Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2018


The 34th Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) runs May 3rd – May 12th. The festival will hosts features and short films from both North America and Internationally. This Filipino American Life is excited to partner with LAAPFF to highlight Filipino, Filipino American, and Asian Pacific Islander American stories.

You can purchase general tickets to films and programs here: LAAPFF General Festival Tickets 

Plan on checking out multiple films throughout the festival? Why not purchase a Festival 10 pack or a Festival Pass?

There are also free programs that you can check out! Tickets are required for admission into the theater and will be distributed online and at the Box Office. First come, First serve.



Follow This Filipino American Life on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for our LAAPFF picks!


Episode 22.5 – Filipino and Filipino American Slang


Naks naman, pre!

Everyday, we hear a new term or phrase or acronym that we totes have to google. With the ever evolving ways of communicating, we can expect some of our words and phrases to be shortened and even more so, turn into widely-used slang.

Slang has multiple uses.  It can be used for inclusion.  People use slang to create and reinforce a people’s identity through a shared network of communication. On the other side of the coin, slang can be used for exclusion as well, essentially demarcating who’s in the know and who isn’t.  Slang can also be a way to rebel.  Many people use slang as coded or hidden words to conceal meanings from those in authority.  The use of slang among Filipinos and Filipino Americans is no different  We have used slang to include, exclude, and rebel in many forms.

On this TFAL mini episode, we discuss Filipino and Filipino American slang.  We explore Filipino “tadbalik,” the practice of inverting and reversing letters and syllables of words to give them new meanings, which is believed to have developed among Filipinos rebelling against the Spanish in the 19th century. It also gained popularity anti-martial law youth in the 1970s.  Likewise, we discuss slang among Filipino Americans.  Though fewer in number, Fil Ams have developed a unique identity through slang as well.

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

We only shared a few slang words, but do you know others??  If you want to share some Filipino or Filipino American slang that was hella popular where you grew up, feel free to email us or leave a comment below!

EDITOR’S NOTE: CON-ASS is Constituent Assembly, not Congressional Assembly. =)



Episode 22 – If The Virgin Mary Could Do It: A Conversation with WASI (We Are She Is).

What happens when you are in high school physics class and a classmate says “Do you play an instrument” and your answer is yes?  Well for Merilou Salazar and Jesse Meehan, our guests on this episode of TFAL, they formed a three power chord knowing garage band called The Midol Poppers. After several iterations and learning more chords, they are now the Riot Pop band WASI. Influenced by The Clash, Matt and Kim, and MIA, WASI (We Are She Is) create an atmosphere of sunny melodies and dance beats with a subversive attitude.


Photo by Shelly Simon

Want to check WASI out live? You are in luck! They are on tour right now with their latest EP Stranger California. Check out their site for dates and ticket info. WASI ON TOUR 

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Listen to WASI on Spotify, Itunes, Soundcloud, Google Play, and wherever you find your music. Want more info on Women Fuck Shit Up Fest? Check them out here: Women Fuck Shit Up Fest

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

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

Also here is a bonus playlist that we’ve created for folks to check out a few of the artists that were mentioned in this episode!


The Geek Show 2: BindleCon

Hi Friends!  If you happen to be in the Bay Area in April, check out THE GEEK SHOW 2: BINDLECON, at Bindelstiff Studios in San Francisco. Filipino American geeks unite!!


Conceived by producers Thomas Paras and Marc Abrigo, “The Geek Show” is both a love letter and a critique on contemporary geek culture. From comedy sketches to dramatic pieces, the multi-genre theatre production brings together the passionate, the ostracized, and the awkward together in celebration of everything under the umbrella of geekdom.

This upcoming iteration of “The Geek Show” will be a little different, for all the stories presented will be set entirely within a convention. The roof is ripped off of a convention center, as interconnected stories emerge from this one day at the geek fest that is BindleCon. From the story of a first-time con-goer, to the showdown of seasoned geek parents, and the exciting life as a rover a la “Law and Order,” expect for ground of a different kind to be covered, all the while staying true to exploring the life and journey of geeks everywhere.

“The Geek Show 2: BindleCon” will be having its nine-performance run at Bindlestiff Studio from April 12th-28th. Tickets are $15-$25 and can be purchased here. For more information, visit

Shout to TFAL super fan, Lauren Lola, for the heads up on this event!


Episode 21.5 – Filipinos and Black Panther

Black Panther Ifugao

A recently article circulated social media after the release of the movie, Black Panther, detailing the connection between some of the costumes worn by the “Dora Milaje” — the all-female personal guard of the ruler of the fictional African country of Wakanda.  Anthony Francisco, a Pinoy member of the film’s design team, apparently based the costumes on indigenous clothing from non-Christianized tribes of the Philippines.

As many Filipino Americans do, we shared the article with our friends.  Living in the current American ethos of liberal multiculturalism, visibility, for better or for worse, becomes an aspiration for many marginalized communities.  Subjected to a long history of erasure, Filipino Americans beamed with pride as this fact about Black Panther costumes hit the internet.  Yet, when does this yearning for visibility go too far?

In this mini-episode, the TFAL crew discusses the recently discovered connection between Filipinos and Black Panther.  Listen as they debate the merits of this factoid about the movie’s costumes.  Are Filipinos over-reaching?  Is recognition from mainstream society necessary?  Are the arguments valid?  Or is Joe (surprise, surprise) just drinking haterade?

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

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

Episode 21 – Filipino Caregivers


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.


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, leave a voice message, or even text us your thoughts at (805) 394-TFAL.

Episode 20.5 – Walang Hiya


“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, 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!

Episode 20 – Pop Culture and Cultural Appropriation


On this episode of This Filipino American Life, the crew talks about their experiences with pop culture before hashing things out with pop culture scholar and fellow Pop Rocket podcaster, Karen Tongson. Find out who in the crew loves Steven Universe, music, food, gambling, and sports. (Hint hint: it’s someone in the picture.) Also listen as we decipher how appropriation plays into pop culture.

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

What is your pop culture wheelhouse? Let us know! Email us at, leave a voice message, or even text us your thoughts at (805) 394-TFAL.


Episode 19.5 – 2017 in Review


For many of us (POCs specifically), 2017 was a challenging year.  Trump’s reign as president and his attacks on the American people has alarmed even moderate conservatives.  In the Philippines, Duterte’s drug war has amassed thousands of casualties among the country’s poor.  And the demise of net neutrality may alter this very podcast.

But not all of 2017 was a real-life episode of Black Mirror (or Twilight Zone for you old fogies).  The #MeToo Movement has presented a challenge to the misogynist culture in American society.  Plenty of community leaders have doubled down in resisting the Trump’s terror.  And some of our favorite things in pop culture brought us some joy over the past year.

To put some of 2017 in perspective, the TFAL crew (Gerlie included) reviews of this past year’s events in politics, pop culture, and in the Filipino American community.  Listen as we go over our involvement in the Women’s March, the crazy events in Charlottesville and the future of memorial statues, and of course, Mike’s favorite new video game consule.  We don’t cover everything that happened in 2017, but we do discuss our hopes and dreams in 2018.

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

How was your 2017?  Any opinions of what we discussed? Let us know! Email us at or leave a voice message on (805) 394-TFAL.