Ten years ago today, I graduated from George Washington High School Media and Communications. I’m part of the 2010 Media and Communications graduating class. Wow! Unbelievable that it’s been ten years since I graduated from High School.

I remember it was a Friday. We were going to graduate at 1pm at the school’s auditorium. When I left my house to go to graduation, I remember people saying to me in the streets, “Congratulations.” I felt famous walking those 12 blocks hearing those compliments.


My Senior picture for the yearbook.

Out of all the graduations I’ve been part of, this was the most emotional graduation where I felt happy but sad at the same time. Kindergarten, 5th grade, 8th grade, and even college, I was extremely overjoyed of graduating. Not High School. I was sad on the inside because I knew that things were not going to be the same. All of us are going into our separate ways. I’ve built relationships, especially during my Senior Year, and I was going to miss some of these individuals.

Senior year is one of the best school years I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. Yes, the first half of Senior year was stressful because of applying for colleges, writing a college essay, financial aid, etc. However, there was also the fun side. I enjoyed having a short schedule, all the Senior activities, the Senior Trip to Six Flags, which happened the day after my 19th birthday, Prom, and the list goes on.

Before I continue with how graduation went down for me, I need to take it back to Freshman Year. Why? Because one decision could’ve changed this whole story.

When I got to G-Dubs in 2006, I was always told by people that it’s a mistake to go there. It’s a bad school. There’s too much gang activity etc. Honestly speaking, Dubs was not my priority. I was trying to go to Randolph or Manhattan Center. But Dubs fell into my lap. I figured that I’m going to try out for the Baseball team. That was my biggest motivation going into dubs. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, haha.

The first couple of days of Freshman year, I was nervous and timid. So many new faces. At first, I planned to hang out with any familiar face that went to Junior High School with me. I did find a few of them during the Lunch period. Some of the people that went to Junior High School with me were on the Law and Public Service floor. Our floor Media is on the 1st floor, Business on the 2nd, Health on the 3rd, and Law on the 4th floor.

Freshman year wasn’t fun for me at all. I dealt with a lot of disrespect, humiliation, and I even fought once in the lunchroom. I could’ve fought so many times in High School. Trust me, haha. I don’t like to feel disrespected, but I stopped myself from escalating the situation because I knew that one small issue could lead to something big. Many people looked at me as a “soft” dude, but I was always smart to get out of potential messy problems. I didn’t want to build a bad reputation in school. Anyone who has gone to school with me knows that I’m quiet, friendly, and focused on getting the work done.

By the end of Freshmen year, I wanted to get out of Dubs. I had my eye on Norman Thomas. My sister Melissa went there. In the 2000s, Norman Thomas didn’t have a good reputation as a school, either. The difference was that my sister was there and was profoundly respected by her friends, which they would show that same respect to me. Therefore, I felt it was a no-brainer to transfer there. God had his reasons why he didn’t allow me to relocate there. It also took Melissa and my cousin Oniel, who also attended G-Dubs but was in Health, who convinced me to stay in Dubs. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I decided to stay. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. If I had transferred, I never would’ve met Kevin Rodriguez. If I had transferred, I never would’ve met Katherine Ureña. If I had transferred, I never would’ve met Mr. DeMarco, Ms. Brock, Ms. Wohland, etc.

Kevin Rodriguez
My greatest classmate in high school and one of the most underrated members of our graduating class. Funny, smart, patient, and a person who will tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it. We met in freshman year, but we didn’t fully get to know each other until the second half of Junior year: we were in Chemistry Lab. Kevin and I been friends for 11 years and counting. We talk almost every day about anything. My best friend, my brother, my counselor, my script consultant, haha. True brotherhood! Sky’s the limit for you, my guy! Love you, man.

PS. AWWWW SHIT!!! (I won’t go into detail behind the meaning of this, hahaha)


Katherine Ureña
I’m going to try to make this one short because I don’t want to get emotional. Katherine is one of the sweetest and most beautiful human beings I’ve ever met. She was my best friend, but more like my little sister. She brought out the best in me, and I learned so much from her. I love and miss her very dearly—a true angel on earth.


Derwin Blanco
The D-Train! Senior year was great to us because we witnessed the Yankees winning the World Series, and the Lakers beat the Celtics in a classic Game 7. Kobe (Rest in Peace) got his 5th ring. We bonded well when it came to Sports. One of my most memorable memories of this guy happened to be for my 19th birthday. I invited several friends for a birthday dinner, and he was the only one who made an effort to see me, haha. We hung out for a little bit. He’s doing great things with his life, and I’m happy for him.

Zunachy Garcia
Many people would criticize or wish terrible things on their ex, but that’s not me, especially if I once liked the person a lot. Zunachy, who was my then-girlfriend in Senior year, was one of the biggest reasons why Senior year was great and memorable. As teenagers, we went through many trials and tribulations. When Kat passed away, she took the time to write to me and was there for me at the funeral. She’s gone off to do many great things for herself, and I’m happy to see the woman she’s become today.

Mr. DeMarco
Thanks to Kevin, I was able to meet Mr. DeMarco. I didn’t have him as a teacher. Although I wish I did for a film class. When I wrote two of my short films, “The Grade” and “Bittersweet Holiday,” I sent my scripts to DeMarco, and he was able to provide me with some helpful feedback to strengthen my script. He’s very knowledgeable about films. He makes you want to listen to him. I can’t thank him enough.

Ms. Brock
The great B-Rock! Just like DeMarco, Ms. Brock is one of those teachers I wish I had in high school. However, I’m so happy that I got to meet her and build a relationship even after high school. After I left G-Dubs, anytime there’s Parent-Teacher Conference, I would take advantage to go back and visit, and Ms. Brock is one of those teachers that I have to see. She’s an awesome person. I cherish all the conversations we’ve had.

Ms. Wohland
I waited last to talk about Ms. Wohland. I have so much love and respect for her. I was fortunate to have her as my teacher in 10th grade, but it wasn’t until Senior year where our relationship blossomed. She was my college advisor. On prom day, when everyone was going to the Salon, barbershop, etc., I was in the college office along with Ms. Wohland. At this point, I had no college offers. I told Ms. Wohland that I don’t want to settle for a 2-year community college, and I don’t want to take a break. Are there any colleges that are still accepting students? Ms. Wohland gave me three options: Berkeley College, Monroe College, and Mercy College. I quickly started researching all three schools, and Mercy seemed like the best choice because I wanted to study Journalism. I applied and faxed my transcripts to Mercy College. Two days later, I got the news that I got accepted to Mercy College. If it weren’t for Ms. Wohland’s guidance and patience, I probably wouldn’t start college until January. I’m happy that everything worked out the way it did. Ms. Wohland will always have a special place in my heart.

Now, let’s go back to talk about graduation.

When I walked into the auditorium and saw families and friends flashing pictures with smiles on their faces, the moment started to sink in even more. By the time I got to my seat, it didn’t help that one of my classmates, Emmi Mendez, tears, started to flow down her cheeks. She was sitting two seats away from me. I had to turn around. About an hour later or so, I hear Jay-Z’s “Young Forever” song playing on the TV screen, and the visuals are the hallways of our Media floor. To this day, I don’t know how I managed to take it all in because it is one of the most emotional moments of the graduation. The song itself makes you want to cry.

After the ceremony, it was picture time. I tried to grab as many people as possible to take pictures. It was also the nerve-wracking moment because I’m going to introduce my girlfriend to my family for the first time. High School graduation is one of those graduations where I didn’t want to leave at all. Eventually, after taking pictures with your classmates and family members, you have to go somewhere to eat with your family.

My family and I went to La Casa De Mofongo on 181st. During the whole time, we’re there; I’m thinking, “Man, I’m going to College. I’m entering a whole new world.” It was an emotional day for sure.

On April 11, 2019, I was invited to Career Day. I never would’ve imagined that I would be back to speak to students about my career and drop some knowledge: an unforgettable experience, unforgettable day.

I’m glad that I’m still here. Alive and healthy to see the 10th anniversary of our High School graduation. Our graduation class is one of the best Media classes, but also the one class that took so many devastating blows.

After graduation, we lost four members of our graduating class. I want to take this time to acknowledge the memory of each of these four individuals:

66DFAF9B-5E5C-411A-AED8-86A8212EDBDDRony Tineo


Luis Almanzar


Katherine Ureña


Franklin “Lenny” Ramirez

G-Dubs and Media Class of 2010 will always be a part of me. High School taught me a lot about strength and mental toughness. I went through the good, the bad, and the ugly in those years, but I came out on top. I’m going to end this article with this:


Graphic Designer: Geordano Abreu








Fernando Valenzuela

Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela brought a lot of hope and joy to the Mexican community in Los Angeles.

Before Dodger Stadium, it was a Mexican community neighborhood, and families lost their homes and dreams because a ballpark needed to be built. It was sad for me to watch these Mexican folks getting treated like animals in the 1950s and 60s. I saw this on the episode of 30 for 30: Fernando Nation.

