thisfilipinoamericanlife

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 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:

Episode 119 – The Social Distance Series: Mental Health in times of Quarantine with Alyssa Lia Mancao

 

Early in the TFAL podcast journey we discussed therapy and mental health in Episode 2. As time has progressed the TFAL community has asked to continue the discussion around mental health. In this episode the TFAL crew has a conversation with Alyssa Lia Mancao, a therapist based out of Sherman Oaks, CA, who also goes by Lia. She specializes in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy and Inner Child healing.

When quarantine began the concern over the physical toll of quarantine was not the only health crisis that was addressed. Mental health became a major concern for many due to  the increase of isolation. The CDC posted these guidelines on how to manage stress and anxiety under quarantine. The TFAL crew and Lia discuss her journey from a social worker in the justice system to her own private practice. Lia shares how therapy practices have changed because of the global pandemic and offers coping strategies like ‘Name it to tame it’ as a way of handling stress and anxiety. The conversation also delves into how mental health can manifest physically through somatic symptoms. 

Lastly, at the time of the recording several actions were taking place across the country in response to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless Black Americans. The TFAL crew and Lia briefly discuss ways to participate in the Black Lives Matter movement and how to be allies in our communities. More info on Lia’s personal practice can be found here: Alyssa Marie Wellness. Follow Lia on instagram: @alyssamariewellness

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 has your mental health journey been like during quarantine? What coping mechanisms have worked for you? Let us know by emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL.

 

Episode 118 – The Social Distance Series: Pilipino Graduations

Pilipino Graduation.  P-Grad.  Fil-Grad.  Filipina/o/@/x Grad.  Whatever the nomenclature, these ceremonies celebrate the educational accomplishments of Filipino Americans at many universities, colleges, and increasingly high schools.  P-Grads are more intimate ceremonies where FilAm graduates personally thank their loved ones, don Filipino regalia, and honor a community whose retention and graduation rates are historically not very high.  Unfortunately, many FilAm grads won’t get to celebrate P-Grads in the traditional way.  Nevertheless, amidst the chaos of COVID, deaths in our community, and civil uprisings, we still need to find room to celebrate Filipino American excellence.

In this TFAL episode, we discuss Pilipino Graduations – why we participated in them (or for Producer Mike, not participating in them), the importance of such ceremonies to our community, and whether non-Filipinos should participate in them. Listen as we relive memorable P-Grad moments and our own speeches.  Who cried?  Who coordinated a P-Grad?  How was drunk/high during their ceremony?  Tune in and find out!

This episode was inspired by, and therefore dedicated to the Class of 2020, who unfortunately have to celebrate their accomplishments virtually.  Congratulations on accomplishing great feats.  Please continue to strive for greater heights for your family and your community.

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.

Are you a member of the Class of 2020?  Want to give a P-Grad shoutout to your loved ones?  Let us know by emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL.

PC: UH-Manoa

Episode 117 – The Social Distance Series: Hilaw Pa 4.0

TFAL is back with yet another edition of Hilaw Pa, the ultimate Filipino American brainstorm where the crew comes up with half-baked ideas related to our experiences.  In this episode, we discuss Coronavirus-related ideas.  Listen as we come up with ideas to hang out with our pals, respect our elders, and grab our food while still maintaining social distancing.  If you love Hilaw Pa, you’ll love Hilaw Pa, COVID edition!

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 half-baked idea related to the Coronavirus?  Let us know by emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL.

Episode 116 – The Social Distance Series: TFAL talks ECQ in Metro Manila with Isabelle Lacson

As we continue our social distance series, we wanted to know what the Covid-19 experience was like in the Philippines. For that perspective the crew talks to Isabelle Lacson, a Metro Manila resident and friend of Producer Mike and Elaine. Isabelle shares what life is like under Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ. While there are similarities to our experiences (social distancing, working from home, businesses changing to delivery models), there are distinct differences like requiring residents to have a pass to leave their neighborhood, an 8pm curfew, and the use of VIBER as a community organizing tool.

Many thanks to Isabelle for sharing her story with us!

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.

 

Episode 115 – The Social Distance Series: Pilipino Cultural Nights

Pilipino Cultural Night, aka PCN, aka PACN, aka Barrio Fiesta, aka Filipino Night, etc.  is an annual production performed by countless Filipino American student organizations on college campuses (and some high schools) throughout the country.  It is a night of acting, singing, and dancing that draws thousands of Filipino Americans any given year.  It has become an institution in Filipino America.

Unfortunately, so many PCNs have been canceled due to the current COVID-19 Crisis, disappointing countless Filipino American students who planned on participating this year.  This prompted the TFAL crew to look back to our experiences of participating (or not participating) in PCN.  In this episode, the TFAL crew discusses what is PCN, its popular even after 40+ years of existence, the genre’s critiques and controversies, and of course, its unbearable length.

Listen and find out who didn’t participate in PCN, who served as PCN coordinator, who was too dark to perform a Maria Clara dance, and which school had an 8-hour PCN!  This episode was recorded live on FB, with the master scholar, Theo Gonzalves, joining in on the chat.

To learn more about PCN, its origins, and its critiques, you can read the following scholarly works:

Theo Gonzalves’s The Day the Dancers Stayed

Dylan Rodriguez’s introductory chapter in Suspended Apocalypse

Xavier Hernandez’s article, “Behind the Curtain”

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 PCN experience?  Got an opinion on PCN?  Let us know by calling us at (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.