thisfilipinoamericanlife

Bonus Episode – Dear America with Jose Antonio Vargas

JoseAntonioVargas_AuthorPhoto_Credit Elena Elena Seibert

On this bonus episode, the TFAL crew talks with the Emmy nominated filmmaker and Pulitzer Prize journalist winner Jose Antonio Vargas. The founder and CEO of Define American has been traveling around the country on his book tour for Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. In this episode we go straight into a conversation about the complexities of immigration and how the Filipino American experience of mixed families (documented and undocumented) has changed the undocumented narrative in the US.

 

How have you supported your undocumented relatives? How do you have these conversations with your family? Let us know by emailng us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or call our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325).

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

In the episode Elaine misspeaks when she says “green card” she means “phone card.”

If you haven’t yet, pick up Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen at your local bookstore!

DearAmerica HC FINAL COVER

 

 

Episode 29 – Chat w/ Pinay Entrepreneur Freya Estreller, co-founder of CoolHaus Ice Cream

I Scream! You Scream! We all scream for ice cream….sandwiches by Coolhaus!

If you remember the food truck craze about 10 years ago, then you may have seen the hip, colorful, fixed up postal van-turned-ice-cream truck from CoolHaus that roamed the streets of Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York.  What started off as a fun idea of creating ice cream sammies with punny architecture names is now a popular product that’s available in over 6,000 stores in the United States and across the world!

On this episode of TFAL, we had the chance to talk to Coolhaus Ice Cream co-founder, Freya Estreller, who tells us her story about beginning this business venture with her life and business partner, Natasha Case. Freya discusses her experience as a Filipina American woman in the business world, her love of basketball, and the time she came out to her parents!

Have a listen as we discuss the versatility of Filipino migrants and their unique economic opportunities in the United States. Find out which TFAL host had a lemonade stand and who got paid for plucking grey hairs from their parent’s head!

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

The Debut Will Have Its Own “Debut” at the Cinematografo International Film Festival on November 10

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You heard right, folks. It’s been 18 years since the release of The Debut, the pioneering Filipino American film by Director Gene Cajayon. To celebrate The Debut’s maturation into adulthood, the Cinematografo International Film Festival will host a special screening of the film with some of the cast and crew in attendance as part of its weekend-long celebration of Filipino and Filipino American filmmaking.

For the uninitiated, the film centers on Ben Mercado (played by the one and only Dante Basco), a young high school senior unfamiliar and ashamed of his Filipino American heritage, and his exploration of his identity through relationships to his family and community at his sister’s debutante ball. As a coming of age film, The Debut explores issues that many deal with today: immigration/acculturation, interracial relations, cultural values, inter-generational conflict, family tsismis, hiya, and of course, love. It’s hard to imagine all of these matters addressed in a movie about one night, but don’t a lot of us put all of our eggs into one basket? (Think: PCN).

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In essence, The Debut was truly Cajayon’s ode to a 1990’s Filipino America, an era when young 2nd generation Filipino Americans – the children of post-1965 immigrants – came of age in an increasingly diverse society to create a distinct culture that continues to this day. The scenes featuring Sun-In’d hair, pagers, rice rockets, and dance battles harken back to simpler times for many of us. And in true pre-social media era fashion, making the film was a community effort fueled by a grassroots campaign, involving thousands of Filipino Americans from numerous cities throughout the nation – some of the TFAL crew included.

The Debut’s “Debut” will take place on Saturday November 10, 7pm at the AMC Kabuki 8 Theaters in San Francisco. Following the screening, come join the fun at the Cinematografo Centerpiece Party at Hotel Kabuki (1635 Post Street, San Francisco, CA, 94125) following the event!

Tickets are now available!

SPECIAL TICKET PRICING

  • FILM ONLY – MEMBER: $13, NON-MEMBER: $15
  • FILM + PARTY – MEMBER: $25, NON-MEMBER: $30
  • CENTERPIECE PARTY ONLY – $20 FOR ALL

In addition to the special screening, the Cinematografo Film Festival will feature many new films by talented Filipino and Filipino American filmmakers. HP Mendoza’s Bitter Melon and Mikhail Red’s Neomanila are some of the TFAL crew’s top narrative picks. Additionally, PJ Raval’s Call Her Ganda, Hans Block and Moritz Reisewick’s The Cleaners, and former TFAL guest Alexandra Cuerdo’s Ulam: Main Dish are must watch documentaries. Also, make sure to check out the short films blocks, particularly Filipinx: Queer Shorts, which will feature Drama Del Rosario’s In this Family and the By Way of America which will feature Filipino American stories like Jeremy Sistoso’s Fakeapino and Joy Regullano’s I Won’t Miss You.  Plus, the Festival will feature other films, conversations, panel discussions, and much more!

The 2nd annual Cinematografo International Film Festival, presented by ABS-CBN International, will be held on November 8-11 at the AMC Kabuki 8 Theaters in San Francisco. Check out all of the other films playing at the Festival on their website https://cinematografofilmfestival.com/.

 

About the Festival:

The Cinematografo International Film Festival is an annual film exhibition series presented by ABS-CBN International and aims to showcase emerging filmmaking talent from around the world, focusing on issues of representation and inclusivity. We also provide financial support for filmmakers to tell their stories and passion projects through our Cinematografo Originals initiative.

On its second year, the festival’s theme is “Breaking Down Walls,” which refers not only to divisions along global political lines but also aims to empower storytellers in breaking through barriers in film and story whether in terms of subject matter, representation and cultural limitations.

Episode 28.5 – Stockton’s Little Manila, Journey for Justice, and the Legacy of Dawn Mabalon

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Stockton, California, an agricultural city in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, was the center of Filipino life in the United States for much of the 20th century.  Beginning in the 1920s, thousands of Filipinos called Stockton home.  The intersection of El Dorado and Lafayette Streets in downtown Stockton was the heart of what was fondly called Little Manila.  Yet, much of this rich history is unknown to most of America, and sadly, to the majority of Filipino Americans.

However, the history of Stockton’s was not lost to one Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon.  Dawn was a born and raised Pinay Stocktonian who spearheaded the reclamation of Stockton’s Filipino American history.  As developers threatened to demolish the three remaining buildings of Little Manila, she helped to organize community members to stop the further erasure of Filipinos in the city.  Ever the scholar, Dawn also documented the history of Stockton’s Filipinos in her much lauded book, Little Manila is in the Heart.  She was truly a pioneering scholar and leader of the Filipino American community.

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Dawn Mabalon. August 17, 1972 – August 10, 2018.

TFAL was set to interview Dawn Mabalon along with two other community leaders on August 19.  However, Dawn passed away a week prior to the recording.  In this episode of TFAL, Joe and Gerlie speak with two of her compatriots, Gayle Romasanta, co-author with Dawn of Journey for Justice, a children’s book about the life of labor leader Larry Itliong, and Dillon Delvo, Executive Director of Little Manila Rising, an organization dedicated to the well-being of Filipinos in Stockton.  In the episode, Gayle and Dillon remember the life and legacy of Dawn Mabalon, her impact in their respective work, and the importance of reclaiming our history as Filipino Americans.

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

To donate to the good work of Little Manila Rising, go to their website here: http://www.littlemanila.org/donate/

To purchase Journey for Justice: The Life of Larry Itliong, go here: https://www.bridgedelta.com/purchase/journey-for-justice-the-life-of-larry-itliong

For more on the history of Stockton’s Little Manila, check out this video:

To see the power of Dawn Mabalon, check out her speech during the dedication of Little Manila in 2002:

Episode 28 – TFAL talks Voice Acting (and Secrets & Fears)

On this episode of TFAL the crew shares their memories about their favorite cartoons and imagine what a Filipino American cartoon show would look like! We then geek out with Eric Bauza (voice of Marvin the Martian and countless other characters that he will recount in the episode) and three time return guest Earl Baylon, […]

TFAL Podcast Merch

MERCHANDISING! MERCHANDISING! MERCHANDISING!

Support This Filipino American Life by picking up a t-shirt, women’s t-shirt, women’s v-neck shirt, thank top, long sleeve, and hoodie. We even have onesies for the babies in your life and toddler and youth sizes for the little ones!

Head to our store at This Filipino American Life at the good folks at What A Maneuver. Remember to tag us on social media with #TFALPodcast or @TFALpodcast.

Make sure to follow us as we release different t-shirt designs in the future!

TFAL Beisbol

TFAL Ballers

 

Episode 27.5 – The TFAL Game Show!!

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Hey there TPals!  In this episode, we change things up a bit and host our first ever TFAL Game Show!  Listen as Elaine, Ryan, and special guest Berto battle it out over Filipino and Filipino American-related trivia questions. Earl Baylon also serves as a special guest judge.

Who knows the name of the Philippine Vice President?  Who knows where the Filipino American Highway is located?  Who can “name that tune”?  Who phones Producer Mike for help?  But most importantly, who wins the coveted banh mi sandwich?  Find out by listening to this hilarious episode!

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

Got any trivia questions to use on the next edition of the TFAL Game Show?  Call us at (805) 394-TFAL (8325) or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

P.S. Here’s the Santo Nino and the Rockyfellers videos we referred to in the episode.

Episode 27 – TFAL goes to DC

20180726_221343Lincoln Memorial at night.  

According to 2016 Census estimates, there are over 87,000 Filipino Americans in the Washington DC Metro area, and over 175,000 when you include all of Virginia and Maryland.

But as an LA-based podcast, we only occasionally get insights into what life is like beyond Pacific Standard Time.  So when Producer Mike had to trek out to DC for work, he figured, why not fit in a couple conversations with some folks out there as well?  So we present to you a trio of interviews with some of folks we’ve been lucky enough to meet through this podcast:

Malaka Gharib is an artist, writer, and reporter for NPR.  Her forthcoming graphic novel, I Was Their American Dream, is an outgrowth from the countless zines and comic strips she’s been publishing for many years.  Producer Mike sits down with her at her home to debate whether or not one can truly love both Radiohead and The Pharcyde (the answer is yes), and to talk about how the simple spoon can spur community connections and cultural awakenings.

Speaking of spoons, Kuya Ja’s is a Rockville, Maryland restaurant that specializes in Lechon Belly.  Producer Mike just happened to go there for a “light” brunch with some friends, only to find out from Elaine that they had recently reached out to TFAL to invite all of us to drop by.  Luckily, chef/co-owner Kuya Ja / Javier Fernandez was in the shop that day, and so the resulting impromptu interview with him and his Front-of-House manager Dominic is just further proof that that food is often the best way to bring all of us together, even if by complete accident.

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Finally, Eden Picazo is a fellow UC Irvine alumnus along with Producer Mike and Elaine, and while her calling in life is most succinctly described as being an “archivist,” her work has brought her to places like Brooklyn to work for Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks and now Washington DC to work as an archivist for the government.  Oh, and did we mention she won an Emmy for her contributions to Spike Lee’s short doc on Phil Jackson’s Triangle Offense?!

Please note that the latter two interviews were conducted in fairly noisy environments, but hopefully that doesn’t take away from the great insights into DC life shared by everyone.  Enjoy!

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From the exhibit “Evicted”, on display at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

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

 

 

 

Bonus Episode – TFAL talks Crazy Rich Asians

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On this bonus episode the TFAL crew talks about the recent phenomenon that is Crazy Rich Asians. The popular novel by Kevin Kwan debuted in 2013. The film premieres this month with high expectations. Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, and director Jon M. Chu grace the cover of Hollywood Reporter with the cover story The Stakes Are High for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ — And That’s the Point.

Constance Wu shared why this film is a monumental moment for Asian Americans. Crazy Rich Asians is the first blockbuster film with a predominantly Asian American cast in twenty years. Nico Santos is a part of the cast and Kris Aquino makes an appearance, but does this film have a larger impact on Filipino Americans? Is the story reflective of our own stories? Does it have to be?  We discuss these issues and more on this bonus episode.

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

What are your thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians? Let us know by emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or call our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325)!