Arts and Entertainment: DongYan… Laugh Trip in America

Celebrities from the Philippines grace the stage to entertain Filipinos in California.

 

As some of you may not know, I (Jaja, @theforevertourist) was born and raised in the Philippines. I have been living in the United States for the 12 years.  In that time, I’ve learned to embrace other cultures, thanks to the friends that I’ve met. But nothing feels better than engaging yourself in your own culture. In my case, parts of my culture that I have not embraced in a while. Like Filipino entertainment!

I was lucky enough that someone gave me tickets to see a concert of a famous celebrity couple from the Philippines. The concert is called DongYan.. Laugh Trip in America. The main act is husband and wife Dingdon Dantes and Marian Rivera. They are both big celebrities in the Philippines. They met in the industry and got married a couple of years ago. Together with them is a group of comedians, namely Ate Gay, Boobsie Wonderland, and Boobay.

For their opening acts, different talented performers from around California (and even Texas) opened the show with their dancing and singing skills.

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Boobsie came out first with her stand-up comedy, and even graced us with her very powerful singing voice. This was the first time I’ve heard of her, and I was glad I went to this show. She was very funny and I was very amazed at her singing. I’ve been watching her performances on YouTube.

Next came Boobay and Ate Gay as a comedic duo. Since they’re both singers, they performed a mixture of stand-up comedy and mash-up duets. I especially liked Ate Gay for her one of a kind talent of making on the spot mash-ups. Boobay would say one song and Ate Gay would do the mash-up. Yes, I know it’s probably rehearsed. Haha. But she’s been doing the impromptu mashups back home and it really is quite impressive, sometimes even mixing songs in English and Tagalog.

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And then, they brought out Dingdong Dantes. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan or anything like that. But he’s one of the famous “teenage actors” in the early 2000s, my -aherm- generation, and I did get my share of giddy feelings. So to see him on stage singing and charming the pants off all the ladies in the audience was quite fun. So yeah, while he was singing and performing on stage, I allowed myself to be mesmerized. *giggles*

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Finally, the belle of the ball came out – Marian Rivera. Okay, so. She became famous when I was already in the US so I didn’t really know her. But I saw her perform at another concert a couple of years ago in Los Angeles. She is really, really, REALLY pretty. One of the segments of the concert was she would talk about all these romantic/heartbreaking situations, and the comedians would act out the bits, and she would sing the accompanying song after the scene.

As a finale, all of the performers came onstage to sing a medley. At that time, everyone was invited to stand in front of the stage, take pictures, get autographs, and interacts with their favorite celebrities.

I enjoy living in the United States, but I do miss the Philippines. When I get the chance to go to these events, I really enjoy myself because I really miss the culture. And being surrounded by Filipinos, hearing the chatter in my native language, and engaging with them as if I know them is just so fulfilling that it lessens the homesickness.

-Jaja (@theforevertourist)

 

 

 

 

Supper Club Saturday: Nando Milano Trattoria

“You had me at fresh pasta!”

Nando Milano Trattoria

2114 W. Division St

Chicago, IL 60622

 

This last month was pretty stressful for me, which ended at exactly 1:30pm CDT on Friday, September 30th (not like I was counting down the minutes).  So what do I do when I want to relax (other than sing-along to a Backstreet Boys song on my drive back?)  This girl got her hair done and treated herself out to dinner!

My hairdresser living in UkranianVillage, and I knew that, regardless of where I went, I wasn’t going to be disappointed.  So, I looked on Yelp and I found this gem: Nando Milano Trattoria.  They had a lot of good reviews and, when I looked at the menu, I saw this:

House-made pasta…whaaaat?!

That sealed the deal for me as I have a weak spot for fresh pasta.

Was I their first patron of the day? Yes. Did I care? No (especially since I didn’t have a lunch that day, this gal was starving!)

I started with the Polenta Ghiotta, which was an organic crispy polenta with mushroom, cheese fondue and a creamy porcini sauce.  The polenta was firm and not soggy with that perfect crisp on the outside.  It absorbed the cheese and porcini sauce beautifully.

Next, I went with their (fresh-made) Orechiette Special that had a ground wild boar ragout in tomato sauce.  The wild boar was not gamey at all and it was tender.  (Sometimes with the wild game meats, they can be gamey and/or chewy or tough – this one wasn’t).  If you have ever had fresh pasta, you know how good it can be – you taste the freshness of the eggs and flour, which was what the orecchiette had.

I was asked if I would like dessert.  Technically I was full, but I wanted to hear what they had.  I heard their tiramisu, their cannoli, their profiteroles…and then I heard bombolone.  When I asked what their bombolone was, it was described to me as a donut filled with Nutella and, before he could even finish the sentence, I said, “I will have that!”

It was so beautiful, it was almost a shame to eat it.

So for Nando Milano Trattoria, with this meal, it was not only fresh, delicious and flavorful, but you had also brought me comfort and soothed me after a rough few weeks. Thank you, it was a pleasure, indeed!

Bring your children, bring your husbands, bring your wives to Nando Milano Trattoria!  You will be graced by, not only their authentic and flavorful meals, but by their wonderful and friendly staff as well.

-Maeven

Nando Milano Trattoria

Web: http://www.nandomilano.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/NandoMilanoTrattoria

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NandoMilanoTrat

Google+: https://plus.google.com/115699584016998212434