thisfilipinoamericanlife

Episode 129 – Digging up the Truth: The Celine Archive with Celine Parreñas Shimizu (Social Distance Series)

In 1932, Celine Navarro, a young Filipina American, was buried alive and murdered by other Filipinos just outside of Stockton, California. The murder of Navarro caught national media attention, sensationalizing the crime and painting Filipinos as savage members of primitive cults. Though mostly forgotten now, this horrific incident reverberated through the Filipino American community during the 1930s.

In this TFAL episode, we spoke with filmmaker and professor Celine Parreñas Shimizu about her upcoming film THE CELINE ARCHIVE. The documentary film explores the murder of Celine Navarro, its impact on Navarro’s descendants, and its importance in Filipino American history and the history of race and gender in the United States. Listen as we dive deep into a largely unknown and dark part of Filipino American history.

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.

You can check out the film, THE CELINE ARCHIVE, at its world premiere in the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.  Buy tickets here: https://laapff2020.eventive.org/passes/buy.  You can also check out the film as part of CAAMFest later this month.

Finally, check out TFAL co-host Elaine Dolalas as she moderates an online panel to further discuss THE CELINE ARCHIVE with Celine Parreñas Shimizu as well as members of Celine Navarro’s relatives.  The panel happens on Friday, October 2, 2:00pm PST.  Link here:  https://festival.vcmedia.org/2020/special_events/c3-the-celine-archive/.

 

Episode 128 – A Stoner’s Parable: TFAL Talks “Call Out” Culture (Social Distance Series)

“Call out” culture, an inevitable part of online conversations, has become a bigger part of public discourse over the past few years. While critique and criticism have been around forever, social media has perhaps accelerated confrontations and further deepened divisions between people as online identities increasingly coalesce with personal identities. And the Filipino American community is certainly not immune from its ethos.  There have been many instances over the past year where “call out” culture has called into question both Filipino Americans’ privilege and marginalization.  While there is certainly backlash against calling out, there are certainly moments when it is justifiable and necessary for progress in our communities.  But where do you draw the line between accountability and petty drama?

Join the TFAL crew as we discuss our thoughts on “call out” culture. We discuss where it’s appropriate, and where it devolves into noise.  We discuss issues of “call out” culture in our Filipino American community (albeit vaguely because we don’t want to get into any legal trouble!).  And we even bring some scripture into the episode.  Yoooo!!!

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 a hot take on “call out” culture?  Let us know, leave us a voicemail at 805.394.TFAL (8325), tweet at us at @tfalpodcast, or tag us on instagram @tfalpodcast.

Note: We didn’t decipher between “call out” culture and “cancel” culture in the episode.  Apologies if we used them interchangeably.

Episode 127: TFAL Live – Do The Hustle

Can you believe it’s been six months of quarantine? The TFAL Crew, including sleep deprived new dad Joe, came together this past Wednesday night for a TFAL Live where we engaged in a lively discussion about hustles. We talk about how quarantine and covid has impacted or inspired side hustles. The conversation also delves into the world of multilevel marketing “luxor shaped” enterprises.

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.

What is your hustle? How has covid impacted it? Let us know, leave us a voicemail at 805.394.TFAL (8325), tweet at us at @tfalpodcast, or tag us on instagram @tfalpodcast.

 

Episode 126 – LINGUA FRANCA: A conversation with filmmaker Isabel Sandoval (Social Distance Series)

 

In this episode the TFAL crew, with Kat Carrido Bonds filling in as a guest host, have a discussion with Isabel Sandoval, the artist behind the lyrical and delicate drama LINGUA FRANCA. LINGUA FRANCA follows Olivia, played by Isabel Sandoval, an undocumented Filipino trans woman, working as a caregiver to Olga, an elderly Russian woman, in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. When Olivia runs out of options to attain legal status in the US, she becomes romantically involved with Alex, Olga’s adult grandson, in the pursuit of a marriage-based green card. 

LINGUA FRANCA made history as the first film directed by and starring a trans woman of color to screen in competition at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival. The film continues to make history by being acquired by ARRAY, Ava DuVernay’s media company, joining DuVernay’s impressive slate of film and docuseries projects by BIPOC creatives.  
LINGUA FRANCA is available on Netflix. Watch the film and join the Cinema Sala x Array: #LinguaFrancaWatchParty Weds, August 26th, 5pm Pacific Time and participate in the live discussion with @isabelvsandoval and @ARRAYNow.

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.

 

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Episode 125 – When Nature Calls: TFAL Goes to the Great Outdoors (Social Distance Series)

 

Trading the city and WiFi for nature and No Service may be the break our overstimulated brains need to recharge. In this episode the TFAL crew talks about their experiences with hiking, fishing, camping, and nature. Find out who grew up camping, how karaoke and mah jong can be a part of these trips, and what can happen when you get elevation sickness. Most of all we answer the question, “Do Filipino Americans and the Great Outdoors mix?”

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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.

What are your experiences with the Great Outdoors? Leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL (8325) or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com and let us know.

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.

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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 thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

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. 

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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:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-1ip9eRNNU

 

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!

 

Episode 120 – Fil Am Allyship in the Black Lives Matter Movement (Social Distance Series)

The murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others at the hands of the police department has ignited outrage all around the world and once again, exposed the deep wounds of racism and inequality in the United States. While it’s easy to dismiss this unrest as somehow “outside” of the Filipino American community, it is impossible to ignore our role.

As Filipino Americans, we are certainly complicit to racism in the United States.  How many folks in our community make snide remarks about Black people?  How many Filipino parents send their children to private school because too many Black or Latinos attend the local public schools?  How many 2nd and 3rd generation adopt African American culture without paying homage to its founders or giving back to the Black community?

Filipinx for Black Lives

One of the calls from Black Lives Matter leaders is to help educate our own communities on how we perpetuate and reinforce anti-Blackness.  In this TFAL episode, we have an intra-community discussion on anti-Black racism in our communities and in our society.  We speak to long-time community advocates Kimmy Maniquis and Kalaya’an Mendoza.  Listen as we discuss how the Black Lives Matter Movement is important to all Filipino Americans, how we can talk to our friends and family who aren’t supportive of anti-racism, and how to support the Movement in multiple ways.

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.

Here is the video we referenced in the podcast about Kalaya’an, his faith, and talking with a Catholic priest: