Episode 25 – Filipino Americans and Panethnic Identity

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As a Filipino, do you identify as an Asian American?  Do you feel more affinity towards Mexican Americans and other Latinos?  Do you believe Filipinos are Pacific Islanders?  Do Filipino Americans belong to a specific “race”?

These are some questions Filipino Americans grapple with all the time.  Living in the United States, “Asian,” “Pacific Islander,” or even “Latino” is thrust upon Filipinos.   Filipino Americans, in numerous ways, do not fit these arbitrary racial and/or panethnic categories, yet many of us have the arduous task of choosing which one we belong to.

In this TFAL episode, we explore the ways in which these arbitrary panethnic categorizations are unfair to Filipinos, how they fail to encapsulate our lived experiences, and how they elide so much of our political realities in the United States.  We speak with Dr. Anthony Ocampo, Associate Professor of Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona and author of the renowned book The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race.

Listen as Anthony talks about Filipino Americans ambiguous belonging to Asian America and what Filipinos need to do to advance from our marginalized position under the Asian American category and in the United States at large.  Later, we have a great conversation about his future book project on the experiences of LGTBQ persons of color.  Also, we find out what race Ryan really is!

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here!

How do you identify?  Do you believe Filipino American are Asian or any other category?  Drop us a line on our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325)!

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Episode 24.5 – TFAL Goes to Las Vegas: Michael and Lynn Arage; Carl Araneta

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Although Las Vegas is more than just America’s playground, we could not do a Vegas show without talking about the gaming industry and the combat sport industry. Las Vegas is arguably the most popular gambling city in the world and the fight capital of the United States.  As kids, we may have gone to play games at Circus Circus to win a big stuffed animal, but as adults we try to win big money by playing slot machines or cards.  Likewise, we go to Vegas to watch the best boxing fights and MMA events.

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On this final Vegas episode, we talk to Poker pro Michael Arage and Lynn Arage who works in marketing for a slot machine company to talk about living in Las Vegas and working in the gaming industry.  Find out who really loves poker, who loves slot machines, and who loves to do impressions of bad Russian accents.

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In the second half of the episode, we speak to Carl Araneta of Cobra Kai Jiu Jitsu of Las Vegas and founder of Ten Braves Apparel, a clothing company geared for the ninja and jiu jitsu lifestyle.  Find out how he got into MMA, his fight record, and what he does to train his child.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here!

As always, feel free to email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com, leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL, or write us a comment below if you have any opinions about the episode!

P.S. It’s World Series of Poker month in Las Vegas. Wishing Michael a good series and all the luck to get a bracelet!!!

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Episode 24 – TFAL Goes to Las Vegas: Gloria Caoile and Rozita Lee; Tessa Winkelmann

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Think Vegas is only about gambling, partying, and buffets?  Think again.  Las Vegas is also home to a fierce bunch of activists trying to make a difference in the Filipino American community.

In this episode, the TFAL crew talks to long time political advocates, Gloria Caoile and Rozita Lee.  These fiery ladies have been organizing the Filipino American community in Las Vegas for decades.  Listen as they discuss the importance of political empowerment of Filipinos in the United States, their tactics on how to engage the community, and their passions that keep them going.

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In the second half of the episode, we sit down with Tessa Winkelmann, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).  How does she teach ethnic and gender studies to a bunch of students who want to go to nursing?  How does she illuminate the shadows of American imperialism and its lasting impact on hospitality majors?  Listen and find out!

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here!

 

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Honor the Scholars Among Us with Doctora Designs!

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It’s a little known fact that most of the TFAL crew have advanced degrees. Elaine, Gerlie, Joe, and Producer Mike (sorry Ryan!) invested portions of our lives in graduate school. For us, and for countless graduates of color, the journey through the academic path was full of hardship, difficulty, and restlessness. The bar is set much higher and the obstacles are more numerous for folks whom society has traditionally deemed not suited for university life.

Yet, what kept us going in graduate school were the little things – words of encouragement, advice from mentors, small victories along the way. Now, there’s another way to encourage graduate students to cross that finish line. For those who are continuing their education in graduate school, there is a special line of jewelry just for them.

Dr. Angela Chen presents Doctora Designs, a company that celebrates the academic achievements of ALL of us. Dr. Chen, a former undocumented student herself, started Doctora to inspire and empower those who identify as women, people of color, immigrants, and folks handling life on various intersectional margins. Her mission is to recognize our struggles and celebrate milestones of those historically marginalized in academia and society as a whole.

Whether you are a student or you know of someone in school, Doctora is the jewelry line everyone in education should get. These tokens of support, encouragement, and achievement go a long way in one’s academic career.

