Author Archives: Josefina De La Torre

The Great Shakeout Canceled

The Great Shakeout, the annual earthquake preparedness drill, was canceled on Oct. 20. Chabot College has done the Great Shakeout for many years, but this is the first the school has canceled the event. 

Due to the past few years of the coronavirus pandemic, the school has not many staff and students on campus. Along with the construction taking place around campus with the Paths to Parking project and the public address system stopped working. 

With a mixture of factors of construction, the pandemic, and electronic malfunction with the public address system, it was ultimately decided the Great Shakeout was canceled. 

“We feel pretty confident we’ll be able to circle back around some point next year. In the spring, hopefully. If we don’t get to it in the spring, we’re going to get back in business and we’ll do the ShakeOut for sure,” said Vice President Dale Wagoner.

Barangay’s Parol Making!

Now that Thanksgiving has past and the Christmas holidays are around the corner, the Barangay Chabot Club held a parol making event on Nov. 29 in the Event Center.

Parol making is a Filipino tradition that includes making parols out of bamboo sticks and paper into the shape of a star. They are illuminated with candles or battery operated lights.

Photo taken by Maika Jeciel

“Parol making is creating a Filipino lantern star that is commonly held outside or inside of people’s homes to celebrate Christmas,” said club president Maika Jeciel. “It symbolizes the three kings who went to see Jesus at the time of his birth.”

President of the Barangay Chabot Club, Maika Jeciel, presented a Disney animation on the parol star and Christmas holiday and then a tutorial on how to make a parol lantern. Many attendees were of Filipino or Asian descent and came to partake in the activities and socialize.

Barangay Chabot is one of the clubs MOVEMENT learning supports for Asian American and Pacific Islander students coming to Chabot College. Other clubs MOVEMENT supports are Association of China, Punjabi Club, Vietnamese-American Association, and many more.

“I enjoyed celebrating the culture with our fellow club members since Christmas is a big occasion in the Philippines. Being able to share and create a parol means a lot not just to the officers and the club but also us as Filipinos. We hope we have more activities like this!” said club secretary Stephanie Cornelio.

“I enjoyed most the club hosting a parol making event, the idea of being able to share this important tradition in the Philippines, with the community here at Barangay Chabot, that not only educates our community, but bonds us,” said Jeciel.

The Midnight Club Review

Netflix’s newest show, created by Leah Fong and Mike Flanagan, The Midnight Club, was released on Oct. 7. The show is about eight terminally ill young adults that reside in Brightcliffe Home hospice and tell haunting stories every night. When one of them is near death, they make a pact to try to communicate from beyond the grave.

Starring Iman Benson, Igby Rigney, Sauriyan Sapkota, Aya Furukawa, Ruth Codd, William Chris Sumpter, Annarah Cymone, and Adia.

The show starts off with Ilonka, played by Iman Benson, who is diagnosed with thyroid cancer and enrolls into Brightcliffe Hospice in hopes of finding a cure for her illness. She arrives at the hospice having learned of its previous past of being a home to a cult and a miracle patient Julia Jayne. Soon, she finds the other patients are in a club where they tell scary stories called the Midnight Club.

Flanagan’s The Midnight Club is adapted from Christopher Pike’s book The Midnight Club released in 1994. Flanagan is known for taking inspiration from previous works and turning it into terrific horror shows.

As someone who has watched Flanagan’s other shows such as The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and Midnight Mass, I was excited to see what The Midnight Club would hold. I was excited to see what jumpscares or hauntings would be at the hospice where the eight teens resided.

The show did not reach my expectations on how Flanagan’s prior work did well with the horror element. While I think the show is a good premise with telling scary stories in the dark, I was expecting more ghosts and scares.

What I did enjoy the most was the connection between all the characters, they all knew they were on borrowed time and made the most of relationships with love and care for each other. The episode where Anya, played by Ruth Codd, was passing away made me cry. They all joined together to be with her in her final moments.

I had more questions than answers when I finished the show. For example, what gave Ilonka visions to visit Brightcliffe Hospice or why did Kevin, played by Igby Rigney, never mention he was sleep walking until the last episode? I found out recently that Flanagan is going to have another season for The Midnight Club, so hopefully my questions will be answered and be more engaging.

Predator’s Newest Film

The newest film in the Predator series, Prey, was released Aug. 5 as a Hulu original starring Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg and written by Patrick Aison, the film is set in the early 18th century in the Great Plains, where a young Comanche woman witnesses the crash landing of a spacecraft and sets out to prove herself as a hunter.

Prey differs from the rest of the Predator series as it predates the original films and consists almost entirely of Native American and First Nation actors and actresses. The casting of this film made it possible for more Indigenous talent to premiere on the big screen.

Naru, played by Amber Midthunder, is a healer who dreams of becoming a distinguished hunter like her older brother, Taabe, played by Dakota Beavers. While pursuing a deer in the forest with her dog, Naru witnesses what looks like a Thunderbird falling from the sky. She takes this as a sign to prove herself. She returns to her village to find out that one of the hunters was taken by a mountain lion. Naru insists on coming along with the search party to help track and provide medical care but soon comes across signs that something alien is out there.

After healing the hunter, she encounters the mountain lion on the tree branch but gets distracted by mysterious sounds and lights and falls, hitting her head. Naru becomes frustrated after her failed attempt to catch the mountain lion. Her brother is successful and is rewarded by the tribe, becoming War Chief. She wanders from her tribe to investigate. Meanwhile, a Predator hunts for a formidable opponent worthy of fighting.

The cinematography was simply beautiful, with panoramic shots of nature and ancient North American landscapes. The use of the landscape really sets the movie’s tone while following Naru’s growth and use of her surroundings.

The introduction of the Predator was epic, showing off his robustness and strength. His weaponry and use of limited technology showed how primitive and powerful the Predator can be without its traditional armor and weapons.

I would say the representation of the Comanche Nation was done well and with love from the people who all worked together on this film. I loved that they showed subtle nods toward the indigenous tribe, from the knowledge of medicine to crafting an arm stretcher out of wood and sticks.

Midthunder’s performance as Naru was refreshing because it differs from previous Predator films. She portrays Naru as a girl relying on her intellect and observation skills and using her surroundings to her advantage. There is no military, no advanced weaponry to eliminate alien creatures. There is just Naru simply being strategic and using her home-field advantage to defeat the Predator.

What surprised me about this movie was the actors did a Comanche dubbed version. I do not think this has ever occurred in a Hollywood film.

“I think this is the best Predator movie I have seen so far. One of the best in the series,” said Dr. Kim Morrison.

“I liked the fact this film wasn’t compared to the original franchise movies. It’s not male-dominated,” said librarian Eugenia Chan.

Fiona and Ian

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico as a Category 1 storm on Sept. 18 with historically large amounts of rainfall and shut down electricity on the island. Parts of Puerto Rico were hit with over 30 inches of rain, causing significant damage to bridges and roads from flooding and mudslides. 

Hurricane Fiona came five years after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that left nearly 3,000 people dead in 2017 and devastated the island’s power grid. Afterward, it took almost a year for electricity to be restored to all residents of Puerto Rico in 2018. 

At least 21 people have died from Fiona, according to the Department of Health in Puerto Rico. 

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico had asked Biden to prioritize rebuilding the island’s transportation infrastructure. 

“We want to be treated in the same way as our fellow Americans in times of need. All American citizens, regardless of where they live in the United States, should receive the same support from the federal government,” said Pierluisi. 

President Biden traveled to Puerto Rico on Oct. 2 and promised $60 million in hurricane relief funds from the federal government to help rebuild areas in Puerto Rico that Fiona hit.

As Puerto Rico slowly recovers from Hurricane Fiona, Florida was decimated by Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm. Many residents on the mainland and island communities were left without power, and many found themselves homeless. 

The current death toll from Hurricane Ian is 127 in Florida. Five deaths were attributed to the storm in North Carolina. 

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden traveled on Oct. 5, Wednesday, to survey the damage in Florida. 

Biden and Gov. Ron DeSantis put aside their political differences to work together on rescue and recovery efforts for the people of Florida. 

“I think he’s done a good job,” Biden said when asked about DeSantis’ response to the storm. 

Women Warriors take the Screen

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood makes a comeback to the screen with her newest film The Woman King, starring Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Thuso Mbedu, and John Boyega. Inspired by historical events, Prince-Bythewood’s most ambitious project is about a group of women warriors defending the Western African kingdom of Dahomey during the 19th century.  The film premiered across the United States on Sept. 16. 

Prince-Bythewood is known for her other films featuring black women protagonists, such as The Secret Life of Bees and Beyond the Lights. Her previous film, The Old Guard, premiered on Netflix in July 2020 garnered much success. 

The movie starts off following the kingdom of Dahomey, what is now known as present day Benin, with an army of women warriors known as the Agojie. The Agojie are led by tough General Nanisca, played by Viola Davis, fighting against the soldiers of the Oyo Empire that have been attacking Dahomey villages to capture and sell slaves. King Ghezo, played by John Boyega, is provoked by the attacks and wants to fight against the Oyo. With rising tensions, Nanisca trains new recruitments for her female army. Among the new recruits is impulsive Nawi, played by Thuso Mdedu, who was sent to the Agojie as she did not want to marry someone who would beat her to obey. Veteran Agojie Izogie, played by Lashana Lynch, takes Nawi under her wing as she begins her training. As Nawi clashes with Nansica questioning her rules, she becomes a fearful warrior defending her kingdom and her kin. 

Davis’ performance as battle-scarred Nanisca may be her best yet. It was refreshing to see her play a complex character as a general. Not only because of her remarkable fight scenes and tough persona but also because of her intricate relationship with Nawi. Along with Davis’ acting being well received, Mbedu’s breakout role as Nawi was exciting, especially her friendship with Izogie. 

The cinematography was amazing and the fight scenes were fluid and attention grabbing. Davis’ fight scenes were compelling and evoked such raw emotions, she captured everyone’s attention on the screen. 

This film brought back Black actors together for the big screen once again. Prince-Bythewood directed a beautiful film that not only highlighted on black women and African culture, but about sisterhood, family, and self-discovery.

Chabot College under Process of Accreditation

Courtesy of ACCJC

Chabot College is in the process of accreditation, an evaluation review from institutional self-evaluation, and peer reviewers from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The purpose of this evaluation is so the college can improve its educational process.

The ACCJC will hold sessions for the public on Oct. 11 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on Oct. 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Event Center Building 700. The community is encouraged to share feedback about Chabot and hear the exit report

“We welcome our partnership with the ACCJC in our rigorous inquiry. Please join us in our open public forums, meet with our accreditation teams, and learn more about the accreditation process,” said Chabot President Dr. Susan Sterling. “Chabot is your community college, and I look forward to seeing you at one of our forums.”

The ACCJC focuses on community colleges in the state of California through the creation of standards and accreditation policies and also through a process of review by higher education professionals and public members as a part of the college. The purpose of this regional accreditation includes encouraging institutions, such as Chabot College, to strive for better academic quality, institutional effectiveness, and student success. 

Chabot emailed all students regarding the ongoing accreditation process and the public hearings on Monday. 

San Francisco City College lost accreditation from financial mismanagement and governance problems that directly impacted many students and staff nearly a decade ago. 

“I saw the email,” said Chabot College student Jared Bautista. “New students will have to find a new college to attend if we don’t pass.”

“Degrees could be nullified, and I would feel like my time was wasted,” said Chabot College student Andrea Magdaleno.

Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrated!

As summer comes to an end, many different cultures celebrate the fall season all around the world. The Association of China Club celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival in Chabot College’s planetarium on Sept. 8. 

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture and is celebrated in other Asian cultures. It is a celebration of the fall harvest, sharing food, spending time with family, and lighting lanterns. The holiday is based on the legend of the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e and is held on the 15th to the 8th month on the Chinese calendar with a full moon. 

President of the Association of China Club, Liru Chen, presented and shared information on this important holiday. Many attendees were of Chinese and Asian descent and came to celebrate with the club. 

“As a Chinese American, it was so important for me to reconnect with this part of my culture. The Mid-Autumn Festival often gets overlooked because Lunar New Year is often the holiday most people recognize, but the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival holiday is equally important and special,” said club adviser Michael Lai. 

The Association of China Club is one of the clubs that the MOVEMENT learning community supports. MOVEMENT is the newest learning community for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at Chabot College. 

“I thought it was really cool that the Association of China Club celebrated at Chabot. I celebrated the Mid-Autumn at home with my family,” said Chabot College student Vincent Xiao.

Castro Valley’s 50th Annual Fall Festival


The 50th annual Castro Valley Fall Festival was held on Sept. 10 and 11 on Castro Valley Boulevard. The festival was hosted by the Castro Valley and Eden Area Chamber of Commerce, with an estimated attendance of 32,000 attendees. It stretched into Norbridge Avenue and part of the Castro Valley Library parking lot. 

Many vendors and booths were lined up selling merchandise, drinks, and food and sharing information with the community, like CV Sanitary and Hayward Recreational Parks. Live entertainment was provided, such as the 80s Tribute Band and Castro Valley High School’s choir program. 

The Fall Festival started in 1972 and went on a two-year hiatus due to coronavirus restrictions. Besides heavy traffic and limited parking spaces, many attendees seemed to have enjoyed their time at this year’s festival. 

“It was nice having the festival, I saw lots of businesses getting exposure which is good, and it gave people a reason to get out of the house,” said Chabot College student Dakota Brown. 

“After being out for two years, it was amazing to see our community come together and see so many happy faces,” said Fall Festival co-chair Janella Anguiano. “I loved seeing the 80s Tribute band and seeing folks dancing and enjoying themselves.”

The Castro Valley and Eden Area Chamber of Commerce will hold their next event, the Light Parade in Castro Valley, on Nov. 12. 

Fall Festival Premise

After a two year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 50th annual Castro Valley Fall Festival will be held on Sept. 10 and 11 in downtown Castro Valley. Hosted by the Castro Valley and Eden Area Chamber of Commerce, the event is 10 a.m to 6 p.m on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“We are excited to bring back the Fall Festival this year!” Fall Festival co-chair Janella Anguiano. “We were sad to not have it the past two years, but this year there will be lots of local vendors, bands coming out to play, and everyone excited to come out for the festival!”

Castro Valley Boulevard will be closed for two days due to the Fall Festival.