thisfilipinoamericanlife

Episode 6.5 – Gambling

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TFAL Co-Host Elaine at Harrah’s in New Orleans.

May the odds be forever in your favor!

Maybe you find a slot machine’s bright colors and sounds entertaining, or perhaps you cherish the time you spend with friends on your way to a casino in a free air conditioned bus, or maybe even more simply, it could be the thrill of the possibility of having more money than you started with. However you cut it, a lot of Filipino Americans like to gamble in casinos, at home, or in an underground cockfighting ring.  For many Filipinos throughout the U.S., gambling is easily accessible. Over 60 Indian casinos are available to people who have itchy palms for those in California like us. And if that’s not enough, Nevada is just a few hours away.

Is it really in the Filipino culture to gamble?  Is gambling a form of entertainment?  Is there more to gambling than trying to get rich? Are Filipinos just trying to cash in their good karma?

Listen to our stories about mahjong marathon sessions; find out which TFAL member is the Pusoy Dos Champion; or  listen as we vocalize a slot machine’s sound of fake coins dropping into a bucket (yeah, we did that). Take a chance and download our podcast. If you listen, you might just win something!

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

Episode 6 – Post-Election Special

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November 8th was arguably one of the most bizarre, most talked about, most Twittered, Facebooked, criticized, fact checked, US presidential elections in history. The results of the election continues to be questioned as Democrats and perhaps some Republicans alike try to make sense of what happened. President-elect Donald Trump’s win (I just threw up a little bit in my mouth just typing that), has elicited fear and confusion; and, some have argued, this election has provided an avenue for hatred, misogyny, sexism, racism, and lack of experience, to somehow be okay.

Is this a huge wake-up call? What happens now?

This week, This Filipino American Life talks about their thoughts about the presidential election, why it’s important to vote, what we think about the Filipino American voting trends, and what we’re doing to move forward from the election.

Sigh.

Here we go.

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

 

TFAL Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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It’s time for Thanksgiving. The special time of year where your family tells you you’ve gained weight, but then tries to feed you more food. The time of year when you look at the turkey and wish it was lechon. Some of us do not have to wish it was lechon because there is a lechon instead of a turkey! And as always the lumpia shanghai should be plentiful, abundant, and always present at every holiday in the upcoming months!

This week This Filipino American Life will be guests on Kababayan Today! We share the podcast with the Kababayan Today audience and talk about our own Thanksgiving traditions. We’ll be on the show Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th. Set your DVRs and catch us on TV!

Here’s a sample sample of TFAL on Kababayan Today.

TFAL x Kababayan Today Bumper from Elaine Dolalas on Vimeo.

Shop Small! Support your favorite podcast!

In our first run of shirts we went with our favorite Los Angeles baseball team. This time around our shirt supports a Los Angeles basketball team that most of the podcast supports. Ryan supports the other team.

Support TFAL by buying one of our limited run t-shirts! Email thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com to purchase a TFAL shirt! They are 17.99 + shipping & handling. Spend some of your black friday money on us!

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We all hope you enjoy spending time with your families this holiday season. We at TFAL are thankful for all the support of our listeners. Thank you for listening to our show and showing us love. We appreciate you all so much!

Episode 5.5 – On Filipino Accents

Is mimicking Filipino accents an offensive act?  Do Fil Ams make fun of immigrants because they attempt to be American?  Is it OK when non-Filipinos imitate the accent?  When is it “all in good fun”?

We understand the propensity of mimicking Filipino accents by many Filipino Americans stems largely from their class and cultural privilege in the United States, but can it possibly come from anything else?  Of course, we don’t have all of the answers, but we get a dialogue going here in this mini-episode.  Have a listen!

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

Bonus Episode – Elections Special

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Election Day in the United States is coming up on November 8 (November 28, if you’re voting for Trump)!  Listen to this special bonus episode where we discuss the upcoming presidential election, Trump’s appeal to some Filipino Americans, stories from our GOTV efforts, and an extended conversation about current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.  Even Joe’s partner and #1 TFAL fan, Gerlie, joins the conversation.  Enjoy…and just remember, “He’s already dead!!”

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

If you’re interested in getting more involved in the national effort to get Filipino Americans to vote in the electoral process, check out KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress.

