Episode 3 – Filipino American Gangs in SoCal: Where are you from and where are you now?

In this episode, we explore the history of Filipino American gangs in Southern California with Dave, a local expert on the subject. Growing up in Los Angeles in the 80’s and 90’s was a different time.  The political landscape was different and teen life was difficult for Filipino immigrants who were searching for protection, identity, or perhaps something to do.  How did Filipino American gangs form?  What was the lifestyle like?  Are they still around?  Dave takes us on a journey to answer these questions and much more. We hope you take a listen to get a glimpse of what it was like for those who grew up around what was most worrisome to Filipino American parents during those turbulent years.
Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here!

For some more background on Filipino/Asian gangs in Southern California, here are some news articles:

For a comprehensive study on Filipino American gangs, particularly Satanas (STS), read Bangele Alsaybar’s Ph.D. dissertation, “Youth Groups and Youth Savers: Gangs, Crews, and the Rise of Filipino American Youth Culture in Los Angeles,” as mentioned in the podcast.  (Available through Proquest.  If you don’t have access to Proquest, feel free to email us to see how you can get a copy). Alsaybar also published a portion of his study in Amerasia Journal, which can be accessed here.

Finally, here are links to two non-profit organizations that concerned community members established to curb gang violence in the Filipino community, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans in Los Angeles and United Playaz in San Francisco.


Elaine here. Color Your Troubles Away is on Thursday, July 28th. I had the wrong date when we recorded the podcast!


16 comments on “Episode 3 – Filipino American Gangs in SoCal: Where are you from and where are you now?

  1. Shaun says:

    How random… Ryan Carpio was my neighbor in Atwater. I remember when his whole family came to America. Me and Ryan used to trade baseball cards when we were younger, best of it all was when us kids used to play in front of our house. On the other hand the good ol Atwater and its gangs and the many many surrounding gangs. Everywhere you walked it was gangs…Those are the many childhood memories I will never forget even if I wanted too. I go on for hours talking about it.

  2. Toksuno says:

    Not to glorify gang life but that la…. Pre gentrification LA….. I miss it! Maybe the excitement of it. Thanks for the memories of the graffiti, the people and the clothes, cars, sounds and looks this podcast brought back! I also like your in between and ending music! Mad respect!

  3. Unknown says:

    I just wanted to say I grew up in this era and memories that will last! By the way I gave that photo given to me by one of those guys

  4. Ron says:

    This was an awesome pod cast… Appreciate the history… But I thought STS started from Temple St.?

    1. According to Dave, it’s debatable. It started on Temple St or from TST. TST claims STS as their lil homies. Some STS say they started on their own. Different people say different things.

      1. Know whats real... says:

        How is this guy Dave not going to mention Temple St. when talking about the original pinoy gangs in L. A…?? Especially around the Rampart area…

  5. Harry Yass says:

    I was raised in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

  6. TRIPA says:

    Growing up in the 80’s was da fuckin bomb! Gangbangin was fun. We wuz killin mothafuckers left and right like it aint no thang. I’m from THS and back in the days it was all about THE GANG! I finished school like a school boy but after school I was a whole different person, specially on the weekends, dang I miss those days… I’m now a bank teller in Glendale and have 5 kids.. Still a G and that’s fo Life!

  7. KNIGHTMARE says:

    The 80s was the best of times. I was an active member from Sarzana/MP13 in HighlandPark area and we didn’t get along for shit with Baldwin Park THS! Water under the bridge but aint no THS take any of us out! It was the AVES that put up a good one against us rather than any other neighborhoods then. Moved forward with life after doing a 7 year stretch and now doing the family thing. Shout out to all the real OG homies from Sarzana and Mabuhay Pinoy13.

  8. Jacqueline morales says:

    I remember growing up in the 90s on carondelet street! Idk about the generation now but the generation back then was the bomb!!! Blessed to experience that era with so many memories both good n bad! Sup to all the homies then n now from that sukutu “T” gang

  9. Loco D says:

    The original Filipino gangs from Los Angeles were typically generated from the immigration/migration of Filipinos to the Area. As you know, Filipinos were settled in LA as far back as the early 1900s. Our time to question those from that era is gone since most of those in that age group have passed on. Our next generation to interview would be the WW2 era of Filipino serviceman. Even they are slowly passing away due to old age. So the generation after that would be those who grew up on the 50s and 60s. I met a mestizo who grew up in the Rampart area and went to Belmont In the 50’s that had quite a few stories of Filipinos v Chicanos.

    So…there is more story to Filipino gangs in the Los Angeles area.

  10. Ge says:

    Grew up in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in West Covina and Rowland Heights in the middle of Pinoy Real central…..strong hold of Nogales High school and shadow park. City Saints and Dyces clicks were thick as fuck and PR was loaded with members and boat loads of fine pinays. one thing PR had going was there were always fine females around and many in the gang were down to go to the end for the gang. When I look back many of the guys ended up with subpar lives, many did time or ended up being nobodys. The connection with Atwater was tight even though Mike not have admiitted it.

    1. Loco D says:

      Ge, thanks for sharing. Pinoy Real definitely grew from it’s early roots at Marshal High School. 6-shot, Crazys, West Co, Atwater…definitely got up during their time. Early on, they got along with Jefrox and MP13. West up to all the G’s. RIP to all the fallen.

    2. Mr. Jas VI says:

      Don’t forget the 6shots in Rowland

  11. Z says:

    OMG. I remember back in the late ’90s…I joined Satanas. Funny thing is there was beef within the cliques inside Satans at the time. I joined the Long Beach clique, and got my burn on the back of my left hand. LA had theirs on the back of their right hand. It’s crazy to look back on it, and I didn’t bang as much as the others in my clique, I was more in it for the social, partying, & drugs aspect….followed in my cousin’s footsteps.

  12. tri says:

    Supwitit, what’s up big dog! Just wondering what part of LA you chilled it at and what group you hung out with. You have a lot of knowledge on what was going on back in the bays.

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