. With new faces popping up everyday, it would take a very long time to name all of the young and rising Filipina Actresses currently gracing the screen.

We decided to take a different approach. Yes, there are many Filipina actresses, but who are the ones we consider timeless? Who are the leading ladies we can watch years from now and still find ourselves mesmerized by? Who’s performances bring us to tears? In honor of Filipino American History Month*, we present to you Ten Timeless Filipina Actresses:


NORA AUNOR (1953)

Nora Aunor first began her career after winning an amateur singing contest. Upon recognizing that her singing career wasn’t going as well as she’d like, she set her heart on acting. This was clearly Aunor’s strength and she quickly became a serious actress after her film debut in All Over the World (1967). Her career sky-rocketed and today her achievements are astounding. She has had more nominations in both the FAMAS Awards and Gawad Urian Awards for Best Actress than any other Filipina actress. With over fifty awards under her belt, its no surprise that this leading lady has received international recognition.

Watch:
Himala
Thy Womb
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VILMA SANTOS (1953)
Surprisingly, this award-winning actress and politician stumbled upon her acting career quite accidentally. While in the studio her uncle worked at, she mistakenly ended up in line to audition for a role in Trudis Liit. Sure enough, she landed the role and received a FAMAS Award for Best Child Performer in 1963 for it. Vilma Santos went on to do countless films and has been nominated for countless awards for her performances. She is currently the Governor of Batangas Province.
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HILDA KORONEL (1957)
Koronel began her successful acting career very young and at thirteen she became the youngest winner of the FAMAS Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in the film Santiago (1970). She is best known for her work under Lino Broka (named one of the greatest film directors of the Philippines). Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag (1976) won six FAMAS awards and Insiang(1977) won a FAMAS and Gawad Urian Award.

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LORNA TOLENTINO (1961)

Tolentino began her career as a child actress- she was only eight years old during her first film Uhaw Sa Kalayaan (1969). Clearly finding her calling, she continued film and currently has about 60 pictures to her name. She is also one of the Grand Slam actresses in the Philippine Cinema Industry. The Grand Slam award is the rare title given to those who win a certain amount of awards for a single film. The list of Grand Slam actresses include Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, and Sharon Cuneta. Lorna has expanded her career to hosting and producing.

Watch:
Magnifico
Narito Ang Puso Ko

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MARICEL SORIANO (1965)

With the nickname “The Diamond Star” of the Philippine Entertainment Industry, a lot is expected of Maricel Soriano. Luckily, she lives up to these expectations. Soriano began her acting career at the young age of six in My Heart Belongs to Daddy (1971). With 46 movie and television awards, Maricel is the third most awarded Philippine film actress of all time. These awards include Best Child Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Achiever Award as actress/producer, Best Performer and Best Actress.

Watch:
Inang Yaya
Bahay Kubo

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SHARON CUNETA (1966)

Cuneta is another Philippine actress given a nickname in the Entertainment Industry- The Megastar. Beginning her career at the age of twelve, Sharon has had quite the success. With 53 starring roles in film, 10 television roles, and 40 recording albums, its no wonder that Sharon is the highest paid Filipino endorser. She became the highest paid Filipino artist ever with her contract to the Kapatid Network. She currently hosts a daily talk show called Sharon; Kasama Mo, Kapatid.

Watch:
Crying Ladies
Kung Ako Na Lang Sana

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REGINE VELASQUEZ (1970)

Regine has been in over 20 films and even more television roles. She even has a few theater titles under her name. Although she has clearly captivated audiences with her acting (and has the awards to prove it), her heart lies with music. In 1989, Velasquez won the Asia Pacific Singing Contest in Hong Kong. She’s the first Asian artist to perform solo at Carnegie Hall and her first Asia-released album sold more than 700,000 copies.

Watch:
Of All The Things
Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw

 

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KRIS AQUINO (1971)

At the age of 14, Aquino made her first television appearance and quickly seemed to find her calling. Her film career gained her some nominations and awards, but her heart seemed set for television. She has gained popularity through her talk shows, game shows, and endorsements. Her television and hosting prominence has gained her nicknames such as Queen of All Media, Philippine’s Queen of Talk, and Queen of Philippine Game Shows.