Graduation season, as well as Mother’s Day, is fast approaching. Honor the scholars among your family and friends with jewelry that celebrates their achievements. Make a statement, inspire yourself and others with jewelry from Doctora Designs! Isulong!

Check out all the inspiring jewelry on Doctora Designs!

Episode 23.5 – TFAL Goes to Las Vegas: Intro and FNGR Podcast

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Viva Las Vegas!!

On a weekend in April, the TFAL crew ventured to Sin City for a bit of R&R.  Well, not really.  TFAL went to Las Vegas to get a slice of Filipino American Life in the desert.  Perhaps the most hyper-capitalist, hyper-sexualized city in the United States, Las Vegas is also home to the fastest growing Filipino American community.

On the next few episodes, you’ll get to hear from a few Vegas Pinoys shaking up the city.  In this first installment, listen as we recap our perceptions of Las Vegas, then speak to Mike and Producer Paul, half of the crew of the FNGR (For No Good Reason) Podcast.  Much thanks to the good folks at FNGR for hosting us for the weekend.

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Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here!

Check out the FNGR Podcast here!

 

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MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.

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In our conversation with WASI in Episode 22 we let them know that they remind us of M.I.A. WASI’s infectious, dance music with a message fits right in with M.I.A.’s sound.  The closing night film for Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. a documentary by first time filmmaker Stephen Loveridge. Loveridge creates an intimate portrait of the unconventional pop star through personal footage spanning decades.

Get your tickets to the film and closing night party! What are notable films that you saw throughout the festival? Find the TFAL crew at the closing night party and let us know!

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.Aratani Theatre, May 10, 2018 7:00 pm

 

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Spotlight on Taiwan

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The 34th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) shines a light on the country of Taiwan, highlighting the best in Taiwanese cinema and the country’s rich culture and history that have shaped the island nation into one of the most dynamic countries in the Asia-Pacific Rim.

This year, LAAPFF is honored to present two feature films — Jay Chern’s third feature film, OMOTENASHI, and Frank W. Chen’s documentary LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY.

OMOTENASHI, from LAAPFF Award winner Jay Chern (THIEF, LAAPFF 2014), stars Edison Wang as Jacky, the young heir to a construction company in Taiwan. His father sends him to Kyoto to oversee the renovation of the  beautiful yet obsolete Bright Moon Ryokan. Jacky is going in hopes to get back his ex-girlfriend Naoko and to sell the hotel. There, he meets the innkeeper Mistuko and her daughter Rika. Unaware of his hidden agenda, the innkeeper is excited about the idea of turning the hotel into a wedding venue, and suggests that Jacky learns “omotenashi”, the virtue of traditional Japanese hospitality, together with her daughter and her otaku helper.

LATE LIFE: THE CHIEN-MING WANG STORY could be best described as a baseball version of LINSANITY. Directed by Frank W. Chen and produced by Brian Yang (coincidentally, who also produced the eponymous Jeremy Lin documentary), chronicles Taiwanese baseball player Chien-Ming Wang’s last ditch effort to be recruited back on a professional baseball team after a series of injuries disrupted his trailblazing career in the major leagues. Much like LINSANITY, the documentary is an up close and personal film that delves into Wang’s personal drive as a star athlete with a steely determination and resiliency that impresses everyone in his wake.

In addition to these two features, this year’s spotlight also highlights the works of emerging Taiwanese filmmakers with three short films — 100th BIRTHDAY WISH by Lien Chien Hung, MISS WORLD by Georgia Fu, and FUNDAMENTAL by Shih-Chieh Chiu. These short films present universal stories that are also unique in capturing everyday Taiwanese life.  As LAAPFF is an Academy Award®-qualifying festival for Short Film Awards, perhaps these new directors will one day be the next Ang Lee.

We celebrate Taiwanese filmmakers with their latest shorts, in the following programs:

100th BIRTHDAY WISH (dir. Lien Chien Hung) appearing in Forever Alone (Or Not)

MISS WORLD (dir. Georgia Fu) appearing in My So-Called Adolescence

FUNDAMENTAL (dir. Shih-Chieh Chiu) appearing in My So-Called Adolescence

SPOTLIGHT TAIWAN: BUY TICKETS 

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Bonus Episode: TFAL meets ULAM

 

 

On this bonus episode of TFAL podcast we talk to Filipino American filmmaker Alexandra Cuerdo and producer Rey Cuerdo about their film ULAM: Main Dish, which will be screening at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on Sunday, May 6th, 2018 at 4pm. How hungry did they get while making the documentary? How hungry will you get while watching ULAM? Take a listen as the TFAL crew learn about Alexandra and Rey’s journey in making this film.

