• ‘Amigo’ comes to U.S. theaters • 3 days of Philippines in America • Storming Times Square for Bastille Festival

Joel Torre's character is caught in the crossfire of the Philippine-American War.

“Amigo,” the much-anticipated independent feature by acclaimed filmmaker John Sayles, will be distributed in theaters across the United States by Variance Films.

Set during the Philippine-American War at the turn of the previous century and filmed entirely in The Philippines, “Amigo” — the 17th feature film from Academy Award-nominated writer-director Sayles — features a stellar international ensemble cast.

“Amigo”  stars Academy Award winner Chris Cooper, Garrett Dillahunt (“Winter’s Bone,” “No Country For Old Men”), Tony nominee Yul Vazquez (“The A-Team,” “War of the Worlds”), DJ Qualls (“Hustle and Flow”) and among the more decorated and respected thespians from the Philippines in Joel Torre, Rio Locsin, Ronnie Lazaro, Bembol Roco and Arthur Acuna.

Rafael Dacanay (Joel Torre) is a village mayor caught in the murderous crossfire of the Philippine-American War. When U.S. troops occupy his village, Rafael comes under pressure from a tough-as-nails officer (Chris Cooper) to help the Americans in their hunt for Filipino guerilla fighters.  But Rafael’s brother (Ronnie Lazaro) is the head of the local guerillas and considers anyone who cooperates with the Americans to be a traitor.  Rafael quickly finds himself forced to make the impossible, potentially deadly decisions faced by ordinary civilians in an occupied country.

A powerful drama of friendship, betrayal, romance and heartbreaking violence, “Amigo” is a page from the rarely filmed history of the Philippines and America, and a mirror of today’s irresolvable conflicts.

“Amigo” opens for week-long runs at the following East Coast cities and dates:

August 19

Bergenfield, NJ        Clearview

New York, NY         AMC Empire 25

September 2

Washington DC       AMC Rio

Virginia Beach, VA   AMC Lynnhaven 18 in Norfolk

 Visit the film’s website at amigomovie.com for more details.


Philippine Fiesta 2009

“Enjoying the summer so far? Enjoy more by joining us at the Philippine Fiesta!” So beckons the personal invite of  Mila Mendez, organizer of the three-day Philippine festival in America.

The marathon event opens August 19 with a People’s Ball & Gala. The day’s highlights include ceremonies for the Empowerment Awards, the U.S. Pan American Asian Chamber of Commerce Northeast Entrepreneur and Technology Awards, networking with movers and shakers of the FilAm community,  as well as presentation of 2011 Miss Philippine Fiesta.

Invited to perform are saxophonist Michael Young, flutist  April Talangbayan, and  Dancing With the Stars junior champs Craig  & Samantha. Not to mention the special appearance of Philippine Fiesta performers, ballroom dancing and raffle prizes! To reserve your seats ($85), please call 212-682-6610, Mila at 917-340-6262 or email sepmgzn@yahoo.com.

The People’s Ball will be held at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel, 2 Meadowlands Plaza in East Rutherford, New Jersey, across from the Giants Stadium.

On  August 20 and 21, the Philippine Fiesta continues in the trade exhibits arena with a cultural festival featuring Pinoys Got Talent; folkdances, hip hop dance groups and bands, a beauty pageant, a health and job fair, and a children’s pavilion.

A musical extravaganza will be topbilled by Zsa-Zsa Padilla, Ariel Rivera and the comedy love team of Melai Cantiveros and Jason Francisco. Also performing are FilAm musical pride: Alyssa Shoemaker,  Inspired Dance Crew, Jaleo Dancers, Nina Waga Mojares, Philippine Dance Company of Boston,  Project D, Seven Odon, Sounds Of Manila, Starr Salazar, The Crossing, and Tiffany Viray. Tickets are available at philippinefiesta.com.


Thousands of people are expected on July 16 and 17 at the Novotel Hotel on Times Square for the celebration of the Bastille Festival.

The event will give New Yorkers the best of the French-speaking world through a broad variety of multi-cultural exhibitors, musical performances, wine education, culinary presentations, and activities for kids.

Mask by Dulcie

This year’s program will feature  more than 30 artists, including FilAm Dulcie Dee, showcasing her collection of masks.

“We are very proud to celebrate French culture with New Yorkers in a place as symbolic as Times Square, said Enrique Gonzalez, organizer of the festival. “Now we can really say that the French have conquered the crossroads of the world!”


  1. eddie wrote:

    Why “AMIGO” instead of “KAIBIGAN”…any problems with filipino tagalog?

  2. Cristina wrote:

    I read somewhere that before ‘Amigo,’ the original title was ‘Baryo.’

  3. Jason wrote:

    Hi, I really find your website interesting. I linked to your WordPress blog on my homepage.

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