Podcasts

Episode 73 (31.5) – Reflections on Beauty Pageants and Miss Universe Catriona Gray

Though beauty pageants in the Philippines can be traced back to the celebration of Santacruzan and other religious festivals, modern beauty pageants, emerged out of the Manila Carnival, an annual event during the early 1900s.  According to scholar Genevieve Clutario, the queen contest became a platform where both Filipino nationalists’ and American colonial officials attempted to redefine Filipina femininity and with it, the image of the Filipino nation.  Today, beauty pageants are a fixture in almost every Filipino celebration from the small town fiesta, to the ever-popular Miss Universe contest.

In this episode of TFAL, the crew, with special guests Gerlie Collado and Kat Carrido-Bonds, discuss the pervasive cultural phenomenon of beauty pageants in the Philippines and the impact of Catriona Gray’s Miss Universe win on Filipinos everywhere.  Why were so many Filipinos ecstatic over Gray’s victory?  What does her win say about the Filipino nation?  Why are pageants so pervasive in the Philippines?  Can we simply ignore beauty pageants as spectacles of patriarchal notions of femininity?  Or are there more nuanced aspects to such extravagance?

We discuss these topics and more in this episode!  Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here.

Have any thoughts on beauty pageants? Leave us a voicemail at 805-394-TFAL (8325) or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

PLEASE NOTE: We are slowly veering away from the “.5” numbering system of the episodes, in case you’re wondering where episodes 32-72 are.

Episode 31 – TFAL Goes to SD: Community Organizing w/ DJ Kuttin Kandi, Kirin Macapugay, and Ree Obana; Filipino American Apparel w/ Zar Javier of Kampeon Co.

 

We conclude our San Diego interviews with community organizers DJ Kuttin Kandi, Kirin Macapugay, and Ree Obana. In this discussion we highlight the issues that these womxn currently center their work around. Kirin and Ree give their perspectives as born and raised Pinxys, while Kandi discusses her experience as a transplant from Queens, NY by way of the Bay area. You may also know Kandi from her time as a member of DJ team champions 5th Platoon. The TFAL crew discuss the work that Kandi, Kirin, and Ree presently do with the Paradise Hills community, Asians for Black Lives San Diego, and Asian Solidarity Collective.

From PNoy Apparel to Kampeon Co, the TFAL crew gets to know Filipino American business owner Zar Javier.  Zar highlights how Pnoy Apparel was founded and its transition from its early days as a t-shirt/streetwear brand to branching out and growing into Kampeon Co.  The company will be celebrating their 20 year anniversary in 2019. Be on the look out for exciting things!

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

Thank you San Diego for your hospitality. We only scratched the surface. Where should we head next? Who should we talk to? Have thoughts or suggestions? Leave us a voicemail at 805-394-TFAL (8325).

Episode 30.5 – TFAL Goes to SD: Filipino American Politics with SD Councilmember Chris Cate; Broadcast Journalism with KGTV Newscaster Melissa Mecija

Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale’s vagina.” – Ron Burgundy

Anchorman jokes aside, San Diego has a long history, and Filipinos have been a significant part of it.  Largely attracted to the region because of the large naval presence, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos have been migrating “Daygo” since the early 20th century.  The last census counted close to 93,000 Filipino Americans living in the city of San Diego and over 182,000 living in San Diego County, making it one of the largest Filipino regions in the United States.  Naturally, it became one of the must-visited places for TFAL.

In the next couple of episodes, we talk to some of the movers and shakers of San Diego’s Filipino American community.  The first installment features a short introductory interview with USD Professor of Political Science, Alan Segui, and interviews with Councilmember Chris Cate, the first Filipino Councilmember of San Diego, and Melissa Mecija, news anchor for KGTV Channel 10, San Diego’s ABC affiliate.  Find out why many flock to San Diego, how we can get more Filipinos involved in electoral politics, and what it takes to be a newscaster in today’s multimedia world.  And of course, hilarity will ensue.

 

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

Part 2 of our trip to San Diego coming soon!

Episode 30 – Creative Writing w/ Jason Magabo Perez

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The pen is mightier than the sword, they say.  And in our history, the pen has certainly been very powerful.  The Illustrados who started the Propaganda Movement, which included Jose Rizal’s novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, sparked the rise of Philippine nationalism and the Revolution during the late 19th century.  Carlos Bulosan with his quintessential novel America is in the Heart and his other writings forever cemented the history and legacy of the Manongs for future generations of Filipino American generations.  And today, numerous Filipino American writers, poets, and musicians continue the writing tradition to spark social change.

In this TFAL episode, we talk to Jason Magabo Perez, writer, poet, and Professor of Creative Writing at Cal State San Bernardino.  We discuss the power of writing, the re-emergence of the Filipino American spoken word movement during the 1990s/2000s, and pedagogy of creative writing – if there is such a thing.  We also have time to talk about the relevance of Zack Morris to young Filipino American graduates and the significance of his mother’s fight for justice for our community in the U.S. v. Narciso-Perez court case.

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

Do you have any writing that you’d like to share?  Email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com and maybe we’ll publish it on our blog!

Check out more of Jason’s work on his website: http://www.jasonmagaboperez.com.

 

Bonus Episode – A Conversation with Geena Rocero

On this bonus episode the TFAL crew has a conversation with Geena Rocero, the trans activist, model, producer, and founder of GenderProud, her advocacy and production company that is committed to tell trans-focused and trans-specific stories.   We learn about Geena’s life as a trans beauty queen in the Philippines, her journey to creating a new life in San Francisco, and how she went from passing to coming out as trans through her widely viewed TED talk in 2014.

Geena is also a contributor to American Like Me : Reflections of Life Between Cultures.  This compilation of stories curated by America Ferrera reflects what it is like for 31 of her friends, peers, and heroes. Make sure to pick up your copy of American Like Me and read Geena’s story after you check out this episode of TFAL.

For folks looking for resources here are links to a few of the organizations we talk about in this episode:

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Many thanks to Visual Communications for hosting our conversation and welcoming Geena to Little Tokyo

Random fact: We learned that Geena is also a big fan of Ruby Ibarra. She raps the along lyrics to US just like we do!

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You can also catch Geena on tour with Together Live and Hello Sunshine, Reese Witherspoon’s media brand who’s mission is to tell stories centered around women.

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

What are your suggestions with supporting our trans family and friends? Leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

Episode 29.5 – 18 Questions for Producer Mike

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Pew pew pew!

He is the reason why we sound as good as we do – that you don’t hear any of our snorts and sneezes.  Due to his technical expertise, we are able to interview our guests from afar and because of his amazing photography, we have amazing memories of our TFAL journey.  He’s our tech geek, our video gamer, our passionate poet, our homeless advocate, our DJ.

On this very special episode, we get a bit silly but also learn more about the mysterious man behind the sound mixer of This Filipino American Life podcast, our very own Producer Mike Nailat.  Mike takes some time from his sound mixing duties to answer a few of our questions – 18 to be exact – so that you can learn more about why we love him.

Get comfortable and let the Producer Mike fandom continue.

Can we get a pew pew pew!!

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

If you have any extra questions for Producer Mike or any of us, leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

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!

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, […]