Month: July 2017

Episode 14.5 – #TFALheartsOPM


Cheats performing in Los Angeles in 2017

OPM, or Original Pilipino Music, is a term that once referred primarily to the ballads and love songs popular in the Philippines in the 1970s and 1980s.  A modern take on the harana traditions, these songs were sung mostly in Tagalog and were often tied to equally emotive films and television shows.  They also served as reminders of home for many Filipino Americans, who could relatively easily get their fill picking up cassettes and video tapes from the local Filipino market.

Today, however, the OPM label is just as likely to be applied to any of the music coming out of the Philippines, from the Pinoy Rock traditions of the Eraserheads to the electronic musings of Tarsius.  Filipino music has always been diverse, but in the internet age its that much easier to find yourself perusing reggaeton tracks from Iloilo and Calypso from Manila.

But are Filipino Americans, particularly those that are born here, even listening? Certainly a band like the Eraserheads can and has filled places like the Hollywood Palladium with eager Fil-Am fans, but is there a genuine audience for music from the Philippines beyond its shores?

So as part of our continuing series #TFALheartsOPM, the crew talks about music from the motherland, how we’ve connected with it, and why others may or may not be pumping these artists on their stereos.

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

And as a bonus, some music videos by Producer Mike’s current favorite OPM bands:

Episode 14 – On TFAL’s Wings: Thoughts on Filipino Catholicism with Father Radmar Jao

Radmar Priest

Take me to Church!

As Filipino Americans, most of us were raised Catholic.  With over 80% of the people in the Philippines identifying as Catholic, it’s no surprise that those of us in the TFAL crew grew up going to church every weekend, observing religious holidays, and some even going to Catholic school.

On this TFAL episode, we talk about Catholicism, how we practice or not practice the religion.  We have a candid conversation with our special guest, Father Radmar Jao, S.J.  He is a Jesuit priest and currently serves as the Campus Minister at Boise State University.  He’s also the son of Filipina actress, Tessie Agana.  He himself has worked as an actor and a singer on stage in Hollywood before joining the Jesuit order.  He even has an IMDB profile!

We only begin to scratch the surface as we delve into questions about Father Radmar’s choice of joining the priesthood, his thoughts on Church policies and politics, and how to approach religious leaders and priests we disagree with.

Find out who among us pondered being in the religious ministry, enjoy a story about how one “must repent,” and spend some moments listening to Father Radmar talk about the faith the TFAL crew grew up with, be critical about, and watch develop over time.

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

For more info on the Caritas retreat where Ryan met Father Radmar, go to this link: