Rachel Evangeline Chiong

Journalism

J O U R N A L I S M


[ November 30, 2018 ]

“My earliest memory of SpongeBob SquarePants occurred several weeks before its premiere on the Canadian cable television channel YTV. In 2000, the American fast-food chain Wendy’s promoted the show by including branded toys in their kid’s meals. So along with my miniature baked potato, I brought home a hand-sized notepad chiseled in the shape of Nickelodeon’s newest would-be star. Back then, I had no idea who this cheese with knee-high socks was. But regardless, I made the rounds throughout my house, and pestered my relatives for their favorite foods and phone numbers so I could write their profiles in my new toy. If they found this constant hounding annoying, it was only going to get worse.”

K e e p R e a d i n g

SpongeBob SquarePants was a crash course in the realities of growing up

in A.side


Filipino Immigrant stories transform into poetry performance

in The Philippine Reporter

[ May 11, 2018 ]

“In the past weeks newly immigrated Filipino youth have found a home in The Koffler Centre’s “In My Mother Tongue” program. The unique showcase this past Sunday of the youth’s creative work was a result of the program’s careful cultivation to create a place in the city where native speakers of Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, and Tagalog could explore poetry through their mother tongue.”

K e e p R e a d i n g


[ Spring 2018, Issue 14 ]

“Would you wake up at 8 A.M. on a Sunday morning for a gig? For hundreds of people, the answer is a resounding “yes”. While some nurse the alcoholic residue of a Smiling Buddha show that ended three hours after midnight, another kind of performance warms up in the corners of Toronto. In heritage buildings, community centres, living rooms, and rented movie theatres, people file in general admission style to attend a service and watch its regular opener: the worship team.”

K e e p R e a d i n g

SUNDAY MORNING, PRAISE IS FALLING: “an insiders’ commentary on the unexplored world of your local church band”

in Demo Magazine


[ March 23, 2018 ]

“Effective since the launch on March 8, teachers in the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) can now integrate Filipino art, culture, and social issues in their classrooms through the Philippine Arts & Social Studies in the Ontario Curriculum (PASSOC). Targeted for Grade 8 Geography, Grade 6 Social Studies, and Grade 6-8 Dance, it focuses on the experience of Filipinos, the fourth largest visible minority in the nation and number one source of immigrants. Yet there are still looming questions about how the project started, who made this possible, and what exactly the curriculum is about, all of which can be answered at a prelude in York University.”

K e e p R e a d i n g

The Story of the Philippine Arts & Social Studies in the Ontario Curriculum (PASSOC)

in The Philippine Reporter


[ January 26, 2018 ]

““It’s Battle of the Bands, where UofT bands go head to head,” I said to my friend, as I inched around the subwoofer for a good spot. “As opposed to ‘Battle of the Band,’ singular, which is just internal conflict.”

The lore surrounding the event is fairly simple. Battle of the Bands is a January highlight, which happens around the same time as Winterfest, a campus-wide reorientation that encouraged students to get back into the rhythms of UofT-life after the holiday break. Because the two ran in tandem they eventually melded, and Battle of the Bands became one of the main events featured in Winterfest and hosted by University College.”

K e e p R e a d i n g

Show Review: “The Story of Battle of the Bands - The Characters and Moments that Made It”

in Demo Magazine


Profile: “Portugal. The Man”

in The Philippine Reporter

[ January 3, 2018 ]

“There is something to be said about the spotlight that Portugal. The Man grabbed in the Alternative Rock scene in 2017. They’re a band that has been around for more than a decade, but if you didn’t listen to them in high school, it’s guaranteed you’ve heard their hit single “Feel It Still” by now.

But the hit tune caps off the end of a longer story. For newer fans, let’s start with what’s familiar. Let’s use the words and lyrics to “Feel It Still” to guide us through the events that got Portugal. The Man to where they are now. From their start in Alaska, to their adventures across the world, to returning home as rock stars, and wading their way out of a rut to sucker punch onto a number one on the Billboard charts.”

K e e p R e a d i n g


Album Review: “Mr. Finish Line”

in A.side

[ December 24, 2017 ]

“It’s guaranteed that once two people find out that they both like Vulfpeck, they will instantly become friends. ”

K e e p R e a d i n g


Event Review: “PLUMA: Young Fil-Can writers celebrate”

in The Philippine Reporter

[ December 8, 2017 ]

“It’s called Pluma, because you know,” Jennilee Austria, YA novelist and host of the night, stroked her fingertips in the air, “the tips of the feather are a plume and that’s what writers used.”

K e e p R e a d i n g


[ September 15, 2017 ]

“It’s fun to imagine the different kinds of conversations that have taken place on the couch Alex Aiono and I were sitting on. Nestled in a downtown Toronto agency office, in the last few weeks alone it’s housed names like Hedley, the Vamps and Imagine Dragons. The couch’s upholstery cinched the perfect balance between soft and firm. “Enough to cradle and protect a person’s hopes and dreams,” I had remarked to Collin, the camera-man who was setting up his equipment at breakneck speed. But late that Monday morning, the talk we had with Alex Aiono leaned more on the soft side.”

K e e p R e a d i n g

Interview: “Alex Aiono is in a good place”

in A.side


[ Spring 2017, Issue 13 ]

“I sit on Cole’s bedroom floor, waiting for him to finish taping a Beyoncé poster to the ceiling. I’m too shy to tell him to close his windows. The elephant tapestries above his mattress shiver in the brisk October air; his girlfriend’s spider-plants shudder. As he sits down on the rug for the interview, I move the Earl Grey tea he made for me out of the way.”

K e e p R e a d i n g

Profile: “Cole Mendez”

in Demo Magazine


[ May 23, 2016 ]

“A year ago, bands and visual artists were squeezed into the cupboard corners of The Central, this time for the second installment of For the Love of Madness, promoter Cerebral Arts had them strategically split between the basement and ground floor of the Smiling Buddha, but still keeping them fluid with a common theme. In its tongue-in-cheek name ‘For the Love of Madness’, artists worked together to destigmatize mental illness and celebrate being human.”

K e e p R e a d i n g

Show Review: “For the Love of Madness ‘16”

in Demo Magazine


[ Spring 2016, Issue 12 ]

Cerebral Arts is as organic as they come. Created by the intertwined aspirations of thinkers and innovators, Matt Nguyen, Alex DiFlorio, and Mike Zbikowski are the masterminds behind this invention. In the disparity of a generation plagued with the jaded disease (one that turns eager-eyed youths into somber adults), they’ve created their own solution. A Cerebral Arts show is difficult to describe. It is an amalgam boasting hidden-gem musicians and artists, but also very literally a learning experience. Every show has a theme dealing with a certain social issue from May’s “For the Love of Madness”, which focused on de-stigmatizing mental illnesses, to “You(th) Vote”, hosted days before the elections. Their shows relentlessly engage the senses, rousing the slumbering minds of those struggling with self-confidence, and encouraging individuals to be more empathetic to the world and kinder to their own hearts.” 

K e e p R e a d i n g

Profile: “Cerebral Arts”

in Demo Magazine


[ Spring 2016, Issue 12 ]

“They are the distant echoes teasing the edges of your ears, instantly spiking your senses, as you turn the corner expectantly, trying to surprise that universal excitement of not knowing what to expect. Buskers are the gems of the city, unique to their own neighbourhoods; they offer a service entirely different from each other. But depending on the person you are, you’ve either stopped to listen to the rest of their song, while fumbling around awkwardly for change, or you’ve tried to pass them with the least eye contact possible. These interactions with the city’s jewels are usually the limit to our knowledge of what its like to be a city busker.” 

K e e p R e a d i n g

“Buskers of the TTC”

in Demo Magazine