2012 Timeless Hair Care

Hair Styles & Hair Products

“For more traditional styles, Oribe’s hair products are a must have,” suggests Gina Hidalgo of Faux Salon in Campbell.

Cuban hairstylist Oribe Canales went from successfully doing runways to celebrity hair; celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber and Lyfe Silva just to name a few. These products are available in your high end salons. Among his product line are the popular:

  • Superfine: Hair Spray – Tames wild hair with a medium hold
  • Crème for Style – Creates a foundation for hair styles and tames frizzy hair
  • Royal Blowout: Heat Styling Spray – Helps maintain big sexy hair
  • Volumista: Mist for Volume – Adds volume to hair, described to be “mane-plumping”

Men and women use these products daily for professional, playful, and glamorous hair styles.  Ask your stylist for Oribe to keep your hair looking gorgeous all day long.

Oribe Product Photos by Eydie Mendoza

Manuel Romero: El orgullo de ser Latino

Manuel Romero photos courtesy of Keepsake Photography Š

Manuel Romero singer, song writer, and guitarist expresses his Orgullo through his music and for his Latino roots and for Silicon Valley. He performs for local sports teams, the President of Mexico, as well a having performed for the Pope John Paul II in Mexico City.

Romero made his first recording at age nine. He adds, “Ever since I was just two years old … (his family) they have videos of me singing at the house with him (my father) playing at the house.”

Interview with Manuel Romero by Alex Ontiveros on traditional mariachi musical talent, vision, and proud heritage.


Written by Eydie Mendoza | Videos by Jose Posadas

Portraying the Celebration of Life and Death

Francisco Franco paintings | Photo by Patricia Ruiz

Juan Diego walked back down from the mountain in Mexico to share the image of La Virgen (Our Lady of Guadalupe) with his people.

Francisco Franco, a 39-year-old accomplished local artist, says, “My mother wanted me to be an artist. In kindergarten I won some award out of the whole elementary school; the teacher had a conversation with my mom and put me in art classes.”

As a 10-year-old child, he visited that same mountain in Mexico with his family but returned without his mother, who passed away while on vacation to the mother-country.

Francisco Franco in his studio | Photo by Patricia Ruiz

“Because the virgin is the mother to all of us, she is my surrogate mother in a way … I went through a lot, was raised in the hood with gangs, and many friends died. Death was so much a part of what guided me,” but in Modesto as a youth, Franco created no art. He adds, “From age 10 to 18. I never drew. I never painted,” although he was into graffiti.

“I see myself as Juan Diego…” He smiles and explains that he loves to use the metaphor of someone who climbed to the top of this hill and was enlightened, got to see the world from a higher vantage, and saw the light. “So I see The Virgen is just The Light; his tunic is a painting, so if you think about it Juan Diego was painter.”

Today in his naturally sky-lit studio, with a large flat screen displayed high in one corner, house music playing in surround sound, Franco, known for his murals and calacas paintings says, “My art evolved, developed symbiotically and started with what they (commissioned employers) wanted. I was lead in a direction that gave me a chance to explore my own heritage.”

He continues, “I did not want to be a quote-un-quote Chicano artist and resisted it. Now I am realizing that I was pulled into it.” His art is collected by a diverse group of collectors of various ethnicities and backgrounds.

“There was a void there. I speak for mi gente as Americans, as a unique American experience.” His father is from Chihuahua, Mexico and immigrated here when he was around 14 years-old. His mother was Native American and Mexican, so both parents spoke English and Spanish fluently. “I am Native Californian and Mexican.”

“I did not want to be the Day of Dead painter but I embraced it. Now it’s natural I could have fun with it. It has made me more of a whole person,” explains Franco, as he paints two vibrant art pieces; one of singing icon Selena using peoples and another of a vixen (Especially created for the January 19, 2012 Grand Opening at Chacho’s Restaurant in San Jose, Calif.) painted in luscious reds.

Franco’s ties to iconography also extend through his travels and higher education. Not only was he born el dia de San Francisco (his Saint’s day), but by some landmark occurrences. He attended Modesto Junior College after high school, traveled with his mentor to 27 major cities in Europe just to look at art, was accepted to University of California at Berkeley’s undergraduate program with a full ride (tuition scholarship), studied anatomy at the Ruskin School of Drawing  & Fine Art at Oxford University, and New York Academy of Art for his Master’s. At the age of thirty and just out of grad school, he developed gluten intolerance and for two years he thought he was dying because the doctors could not diagnose his illness. Naturally, he questioned life.

“Not only that…, I was in New York when the Twin Towers fell … I saw them fall. I became mortal all of a sudden and it bothered me. Life took on a meaningless thing. Before that, life had an order; there was a destiny for me.” He dwelled on the topic of death.

“I came to the conclusion … You can’t have life without death. We are the walking dead, the living dead. Let’s have a party. Let’s enjoy life. Eat, drink, dance, and know that it’s short and sweet. And it became a philosophy.” Franco declares, “Live a good life and leave something behind.”

To learn more about Fancisco Franco’s exhibits, workshops, and how to purchase his art visit: http://www.franciscofrancostudios.com/

Pondl Winery: An Innocent Hobby Gone Out of Control

“PONDL, from the initials of its two founders Patrick O’Neill and David Lujan Jr., is one of the newest and smallest wineries in Lodi, Calif. It is testament to what happens when an innocent hobby gets out of control.”

Lujan age 42 and his life partner, O’Neill age 63, met in San Jose, Calif. over 14 years ago where they shared the dream to one day have their own winery.

O’Neill’s home hobby opened up a world of taste and pairings with meals for them. “We had whites with salads and then gradually moved to reds.” Lujan says, “I gained an appreciation for it and then also put it into words, detecting scents in Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blancs.”

The home wine making venture started with juice specifically made for hobby wines, found in fermentation stores. The following year they gained contacts for local grapes, one was a referral to O’Neill’s former co-worker in the area, and they bartered grapes for wine. David laughs, “Here are my grapes and you give me some wine.” They then acquired grapes from Morgan Hill, Aptos, even Hayward, to achieve varietals.

About three years ago, during one harvest from Aptos, Lujan shares, “We had so much wine we couldn’t drink it,” and that’s when O’Neill proposed opening up a winery and stepping up production.

Lujan worked in escrow for many years prior, so they knew they were in the market for a small property in a city that had to have a downtown. They searched winery websites but most were too remote until they came across the place in Lodi. “It was the house and the layout; it was perfect!”

“After speaking to the realtor that day, we found a neighbor and asked about downtown.” They loved it there and started the relocated from San Jose.

Waiting for the sale of their Rose Garden home on Hester, just off of The Alameda, they spent weekends and holidays preparing their new home and the tasting room. The couple started living in their new place fulltime in 2011.

After a “Sneak Peek” opening March 16—18 for friends, family and neighbors, Pondl is proud to announce that the Winery is now open to the public and currently featuring six savory flavors: The Gent, a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon; The Lady, a 2010 Chardonnay; The Pin-up, a 2010 Rosé; The Beau, a 2007 Merlot; along with two signature wines, a Pinot Noir and a 2010 Dolcetto.

There will be more signature and themed flavors this summer.

Each label was also cleverly thought up by Lujan, “The labels are purple with a signature frame in order to create a fun vintage theme. I love that range from the 20s to the 60s, the styles and look, but I also wanted to honor Patrick’s family. I chose pictures of his mom and dad in the photo album, because his father looked debonair and mother looked classy.”

Lujan and O’Neill invite everyone to stop by to explore Pondl varietals. “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the world of PONDL Winery … ‘Where good wine goes down!’”

Pondl Winery Sneak Peek Opening Video by Eydie Mendoza

For more information call (209) 367-3672 or visit PONDL Winery at 665 W. Turner Road in Lodi 95242  and on Facebook.

Bel Borba Aqui Film Review

Brazilian artist Bel Borba | Photo courtesy of Cinequest

Meet Brazilian artist Bel Borba of Salvador da Bahia through an awe-inspiring documentary (English and Portuguese with English subtitles) about the man who loves his city as he, through his vast imagination and unlimited canvases, embellishes it.

The film, written and directed by Burt Sun and André Costantini, opens with Bel and an assistant crew at a decayed building frame, and he talks about the history of other fallen structures just like it throughout the city, he paints the exposed metal beams with white paint using a small paint roller. When he is done speaking, the camera pans out and the metal beams come to life with the patterned mural made up of cultural expressions.

