thisfilipinoamericanlife

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!!

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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 geekshowsf.com.

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

 

Episode 21.5 – Filipinos and Black Panther

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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 thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com, 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.

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

Episode 20.5 – Walang Hiya

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“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 thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com, 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

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

 

Episode 19.5 – 2017 in Review

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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 thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave a voice message on (805) 394-TFAL.

Episode 19 – Filipino Martial Arts

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Kali, Arnis, and Eskrima, or sometimes known as “Filipino Martial Arts (FMA),” has been practiced both in the Philippines and in the United States for generations. A mix of native Southeast Asian and domesticated European fighting styles, Filipino Martial Arts has been known to be one of the most efficient and powerful fighting systems in the world. Through FMA, one can defend oneself using swords, sticks, knives, or even bare hands very effectively. However, while many flock to the Philippines and local studios to learn and train in the warrior art, FMA and its techniques are relatively unknown to a majority of Filipinos. Unfortunately, orientalized martial arts like Karate and Tae Kwon Do remain more popular.

In this episode, we talk to Mike Makabenta from the Magda Institute. He gives us an overview of the warrior art, its origins in the Philippines, how it flowed to the United States, and how it became popularized (yet not branded) in Hollywood action films. He goes into the diversity in FMA, its many practitioners and fighting styles, how it got passed down from generation to generation, and the current state of the art in the U.S. in this digital age.

Come find out which one of us trains in FMA, who calls it Arnis and who calls it Eskrima, and who has broken boards in a dojo. (But please don’t mind the plethora of Karate Kid references!). Whether it’s the first time you’ve heard about Filipino Martial Arts or you’ve been practicing the warrior art for decades, this introduction to FMA will help jump start a conversation about an art we can truly call our own.

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

 

Got an questions or opinion about Filipino Martial Arts?  Let us know! Email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave a voice message on (805) 394-TFAL.

Episode 18.5 – Tuli or Supot?: Filipino American Circumcision

Some call it a rite of passage.  Some consider it a ritual obligation.  Some believe it’s a controversial matter, and some still consider it a health benefit.  In this mega cringeworthy episode, we’re talking about Tuli, or male circumcision.  The cultural practice of tuli is very common in the Philippines for boys around the ages of 10-13 and it’s a sign of Filipino masculinity. Here in the United States, we wonder if tuli is still something parents still consider this a rite of passage or if Filipino American parents consider this practice outdated and unnecessary.

Wince and squirm with the TFAL crew as we talk about this practice of tuli and share historical views on this topic.  Find out who among the TFAL group had to spend the summer after fourth grade in pain and wearing a skirt. Learn with us as we look back at some history on this practice.  And awkwardly laugh with us as we share our personal stories.

Whether it’s a “snip snip” from a hospital or rabbi or a “tuk-tok” from the village doctor, we are curious to hear about any interesting feedback or stories.  Aray!

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

Got interesting story about circumcision?  Let us know! Email us at  thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave a voice message on (805) 394-TFAL.

Bonus Episode – Live at the 2016 Justice for Filipino American Veterans March

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As a follow-up to our last episode on Filipino WWII Veterans, we present to you a collage of sounds and interviews from last year’s Justice for Filipino Americans Veterans march in Hollywood, CA.  It features interviews with students, community organizers, and a veteran, as well as the many chants that have come to characterize this event over the years.  Special thanks to Stephanie Sajor and Eddy Gana of Kabataang maka-Bayan for letting us tag along (and participating in the previous episode), Aquilina Versoza of Pilipino Workers Center for letting us ride in the Jeepney, and of course all the people we interviewed as part of this episode.

Listen, subscribe to and rate us on iTunes, learn, and join the discussion in the comments!  And you can email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave a voice message on (805) 394-TFAL.