Podcasts

Episode 83 – Filipino Canadian Politics and Community Organizing in Vancouver: TFAL Talks to Mable Elmore, MLA, RJ Aquino, KAMP, and Tulayan

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Welcome to Canada, eh?  In addition to our trip to Seattle last month, the TFAL crew was able to take a trip to our neighbor to the north, Canada…Vancouver to be exact.  In our next couple episodes, we talk to some of Van-city’s awesomest Filipino community leaders.  This episode focuses on political and community organizing in the city and Canada as a whole.  Mable Elmore, Member of Legislative Assembly for British Columbia, and RJ Aquino discuss the benefits of being in a more tolerable country like Canada (unlike the hyper-capitalist United States).  We then talk to Maureen Mendoza of the Kababayan Academic Mentorship Program (KAMP) and Marjorie Eda of Tulayan, two extraordinary Filipino organizations working on empowering Filipino Canadian youth.

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

Special shout out goes to RJ Aquino and Sammie Jo Rumbaua for helping us coordinate the interviews and for your warm hospitality!

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Episode 82 – Filipino Food Scene in Seattle: TFAL Talks to Hood Famous Café, Kamayan Farm, and Musang Seattle

What is the Filipino Food scene like in Seattle? In this TFAL episode, we’re back in Seattle to talk about Pacific Northwest Filipino food with some members of the Ilaw Collective, a coalition of Filipino food and beverage professionals in the region. First, we talk to Chera Amlag and Geo Quibuyen of Hood Famous Bake Shop and discuss the popularity of their Ube Cheesecake and bringing back Filipino flavor to the International District.

Then, we talk to Ariana de Leña of Kamayan Farm and discuss the importance of agricultural foodways and sustainable living for Filipino Americans.

Finally, we round out our Seattle interviews with Melissa Miranda of Musang Seattle and discuss her journey from pop-up restaurant to brick-and-mortar as a way to continue the Filipino legacy in the Beacon Hill neighborhood in the face of gentrification.

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

Seattle was soooo much fun for us, so we we’ll definitely be back. Thanks again to all of our old and new friends in the Emerald City!

Episode 81 – Finding Filipino American Community in LA’s Little Tokyo: Conversations with Alison De La Cruz, Kennedy Kabasares, and Francis Cullado

In Los Angeles, Filipinos have a special relationship with the Little Tokyo neighborhood. In the 1920s and 1930s, Filipino immigrants formed a viable Little Manila district adjacent to the Japanese neighborhood. Little Tokyo was in many ways the heart of the Asian American Movement in Southern California during the 1960s and 1970s, prompting many Filipino American activists to work and live in the area. Today, many Filipino American leaders continue to head Asian American organizations headquartered in Little Tokyo, contributing to the cross-cultural coalition work established decades ago.  LA might have Historic Filipinotown, but SoCal’s Filipino American community can be found in numerous places.  Many Filipinos have built a vibrant center in Little Tokyo.

In this episode, Producer Mike takes us on a journey to Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo through the lens of its Filipino American community advocates. He speaks to Alison De La Cruz, Vice President of Programs at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, Kennedy Kabasares, artist and resident of Little Tokyo, and Francis Cullado, Executive Director of Visual Communications, the organization that produces the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Listen as they speak about the rich history of Filipinos in Little Tokyo, the importance of Asian American coalitions, and the legacy of the late Linda Mabalot, former Executive Director of Visual Communications and a pioneering Filipino American visual storyteller.

Pictured: Bill Watanabe, former Executive Director of the Little Tokyo Service Center and the late Linda Mabalot during the construction of the Union Center for the Arts, home to Visual Communications, LA Artcore, and East West Players.

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

On a similar note, make sure to check out the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival of which TFAL is a media sponsor. They got some great films lined up, particularly from Filipino and Filipino American filmmakers. You can check out the festival lineup here: https://vcmedia.org/festival.

Episode 80 – Filipino American History, Politics, and Cultural Work in Seattle: TFAL Talks to Dr. Pio De Cano, Devin Cabanilla, and Sendai Era

Over the next few episodes, the TFAL crew brings you some voices from the Pacific Northwest.  This past month, TFAL was on location in Seattle (and later Vancouver) to speak with some of the movers and shakers of the Filipino American community.

In our first installment, we talk to Devin Cabanilla of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) and long time political advocate, Dr. Pio de Cano.  We then speak to Rico and Mike of Sendai Era, a duo who met at the University of Washington (Joe’s alma mater!), and now document the city’s rich creative scene through multimedia videos on Instagram.

Seattle has a long Filipino American history, politics, creativity, and food dating back to the turn of the 20th century.  We barely scratched the surface in these episodes, but I hope the next couple of episodes inspires you to dig deeper into the rich Filipino American heritage of this corner of the United States.

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

Many thanks to Devin Cabanilla, Joseph Guanlao, and the good folks at Hood Famous Bakeshop (Geo and Chera) for your warm hospitality in the International District!

Episode 79 – Gio-Stories: Three Tales about Filipino America by Giovanni Ortega

In this TFAL episode, we switch gears a bit and give you a few literary works in audio form by Giovanni Ortega, multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and teacher. Giovanni joins the TFAL podcast and shares his upbringing as a 1.5 generation Filipino American from Chicago. He then gives us three short stories from different Filipino American experiences. The first is an excerpt from the play, ALLOS, a story about writer Carlos Bulosan. The second story is about life as a young Pinoy soldier in the U.S. military. Finally, the last story depicts the struggles of a Filipina migrant working overseas. We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did.

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

 

Do you have an audio story to share?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL (8325) or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

Episode 78 – Filipino American Karaoke Culture

Filipinos and karaoke go together like peanut butter and jelly, like peas and carrots, like green mangoes and bagoong. Karaoke is essential to every Filipino party and every late night Filipino beer house.  We perform karaoke in the swankiest KTV room to the local roadside hole in the wall.  Filipinos even kill each other over karaoke!  Though the first karaoke machine was invented by Daisuke Inoue in 1975, did you know that it was a Filipino, Roberto Del Rosario, who holds the first patent on a karaoke system he developed in 1975, the Karaoke Sing-Along System?  Yes, karaoke is in the Filipino blood.

In this TFAL episode, we finally discuss karaoke, the beloved Filipino pastime.  We discuss what makes a good karaoke song, what’s a good karaoke playlist, and why performance and atmosphere – whether on a night out or in the living room – is so important.  We also talk about funny cultural nuances that make Filipino and Filipino American karaoke jam sessions so unique.  And of course, there is actual singing involved.

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

What’s your favorite karaoke jam?  Do you have a memorable moment that involves karaoke?  Drop us a line on our voicemail (805) 394-TFAL (8325) or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

Episode 77 (33.5) – Healthy Filipino Cooking: A Conversation with RG Enriquez of Astig Vegan

We talk a lot about food on the podcast (and in life) partly because it’s fun, but also because it creates discussion about recipes, deliciousness, and creativity. Filipino cuisine continues to evolve. Creative home cooks and chefs alike are more mindful about available ingredients relative to their geography and health benefits of delicious alternatives.

If you ask most Filipinos of what popular Filipino dishes look like, the majority will likely have meat in them (lechon, adobo, dinuguan).  Clearly, none of those are vegan, but are you able to imagine kare kare that’s completely vegan? Or having bagoong (shrimp paste), that’s completely made without any shrimp?  What would our health be like if we removed (even a little bit) the meat from our favorite Filipino dishes?

That’s exactly what chef RG Enriquez from the blog, Astig Vegan, talks about on this episode as she talks to the TFAL crew from San Francisco. RG is a vegan Filipina who re-imagines and creates vegan Filipino dishes. RG believes that Filipino food can be vegan, healthy and delicious without losing its soul!  Find out which is our favorite spice, why some of us have changed our eating habits; and join us in discovering with RG some Filipino dishes that are traditionally vegan and we just didn’t even think about it.

And, let’s face it – we just want our food to taste delicious, right? But we also want them to be healthy and nutritious as well!  Hopefully, you’re flexible enough to try vegan Filipino dishes and check out RG’s YouTube channel for some awesome recipes.

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

Do you want to eat healthier?  Are you vegan?  Tell us your story!  Call us and leave a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL (8325), or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

Episode 76 (33) – When Filipino Pride Goes Wrong…

Most of us have some ounce of Filipino pride.  “Successes” by other Filipinos such as Bruno Mars, Jordan Clarkson, and Catriona Gray become “successes” for us.  Because Filipinos are constantly rendered invisible in the Western world, we tend to internalize these victories as our own.  But what happens when fellow Filipinos do something “embarrassing”?  Countless incidents in our past – Pacquiao’s anti-LGBT comments, Filipino divers, the 1992 Philippine Little League Team, Marcos, Duterte, etc. – have cause an unwanted spotlight on us.

In this TFAL episode, we discuss those moments that make Filipinos and Filipino Americans feel “not so proud.”  How do we feel about it? How do we handle it?  Does our pride remain incognito, then emerge when something goes right?  Are we simply out for global recognition rather than internal legitimation?  What does this tell us about “Filipino Pride” (nationalism) in the diaspora at its root?  Why is representing an entire Filipino nation our cross to bear?  We explore some of these questions and more in this latest episode.

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

What do you do when Filipinos are viewed in an infamous light?  Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on iTunes here.

Episode 75 (32.5) – Pinoy Basements: A Conversation with Filipino American Actor Eugene Cordero

You might recognize Eugene Cordero from roles in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Wrecked, or the film The Mule. The TFAL crew love him as Pillboi in The Good Place. On this episode the TFAL crew chats it up with Eugene and learn about his path into comedy and improv. We also find out how he convinced his parents to let him go to college to study theater. And what goes down in a Filipino basement! For us California kids, this basement conversation was quite insightful!

You can catch Eugene currently on Showtime’s Black Monday. You’ll also be able to find him in TACOMA FD, a new series on truTV, by the crew that created Super Troopers.

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

Do you have a Filipino basement? What happens in your basement? What have you sold as fundraiser for school? Let us know by emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or call our voicemail (805) 394-TFAL.

Take a moment to watch the short film we mention in the episode ASWANG NEXT DOOR and the Spinning Beach Ball of Death prank that Eugene was a part of with Improv Everywhere

Episode 74 (32) – TFAL Live at Cinema Sala: Filipino Films with Marie Jamora

During the holiday season, TFAL was invited by the good folks at Cinema Sala to record a podcast episode live in front of an audience. As a first attempt at a live show, this mini-episode looks at the handful of Filipino films on Netflix.  Filmmaker Marie Jamora joins the crew to discuss films like Heneral Luna, BuyBust, and Bird Shot, as well as the state of Filipino film distribution outside of the Philippines.  Listen to our armchair, half-assed internet researched critiques of these films, our dark meat vs. white meat debate, and Ryan’s knowledge of bomba flicks.

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

What do you think about the films that are on Netflix?  How do you watch Filipino films?  Let us know by emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or call our voicemail (805) 394-TFAL.

Big shout out to Marie Jamora for inviting us to join Cinema Sala!