“Josh” – my new documentary short film – is now online!

I visited my friend and neighbour, Josh Vander Vies, one beautiful sunny day. He welcomed me (and my production assistant, El Apostol) into his home to film what is a regular Saturday for him and his family (Dalia Mykolaitiene, and her son, Karolis). It was an ordinary day all right, except that there’s nothing ordinary about Josh.

Josh is an athlete, artist, law student and motivational speaker. He’s a young man with big dreams… but that’s not what makes him special. “Josh” is a short documentary film about one ordinary day in an extraordinary man’s life.

“Josh” is now online at RipplemakersTV.com

“Ripple” is a web TV series that premiered on July 30, 2010. It is produced by Layaco Media filmmaker Carol Gancia. Layaco Media is a video production company based in San Francisco, California that uses technology and social media to solve the challenges of reaching your target audience.

“Ripple” is about regular people like you and me whose lives have had a positive influence on their communities. By virtue of who they are… by standing by their beliefs… by following their dreams… they create a ripple effect around them.

Happy viewing…


“Josh” – a documentary short film

Josh Vander Vies

When a dear friend and colleague asked me to contribute an episode to her web series, “Ripple,” it didn’t take long for me to think of the perfect story to tell.

“Ripple” is a web-based TV program that features ordinary people leading extraordinary lives. It’s about individuals who, by virtue of who they are and what they believe in, have had a positive influence in their communities. Josh Vander Vies is one such person.

Josh is an athlete, artist, law student and motivational speaker. He’s a young man with big dreams… but that’s not what makes him special. Josh was born with a disability, that for some, might have been an excuse not to try and excel in life. Josh talks about being nurtured and supported as a kid, which encouraged him to set high goals for himself and achieve them… no matter what.

“Josh” is a documentary short film about one ordinary day in an extraordinary man’s life. It’s a reminder that while we all have challenges to face in our lives, we must “do what we have to do in order to live our lives to the fullest.”

“Josh” premieres on July 1st 2011 on www.ripplemakerstv.com.

Here’s a sneak preview.

Philippine Independence Day in Vancouver

If there’s one thing Pinoys know how to do, it’s to throw a great party!

To celebrate the 113th year of Philippine Independence, Filipinos in Vancouver had not one, not two, but SIX Philippine Independence Day parties all over the Lower Mainland. SIX perfectly wonderful excuses to get together, sing and dance to traditional Filipino music, and of course, enjoy a picnic of all our favorite dishes from home.

I went to three of these parties (you’d have to be a certain politician to go to all six), and I particularly enjoyed the one in Slocan Park, Vancouver. The park was lined with community booths that shared food and treats to visitors, all for free! You can walk around the park and have a plate full of goodies at the end of one round. There was everything from lechon (roasted pig) to pansit (noodles) to puto (rice cakes) and pan de sal (bread rolls). It reminded me of our fiestas back home where people opened their doors and shared whatever they had with everyone.

We have a name for that too. It’s called Filipino hospitality. And I’m guessing that’s the secret behind all these great parties! 😉

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Cordillera Day in Vancouver

April 24th – Cordillera Day – is a celebration commemorating the brave struggles of indigenous peoples in the Philippines to protect their ancestral land and preserve their way of life. With music, dance and community chanting, people pay tribute to Cordillera martyrs who have fought for self determination in their own homeland.

Today, Cordillera Day is celebrated in different parts of the world including Hongkong, Belgium, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and Canada. Organized by Cordillera migrants and attended by international solidarity partners and advocates, it is a reminder that the fight for social justice, genuine development and peace is far from over.

We need to be vigilant… and stay together.

Happy Cordi Day!

Envisioning Home at George Pearson Centre

George Pearson's Main Hallway - animation by Su-An Ng

George Pearson Centre is not just a long-term care facility for people with disabilities, it’s home to over 120 individuals. These people require specialized assistance and 24-hour care as a result of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord and traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy or a variety of other health conditions.

I met some of these residents. In a video project entitled “Envisioning Home,” the residents talked openly and candidly about their lives before Pearson and at Pearson. And because many will be living here for years to come, if not for the rest of their lives, they’ve even dared to dream about what could make Pearson an ideal home.

“Envisioning Home” is a look into the lives of some extraordinary George Pearson residents. It is a story told in three parts. I invite you to come and pay a visit.

Click on the link below:


Lights, Camera… MOTION!

2011 kicked off to a great start for Curly Tail Pictures. We were commissioned to do a promotional video for a company called Motion Specialties BC.

Motion Specialties BC provides innovative solutions to people with limited mobility. They have everything from wheelchairs to van conversions, scooters to stair lifts, custom-made for people of all shapes, sizes, ages and physical/functional needs. Getting to know the company was a good thing in itself. Getting to know the people BEHIND the company was a gift.

Working closely with Motion Specialties’ senior officers, staff and clients made this production experience extremely enjoyable. It was the most organized and stress-free 10-hour day shoot I’ve ever been on.

Hats off, of course, to my lean, mean, all-Asian women production team. With Jennifer Lee behind the camera and Gaea Claver doing production stills and all-around PA work, I was able to focus on my job of story-telling.

As for post-production, it was Debra Sears – the lady with a golden voice – that pulled it all together with her beautiful narration that brought the video to life.

My sincere thanks to Kevin Perry (Operations Manager), John Armstrong (President), Rick Nori (Vice President and General Manager, Vancouver), Randy Baerg (Vice President and General Manager, Victoria/Nanaimo) and the entire Motion Specialties family for this wonderful opportunity to collaborate.

Click on this link to watch our 10-minute promotional video entitled, BACK IN MOTION.


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The Orange Wave

Got prime real estate for my camera at the rally. Thanks for the photo, Kim!

The Orange wave just hit B.C.

In the final stretch of his campaign, Jack Layton visited Vancouver to rally his supporters around the NDP banner. Over 2,000 people came out anticipating what could be an historic vote come election day.

How I wish I could vote!

All you Canadian citizens out there… make a choice and cast your vote tomorrow. 😉