Monday, March 10, 2008

Filipinos In Hollywood - Book signing with Carina Monica Montoya

It was a nice warm Saturday afternoon that could've been a beach day. However, there were more important events to attend to. One of them was the book signing event of "Filipinos In Hollywood" by Carina Monica Montoya. It was a pleasure to hear anecdotes about the Tiki Ti bar in Hollywood, Filipino scene designers and others that have helped shaped Hollywood while being an invisible minority called Filipino-American. Carina has brought the texture and voice to the Filipino experience in Hollywood with her book.




Author Carina Monica Montoya autographs her book for a fan.

Along with her appearance at the Filipino American Library in the Historic Filipino Town in Los Angeles was award winning scene designer Ben Resella. Mr. Resella shared his life story of how he ended up designing backgrounds and props for various Hollywood sets, one being "Hello Dolly."



Set designer Ben Resella displays his copy of "Filipinos In Hollywood."

We were also treated to the presence of Hollywood celebrity event photographer Sthanlee B. Mirador. Mirador has captured various Hollywood notables but also is proud to take pictures of celebrities with Filipino ethnic roots. He was instrumental in sharing photos with Carina to help tell the story of Filipinos in entertainment.


Sthanlee B. Mirador along with Carina.

About Tiki-Ti, I was surprised that the bar was created by a Filipino American. The bar was opened in 1961 by master mixologist Ray Buhen, who was there at the start of the Tropical Drink craze at Don The Beachcomber’s legendary restaurant. His son and grandson, Michael and Mike Buhen now carry on his tradition; together, they practice the “Lost Art” of Exotic Cocktail mixing in the last of the great neighborhood tiki bars. Another surprising news was that most of The Beachcomber restaurant workers were Filipinos. Buhen took the Filipino dessert Halo-Halo and basis of the dessert was incorporated into many of the tropical drinks served at the Beachcomber. Many Fiipino workers labored hard squeezing the lemons and grating the ice to ensure that the world renowned tropical drinks were proudly served at the restaurant. Vist www.tiki-ti.com for more information on the bar.


Master cocktail mixologist Ray Buhen.

What little tidbits I learned about the Filipino-American experience in Hollywood has empowered this red carpet blogger to embrace his Filipinoness and incorporate into his American experience.


For more info on Filipinos in Hollywood visit http://www.filipinosinhollywood.com/

2 comments:

Arvin Gail Santiago said...

Dear Madam,

Do you know how I can contact Mr. Ben Resella? Do you know his address in the US or better yet his email address. I'm Arvin from the Philippines and I'm planning to write him. Maybe get some tips about Scenic Designing...or maybe how to get to hollywood.=)

Thanks in advance!

Arvin Gail Santiago said...

Dear Madam,

Do you know how I can contact Mr. Ben Resella? Do you know his address in the US or better yet his email address. I'm Arvin from the Philippines and I'm planning to write him. Maybe get some tips about Scenic Designing...or maybe how to get to hollywood.=)

Thanks in advance!

My email address is d.artian@gmail.com