Month: February 2018

Episode 21 – Filipino Caregivers

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Tens of thousands of Filipinos work as caregivers in the United States, and more are recruited to Western nations to feed, bathe, and serve the elderly.  It is a thankless, yet vital job that many Filipinos hold.  Yet, in this line of work, many caregivers are abused, with some working 24 hours around the clock and getting paid less than minimum wage.  It is also work that some of our undocumented members of the community hold, making worker exploitation more commonplace.

In the coming years, many baby boomers will enter retirement age, making elderly care a crucial industry in the United States and in other Western nations.  The demand of Filipino immigrant labor to fulfill this need is looking inevitable.  However, exploitation of these workers cannot continue and it is up to all of us to make sure caregivers are treated with respect and dignity.

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In this TFAL episode, we speak with Aquilina Soriano-Versoza, Executive Director of the Pilipino Workers Center, who is fighting for their respect and dignity.  Listen as she discusses her experiences in organizing Filipino caregivers, some of the struggles some of them have faced, and the victories their organization has won as a result of their grassroots advocacy.

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

Any thoughts on this episode?  Email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com, leave a voice message, or even text us your thoughts at (805) 394-TFAL.

Episode 20.5 – Walang Hiya

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“Ay nako…walang hiya ka!” or “Walang hiya si ________.”  Many of us have heard these phrases before.  It may be the ultimate insult, or the start of a juicy gossip story.  But what is hiya?

Hiya closely translates to “shame” in English.  To say “walang hiya” is to accuse someone of having no shame.  It’s a form of social relations embedded in Filipino culture with countless unwritten rules.  It’s a way for Filipinos to regulate themselves in a community.  It’s a tool to discipline and socialize their children.  While it’s also a vehicle to maintain class status and create false aspirations and desires, in some ways, hiya can also serve to level hierarchical power structures even for a brief moment.

In this TFAL episode, we discuss a bit of our experiences with this concept of hiya.  How does it bind us together?  How does is restrict us?  How do we navigate and negotiate the rules of hiya in our families?  How is hiya still with us in the United States?  We only scratch the surface, but hopefully it’ll lead to new revelations and discoveries.

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

What are your experiences with hiya? Let us know! Email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com, leave a voice message, or even text us your thoughts at (805) 394-TFAL.

Buy us a cup of Ko-Fi!

Hi TPals!!  There’s a new way for folks to support your favorite Filipino American podcast: Kofi!  If you don’t feel like donating on a monthly basis, feel free to buy us a cup of coffee through ko-fi!  (We’re not really using your donation for coffee.  All proceeds go to the operations of the show!).

Find out more about our ko-fi campaign here: Cups of Ko-fi.  And while you’re at it, listen to our new commercial!