Month: July 2020

Episode 124 – A Feminist’s Journey Through Pregnancy with Angela Garbes (Social Distance Series)

TFAL is having a baby! Actually, just Gerlie and Joe are having a baby.

Prego Gerlie

The latest change in their lives prompted a discussion about pregnancy as Filipino Americans.  In this episode, the TFAL crew delves into what we know and don’t know about pregnancy. Most of our conversation is around what we don’t know because, let’s be honest, most Filipino families aren’t very open about pregnancy and everything that’s involved. What we did learn from our families came through common phrases like, “Don’t have a baby too young,” which was often code for “Don’t have a baby out of wedlock.” Depending on your sex, you probably either heard, “Don’t get pregnant” or “Don’t get someone pregnant.” As adults, the phrases changed to, “When are you giving me grandkids? When are you getting pregnant? How many kids are you planning to have?” While these phrases may have caused us to pause and consider our life choices at the time, none of them really prepared us for the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual changes expectant mothers and fathers experience or even the politics of navigating through western society’s often white-privileged healthcare system.

Joining us on this episode is Angela Garbes, author of Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy. She gives us the real deal on navigating pregnancy today as a Pinay and woman of color. With thorough research and frank details, she introduces us to what we wished we learned about the changes we go through when preparing to welcome babies into our lives. Whether you’re an expectant or experienced parent, a parental caretaker of any kind, or even a supporter of parents, Angela will have you snapping your fingers to everything she shares with TFAL. She also gets us to consider the societal pressures that are placed on mothers and parents, and how we might reframe those expectations to really center parents’ and children’s needs.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Pick up Like a Mother – named Best Book of 2018 by NPR – at your local bookstore and all major book retailers!

PC: Seattle Magazine

Episode 123 – Culture Shock: How Filipino Americans deal with Americana (Social Distance Series)

Being raised in the United States, we as Filipino Americans have learned American cultural practices that we’ve grown accustomed to and even embraced – eating hotdogs in a bun, trick or treating, camping, Superbowl parties, calling in sick after Superbowl Parties, weekend BBQs, or even being treated to a meal on your birthday.  There are even American cultures that many Filipinos practice in the Philippines as a result of American colonialism/capitalism – playing basketball, speaking English, listening to U.S. pop music, etc.  Yet, there are still times when our Filipino American sensibilities still clash with our perception of normative “American” (read: white) cultural practices.

On this episode, we engage some of our listeners live on Facebook and Instagram on the topic of “culture shock” as we discuss “American” cultural practices that we may still have questioned internally, but were too afraid to ask when we were growing up.  Is it weird to call elders by their first names?  Do parties serving little to no food feel like an absolute sham?  Should I walk outside without wearing shoes?  We also talk about our own cultural practices that we, as Filipino Americans, may have hidden from our peers, either because we were too embarrassed or did not fit into the normative culture.

Reflect with us and remind us that we aren’t alone — so that Filipinos and other people of color who grow up in the U.S. won’t be embarrassed by their cultural practices, but rather have the courage to embrace it so that others might do the same.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Got any examples of American things that shocked you (or still shock you)?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at

Episode 122 – Hold the Line: Standing Up for Press Freedom with Maria Ressa (Social Distance Series)

Have you ever thought about how do you get your news?  Obtaining news has quickly evolved over the years.  Just in the TFAL crew’s lifetimes, the ways we have consumed news has transitioned from physical newspapers to local afternoon TV news to news sites then to social media feeds. In this new era of rapid information consumption where facts are outweighed by opinion, who and where we get our news from has detrimental consequences. 

In this episode, the TFAL crew has the honor of speaking with Maria Ressa, long time Philippine journalist and CEO of Rappler. In 2018, Time Magazine named Maria one of “The Guardians on the War on Truth” as a Person of the Year in 2018, and then named her one of the most influential people of 2019 for her fight to keep the freedom of press alive in the Philippines in the Duterte era. In this conversation, we discuss how social media has manipulated journalism and the way people think, how it’s deteriorating democracy in the Philippines, and why it is important for Filipino Americans to understand what is going on. 


Note: We recorded this episode hours before President Duterte signed the Anti-Terror Bill into law on July 3rd, 2020, fundamentally changing the constitution of the country and making dissent illegal. The administration has been slowly dismantling freedom of the press taking advantage of how social media’s reach has fundamentally changed how people think. This is a dangerous time and, as Maria Ressa urged in our interview, we must all remain vigilant in fighting for democracy.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For Folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

If you would like to support Rappler’s pursuit for freedom of the press, you can donate here: Rappler Crowdfunding


On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder is the book Maria mentions in the episode. 


You can view Maria’s Princeton Commencement speech here:


Or read the full text of her commencement speech here: Princeton Commencement 2020 Speech

Episode 121 – Urban Gardening and Restorative Justice with Richard Garcia of Alma Backyard Farms (Social Distance Series)

The late Asian American activist Grace Lee Boggs towards the end of her life began to devote her activism to the urban agricultural movement in Detroit.  She believed that urban gardening provided nutritious food, beautifies neighborhoods, and creates and sustains neighborhood social capital,  More importantly, she believed that urban gardening had the capability to be a “quiet revolution,” a movement that liberates people from the pitfalls of industrialization and corporate agriculture.  If this Grace Lee Boggs is right, then many more Filipino Americans need to take this movement seriously and join.

In this episode, we talk to Richard Garcia, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Alma Backyard Farms, about his calling to work with communities and formerly incarcerated people to set up urban gardens.  Listen as he talks about his calling to help others, why he started urban gardening, how to grow the vegetables that Filipinos love, and his ideas on restorative justice.  Additionally, as in many episodes we have done, listen to the TFAL crew’s experience (or lack thereof) in gardening.

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Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For Folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Finally, check out and support Alma Backyard Farms here and watch this short video of what they’re all about!