After cuttin’ it close with finishing up a video for class and then booking it to pack quickly and hop on the subway to the airport, I was greeted at YYZ by my sissy Brit, who got me to my flight as quickly as possible. I’m getting pretty good at packing quicktime, I must say. With only 4 hours of sleep under my belt, zonking out on the 4.5 hour plane ride came to no surprise. I am notorious for being able to fall asleep anywhere, just one of the many perks of being a small human.
The plan was to begin with hometown central — Vancity, and then make my way westwards. It had been 7 months since I was home last summer, and I knew that the homecoming greeting I’d receive would be nothing short of wonderful. I’m lucky that I have friends and family who are always stoked to see me whenever I come back for a visit. It’s a totally new experience to visit Vancouverite as a now Torontonian. The things I like and am into now were not the things I was into before… Vancity I see with a completely different new set of eyes.
My old broski Chris scooped me from the airport and brought me back home to a bangin’ Mama Loro filipino dinner of lumpia, panko breaded prawns, and of course rice. Gotta love Moms cookin.
[Panko Breaded Prawns]
[My broski on that lumpiang shanghai steeze]
[This is my beautiful Lola! the only grandmother I have left:)]
[My mom and I both gave our high school valedictory address.]
[I was born with an afro. Didn't you know?]
[My 18th Birthday Debut -- Cotillion pictures!]
[The hottest day in Vancity. Best Cotillion dancers eeevverrr.]
[Yes, costume change! My escort, Tim and I, and our epic Star Wars introduction. Lol.]
[Oh my god, they created me!]
[The folks and babybroskiii Chad]
[My faja. He's a nut.]
After dinner one of my childhood best friends, Nathan, came over and we rolled downtown to check out my boy Jolin Ras who spins on Thursday nights at The Granville Room. Aside from the fact that a beer cost me almost 8 dollars, I loved the vibe of Granville Room. Exposed brick, chillin vibes, and of course, dope music — facilitated my Thursday night mood.
[Nathan aka Tan Tan and I.]
Jolin and his crew Raw Mind Movement (more than just a collective of Bboys who get down with each other, but get down on that raw mind tip) along with a few other homies came through to enjoy the night. It had been a minute since I say Ryan and Yong, who, along with Jolin, came to stay with me during Manifesto Festival last year. That trip where they traveled across Canada on a Greyhound bus for 3 days to come to Toronto and check the hip hop community… was definitely one for the books. It changed their perspectives on everything. Toronto was that trip for them.
Needless to say, we cool like that, and it was mad dope to see them again.
[Jolin Ras, my friggin brother from another mother, yo.]
[Ryan Narita, dope film photo documentarian. Check him.]
Next stop on the Granville strip — Jo Rich’s. It’s Thursday night, how could I not go and say whattup to my dude Mike Alcantara who runs one of the most hectic parties in Vancity… on a Thursday night! Lawd, it was packed. Upon arrival I had my hand stuffed with more than enough drink tickets. Shots were in order c/o one of my most favorite friends in the world — Adi aka Adlib of The Boombox Saints.
Honestly… I ALWAYS have wayyyy too much fun with that guy. Cracking up over making the most ridiculous inside jokes in filipino accents, and doing some seeeerrious dance moves in the circle. Hahahaha. We have too many memories of going out in Toronto and Vancity and having awesome party times. Nights with Adi are guaranteed wild — gotta love it.
After Jo Rich’s, at the brink of inebriation, we met up with my boy Mike Rodriguez. One of the dirtiest filmmakers in Vancity. I’ve seen this guy go from buying his first camera, to applying to school, finishing, and making his first film. I’m so proud of him, and humbled that we’ve become such great friends over the last couple years. That’s for real. Check out his shit here: MR Productions, Eighties Union, dun kno.
We rolled to the most expensive chinese restaurant I’ve ever been to. I swear… I think we really paid for the experience to sit underneath the giant chandelier. Black Bean Beef was actually Beef N’ Broccoli (with black beans in it) but eh… all good… they just screwed up one of my most favorite dishes in LIFE!! Hahha. Just kidding.
[The Mike Rod, yo.]
The night ended with ongoing laughs over our filipno impression of Rick Ross, and a big fat smile over my face. I love coming home to such a warm welcoming, ones that continuously top the previous one.
Watch this dumb video of Adi and I foolin around. And then listen to ‘Stay Schemin’ by Rick Ross. You’ll get it. And if you don’t… no laughing for you, I guess. Bahahaha.
Stay Chuned for more. Vancity, I appreciate the love. One.