Mana's Message

“They leave their sweat and blood on this land when they die…

Jose Fernando, front man of Maná made no quip of how ALL Latin Americans, who have come to the United States in the past, in search for a better life, how they have contributed to America’s society.

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

“They have NOT taken the society away,” he continued “they have contributed to it!” Fernando snatched the moment, in front of more than 18 thousand Maná fans who screamed atop their lungs in agreement. He wanted to make a point about the ongoing immigration debate that plagues the United States and took full advantage of his platform to make it. Well done Jose, well done.

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

Thursday night’s Maná concert was anything but a political show. It was a full house of fun, history, culture and good old fashioned Rock in Español!!

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

The multi-Grammy Award, multi- MTV Award and multi-Billboard Award winning group, that hail from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, delivered hits that spanned their more than 20 year musical career.

Lluvia Al Corazon, Oye Mi Amor, De Pies a Cabeza, Rayando El Sol, El Espejo, Sor Maria, Vuela Libre Paloma, Bendita Tu Luz, Mariposa Traicionera and Latino America were some favorites the band jammed out to during the sold out Allstate Arena show.

At one point in the show, to my and the audience’s surprise, a fan who was probably pre-selected to rock out on stage with the group, during Me Vale—was a huge hit and did an AWESOME rocking out on stage, not far behind Maná’s own guitarist.

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

After that, a 10 minute or so drum solo to give the audience a taste of the huge talent of the drummer was fun, entertaining and right on! Especially after his solo was completed he popped open a beer and proceeded to chug the entire thing down at the audience’s approval – just good old rock and roll fun.

An unplugged session that had the band converge atop a scaffolding  at the rear of the floor to perform the mesmerizing session and included some of my all time favorite Maná songs, Dónde Jugarán Los Niños?, Se Me Olvido Otra Vez, Si No Te Hubieras Ido and Vivir Sin Aire.

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

The group moved to conclude the show on the original front stage with Como Te Deseo, Dejame Entrar, Clavado En Un Bar and finished the show with encores, Labios Compartidos and En El Muelle de San Blas.

I left jamming out my freshly brain tattooed Maná hits feeling completely satisfied. That’s the way to leave a concert, not just sang at or preached to, but totally entertained!! That’s the way to go!!

More photos, courtesy of Dean Paul, follow:
Dean Paul

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul
Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul
Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul
Maná en Chicago at Allstate Arena – Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

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Little Vikings of Austin

Good boys on a mission!!

They have been brushed aside, pushed past and almost walked on. Brian Corbin, 12, Levon Carothers, 13, and Martese Pope, 13, and their teammates are on a mission this week to raise money for their football team, The Vikings, from Levin Park, in the Austin neighborhood.

Brian Corbin, 12; Levon Carothers, 13; and Martese Pope 13, sell “Increase the Peace” braceletes, to help raise funds for their football team’s season.

You’ll see these young men, with their coach not far off, wearing bright gold jerseys with black letters proudly displaying their team “Vikings” outside of the James R. Thompson center trying to sell their “Increase the Peace” bracelets to help raise money for their football program for only $1.00.

Just before stepping out of the Thompson center today, I saw the disappointment on these kids’ faces as a man hurriedly walked away while young Martese was presenting his case. I hate to see any kid hurt so I walked right up to him and said, “What is this”?

I’m a  true skeptic, and I am used to (and annoyed by) a lot of the inner-city kids coming to the downtown area trying to scam people with their fake scholarship, church and sports pitches. But I noticed the boys all had matching jerseys so I stopped and took a listen to their plea.

Levon, seeing his colleague confronted, quickly came over and also gave his 2 cents to my question and quickly added, “we need uniforms and other things to play this season.” I was touched and immediately impressed by these young men. As I pulled a dollar out of my purse, smart as these boys are, the other quickly said, “Why not buy one from each of us, it’ll really help us”. I smiled at them and did just that. I was in love with their mission.


This is exactly the thing I don’t mind being stopped for during my busy day for. These boys were on a direct mission, took to the streets, not to fight or cause mayhem, but to raise money for their team and for what they love to do. To hopefully create something in their neighborhood, simply for them to enjoy and be safe.

With all the sadness, crime, news of children dying every night and violence that plagues the inner-city streets of Chicago, wouldn’t one think people should take a moment to take a listen to some of the kids when they approach you for their cause?

These boys were simply trying to do something positive for their community but like most of us,  need some support and there’s nothing wrong with that! I, for one, was really touched and thrilled to help my new friends and wish I could do more. Can you? Will you?

To help donate to the Vikings Football team or for more information or to find out what the kids need for their football program call 312-287-7658.

It may just save one child’s life.

DiBi Skinny Time

Does size really matter?!

Fat, skinny, narrow, thick, longer or short, what’s the difference? What is your perfect tie size? Tie size, that is.

Whitney Port and friend, wearing a DiBi Tie. Photo courtesy of Daniel Bruce

When it comes to picking out the perfect men’s tie, Daniel Bruce, originally from Palatine, is taking a play from the vintage playbook and bringing the skinny ties back to life. He says he always wanted a fun skinny tie but they were always expensive so he thought it would be fun to create a lower price point skinny tie.

Daniel, 29, launched DiBi in May of 2010. His idea, he says, “came from a need to do something different, fun and fantastic.” After contacting friends in manufacturing, in China he began his venture. He started with a low price point and continued on up. Bow ties and skinny ties are available in the collection now.

“People of different age groups want different sized ties”, Daniel says, “and it’s opened about 40 doors worldwide. From Canada, Aruba, Guatemala, Australia, the US on the west coast, east coast, to the midwest.”

DiBi Ties all around! Photo courtesy of Daniel Bruce

So far,  it’s been a fun ride, according to Daniel ” My ties are in stores all across the across the nation. The point in doing this is to do something good,” said Daniel.

Daniel has also established a charitable foundation called “Dibi Foundation”. The organization provides basic school supplies to school children in rural areas around the world. It’s a very long process to become a 501c3 but right now Daniel and his team are trying to raise money to get these kids around the world the basics for school.

He feels strongly about the foundation’s mission.  He says, “It’s what these kids need and its very close to me. Both my parents were teachers so education is number 1. Education, the foundation building, (K-8) is really important to me—if these kids don’t have supplies or people that care about it, they can’t soak it up like a sponge. We have it here, but worldwide they [the kids] have dirt floors and share a pencil 1:4 kids. I feel good about doing this. 10% off of every sale goes to the foundation. I know what I want to accomplish but not sure how to do more but as soon as I figure that out, I can give and donate more.”

There are HUNDREDS of DiBi Ties. Photo courtesy of Daniel Bruce

There are hundreds of ties in this line and a specialty line called ”Military” line of skinny ties exist, which was launched in February of 2011. Daniel worked with  a small U.S. local manufacturing  company, AI Industries, that specializes in military garments that are NATIC certified. NATIC is the highest certification that any company can get for a garment and that is the same garment used for this military tie line. All military uniforms (garment related) are NATIC certified. It’s the best quality fabric for our boys in service.  DiBi Ties are the only ties in America that can claim NATIC certified.

Daniel ended by saying, “In general I think it’s important to have fun with this and do something good with it. It’s about good karma as well.”

 My son just asked me for a skinny tie for his graduation so guess I’ll be looking for Daniel’s ties all weekend!!  

Polyester ties  usually sell at about $30.00

L1-L13 (denim and wool line) usually sell  for about $32-34.00

The Military line of ties go for about $70.00

For more information on DiBi products and Foundation go to: