WHO IS MIKE OQUENDO: MEET THE PUERTO RICAN FROM CHICAGO BEHIND MIKEY O COMEDY PRODUCTIONS

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

“If we want to compete at another level, then we have to behave at that other level.”

Mike Oquendo photo source: Mikey O Comedy Productions

Chicago is an awesome place for standup, it’s an awesome place for comedy. The audiences here are amazing,” said Mike Oquendo, the man behind Mikey O Comedy Productions. The son of Puerto Rican parents and Chicago native, Oquendo has managed to maintain a solid comedic reputation for 10 years, has given back to the community and has made people of all different backgrounds laugh.

For the last five years, Oquendo’s production company has done no less than 80 shows in a year. Last year, they finished off with 114 shows. Catering to a predominantly Latino audience, Oquendo said that when he first began hosting these comedy nights, there was a thirst for it. “When people heard ‘Latino comedy’ they said, ‘What’s that?’ When people come to a show, I ask how many people have been to a comedy show. About half of them raise their hands,” he explained. Oquendo owes his comedic passion to the Freddie Prinze comedy album.

“I remember being fascinated by the fact that this guy was a Puerto Rican comedian and there was an album out in which this guy was telling the Puerto Rican story,” he said. “There was a part of me that learned at that moment that that was ok; that talking about that experience was nothing to be ashamed about.”

From high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he was a medic. Oquendo used his experience and worked in hospitals in Chicago. Eventually, he went on to become a dispatcher for the Chicago Fire Department getting jobs where he could, with comedy in the back of his head.

grant Jose “Pepe” Vargas, director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. (EFE)
FOX NEWS LATINO

It was Pepe Vargas, executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center, who Oquendo says, gave him his big break and first real job with being a member of the gala production team. After, he went on to work at museums and eventually the Adler Planetarium where he was in charge of special events, still having an incredible passion for comedy.

Mike Oquendo photo source: Mikey O Comedy Productions

“Taking that combination for production experience and my love for comedy gave birth to what I do today,” he explained. “I’ve done every single job in this business: I’ve been the box office guy, I’ve been the coat check, I’ve been the janitor, I’ve been the guy that delivers the sound equipment, I’ve been the host, I’ve been the usher. I wanted to be in it so badly, that I took any job to be in the mix.”


Fourteen years later, Oquendo has left a lasting impression on the community he decided to stick to. Dedicating funds to particular charities and organizations that support the arts, among others, Oquendo says that his team raised just under $90,000 in 2011, 70 percent of that, arts related. Inclusive of production, Oquendo says his biggest job is motivating his comedians to be professional and authentic in their performances. Taking experiences from his youth to create standards and upholding them, Oquendo believes that if he demands more, the performers will deliver at a higher quality.

Read More: Extra News

SUBSCRIBE to The Hispanic Blog to stay on top of the latest latino news, politics and entertainment!

Don’t be shy SUBSCRIBE – COMMENT – LIKE ME -CIRCLE ME AND FOLLOW ME

If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me.

God Bless and make it a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog

 

ROSELYN SANCHEZ ON COVER OF FIRST ¡HOLA! PUERTO RICO

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Puerto Rican actress and model Roselyn Sanchez, hubby Eric Winter and baby daughter Sebella Rose grace the cover of the first edition of HOLA! Puerto Rico, which went on sale on Wednesday on the Caribbean island. In the interview accompanying the photo spread, the actress – known for her roles in U.S. television series such as “Without a Trace” and films like “The Game Plan” and “Rush Hour,” said that her maternity was “the most marvelous in the world.”
“I yearned for it for many years and it was work to conceive her, but she came along when she had to come,” Sanchez said after noting that for a long time she was completely focused on her career until her biological alarm clock went off.”

HOLA! Puerto Rico will maintain its customary international leading article and will add reporting of local interest that reflects the prestige of the personalities and the pulse of the best social and cultural environment of the Caribbean island.

photo source go4celebrity.com

Spain’s HOLA! launched Hello! in Britain in 1988 and very soon it became quite popular, spurring the rolling out of editions in Russia, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Turkey, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, India, Serbia, Morocco, Indonesia, Argentina, Peru, Bulgaria, Ecuador and now Puerto Rico.

SUBSCRIBE to The Hispanic Blog to stay on top of the latest latino news, politics and entertainment!

Don’t be shy SUBSCRIBE – COMMENT – LIKE ME -CIRCLE ME AND FOLLOW ME

If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me.

God Bless and make it a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog

 

WHAT IS PAMPERS® DOING FOR HISPANIC MOMS: LEARN ABOUT “MI MILAGRO. NUESTRA HERENCIA”

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Pampers®, the diaper brand committed to making a difference for Latino parents and babies right from the start, today debuted its new online initiative Mi milagro. Nuestra herenciaPampers is providing Hispanic moms with a forum to connect and discuss how they celebrate and preserve their cultural roots, pride and traditions with their little miracles. The new dedicated heritage tab is part of an online offering on the Pampers‘ Latino Facebook page (Facebook.com/PampersLatino).

“With one in four babies born in the U.S. being Hispanic, we understand how important it is to provide moms with ongoing support through programs that speak to their everyday needs”

The Mi milagro. Nuestra herencia. Interactive Forum

The forum offers Hispanic consumers the opportunity to connect with the Pampers Latino community and share personal baby care tips, cultural traditions or special memories from their childhood. The online forum celebrates and supports parents in their quest to raise their little miracles in the American experience while encouraging them to protect their Hispanic cultural pride and traditions.

To commemorate the debut of the online initiative, Pampers is encouraging Hispanic consumers to honor their little miracles’ culture by logging on to the Pampers Latino Facebook page and visiting the special Mi milagro. Nuestra herencia. heritage tab (located on the top of the screen); to participate in weekly giveaways for a chance to win customized Pampers’ body suit featuring the names of several Latin American countries of origin.

Beginning today, fans will get the chance to participate in weekly cultural body suit drawings’. One lucky family will even be selected at random to win the ultimate grand prize – a vacation to visit a Latin American country to reconnect with their cultural roots1. The promotion ends May 31, 2012.

“At Pampers, we recognize the need to honor the uniqueness of Latinos living in the U.S., American parenting and the cultural duality that they encounter with their little miracles,” added Olmo. “Whether a parent is from Mexico, El Salvador or Puerto Rico, we want to be the brand that supports Latino parents in preserving their Hispanic cultural roots while they strike a balance to embracing their American lifestyle and journey with their little miracles.”

For more information on Pampers’ Mi milagro. Nuestra herencia., please visit www.facebook.com/PampersLatino.

SUBSCRIBE to The Hispanic Blog to stay on top of the latest latino news, politics and entertainment!

Don’t be shy SUBSCRIBE – COMMENT – LIKE ME -CIRCLE ME AND FOLLOW ME

If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me at thehispanicblog@gmail.com.

God Bless and may you have a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog


HOW HAS ROMNEY’S POSITION CHANGED TOWARD THE LATINO ISSUES: FROM DREAM ACT TO IMMIGRATION

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce And Univision Hold "Meet The Candidates" Event January 24, 2012 - Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

Mitt Romney won a landslide victory over Rick Santorum in Puerto Rico last weekend and Santorum is not taking his 75-point defeat lightly.

Santorum, who spent two full days campaigning in the Caribbean island, congratulated Romney on his victory in a press release late Sunday night, but in the same breath accused the former governor of pandering to Puerto Rico’s Latino voters by switching his position on making English the official language of every U.S. state.

“Their decision to put political expedience and political deception ahead of previously held policy positions further erodes their candidate’s credibility and trust,” Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley said of the Romney campaign in the statement. “We all know Mitt Romney will do and say anything to get votes, and this is just another example of that.”

But just how much of a conservative two-step did Romney dance while courting Puerto Ricans? Here’s a look at some of the positions Romney softened, and those he stood by while attempting to woo Latino voters.

English as the Official Language

After Santorum was skewered for saying Puerto Rico would have to make English their official language in order to become a state, Romney toned down his own position on the issue while campaigning in Puerto Rico last week.

“I don’t have preconditions that I would impose,” Romney said shortly after touching down on the Island Friday. “English has been an official language of Puerto Rico for 100 years and I think selecting the words of your governor, Spanish is the language of Puerto Rico’s heritage, English is the language of opportunity.”

Both languages are currently considered “official” in the island territory and Romney encouraged young people to “learn both.” While he emphasized the importance of learning English, he did not say it should be the sole official language.

But that’s not what he said during debates in January.

“I believe English should be the official language of the United States,” Romney said on the debate stage.

The U.S. currently does not have an “official” language. If English was adopted as the “official” language, no government documents could be printed or written in any language besides English. Many federal documents are currently printed in both Spanish and English.

At another January debate, Romney noted that “English is the language of this nation” and touted his efforts as the governor of Massachusetts to get rid of bilingual education in favor of English emersion programs.

“People need to learn English to be successful to get great jobs,” Romney said at the NBC Debate. “We don’t want to have people to be limited in their ability to achieve the American Dream because they don’t speak English.”

A Romney spokeswoman disputed that Romney’s position had changed, arguing that even though Romney supports making English the official language of the U.S., that would have no bearing on Puerto Rico becoming a state. “These positions are not at odds,” said campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul in an email. “What the federal government does regarding the official language is separate from what states do.”

The Dream Act

Romney has been firm in his opposition to the Dream Act, which would give undocumented minors a path to legal residency if they attend college or join the military.

While campaigning in Iowa Romney explicitly said he would veto the Dream Act if elected president. As governor of Massachusetts he vetoed the state version of the bill which would have provided in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.

“The answer is yes,” Romney said of whether he would veto the legislation at the federal level.

Romney later added that giving “special benefits” to “people who come here illegally” was “contrary to the idea of the nation of law.” Romney would, however, support giving legal status to undocumented immigrants who serve in the military.

“I am delighted with the idea that people who come to this country and wish to serve in the military can be given a path to become permanent residents in this country,” he said while campaigning in Iowa. “Those who serve in our military and fulfill those requirements I respect and acknowledge that path.”

Romney has more recently focused on this portion of the Dream Act that he does support.

“I wouldn’t sign the Dream Act as it currently exists, but I would sign the Dream Act if it were focused on military service,” Romney said during a debate in Florida, where 22 percent of the state’s population is Hispanic.

Latino Decisions poll conducted for Univision showed that 84 percent of Latinos nationwide support the Dream Act.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

While Romney softened his firm opposition to the Dream Act while talking to Latino voters, he stood firm on his condemnation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, whose parents are from Puerto Rico.

While campaigning in Puerto Rico last week, Romney said he would support a Puerto Rican Supreme Court justice, just not one whose “philosophy is quite different than my own.”

He also dubbed Sotomayor “an activist, a liberal jurist.”

The former governor launched a campaign ad against Santorum, criticizing the former Pennsylvania senator for voting to appoint Sotomayor to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998, a post that put her on the fast track to the Supreme Court, the ad claims.

Romney has never been a Sotomayor fan. During her bitter confirmation process in 2009 Romney said her nomination to the Supreme Court was “troubling.”

“There are some things she said that are troubling for those of us who believe that the job of a justice is to follow the law and the Constitution, not to create law,” Romney said in 2009, according to CNN.

Self-Deportation of Undocumented Immigrants

Romney has stood firm on his opposition to amnesty for undocumented immigrants, but his views on deporting the millions of illegal immigrants who are already in America took a new twist during this campaign cycle.

At a Florida debate in January, Romney said he supports “self-deportation,” in which conditions would become so unbearable for undocumented immigrants that they would chose to leave the country.

“The answer is self-deportation,” Romney said at an NBC debate. “People decide that they can do better by going home because they can’t find work here because they don’t have legal documentation to allow them to work here.”

Under Romney’s plan, legal immigrants would have a card proving they were eligible to work in the United States. Without a card, Romney said people would not be able to find work.

