Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Thien Phu Sings Teeny-Bopper Music

This is a teeny bopper song.  I've never sung this song on stage.  Why I chose to record it, I'll never know.  But at least, I find it entertaining when I listen to it these days.  Gosh, I'm getting old.  I can't believe that there was a time when I used to sing teeny bopper music.  It all seems so light years away.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Follow Me on Twitter

Hi there, friends!  I don't think I've ever officially invited anyone to follow me on Twitter yet.  Where are my manners?  Like the old saying goes, better late than pregnant.... Oops!  Did I just make a faux pas?  Or Freudian slip with an homage paid to the legendary Blanche Devereaux?  I'm just joking. I think it was sort of funny and hopefully had put a smile on your face.  Anyway, my dearest friends, I hereby cordially invite you to follow me on Twitter.  Just click on the link below and you're halfway there.  Happy trails!

Yours truly,

Thien Phu aka Viktor Lassley

Link:  Thien Phu on Twitter 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Seems Like Old Times

Last night out of the blue, I was delighted to receive a phone call from one of my adoptive big sisters I hadn't seen in a while.  I'm referring to Bebe Hoang Anh.  To many members of the Vietnamese community in the United States, you might have seen her name listed in the credits for her photography work in magazines, Vietnamese popular music compact discs and DVDs and calendars.  And many of you might also be familiar with her as being the beloved wife of the late Vietnamese-American columnist, singer, songwriter, Asia Productions music video live show master of ceremonies, political activist and Vietnamese-American radio broadcasting pioneer Viet Dzung, who happens to also have been one of my adoptive big brothers that I've been quite fortunate to have in my life.  I'm always delighted to hear from her.  We are like family.  We've been friends for so long, seen and done so many things together, Bebe to me, is nothing short of a gem in my book.

When I answered the phone, I hear Bebe's sweet voice speaking to me in what I call Vietlish, a combination of Vietnamese and English.  "Thien Phu, where are you, brother?  I'm here with another one of your sisters, Julie (Julie Quang).  We're at The Crab Kicker Restaurant on Magnolia and McFadden.  Get your butt over here right away.  I miss you."

Well, with an invitation like that, who can refuse?  Right when Bebe was calling me I was still at work.  Despite how I had tried to get off from my shift as soon as I could, it wouldn't be for another hour and a half before I would finally arrive at The Crab Kicker to join my two big sisters, Bebe Hoang Anh and Julie Quang.  I was perspiring heavily during the drive from my work to The Crab Kicker.  I kept thinking to myself, "There's no way that they could still be there at the restaurant waiting for me.  How long does it take to eat crawfish?  They're probably long gone by now."
What made it worse was how these two big sisters of mine are the way they are.  For instance, quite typical of Bebe's style, she doesn't answer her cellphone.  I dialed her number repeatedly so I could find out whether I should even bother to head on over there or not, but I had no such luck in reaching Bebe.  And as for my big sister, Julie Quang, who is notoriously famous for never carrying with her her cellphone wherever she goes, that just added to my stress.  It was already ten o'clock at night.  But since I have really missed seeing the both of them in such a long time, I just figured I'd take my chances and just make the drive anyway.  Luckily, they were still there when I arrived.

Our reunion last night, although brief since by the time I had gotten there the restaurant was near closing time, was just like old times.  Julie and Bebe had come there directly from attending singer Phuong Hong Que's mother's funeral.  Accompanying them was another old acquaintance of mine, Tiffy Tien Bui.  We laughed, talked, and even cried a bit, all four of us.  I don't know if it's my imagination.  But it seemed like out of all of us, I'm the only one that has aged.  Bebe and Julie still look the same.

Julie Quang, Bebe Hoang Anh, Tiffy Tien Bui and Thien Phu
During our reunion, there were bits and pieces of emotional moments.  After a little bit of alcohol in her, Bebe started to get a bit emotional as we reminisced about Viet Dzung, understandably so.  I let Julie and Bebe know about my own personal tragedy recently with the passing of my father.  Julie shared with me about her son, Kennedy, who had recently been hospitalized.  Wow!  So much has happened in our individual lives.  There was so much to catch up on, yet so little time.  We'll have to have another one of these reunions soon.  After all, they are my family.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Thanks for the Birthday Wishes!

