Pinoys in Chicago celebrate Fil Am Heritage Month
October 30, 2010

Text and photo by Ted Regencia
(Photo courtesy of Hawak Kamay cultural group)

SKOKIE, Ill — Sitting on low chairs at the Skokie Public Library, a diverse group of children gathered around book author Almira Astudillo Gilles, as she engaged them in a story about a young Filipino American boy and his unusual coin bank.

Using interactive materials, including a coconut shell, Gilles kept the children’s attention, while weaving Filipino cultural references in her story, Willie Wins, which tells of a boy’s search for identity in America.

The Sunday afternoon book reading was part of a line-up of events in Skokie this October, officially designated by U.S. Congress last year, as Filipino American Heritage Month.

Skokie is home to thousands of Filipino Americans in the Chicagoland, and it is spearheading the month-long celebration featuring cultural dances, workshops, a movie night and a cooking demonstration.

Continue reading “Pinoys in Chicago celebrate Fil Am Heritage Month”

Students urged to fight bullying scourge
October 25, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — From Independence, IA, to Joliet, IL, 110 high school students recently convened in Skokie to learn about standing up against bullying, leadership and diversity.

The event takes on greater significance following highly publicized reports of bullying across the nation, said Rachel Hellenga, director of program services at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.

Hellenga recounted to Skokie Patch a scene during a recent morning session, when the students were asked to stand up if they know anyone bullied in school.

“One hundred percent of the students stood up indicating that they knew someone who had been bullied,” she said. “So we know that this is still a very relevant issue today.”

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The beauty and perils of swords on display in Highland Park
October 18, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill — For thousands of years, the sword has been the weapon of choice of hunters and warriors, from the arid, rock-strewn plains of Darfur, in western Sudan, to Persia, and the ragged mountains of Tibet.

In an show billed as the “first major edged-weapon museum exhibition in the Chicago area in over half a century,” the Highland Park Historical Society is bringing Pan-Eurasian and Pan-Historic swords and daggers spanning 3,500 years to the North Shore.

History buffs and ordinary museum-goers, however, have only two more weeks to experience the exhibit as it concludes on Oct. 31. Continue reading “The beauty and perils of swords on display in Highland Park”

Fil-Am family gets brand new house from reality show

Balitang America
October 14, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

NEENAH, Wis. — In a time of economic recession and real estate market collapse, owning a brand new house might be a fantasy for many families.

But thanks to a popular reality show, a Filipino family from Neenah, Wisconsin is now living their American dream.

The Arboleda family won ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, which helps build homes for deserving families all over the U.S. The family was one of the five finalists from the Badger State.

“We are overwhelmed,” said Rhex Arboleda, a 36-year old teacher and father of five. “This house is just so amazing. It’s a wonderful experience, and we are so happy because the kids really needed a house like this.”
Continue reading “Fil-Am family gets brand new house from reality show”

Village Inn is Big Slice of Skokie’s Life
October 9, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — With its iconic neon sign and much talked-about pan pizza, the Village Inn Pizzeria in Skokie has more than established itself as a gastronomic institution in the North Shore.

For Skokie native Edgar Villanueva, it is more than just a neighborhood foodie destination, it’s part of his life.

Friday was the start of a three-day celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment. So Villanueva dropped by to grab a pizza for dinner and to congratulate its owner, Randy Miles, on the occasion.

Villanueva swore by the taste of the Village Inn’s pizza, and said even his 7-year-old daughter agrees.

“I have a daughter, she always asks for pizza. ‘Daddy, that’s the best pizza I’ve had,’ ” he said recalling her comment.

Continue reading “Village Inn is Big Slice of Skokie’s Life”

Bike ride raises over $50K for cancer research (Published in Elmhurst and Highland Park)
October 5, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill — Wearing a Team In Training jersey and sporting a helmet in hand, Bryn Lerud steadied herself as she listened to the final instructions for her first charity bike ride. Accompanying her was Andrew, her 23-year-old son, who wore a matching purple, green and white uniform.

The mother-son duo from Elmhurst joined the early morning Blood, Sweat & Tears (BST) ride in Highland Park on Sunday to honor Mike, Bryn’s 17-year-old son and Andrew’s younger brother.

Bryn turned red-faced and misty eyed when she mentioned Mike’s name. Andrew stared blankly while holding back tears.

A senior at York High School, Mike died a week ago. He was buried three days before the charity event.

Continue reading “Bike ride raises over $50K for cancer research”

At The Skokie Library with Tribune’s Movie Critic

October 2, 2010

Text and photos by Ted Regencia

SKOKIE, Ill — Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips met with movie fans in Skokie on Wednesday to share his thoughts on movies, actors and film reviews.

From Alfred Hitchcock to Clint Eastwood and Spencer Tracy to Kate Winslet, Phillips regaled his audience with a wide-ranging discussion mixed with humor and authority.

“Half the movies we’ve seen in our lives are somewhere between inspiration and disaster,” said Phillips, who co-hosted the final year of the syndicated TV series At The Movies along with his New York Times counterpart, A.O. Scott.

Continue reading “At The Skokie Library with Tribune’s Movie Critic”