Brazilian artist Bel Borba here stands next to one of his Mosaic Murals in Salvador du Bahia | Photo courtesy of Cinequest

“People from Bahia are very much on love with our town,” says Bel. “I have such a close relationship with my town where I was born, where I live.”

He is considered a gift to his town.

We follow the artist through the city and neighborhoods to discover what inspires him and experience the passion for his culture, people and home town. The open market, a small ranch, his back yard and an old boat yard all attribute to images in his work.

“I am a man that is moved by  passion. I just feel things.”

He works from small scale on single ceramic tiles to larger than life scale murals made of broken tiles –wood and ceramic – and his crew solders and saws out sculptures from steel and metal, as well.

“There’s my rocket!” Bel refers to a Christmas tree sculpture that he created from metal bars and plastic Coke bottles strung on rope; at night it is illuminated with green lights to be seen for quite a distance.

Director Burt Sun says, “Bel has tattooed the city with his art.”

Live like Bel as he eats, sings, works and sleeps in this creative film production that incorporates ten lapse photography and animation techniques. Feel the artist’s exhaustion while working on his masterpieces as he falls asleep on benches and the floor. One can almost taste the marinated steak dinner he cooks for friends. Feel free to sing along or whistle, if you know the tune, while he creates.

The Bel Borba Aqui world premier will be featured Sunday, March 4 during Cinequest 22 Film Festival in San Jose at Camera 12 at 6:30PM and experience a live painting by Bel.

Coming Soon the SVL exclusive interview with Director/Writer Burt Sun during the Film Festival!

Delusions of Grandeur Movie Review

Lulu (Leana Chavez) in Delusions of Grandeur. Director Iris Almaraz.

Lucy, also known as Lulu, a 22-year-old young woman experiences a rite of passage in the film Delusions of Grandeur by writer/director Iris Almaraz and writer/guest director Gustavo Ramos.

Set in San Francisco Bay Area (English and some Spanish with English subtitles) the film centers around Lulu (Leana Chavez) who at around 10 years old moved in with Dad (Louie Olivos Jr.), step-mother Angie and two step-brothers. She is obsessed with finding her mother in random women she meets even though she is undergoing counseling with Doctor (Jesse Wilde), the psychiatrist, who also proscribed her psychiatric medication to keep her from stalking women and toning down her outbursts of anger.

Lulu works at Café Azucar as a barista in San Francisco but her growth develops when she moves out from her father’s suburban home into the city. She meets Rocio (Rina Fernandez) – a woman who resembles her mother – out in front of the café selling flowers for one dollar to women and for three dollars to men.

Leana Chavez as Lulu (left) & Salvador Benavides as Illusion (right) from the feature film Delusions of Grandeur. Director Iris Almaraz.

Her comical yet emotional ripening unfolds after Lulu rents a room from Illusion (Salvador Benavides) a transsexual prostitute who claims she owns the bottom half of a San Francisco home and is saving to buy out the top half, as well. Illusion interviews Lulu as a renter, “Are you a metiche? Because, I like my privacy.” Their nosy personalities actually bring them closer.

In sudden state of independence, Lulu signs up for a chat line mailbox, dyes her hair red like her mother used to, and stops taking her psych meds. Her appearance softens with the help of Illusion so she even wears dresses and make-up, quite a change from the oversized men’s clothes she wears in the opening scene.

Flashbacks of the neglect and abuse she experienced from her mother spice up the film, triggered by conversation and moments Lulu spends alone.

She meets Guy (Dave Vescio) on chat line. On their first date, he explains that he is drawn to her full lips and to her body type saying, “Bones are for dogs. Meat is for men.” Her virginity changes to being oversexed.

Her relationships with Illusion, Rocio, and Mario (Ronnie Alvarez) the cafés manager, intertwine with insight to the love and heartbreak they all encounter. The film picks up steam when Lulu invites Rocio to Illusion’s home and the three women bond while high on marijuana. Illusion overcomes a recent broken heart over a gay man and Rocio embraces that her husband is cross-dresser.

A side from selling love, Illusion grows and sells hallucinogens, which Lulu stumbles across while snooping through the house. Mario shows up on Lulu’s doorstep one evening, after she is temporarily suspended from work for lashing out at some racist customers. She invites him inside and they drink mimosas – an alcoholic cocktail made of champagne and orange juice – and they consume hallucinogenic mushrooms making for quite a colorful, yet hilarious bonding moment between the two characters.

Viewers seeking to gain insight to the possible San Francisco life experience of a young women coming of age in her early twenties, the delusion of finding her mother, and the making friendships and love encounters, through laughter, tears, and shock value this is a film a must see at Cinequest Twenty-Two running February 28 to March 11, 2012.

Trailer for Delusions of Grandeur provided courtesy of Cinequest.

Providing Our Future Leaders with Guidance

“Your inspiration is your daughter. She wouldn’t want you to stop writing,” a friend told Frank Carbajal over the phone in 2005 when he decided to quit writing his book Building the Latino Future, because his baby daughter had a near death experience.

Carbajal, 42 years-old and father of three daughters, born in El Centro, Calif., began the manuscript for his book in 2002 and finished in 2007. The release date was 2008 cinco de mayo.

Crabajal is the youngest of five children and from a very loud house hold.

“I wasn’t inspired as a youth to write, at all. Because Spanish was my first language, the school thought I was special ed.” His mother and sister advocated for him in school, that language had nothing to do with his intelligence.

His parents, Regino Carbajal from Guadalajara and Hermelinda Carbajal from Jalpa, were seasonal farm workers in a bracero program and were introduced to each other by their compadres in Mexico. They married in El Centro in 1963 and relocated to East San Jose when Frank was four years-old. His father received a job at Stokley’s Cannery located, then off of Newhall and The Alameda, and his mother worked at Del Monte cannery.

An important life lesson, he says “To excel in school is to be inquisitive.”

Carbajal dealt with cultural, language, and institutional challenges while growing up. He was in speech therapy in the Evergreen School District, which helped him learn English. His first mentor and speech therapist, Ms. Sanders was very culturally aware and knew he was from the barrio. She told him to use his inside voice and that he could be a good student, encouraged him to continue to speak English with confidence, and to not be afraid to ask questions.

In the words of Ms. Sanders, “To be successful in education was the only way to go.”

He attended Cadwallader Elementary School where he recalls, “In fifth grade, I became acculturated to the main stream; what taught me the lessons of America was pop culture, with my favorite music from Michael Jackson, ACDC, and The Scorpions; so two genres, rock and popping.”

Carbajal also attended Leyva Middle School in 1981-1984 and mentions that it was predominately Caucasian. “It was difficult, because after school I had to go back to my home environment and I was confused … surrounded by the kids from the Creekside area (during the day at school) and went back to the barrio where my home was surrounded by gangs. It was a challenge because my own brother was a gang member. But I owe all the love to him because he protected me and saw that I had potential to do well in school.”

Carbajal began to change in middle school and was voted the funniest guy in 8th grade. He says, “I used humor as a coping mechanism like comedians George Lopez and Cheech Marin.”

In nineth grade at Silver Creek High School he was a talented soccer player; he tried out and made it on to the varsity team, but he started cutting school and lost focus.

In his junior year, he joined the school cross country team where he met Coach Paul Kilkenny who was his next mentor. Some of his closest friends were incarcerated and fell into “the system.” Carbajal separated himself from his neighborhoodand made new friends who were on the team. He received The Most Improved Runner award.

His high school English teacher Mrs. Holtclaw asked the class to write a journal entry about an 80 year-old Silver Creek tree and what the tree meant to the school because it was to be cut down. Carbajal titled his story “The Topless Tree.”

When she pulled him aside, “Frank, can I see you?” He thought he was being reprimanded but was surprised because she said, “I love the title. How did you come up with it?” She inspired and encouraged him to write more.

As his confidence grew through his hard work and with the support of his mentors, he decided to go to college towards the end of high school and enrolled at Evergreen Community College in San Jose, Calif. There he joined the Enlace Program, where he identified with other Latino students and transferred to San Jose State. He originally wanted to be a teacher but was too shy to speak in public, so he did his undergraduate studies in social work and pursued the Masters of Social Work for a year; he left and changed majors and received his Masters of Arts in Human Resources Management. He is the only one in his family to graduate from college.

“It takes a lot of tenacity to write a book,” says Carbajal and adds that he couldn’t have done it without the support of his wife Molly Carbajal.

He refers to his friend as “Harold,” an author of a book on African Americans who told Carbajal that he needed to write a book addressing the misperception of all Latinos being in gangs and drug. “So I created the framework on Latinos in leadership doing great things … and that we are contributing to the U.S. economy; just as I thought back in school, we are now a part of pop culture.”

Frank Carbajal | Photo by Patricia Ruiz

Building the Latino Future was published by Ken Blanchard and Wiley and Sons in NY and translated to Spanish where El Futuro Latino: Historias de Exito en el Extranjero where it was published by Grupo Norma published in 14 Latin American countries.

Writing the book was just the beginning. Not only is Carbajal now a mentor, but his leadership and communications talents were sought out to provide speakers for a Harvard University Leadership event. Dick Gonzales, Richard Leza, and Roberto Medrano Latinos showed him that Latinos are successful outside of Silicon Valley, throughout the U.S. Gonzales suggested that Carbajal do the same here in the Valley so the inaugural Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit was in 2010. The goal is to bring to bring some of the most talented people to Stanford to provide not only their leadership, mentorship to individuals who are university students, middle management folks, senior leaders who want to make changes in their community and abroad and to see how the Latino Leaders do for the next 10 years, projection of where we can go from 2010 to 2020.

Next Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit is May, 19, 2012. To find out more about Frank Carbajal and the Summit visit the SVLLS Blog: www.svlls.wordpress.com.

Written By Eydie Mendoza | Photos By Patricia Ruiz

Ladies, Your Workout Prayers Have Been Answered


“Our motto for this year, 2012, is Strong and fearless. I chose it because I want every woman to be strong physically and fearless, meaning not letting fear get in the way of succeeding in life whether at home, at work, or at college,” says Angela Zapien, age 31, founder of The Pink Ladies Boot Camp in San Jose.

After Angela lost her job in 2009, and after months of searching for a job and questioning what she wanted to do with her life, she created The Boot Camp to accommodate women’s workout needs.

The Pink Ladies Boot Camp was launched on May 7, 2010, when Angela reached out for participants on Facebook. “Does anyone want to work out? I am studying to be a trainer.” She started with five women.

“It really kicked off that summer. Everything that I knew about fitness I wanted to share.”

When the group grew to 20 plus ladies, Angela invited her husband, Alex Zapien, 32-years-old this February, for feedback while he was on vacation from his job.

Fitness Trainers Alex and Angela Zapien (Founder) of The Pink Ladies Boot Camp | Photo by Patricia Ruiz

“He basically taught class that day.” The ladies liked the couple’s training dynamics. Angela adds, “So I hired him.”

In April 2011, seven Boot Campers including the Zapiens, participated in Walk by Faith a 5K walking event.

“Some people never thought they would participate. Never thought they would run or walk. For some of them it was their first 5k in their life.” Tearfully, Angela continues “And it’s because, we inspire them. I get emotional because I am very passionate about what I do. And just seeing someone walk or run three miles… That’s big.”

Alex adds, “That’s the biggest gift we can give someone is to inspire a person that has never done 10 or 5K and have then say, ‘Thank you so much! You have changed my life’.”

“It takes las ganas to do it. You know?” says Eva Carbajal, age 59, currently the eldest participant. Carbajal is not new to working out because she bikes 10mi every other day, and has been a marathon runner for over 25 years. She pointed out that her daughter Lisa comes with her and brings a group of friends.

Many of The Pink Ladies continue to walk and run marathons as a group. Seven (Five ladies and two men) including including the trainers joined Marsh Madness 10K (6.2 mi) held at the Palo Alto Baylands and another group participated in the 2011 San Jose Rock n Roll Half Marathon last October.

“Men are invited and join the boot camp, as well, but they never come back.” Along with Alex, there is one male participant in the group.

“I started with the Pink Ladies in September 2010 and since then have lost over 40lbs,” states Pink Ladies Fitness Assistant Elena Bermudez, age 35. “It’s just an inspiring place to come when I am feeling really down. It’s not just about getting in shape it’s also about support and spiritual growth and that’s what keeps me coming.”

Angela began working out with Alex over 10 years ago, and she tried out for the San Jose State University Sabercats cheerleading squad. Since then she pursued individual training and workouts, is certified in CPR and in TRX a Fitness Anywhere LLC bodyweight-based training. Currently, she is training for for a full marathon San Francisco 26.2 miles this July 29, 2012 on her birthday.

Alex is trained in Martial Arts since 14 years old and the power lifting of weights. He works for Comcast during the day, but holds an obstacle course one evening every week, called VIP Tuesdays.

Sonja Garcia, age 34, has been with the Camp since April 2011. “A lot of us are on Facebook and Angela puts a lot of quotes and assignments.” This week they created a vision board and last week they listed five achievement goals to be accomplished within 60 days. “Everything that we do, we post on Facebook.” Not all participants are on Facebook so Garcia adds, “Also on Tuesdays she emails recipes, and then there are Motivation Wednesdays where she sends out emails to everyone about a quote or the lady (Pink Lady) of the month.”

These fitness motivators offer this workout camp to the community for a reasonable fee; it includes support via story time talk sessions, cooking workshops, along constant social-media communication.  Alex suggested incorporating prayer into the workouts but Angela didn’t agree immediately, yet after attending a retreat in October of 2010, she embraced the concept and incorporated it into the Camp.

Angela believes, “You can look amazing on the outside but if you don’t feel amazing, it’s not going to work … It’s so important to fix the inside, too.”

The Pink Ladies Boot Camp is open to people of all sizes and beliefs. Angela and Alex will accommodate workouts to one’s physical condition and needs like pregnancy or as per doctor’s recommendations.

To find out more contact Angela Zapien via email pinkladiesbootcamp@gmail.com and visit The Pink Ladies Boot Camp on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ThePinkLadiesBootCamp.

Written by Eydie Mendoza  |  Photos by Patricia Ruiz

The Passion of Rose

“I wanted the shop to be a combination of traditional folk art and contemporary Latino art. The goal being to preserve the Latin American tradition many of us grew up in.” Rose answered when asked what her goals were in opening up her store, smartly named Ay Dios Mio! (exclamation point included).

“But I also wanted our products to appeal to three generations of Latinos in our community – our parents, adults and younger generations.”

For long time California native, Rose Mendoza, collecting and selling Latino art has been her passion. The perky Latina is always excited at the chance to travel to Mexico, stopping in Oaxaca, Mexico City, Tlaquepaque (near Guadalajara) or San Miguel de Allende to visit familiar artists and purchase their merchandise for sale back here in the USA.

What started as a website, evolved into event sales (like the Mariachi Festival in San Jose or Day of the Dead festival in Oakland) has blossomed into a boutique retail store in San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. There Rose offers up unique merchandise from artists both internationally and locally. One can find works from artisans from Mexico as well as Peru, from Texas and also Los Angeles.

Rose Mendoza in her store Ay Dios Mio! located in the San Pedro Square Market | Photo by Eydie Mendoza

Her products, both originals and replicas, include such things as handbags in the shape of pan dulce conchas, dinnerware plates painted with Lotería cards, paper mache items popular on Dia de los Muertos as well as seasonal items like Christmas tree ornaments designed by Casa Q, plus many more.

Rose learned about knowing her customers with her first business venture called La Fina Cocina. There she sold Latino-inspired kitchenware but soon found that her customers were more drawn to the art related products thus Ay Dios Mio! was born.

She and her sister, Betty Campos, tend to the shop that Rose believes reflects positively on her Latino culture. Rose looks forward to her annual shopping excursions in Mexico to bring back new, fun and unique arte popular that connects emotionally to her growing customer base.

Rose advices other Latina entrepreneurs: “Feel passionate about what you want to do, ask yourself, is it in my DNA? Also, find out who, really, is your audience, your customer, know them well, because knowing them will help you to develop your business model. Know your industry and what customers want and what your competition offers. Lastly, build partnerships and collaborate with others that can help your business grow.”

Visit Rose Ay Dios Mio! in San Jose’s new San Pedro Square Market or online http://aydiosmioshop.com.