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.

[Correction]

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.

    1. LOS ACES says:

      Yes, sir. Them days (80s & 90s) were the times. The best times by far. Although gang activity was at its peak during them days, it was still good times nonetheless. It was a way of life and a way of living. It became normal and acceptable, in our subculture, of course. But then again, society as a whole, at that time, resigned to the fact that gangs were a part of life, their life. Why? Because gangs were so heavily saturated in the culture in which they lived. I remember myself, a gang member from WS Rebel Boys, always alert the minute I woke up because I was aware of all the gangs that exited out there, particularly all my enemies. We were hated by many because of all the punishment we inflicted upon our rivals, and believe me, for a small gang we had many. And I think that’s what made it exciting, because of the war type environment and situation that we lived: shootings, stabbings, killings, jumping, burning buildings, chasing, etc. What elevated that excitement was the social scene with the chicks, partying and hanging out with the homies. I’m sure the folks here could identify with my explaination. Those times will never be recaptured but the memories however can be. Lastly, the hoods from back in the day that get props from me because of their viscous reputation are: The Boys, NS Bahalana Gang, Flip Town Mob and Atwater Pinoy Real, THS, with so many enemies, you guys held it down for a good minute as did Sarzana and Mabuhay Pinoys 13. Hope everyone from our “circle” is doing well and living the life and their dream. WEST SIDE REBEL BOYS Rest In Peace Lonely. You will never be forgotten my boy!

  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.

  11. SUPWIDDAT says:

    YO KNIGHTMARE, HOW THE HELL DID SOMEONE FROM SARZANA END UP ROLLING WITH THE MABUHAYS? THATS ON TWO DIFFERENT ENDS OF THE COUNTY. I REMEMER THEM (MP13) GOING AT IT WITH AVENUES AROUND 92-96. THAT WAS SOME SHIT. AVENUES WERE SHOOTING FILIPINOS UP LIKE IT WAS 4TH OF JULY THINKING THEY WERE MP13. TWO TGP PASSED AWAY BECAUSE OF THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE MP13.

    THE 80S WAS A GOOD TIME.

    TRIPA, YOU A FOOL LOL. I KNEW SOME FOOL WHO WORKED AT SOME BANK WHO CLAIMED THS. DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO JOSE?

    ANYONE KNOW WTF HAPPENED TO GARDENA HELLSIDE? THOSE FOOLS WERE PRETTY NUTS, I KNOW AT ONE POINT THEY ALLIGNED THEMSELVES WITH PR WHICH WAS WEIRD BECAUSE PR AND RBS ALLIGNED THEMSELVES AND FUCKING DESTROYED JEFROX, IDC WHAT ANYONE SAYS THAT SHIT HAPPENED DESPITE THEM DENYING IT. TRUSTY FROM RBS, RABBIT, OSO AND MOUSY FROM PR, PASADENA WAS CHECKING JEFROX ALL DAY LONG, JFX IS COOL, I KNOW A FEW OF THEM BUT EVEN THEY PANICKED WHEN PR WOULD POP UP AT THE CLUBS LOL

  12. 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.

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