Watch:
Mano Po
Feng Shui

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JUDY ANN SANTOS (1978)

Like many of her fellow Timeless Filipina Actresses, Judy Ann began her acting career as a child. She began in television with Kaming Mga Ulila (1986). She also began doing film and won her first FAMAS Award nomination for The Lost Command. In 1992 she was getting vast media attention and finally had her breakthrough in 1997 with the television drama Esperanza. Santos is known to have achieved high recognition, popularity, and success in both television and film. She has become an award-winning actress, recording artist, and film producer.

Watch:
Sabel
Kasal Kasalo Kasali

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CLAUDINE BARRETTO (1979)

Interestingly enough, Barretto was discovered at the age of 13 by talent manager Douglas Quijano at a party. With her sisters already in the entertainment business, Claudine was ready for her own stardom. By 2000 she was named Most Popular Teen Star by the Starlight Cultural Foundation the nicknamed Box Office Queen in 2003 for her role in Kailangan Kita. With nearly thirty movies, 26 television roles, and a handful of award nominations to her name, Claudine Barretto is proving that shes here to stay.

Watch:
Kailangan Kita
Anak

 

 

*This story was originally published in March to honor Women’s History Month. Today, it is republished to celebrate Filipino American History Month and showcase the Filipino actresses who have created lasting influence in Filipinos and Filipino Americans alike. By progressing the Filipino Entertainment Industry, these ladies have allowed Filipino Americans to reconnect with their roots.

Steven Yeun Opens Up About His Steamy On-Screen Romance

If there’s one thing to be happy about amidst the walker-infested, death-stained world of AMC’s The Walking Dead, that would be the growing love of Glenn and Maggie. Who didn’t cheer when Maggie caught Glenn off guard in Season 2 by offering her.. love in an abandoned pharmacy?

So how does a couple maintain a relationship in the middle of a zombie apocalypse? Glenne decides the best route would be marriage. In the end of Season 3, Glenn presents Maggie with a ring (stolen off of a zombie of course). But how will this play out in Season 4 which premieres on October 13th? We asked the same thing.

Actor Steven Yeun and co-star Lauren Cohan gave Entertainment Weekly some inside information about the two lovebirds. Cohan jokes that as soon as Herschel, Maggie’s father, gets ordained online, he will be the one to marry them.

Not missing a beat, Steven Yeun sums up whats to come in Season 4 with, “more loving, less shoving.” Check out the interview for yourself:

Image of The Day: Japan Introduces The World’s Laziest Burger

See that? Doesn’t it look like it’s only two inverted buns with a sliver of ham between two slices of cheese? Well.. that’s because it is two inverted buns with a sliver of ham between two slices of cheese.

Next Friday, McDonald’s Japan will introduce the “McToast” to the public. From the looks of things, McDonalds has run out of ideas.

Although this sandwich looks tragically simple, it may not do so bad. The “McToast” holds quite a bit of resemblance to the French “Le Croque McDo” (picture below) which has done surprisingly well in Europe.

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“Le Croque McDo” has done well by focusing on its simplicity. The website openly states that it is merely two slices of melted Swiss cheese, a slice of ham and toasted bread. It then points out, “It does not take more to be good.”

Lets hope the simplicity, or laziness, of the “McToast” thrives just as well.

french mcds

 

(source)

U.S. Protests Miss World Results: Is Megan Young Filipino or American?

This past Saturday, the 2013 Miss World pageant was won by 23-year-old Miss Philippines, Megan Young. Held in Indonesia, the Miss World 2013 pageant had contestants from 127 countries competing for the oldest international beauty pageant title.

Young’s victory was a big win for the Philippines. By earning the Miss World title, Philippines is now the third country, after Brazil and Venezuela, to win all four major international beauty contests: Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International, and Miss Earth.

This should be very celebrated news, but after Nina Davuluri, we should have known better than to expect no controversy.

It is rumored that less than 24 hours after the pageant results, the U.S. filed a formal protest with the Miss World pageant organizers. Although Young spent most of her life in the Philippines, she was born in the United States. The protest is allegedly arguing that because of this, she should be credited as a U.S. entry as well. The protest claims that because her father is American, her surname “sounds very American.” Apparently, she should be declared a “dual contestant” because of her dual citizenship.

Thankfully, these rather outrageous protests are not confirmed. This does not, however, stop American media outlets such as CNN and Hollywood Life from emphasizing her birthplace.

So first Nina Davuluri isn’t “American enough” because of her ethnic background. Now, despite Megan Young culturally identifying as a Filipina, America wants to be credited in her win because she was born in the U.S.

Yeah. That makes a load of sense.

(Source 1, 2)