When Valenzuela came onto the scene, everything changed. Mexicans started coming to the stadium to see him pitch. His impact on the Dodgers helped so many Mexican-Americans to chase their dreams.

Valenzuela gave you the impression of respect, humility, and confidence. When you hear him talk, he seems like a genuine human being.

Valenzuela won Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award in 1981. On top of that, the Dodgers beat the Yankees in 6 games to win the World Series. Valenzuela’s Game 3 performance was the turning point of the series. He made the All-Star time six times in his career. He probably would’ve had more success if he had not gotten injured.

One thing is for sure; there will NEVER be another Fernando Valenzuela. In my eyes, he’s a Hall of Famer.

Luis Fonsi: Vida Album

“Vida” is one of the most anticipated albums of 2019. The Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi outdid himself in this album. I’m going to discuss the success and some of my favorite tracks from the Vida.

Luis Fonsi music is a blend of many different variations: Latin Pop, Latin Dance, and Reggeaton with instruments such as vocals, piano, and guitar.

I have to start with the most popular single of the album: Despacito. The song “Despacito” is a blend of Reggaeton and Latin pop song. Fonsi collaborated with the King of Reggeaton, Daddy Yankee. The lyrics described as having a sexual relationship and performed smoothly and romantically. “Despacito” was a massive hit. The single received Latin Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Urban Fusion/Performance, and Best Short Form Music Video at the 18th Latin Grammy Awards.

“Despacito” has also been ranked among the best Latin songs of all-time and the best songs of 2017. It’s one of the most successful Spanish-language tracks in pop music history. The remix version sounds good as well. It features Justin Bieber, and it helped the reputation of the song to its highest standards. The song dominated the charts.

In the music video, Fonsi and Yankee performed the song in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the local bar La Factoría. The featured actress in the video is Puerto Rican model Zuleyka Rivera. She was absolutely a perfect choice for the music video. Her and Fonsi have tremendous chemistry on screen. In August 2017, the video became the most-viewed YouTube video of all time.

“Echame La Culpa” is another excellent song from the Vida album. Great collaboration between Fonsi and the talented singer Demi Lovato. This song followed “Despacito.” I love how Lovato incorporated some Spanish in her lyrics for this song. “Echame La Culpa” reached number one in seventeen countries worldwide.

On YouTube, the video became the third-fastest music video in history to reach 500 million views. The fifth-fastest to reach one billion views, being the fastest collaboration in history to achieve these two milestones.

“Sola” is my favorite song of this album. Such a beautiful romantic song, amazing lyrics with outstanding production. I love the hook. In my opinion, it’s a better song than Despacito. I often play this song two or three times every day. You can dedicate this song to someone you love. There’s an English and Spanish version of this song. I prefer the Spanish one because I feel the meaning of the lyrics sounds stronger with Spanish.




Michael Keaton Might Play Batman Again

Today, I learned some breaking news, and I’m filled with joy. I’m interested to see how the script will look like for this project.

Michael Keaton is in talks to return to the role of Batman. Keaton is likely to appear alongside Ezra Miller in Warner Bros.’ upcoming movie “The Flash.” It’s been almost 30 years since Keaton portrayed the Batman character.

Keaton last played Batman in “Batman Returns,” but quit the role during the development of a third film after Burton got pushed out as director. “Batman Returnsreleased in 1992. Joel Schumaker replaced Burton, and went on to direct 1995’s “Batman Forever” and 1997 follow up “Batman & Robin.” Speaking of Schumaker, he passed away today due to his long battle with cancer. Rest in Peace, Joel.

In 1989, Keaton first played Batman/Bruce Wayne, directed by Tim Burton. The film was a blockbuster success. Batman changed how superhero films were viewed — and paved the way for the genre’s future box office domination. For some fans, they prefer that Batman should start and finish with Christian Bale. In my opinion, Michael Keaton is my favorite Batman. Although age is a huge risk because he’s approaching 70, but I’m curious how the production team will use Keaton in this movie.

I’m guessing that The Flash will follow the Flashpoint Paradox comic story originally announced by DC a few years back, and will have Keaton play Thomas Wayne Batman.

“It: Chapter Two” director Andrés Muschietti will direct “The Flash” movie. The writer will be Christina Hodson from “Birds of Prey.”

“The Flash” is eyeing for production for 2021, subject to COVID-19 protocols.

This is excellent news. It will get more moviegoers to watch DC movies. The question will be this: will there be two Batman’s now? We will find out in the future, haha.

Fools Rush In

As we continue discussing rom-com movies, I’m going to talk about Fools Rush in. The film came out in 1997. However, yesterday it was the first time I saw the movie on Amazon Prime under the Starz subscription. The film stars Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek.

I have to say that this is somewhat of an underrated film from 1997. I would need to rewatch it again to catch on to more things. The story is about an American who falls for a Mexican girl. Alex Whitman (Matthew Perry) is a New Yorker sent to Las Vegas to oversee a construction project. There he meets Isabel Fuentes (Salma Hayek), and some serious chemistry brings them together for one night. But Alex doesn’t see Isabel again until three months later when he learns that she is pregnant.

The movie has beautiful scenery of the grand canyon, the desert, and the great grandmother’s Mexican “casa.” The surround sound is delightful. It includes a great many songs, all of which blend in nicely with the movie. The Elvis songs near the end of the film are quite touching.

Perry and Hayek are sensational. The casting was excellent. Matthew Perry’s body language is superb for the kind of light comedy role he plays. He also did the emotional stuff well. Although not entirely sure about his feelings, his heart pulled him head-first into marriage.

Salma is a good actress and adds a lot to the humor. I’ve always been proud of Salma’s work in the film industry. It is a charming, relaxing film to watch. The story is fresh and vibrant.

Quien Manda? (Who’s the Boss?)

Today’s article features a romantic comedy film from the Dominican Republic called Quien Manda? Which means “Who’s the Boss?” in English. This film is one of my favorite rom-com films from the Dominican Republic. Nashla Bogaert and Frank Perozo are the stars in the movie.

Perozo is a playboy that will conquer women and leave them at the end of three months of a relationship. When Perozo’s character meets Bogaert’s character, who is challenging, he began to fall for her. The story is good. Aside from Perozo and Bogaert, the rest of the cast was solid. I like the two actors who play Perozo’s friend. I also like the two supporting female actors who portray as Bogaerts’ friends. I was happy to see legendary Dominican comedian, Cuquín, in the movie. His scenes in the film were gold—one of his funniest roles for sure.

We could’ve seen a little more stuff in the movie that I felt it was necessary. For example, I wanted the director to emphasize or elaborate more on Perozo’s first girlfriend. I think that one scene about that could’ve made the story even better. 

I believe this is the film where Nashla put the stamp as a talented actress from the country. She’s the Dominican sweetheart. In Hollywood, Jennifer Lawrence is an American sweetheart. For those who don’t know what I mean, a sweetheart in the industry is someone who has the looks, great actors, the chosen one, the preferred one. Nashla brings all of those tools in the film industry in the Dominican Republic.

Aside from acting, Frank Perozo is also a talented director. In the film Quien Manda?, both Nashla and Frank were phenomenal. They have great on-screen chemistry, and they went on to collaborate on several future projects. There was one scene in particular that made me respect the hell out of Frank’s acting ability. I won’t say much because it’s a movie that you have to see for yourself.  

Dominican films have come a long way. Watch Quien Manda? It’s on YouTube. You won’t regret it. 

Jamie Foxx To Play In Mike Tyson Biopic

Jamie Foxx has confirmed that he will play Mike Tyson in an upcoming biopic about the life of the American former heavyweight boxer.

I knew for a while that the 52-year old Oscar winner would be playing Mike Tyson in a biopic. Finally, after a six-year hiatus of doubts about making the picture, it’s starting to build some momentum.

Foxx recently showed a picture of him bulking up for the movie.


It is going to be one of the most anticipated sports films to come. Foxx recently interviewed with Mark Birnbaum. He said that “doing biographies is a tough thing.” Foxx went on to say that sometimes it takes 20 years to get them done.

The film will use technology and other tricks to transform him into Tyson. Jamie will need to do several workouts to make him look like a championship boxer. Some of these strict workouts consist of 60 pull-ups, 60 dips, and 100 push-ups. Also, Foxx will be doing calf prosthetics. Foxx admitted that he “ain’t go no calf muscles.” I feel him on this one because I need to build calf muscle, too, haha.

I can’t wait to see the finished product for Mike Tyson’s film. It’s going to be a must-see film in the theaters. It could land Jamie an Oscar nomination, and I hope it does.

No Agreement, More Problems

The drama between Major League Baseball and the Players Association continues. Commissioner Rob Manfred has rejected the Players Association 70-game season request.

The Association does not want to play more than 60 games because of the fear of COVID-19. The virus is still spreading. The players remain committed to getting back to work as soon as possible, but they want a schedule with fewer games.

The league on Wednesday had proposed a 60-game schedule, which players said was too short.

As a fan, this is very distasteful. I hate to say this, but both sides of the party are selfish and greedy. This needs to be over already. These players are making millions of dollars and still find a way to complain. Manfred and the players association need to come up with a solution. Also, more athletes are getting infected, such as Clemson players from College Football. Things like this can stop Major League Baseball from starting in July.

What I fear is that this disagreement can cause a lockout sometime next season. I’m already expecting or sensing that from the NBA. I miss Sports. More importantly, Sports won’t be the same without fans.


Long Gone Summer

1998 is one of the greatest seasons in baseball history. Following the 1994 MLB Strike, fans lost a lot of faith in the game of baseball. They were looking for a feel-good story. They certainly got that in 1998. The 30 for 30: Long Gone Summer episode is about Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s battle for Roger Maris home run chase record, 61.

At the beginning of the 1998 season, the battled began with McGwire and Ken Griffey Jr. When June arrived, Sammy Sosa caught fire. From June to September, it was a show between Sosa and McGwire.

One of the things I didn’t know about Mark is that he was a pitcher in High School. Well, it turned out to be for the better because Mark succeeded as a hitter. During his rookie season, he hit 47 homers, a record he held for 30 years until Aaron Judge surpasses him.
The home run chase between Sosa and McGwire is called “the summer that saved baseball.” Ratings went through the roof. McGwire and Sosa were getting a lot of press and invited all over the place. McGwire didn’t like all the attention from the media, but Sammy was embracing. He was enjoying every minute of it. This is the year that Sammy became a mega superstar. I’ll say that from 1998 to 2002, Sammy carried the Cubs on their back. It’s just unfortunate that after 13 seasons with the Cubs, he hasn’t been invited back to Wrigley Field.

On September 8, 1998, Mark McGwire hit No. 62 against the Chicago Cubs. The Maris family was there. Cubs showed tremendous sportsmanship to McGwire. Steve Trachsel, the pitcher who gave up the home run to McGwire, he didn’t appreciate his teammates doing that. I felt that was a great moment in baseball.
After McGwire surpassed Roger Maris, it became a slugfest between him and Sammy in who will come out the most with home runs. Mark finished with 70, Sammy with 66.
Sammy didn’t win the battle, but he helped the Cubs to reach the playoffs and won the National League MVP.

Years after the home run chase, testing began for steroids. The Golden Era of the Steroid Era happened from 1994 to 2004. McGwire admitted in 2010 that he did use steroids. Sosa, on the other hand, still denies that he never used steroids. He continues to say that he wasn’t tested positive. I believe that former Commissioner Bud Selig and the union knew that these guys were up to something, but they pretended like it’s nothing because it was bringing a lot of money and ratings. MLB threw these guys under the bus.

McGwire and Sosa were the reason why fans began to start loving baseball all over again. I don’t condone what they did, but the show they put on that season is something we will never see again.

The House on the Hill

Once again, I will continue to share classic stories of my neighborhood, Washington Heights. Today’s article will be about the murder of 16-year old Lillian Mojica.

This story is somber and tragic. It’s more of a Valentine’s Day massacre, even though this happened the day before Valentine’s Day. A young teenager named Lillian Mojica was looking forward to her big Valentine’s Day School Dance. Everyone in school couldn’t stop talking about it. I can’t only imagine Lillian’s excitement about what’s going to be the following day. She never made it.

Lillian had locked the door to her bedroom when her younger brother, Richard, left for school that morning at approximately 6:15 am. This didn’t turn out to be good at all. Pablo Vargas, a creepy border, was renting a room in the house. Lillian was living in fear because of this man. Now, she was in her home alone with Pablo. Next thing we know, turned out to be the worst for any family member that knew Lillian.

Lillian was brutally murdered on February 13th, 1958. The murder took place in her own home. She was only 15. Her brother found the body when he returned from school after going to the cellar because he smelled something burning. I can’t only imagine how devastated that must’ve been for him. Lillian’s brother discovered his sister’s corpse. She was strangled, mutilated, and burned.

Pablo Vargas confessed to the murder, rape, and burning of his young victim. He said that he was beaten and forced to confess by the detectives assigned to the case. Vargas was convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death.

It seems that there are still missing answers to many questions. This case is too mysterious. We might or might not know Pablo’s motivation to kill this young lady.