“If people don’t get work here, they’re going to self-deport to a place they can get work,” he concluded.

But during his 2008 bid for the presidency, Romney said undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country for a “set period” while applying for legal residency. If that is not granted within the allotted amount of time, he said they should return home.

“Those 12 million who’ve come here illegally should be given the opportunity to sign up to stay here, but they should not be given any advantage in becoming a permanent resident or citizen by virtue of simply coming here illegally,” Romney told with NBC’s Tim Russert during the 2008 campaign.

“For the great majority, they’ll be going home,” Romney added, stopping short of saying those unapproved immigrants would be deported.

READ MORE: ABC NEWS

Matthew Jaffe, who is covering the 2012 campaign for ABC News and Univision, contributed to this report

SUBSCRIBE to The Hispanic Blog to stay on top of the latest latino news, politics and entertainment!

Don’t be shy SUBSCRIBE – COMMENT – LIKE ME -CIRCLE ME AND FOLLOW ME

If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me at thehispanicblog@gmail.com.

God Bless and may you have a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog

WILL ROMNEY HELP GOVERNOR LUIS FORTUñO PUSH FOR PUERTO RICO TO BECOME A STATE?

The most important issue for Gov. Luis Fortuño during Puerto Rico’s GOP primary may not be at the top of the list for most Latinos, but Mitt Romney hopes his endorsement will help win Latino voters.

Fortuño is pushing for Puerto Rico to become a state—and he sees Romney as an ally.

The former Massachusetts governor sympathizes more openly with Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood camp than his GOP competitors. While Romney’s top rival, Rick Santorum, called on Wednesday for Puerto Rico to adopt English as the island’s official language as a condition for becoming a state, Romney says Puerto Rico should be admitted to the union without such a condition if its citizens decide to vote to join in a referendum scheduled for Nov. 6.

“It just makes sense,” Fortuño told Fox News. “We have been part of the United States since 1898. Natural-born citizens since 1917. Our men and women have served in greater numbers than most states since then. And I believe that it’s the right thing to do in the 21st century, to allow almost 4 million American citizens to express our will and then to work with the White House and hopefully President Romney to address this issue.”

President Barack Obama does not have an official position on Puerto Rico’s status, saying he will respect the decision of the island’s voters.

Only voters affiliated with the Fortuño’s conservative New Progressive Party were permitted to cast ballots in the island’s Republican primary this year – a requirement that obligated pro-Republican Puerto Ricans to declare their support for statehood.

With the combined benefit of Fortuño’s endorsement and Santorum’s gaffes with the local press, Romney cruised to an easy victory, taking some 83 percent of the vote and all of the 20 delegates up for grabs. About 130,000 Puerto Ricans cast votes in Sunday’s primary, according to the Associated Press.

The victory emboldened Romney, who polls poorly among Latinos nationally.

“Those people who don’t think that Latinos will vote for a Republican need to take a look in Puerto Rico,” Romney said. “I intend to become our nominee and I intend to get Latino voters to vote for a Republican.”

A Fox News Latino poll found only 14 percent of likely Hispanic voters favored Romney in a head-to-head race with Obama.

SUMMARY

Puerto Rico Primary By the Numbers

83 percent of vote reported

VOTES    PERCENT

Romney        98,375      83%

Santorum        9,524       8%

Gingrich          2,431       2%

Paul                1,452       1%
Read more: LATINO FOX NEWS

SUBSCRIBE to The Hispanic Blog to stay on top of the latest latino news, politics and entertainment!

Don’t be shy SUBSCRIBE – COMMENT – LIKE ME -CIRCLE ME AND FOLLOW ME

If you have any questions, concerns or simply would like to get a quote on my Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media and/or Events services, please feel free to contact me at thehispanicblog@gmail.com.

God Bless and may you have a fabulous day!

powered by Influential Access – “Transforming the Ordinary to EXTRAordinary!” – CEO – Jessica Marie Gutierrez – Creator of The Hispanic Blog #thehispanicblog