Episode 5 – Back to School: Filipinos in Higher Education

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Back to School: Filipinos & Higher Education. A conversation about Pilipino Studies w/Ivy Dulay Daulo & Kevin Casasola. On this episode we share our personal college experiences and the role of Pilipino Studies and Asian American Studies has played in our lives. Special thanks to Ivy Dulay Daulo for sharing about her experiences as an instructor at California State University Long Beach and to Kevin Casasola for sharing about his experiences as a student at University of California, Los Angeles.

 

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

Side note: Color Your Troubles Away has been rescheduled since we recorded this show. It is scheduled for Thursday, October 20th, 7-9pm at POT Lobby Bar at The Line Hotel in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

The “Sawing Kit” Follow Up

Thank you for everyone’s response to Episode 4.5 The Bakit List. The comments on Ryan’s “Sawing Kit” story have been hilarious. img_9005-1

TFAL listener and friend RoseAnne messaged me after we posted “The Bakit List” with this hilarious story. She heard her two adorable daughters yelling “I want cookies! I want cookies!” RoseAnne’s dad opened the cookie tin to reveal not a “sawing kit” but RICE! Her dad fills up these cookie tins with rice and sends them to the Philippines.

And for folks who ask (like I did), “Why is he sending rice to the Philippines?,” that could be another future TFAL episode. In the provinces where crops are exported out of the country, items like rice are expensive and poor quality, so folks in the States have to send  rice to their family back home.

TFAL graphic designer Vince sent these videos of his son Mikey opening up cookie tins and boxes that my aunt keeps in her house. Mikey has the same reaction as RoseAnne’s kids “I WANT COOKIES!” Sorry Mikey. It’s NEVER COOKIES!!!

As Joe pointed out, Filipinos do this because it’s smart. It’s a way of recycling a container. Yet, I agree with something Vince said to me over text: “No sewing kits. Just hoarding kits”

What else have you found in cookie tins? Let us know! Tweet us @TFALpodcast. Comment on the This Filipino American Life Facebook page. Rate, review, and subscribe to us on iTunes here!

 

Episode 4.5 – The Bakit List!

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Bakit /ˈbaːkit/ is a Tagalog word that means, “Why.”  Join the TFAL team while we go through our “Bakit List” of questions such as:
  • Why do Filipino Catholics have so many Santo Niños?
  • Why do our parents cover our couches and tables in plastic?  or
  • Why do we love canned goods so much?
Keep listening to find out what Producer Mike’s favorite canned food is!
Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here!
If you have any other questions for our “Bakit List,” email us or leave a comment below!

Bonus Episode – Disco Manila

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Last August 13, 2016, Joel Quizon (a guest from the first TFAL episode) and Rani de Leon produced an unforgettable show featuring the music of Filipino 70s disco.  We had our mics out there to capture some of the sounds of that night.  Enjoy!

Here is some video footage from the show as well:

To read the impetus of how this show came to life, check out Super Astig Blog’s interview with the co-producer of Disco Manila, Joel Quizon.

P.S. Good luck to Joel Quizon as he takes Disco Manila to Abu Dhabi on October 6!!

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

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TFAL crew @ Disco Manila. Ryan, Elaine, Producer Mike, and Joe

Episode 4 – Tropical Renditions: A Conversation with Prof. Christine Balance on Philippine and Filipino American Music

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What music influenced you in your life?  How have Filipinos influenced popular music?  How have Filipinos and Filipino Americans challenged and continue to challenge preconceived notions of their musical culture?  In this episode, we talk to UC Irvine professor Dr. Christine Balance and her partner Gary Gabisan about Christine’s new book Tropical Renditions.  In our conversation, we explore various Philippine and Filipino American music scenes from Philippine indie rock to showtunes to OPM, and, of course, karaoke.  We even bust out singing an old school Catholic church hymn!  Take a listen (or “disobedient listen,” if you will)!

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

Grab a copy of Christine’s brilliant book, Tropical Renditions: Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America, here.

Gary Gabisan is also part of the Filipino martial arts group, Los Angeles Doce Pares.  Check out some of their classes here.

Finally, check out Christine and Gary’s awesome Super Astig Blog, a blog dedicated to all things super astig!

NOTE: This Episode is preceded by a recording producer Mike made for the “Songs We Carry,” a joint project of Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, The Music Center Los Angeles, and Christine and Gary’s Super Astig Blog.  You can listen to the entire project here.

NOTE #2: This is Joe.  In the episode, I ask about the racialization of music.  I had actually meant the racial segregation of music (which perhaps confused our guests), but couldn’t articulate it right then and there.  Mea culpa.