 

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Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here!

Are you in Los Angeles? Do you want to watch this film with us? Get your tickets for ULAM today! Let’s watch the film and then rehash our favorite moments together!

ULAM: MAIN DISH, Aratani Theatre, May 6, 2018 4:00 pm: BUY TICKETS 

 

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The No Spin Zone

This Filipino American Life shorts program recommendations!

The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival continues to highlight talented short filmmakers and storytellers. A few short films that shouldn’t be missed are Just A Kid From Seattle, Fakeapino, Limboland, and Aswang Next Door.

If you are looking for one shorts program to check out, TFAL recommends The No Spin Zone. Filipino/Filipino American Short Films included in this program include The Duwende, Killings, and Your Mother.

THE NO SPIN ZONE, Downtown Independent, May 5, 2018 9:00 pm: BUY TICKETS

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While working far from home to make ends meet, Boyet is called back to his family in rural Philippines after his young daughter Abby goes missing. His distraught wife, Tata, believes their child was taken by the duwende, a mythical creature from Filipino folklore that steals children from their homes.


Director’s Bio

Odin B. Fernandez is a filmmaker from Quezon City, Philippines and currently based in Melbourne, Australia. He has been in the film production industry in various capacities for more than a decade. In 2016, he graduated with a Master’s degree in Film and Television from the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. His graduate film received the Best Production Script at the 2016 VCA Film and TV Graduate Awards.

 

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Through a series of killings, PATAYAN examines the wearisome violence plaguing the country and questions the amalgam of murder with impunity, along with the public’s apathy for the dead. Without narrative or characterization, choosing only to depict the act of killing itself, the film confronts the violence head on.


Director’s Bio

Joseph Mangat is a filmmaker born in Manila, Philippines and based in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BA in Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. He holds a MA in TV, Film and New Media from San Diego State University. His short films have screened at multiple festivals and showcases. He is currently finishing his first feature documentary film, HOLY CRAFTS.

 

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Follow Ana, a housemaid in Manila, and her quiet resilience as she is hassled by the family she has come to care for. While she is desperate to send more money to her mom, her job is jeopardized when her employer’s children’s desire for her go too far.


Director’s Bio

Mary is an NYC based filmmaker. She blurs the lines between personal drama, fantasy, and fiction ever since she got a hold of her first 16mm camera as a teenager. She received her MFA at NYU for Writing and Directing where she was the recipient of the prestigious Tisch Graduate Fellowship for Cinematography. With her work, she pursues distinct and transformative stories full of bullish heart and levity.

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The Cleaners + Call Her Ganda

This Filipino American Life Documentary Recommendations!

THE CLEANERS and CALL HER GANDA are two films in the documentary competition for Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Under the International Documentary Feature Competition there is THE CLEANERS highlights who’s job is it to Olivia Pope/fix your online profiles. CALL HER GANDA makes it’s west coast premiere in the LAAPFF Documentary Features Competition. The film follows the story of a 19 year old transgender woman murdered by a US Marine.

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THE CLEANERS, Regal L.A. Live – Theatre 13, May 7, 2018 6:30 pm: BUY TICKETS

When you post something on the web, can you be sure it stays there? Who is controlling what we see… and what we think? Social media sites — particularly Facebook and YouTube — have been under intense pressure to monitor and delete offensive, pornographic, and incendiary posts. Compassionately portraying the Filipino workers who comb through thousands of online images in the dark of night, THE CLEANERS exposes the dark side of information technology.


Director’s Bio

Hans Block is a German theatre director, musician, and filmmaker. He studied Music at the Berlin University of the Arts and Directing at the Ernst Busch Institute for Theatre Directing. Moritz Riesewieck is a German theatre director, author, and filmmaker. He studied Economics as a scholar of the German National Academic Foundation, followed by Directing at the Ernst Busch Institute for Theatre Directing in Berlin.

 

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CALL HER GANDA, AMC Dine-in Sunset 5, May 4, 2018 7:00 pm: BUY TICKETS

Grassroots activists in the Philippines are spurred into action when a local transgender woman is found dead in a motel room with a 19-year-old U.S. marine as the leading suspect. As the activists demand answers and a just trial, hidden histories of U.S. colonization come bubbling to the surface.


Director’s Bio

PJ Raval is an award‐winning filmmaker whose credits include TRINIDAD (Showtime, Logo) and BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, which follows the lives of three gay senior men, described by indieWIRE as “a crucial new addition to the LGBT doc canon.” An accomplished cinematographer, PJ shot the Academy Award‐nominated Best Documentary, TROUBLE THE WATER and is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, 2016 Firelight Media Fellow, and a 2017 Robert Giard Fellow.

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