Monthly Archives: July 2011

Maria Aragon, a Filipino-Canadian from Winnpeg became international star


When Prince William and Kate Middleton attended the July 1 Canada Day celebration, Maria Aragon, a Filipino-Canadian sang Canada’s national anthem “O Canada”, in both English and French.

Meeting celebrities and royalties is not something new to Maria Aragon.  She had already sang with Lady Gaga at a concert.  Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, made a special trip to Maria Aragon’s house to tape a singing duet.  Maria Aragon also appeared on American television show in an interview with Ellen Degeneres.

How it all Began.
On February 16, 2011, a video of Aragon performing a cover of “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga was posted to her sister’s YouTube channel to showcase her talent to friends and family. The video caught Lady Gaga’s attention and she was so impressed by Maria’s performance that she retweeted a link to the video. In a week, her video reached over 11 million views. As of July 12, 2011, the video has over 33,5 million hits.

During an interview on HOT 103 in Winnipeg, Lady Gaga called into the show to tell Maria how moved she had been by her performance. Lady Gaga then invited an already surprised Aragon to perform “Born This Way” with her at The Monster Ball Tour concert in Toronto. On March 3, 2011, Aragon joined Lady Gaga on stage at the Air Canada Centre, where they performed an acoustic duet of “Born this Way” with Maria sitting on Gaga’s lap, playing piano and Lady Gaga working the pedals. Aragon later rejoined Lady Gaga and her team of back up dancers for an uptempo finale version of “Born this Way”.

American talk show host Ellen DeGeneres took notice of her from emails and petitions requesting for Aragon’s appearance on the show and eventually invited Aragon to appear on her show on February 21, 2011, where Aragon again performed “Born This Way” on the piano earning a standing ovation from the audience. On March 29, 2011, Aragon performed “Born This Way” at her home for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She and Harper also performed a duet of John Lennon’s song “Imagine”.

In 2011, she appeared in a commercial for HTC singing the K’naan song, Wavin’ Flag. She performed at the 2011 Canada Day concert on Parliament Hill, which included the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in attendance, as part of their 2011 royal tour of Canada.

On July 20 of the same year, Aragon arrived in the Philippines where she signed a contract with Star Records, the same recording company who signed Charice. She will also have guesting on several ABS-CBN shows including the musical variety show, ASAP Rocks. Aragon was chosen by Star Cinema to sing the official soundtrack of the upcoming Philippine film, Way Back Home, entitled You’re My Home, which was originally sang by Lea Salonga.

Maria Aragon joins the ranks of other famous Filipino singers including Charice Pempengco who also gained stardom through Youtube. Click here to see a youtube clip of Charice performing a duet with Canadian singer Celine Dion.

Other famous Filipino Canadians include Mikey Bustos (born June 23, 1981),  a Filipino-Canadian singer who appeared on the reality television show Canadian Idol. Bustos is from the Weston neighbourhood of Toronto. Before Canadian Idol, he worked as a temp at the Bank of Montreal.

Netflix Canada provides access to Foreign Movies


Canadians often watch in envy what their neighbour Americans get.   For instance,  Netflix was introduced much earlier to the USA with better features and access to more movies. Nonetheless, the recent free one month trial membership with Netflix Canada and … read more

Caribbean Days Festival 2011 North Vancouver


Thanks to the Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Society of BC, every July of the year, BC residents get a taste of the Caribbean or the Carnival through the Caribbean Days Festival. The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is an annual event … read more

Trinidad and Tobago Society of BC

Every July of the year, BC is treated to a festival of drums, music, fun, dance, good food…. flamboyant costumes with plenty of exotic feathers, sequins, …  called the Carribean Days Festival. All thanks to the volunteers at the Trinidad … read more

Kate Middleton noticeably Skinny on Canada Visit

photo of Kate Middleton before and after her wedding Canadians have been following Kate Middleton ever since the Royal Engagement was announced. When the Royal Couple finally visited Canada in July of 2011, Kate Middleton was noticeably much skinnier than … read more

Accent Reduction Techniques for new Canadians


On July 9, AFCA-BC hosted an accent reduction workshop for its members at the Bonsour Community Centre in Burnaby. Andy Krieger, who discovered the K Method – a very simple five step method of accent reduction led this workshop. Andy … read more

Kate Middleton and the Canadian Maple Leaf

Maple leaf is a Canadian icon. It is the symbol of Canadian identity. The Canadian flag has a red maple leaf on a white background. The symbols of Canada can heighten not only our awareness of our country but also … read more

Kate Middleton dons different hairstyles on visit to Canada

The rains and the winds did not stop Kate Middleton from having fun during her Royal official Canadian tour of 2011.   Most of the time, she wore her hair in its natural form, shoulder length loose curls.   In one instance, … read more

Gianna Hun South Korean actress in Snow Flower role

Gianna Hun is the westernized name for  Jun Ji Hyun, a South Korean actress and model who made her Hollywood crossover role in the movie “Blood, the Last Vampire”.  Gianna Hun plays the leading role for “Snow Flower and the … read more