podcast

Episode 164 – Belligerence Has Arrived! TFAL gets real with Melissa Beck from Real World NOLA Homecoming

In the year 2000 MTVs Real World took the audience to New Orleans and introduced Filipino Americans to Melissa Howard. Over 20 years later Paramount Plus is giving Gen Xers the opportunity to revisit classic Real World casts. In 2021 Real World New York and Los Angeles opened the door to these Homecoming reunions. These shows did not take place in the vacuum. The casts dealt with the impact of Covid, the Black Lives Matter movement, and LGBTQA+ issues. 

In this episode the crew learns about Melissa’s, now Melissa Beck, journey from reality tv to stay at home mom. The discussion ranges from learning about Melissa’s Florida roots (shoutout to the 813) to her memorable entrance into the Real World New Orleans house with her Calrose bag of rice.

Real World New Orleans Homecoming drops on Wednesday, April 20th on Paramount +. Make sure to follow Melissa on Twitter @MelissaBeckRWNO and Instagram @MelissaBeckRWNO for more gems that she will probably give to followers of the show!

 

Want your own Belligerence Has Arrived tote? Head to Melissa’s online store to pick up this tote and even a “I’m Not Trying To Mess With That Lady” t-shirt!

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

What reality tv shows do you watch? What would your idea for a Filipino American reality tv show be? Should we do a Real World NOLA Homecoming IG Live watch party? Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

Episode 163 – Who’s le beouf? TFAL talks food criticism with Annabelle Tometich

Surprise, surprise, TFAL talks about their favorite subject – FOOD – in this episode! Specifically food criticism. The team talks about the rise of Yelp reviews to which one of us wanted to be a food critic? Could you guess who that might be? If you suspect a TFAL food appreciator, you might be correct!

In this episode, the team talks story with Annabelle Tometich, a Florida based writer who revealed that they wrote under the pen name of the long established food critic Jean Le Beouf for The News Press and Naples Daily News. Annabelle shared her story in The Washington Post with the Opinion piece “What pretending to be a White guy taught me about privilege.” The conversation covers Annabelle’s journey from line cook to food writer and everything in between. 

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Who are some of your favorite food critics? Are you Yelp Elite? Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

Episode 159 – The Secret’s Out: Secretly Filipino

Ever wonder why that peculiar Chinese restaurants have no chopsticks on their table settings?  Have you noticed that your finance branch at your work has a lot of Filipinos? Did you ever think, what’s up with basketball leagues that are 6 feet and Under?

These questions are some of the same things we’ve asked. We all know about places, businesses, or things that don’t look or sound Filipino or owned by a Filipino, but are DEFINITELY Filipino. But on this episode we spill the beans on things that we call “Secretly Filipino.”

Join us as we ponder these Filipino mysteries, touch upon how businesses have catered to the Filipino audience and tastes, and things that Filipinos love, but no one’s talking about. We hope that you laugh with us, but also tell us your own secret Filipino spots or things.  Call us at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

 

Episode 158 – Baybayin atbp. with Kristian Kabuay

Baybayin, the pre-colonial written script of the Philippines, is a major foundation of our cultural heritage.  The alphasyllabary script consisting of 17 characters was understood and used by communities throughout much of the archipelago prior to colonization.  Spanish missionary Pedro Chirino, who lived and studied Philippine society in the early years of Spanish colonization, documented in 1604 that “there is hardly a man, and much less woman, who does not read or write in the letters.”  However, as the Spanish expanded its rule over the Philippines, Baybayin fell out of favor among the locals and replaced by the Roman alphabet.

However, Baybayin has experienced a cultural revival over the last few decades largely due to the work of artists, historians, and practitioners based in the diaspora.  In fact, the script is relative easy to learn (quick tutorial here).  You can see Baybayin on artwork, logos, tattoos, and other branding that serve as a cultural identifier for Filipinos. One of the major cultural workers who has rebranded by my end and brought it back to the forefront of Filipino and Filipino American culture is Kristian Kabuay.

In this TFAL episode, Joe and Kristian discuss his work in promoting Baybayin, how it is used and its functionality in today’s world, and the myths and misconceptions of the script. We also talk about other projects that he’s working on as well as his opinion on cultural appropriation. Hope you enjoy this episode and that it inspires you to do your part in reviving our cultural writing.
Example of increased use of Baybayin on signage in Manila.
Note: I mentioned the use of the danda on the episode refers to the single or double line “punctuation” that locals used in pre-colonial times separate words or phrases. However, Kristian misunderstood my question and it was never addressed.  A more deeper discussion of the danda and its function on writing/reading Baybayin can be found on this lecture here:

Episode 157 – A Few of TFAL’s Favorite Things – Small Businesses to Support this Holiday Season

In this episode, we shout out some of the many Filipino Small Businesses that we are personal fans of, ones that you should definitely support this Holiday season!  Here is the list of who we mentioned on the show, along with some other ones that are also near and dear to our hearts:

Jewelry

Clothing

Art

Food

Desserts

Books

Other

 If you’re in the LA metro area, we even have a map of small businesses throughout the southland that you should check out:  tiny.cc/tfalmap

And don’t forget, we also have our own storefront and Patreon page, both of which you can check out on our website at thisfilipinoamericanlife.com

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Is there a small business you want to give a shout out to?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

Thank You, and Happy Holidays!

 

Episode 156 – Freethought, Faith, and Politics with Filipino Freethinkers

Gotta have faith!
Freedom

Like many Filipinos and Filipino Americans, the TFAL crew grew up around Christianity, specifically Catholicism. We speak of our upbringing in our podcast, mainly about how it’s shaped not just our adult selves, but the continued practices and traditions of many family, friends and listeners alike. Although we all look at religion differently today from when we were younger — some practicing religiously and others traditionally — we may be able to agree that we believe a higher power, whether we call them God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Allah, or Buddha.

What if that “higher being” was not a Christian or Muslim God, but rather, science and reason?  Does religion get in the way of good government policy?

When Rodrigo Duterte and Donald Trump were elected as president of the Philippines and the United States respectively, TFAL released a few episodes talking about how to deal with those results. Our collective disappointment did not equate to shock that these results happened during a time when political sides became more and more polarized. Although “separation of church and state” is included in both constitutions, one can argue that religion and religious beliefs have always played a crucial role in the determining the outcome of the elections, policy-making, and governance.

On this TFAL episode, we talk to Red Tani, founder of Filipino Freethinkers, a civil society organization that has been promoting reason, science, and secularism in the Philippines since 2009. They are considered the largest and most active organization for freethought in the Philippines.  Brace yourselves as we talk about atheism and agnosticism; challenging dogma and tradition; creating reasonable policy separate from the Church; thinking freely; and regardless of religion, being good humans to each other.

Episode 155 – Filipi-mnemonics: Remembering the Tagalog with Geoffrey Ocampo

Oh, the dad joke. We all know it. We all love it. And for Filipinos it gives us life. While Dad jokes can be a myriad of things, dad jokes to Filipinos are especially punny (get it?). For one Filipino American, dad jokes have become a way to learn Tagalog words.

In this mini-episode, the TFAL crew joins forces with Geoffrey Ocampo of the Remembering the Tagalog Podcast. As is the usual set up for his podcast, Geoffrey helps the TFAL crew create funny mnemonics of Tagalog words to help us all remember them better. (A mnemonic is a device that assists in remembering something).  While not all of them end up being crowd-pleasers, I promise you this is a very funny (and punny) episode that can’t be missed!

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Do you have a funny mnemonic based on a Tagalog word?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

Episode 154 – Manifest Technique: Talking Filipino Americans and Hip Hop with Mark Villegas (Social Distance Series)

In this episode the TFAL crew is short one Ryan Carpio but is happily joined by Kat Carrido Bonds on this episode about Filipino Americans in Hip Hop. Mark Villegas shares his wealth of knowledge as an academic scholar in this field bridging his previous collaborative work with DJ Kuttin Kandi and Dr. Roderick N. Labrador, Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipina/O America, to his latest book Manifest Technique: Hip Hop, Empire, and Visionary Filipino American Culture.

Listen to or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

When did you fall in love with hip hop? Let us know! Leave us a voicemail or text message 805-394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

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Mark Redondo Villegas is an assistant professor in American Studies at Franklin & Marshall College. He received his Ph.D. in Culture and Theory at the University of California, Irvine and M.A. in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Episode 146 – No Crying in Baseball: A Conversation with The Baseballogist L.A. Gamo

Take me out to the ball game

Take me out with the crowd

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack

I don’t care if I ever get back 

Let me root, root, root for the…

 

How many of you have had the opportunity to sing this song at a baseball game? Filipino Americans love sports, however our fandoms lean towards basketball, a sport where the average height of an NBA player is above 6 feet. Would it surprise you to know that in Philippine history, baseball was once the most popular sport amongst Filipinos? (https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Big-Boys-Imperialism-Philippines/dp/0803255462

 

In this episode the TFAL crew share how they all became baseball fans before having a conversation with The Baseballogist L.A. Gamo, a Filipino American content creator who is highlighting the sport of baseball on his instagram (@baseballogist) and Youtube channel (The Baseballogist). L.A. shares his story and his love of baseball from a kid playing tee-ball to playing college baseball to his role now as a coach and baseball ambassador. Take a listen to the episode to find who’s favorite baseball clip is this scene from Naked Gun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-S-eeInJVk

 

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

 

Which baseball team do you root for?  What’s your favorite baseball memory?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

Episode 145 – Les is More: Mixing It Up with “Les The DJ” Talusan (Social Distance Series)

 

Can you believe that, in the five years that we’ve been doing this podcast about Filipino American Life, somehow we have neglected to talk to a DJ about DJing?!  Neither can we, especially since Producer Mike is a collector and curator of vinyl himself!

Though DJing may be as old as vinyl records themselves, the artform as we know it today really came together through the efforts of Black and Latinx pioneers, whose sound selections, skills, and techniques were rooted in long-standing rhythmic traditions and were honed for the masses in backyards, at block parties, and underground clubs.  And as with many forms of popular art that originated with those communities, those styles were were adopted and adapted the world over, including by DJs in the Philippines and throughout the diaspora.

Which brings us to our guest for this episode, Les Talusan, aka Les the DJ.  Based out of Piscataway Land / Washington, DC, originally from Caloocan City, Manilla, Philippines, Les Talusan is a DJ, photographer, curator, teaching artist, and organizer whose practice immerses people in the joy of discovery, empowerment, and community.  And most importantly (for us anyways), Les is the opening half of our favorite weekly ritual, #OPMSundays on Twitch, where she and past (first!) guest of the podcast Joel Quizon / DJ joelquiz play Original Pilipino Music from the Philippines and throughout the diaspora.

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Who are your favorite DJs?  What are your favorite OPM artists and songs?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

You can catch #OPMSundays and Les’ other sets on her Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/lestalusan.  Also check out her Instagram for info on other events and gigs.

To learn more about some of the history of Filipinos and DJing, we highly recommend you check out Oliver Wang’s excellent book, “Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area.”  Definitely also pick up “Tropical Renditions:  Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America,” which we talked about all the way back on Episode 4 (!) with author and friend of the podcast Christine Bacareza Balance.

And in case you didn’t know, #TFALheartsOPM, so if you do too, why not show it off by picking up a Chicken Joy Division shirt from our WhatAManeuver! storefront?