This was created by Tran Quoc Bao a few years ago.  
This previous July 1st was my 43rd birthday.  I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you who had sent me birthday wishes.  They really meant a lot to me.  My goodness, I'm now 43.  The more I think about it, the more I'm frightened.  But not really.  I'm proud of my age.  I feel as if I'm not just older, but better, as well.  Thanks again, my friends.  God bless you all. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Unexpected, Pleasant Reunion

On Sunday afternoon, my beautiful cousin, Nikki, who now lives in Arizona called me up out of the blue to let me know that both she and her older sister, Dieu, were in town and wanted to meet up with me at some coffee shop.  My cousin, Nikki, is one of the sweetest girls around.  We are actually second cousins, as her mother and my mother are first cousins.  I remember the very first time we had actually met was exactly 22 years ago in 1993.  That was when she and her older sister and their mother had just moved here to the United States from Vietnam.  I can go on and on about the beautiful "real life" love story about her parents, whom I had addressed as Uncle Trong and Aunt Tram.  You see, her father had first moved to the United States and had lived here for several years.  He never forgot about his family back in Vietnam.  He worked hard and finally managed to bring the rest of his family to the United States.  Nikki now owns her own Vietnamese restaurant right outside of Phoenix and also has become a Vietnamese singer.  She goes by the stage name, Bao Tram.

Tuan Anh and Thien Phu
It was very nice to see both Nikki and Dieu again, along with another uncle, Uncle Tuan.  But I had no idea that she had arranged for me to reunite with someone that I admire quite a bit and hadn't seen in ages.  That person is none other than singer Tuan Anh.  To see him again after so many years was like a breath of fresh air.  He hasn't aged one bit.  As a matter of fact, I think he even looks younger today than the last time I saw him almost ten years ago.  He's still funny as ever.  Full of jokes, he made all of us laugh non-stop.  I wonder what's his secret in staying so youthful and positive after all these years.
Bao Tram, Tuan Anh and Thien Phu 

Bao Tram and Tuan Anh

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Most Uplifting Letter from Fellow Amerasian

This letter was so inspiring I thought I'd share it on both blog sites, and here on  Rose, if you're reading this, thanks again for such encouraging and thoughtful words.  You've inspired me more than you know.  

Thien Phu

With Rose's permission, here is her letter posted in its entirety.  

Dear Thien Phu,

Thank you for your stories on being Amerasian.  I'm an Amerasian, myself.  While I was growing up, there were times I felt out of place since I didn't look like the rest of my family.  I was born in Vietnam.  My mother is Vietnamese and my father was an American soldier.  When I was just a year old, my mother had gotten married to a Filipino-American serviceman and we left Vietnam to live in Hawaii.  My stepfather was kind enough to give me his last name.  My mother went on to have two more children with my stepfather.  While growing up, my mother had never told me about my true identity.  I also never had any reason to doubt that my stepfather was my father.  He is a good man and never treated me any different from my two younger siblings.  But then when I was in junior high school, I started to hear how my classmates would refer to me as "Hapa" because of my wavy, red hair and light-skinned complexion.  I hated hearing that and couldn't understand why my classmates kept calling me such.  When I was 13, my family moved to Seattle, Washington, and I was relieved that I didn't have to hear the word, "Hapa", anymore.  Then one day, when I was about 15, after my stepfather and his sister had gotten into some sort of argument, she decided to pull me aside and tell me that he wasn't my actual father and that my real father was an American.  I cried and went home to ask my parents if that was true.  That was when they both broke down and told me the truth.  

At first, I was angry at both my aunt and my parents.  Why would she do that?  After all, it's none of her business.  I was also upset at how my parents could have kept this from me all these years.  When I was 18, I finally tracked down my biological father's whereabouts.  Unfortunately, by then he had already passed away a year prior.  Regardless, I was still thankful for finding out that I have two wonderful half-siblings.  I'm also glad that I now have a better relationship with both my mother and stepfather.  

Eight years ago, my husband and I decided to relocate to Vietnam where we both now work as English teachers in Ho Chi Minh City.  These past eight years living in Vietnam have given me an opportunity to learn more about my Vietnamese roots.  I've also gained a sense of pride as an Amerasian thanks to websites such as yours.  I like reading about other Amerasians and their accomplishments.  Thanks, Thien Phu, for your stories posted on your websites.  Keep up the good work.  


Rose Hong Matthews
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam