Podcasts

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, […]

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)!

Episode 26.5 – Filipino American Weddings

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(Photo Credit: In The Clouds Events)

The union of two people is a very momentous occasion and the catalyst for much celebration throughout human history.  Weddings signify many things from the love of two people, the alliance of two families, and the coming together of a community.

Weddings also signify exclusion.  Marriages were and still are elusive to many people.  In decades past, people of color (including Filipino Americans) were forbidden from marrying Whites in many states of this country.  The LGBTQ community was not able to partake in marriages legally until recently (and even its legality is on shaky ground at this day and age).  Weddings (at least extravagant ones anyway) can exclude those without the means.

And yet, weddings continue to be prevalent in our communities.  They provide an opportunity to experience some cultural traditions.  Jumping the broom.  Riding a white horse.  Wearing something blue.  Many of these traditions are ways the married couple can share a part of themselves with people they love.

In this TFAL mini-episode, the crew discusses Filipino and Filipino American wedding traditions.  A mixture of Filipino, Spanish, and American traditions, many Filipino American weddings have a certain formula to them.  We talk about some of them and more!

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

Which Filipino or Filipino American wedding traditions do you know of?  Let us know by emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or call our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325)!

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Episode 26 – TFAL Meats Kris Wolf

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Growing up in the 1980s there was WWF and WCW on the airwaves. Depending on where you grew up, you idolized wrestlers from either show. Guest contributor Berto Ponce wrote about his love of wrestling for TFAL and how it lead to the creation of #BalutClub in the article Balut Club is Too Sweet.  It’s through Berto that we learned about Kris Wolf, a Filipino American wrestler who got her start STARDOM a promotion based out of Japan.  In the video below you can see what Kris Wolf and fellow Filipino American wrestler Shotzi Blackheart bring to the ring. You might also spot a few familiar TFAL faces in the audience!

 

On this episode of TFAL the crew talks about who they used to watch growing up, how they followed wrestling as kids, and who would drop in and out of the scene throughout high school and college. The Park’s Finest hosted us for this interview as Elaine, Producer Mike, and Berto talked with Kris about her path and passion for wrestling, while dining on delicious bbq.

You can catch Kris wrestle at Bar Wrestling on Wednesday, July 25th in Los Angeles! Get tickets here: Bar Wrestling: Don’t Hassle Me I’m Local.  Can’t make it to Bar Wrestling? Follow Kris on Facebook (@wolfinjapan), Twitter (@wolfinjapan), Instagram (@wolfinjapan) for future wrestling dates! You should also subscribe to her Youtube Channel where she’s known to smash boxes!

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

Who were your favorite wrestlers growing up? Would you be a heel or a face? Drop us a line on our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325)!

Want to hear more about wrestling from Elaine and the Mantaur Berto? Check out both of them on Episode 58 of Geek Offensive with Producer Justin.

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Episode 25.5 – The Bakit List 2.0

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Why do Filipinos put raisins in everything?  Why are there so many Fil Am Justins?  Why is every current Philippine movie released in the U.S. about some drug lord?  Bakit?  Bakit?  Bakit????  In this TFAL mini-episode, we goofballs tackle these life-changing questions and more!  We don’t have all of the answers (or any logical ones at that), but at least we raise the questions!

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

 

Have any answers to these questions?  Got any questions of your own?? Drop us a line on our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325)!

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Episode 25 – Filipino Americans and Panethnic Identity

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As a Filipino, do you identify as an Asian American?  Do you feel more affinity towards Mexican Americans and other Latinos?  Do you believe Filipinos are Pacific Islanders?  Do Filipino Americans belong to a specific “race”?

These are some questions Filipino Americans grapple with all the time.  Living in the United States, “Asian,” “Pacific Islander,” or even “Latino” is thrust upon Filipinos.   Filipino Americans, in numerous ways, do not fit these arbitrary racial and/or panethnic categories, yet many of us have the arduous task of choosing which one we belong to.

In this TFAL episode, we explore the ways in which these arbitrary panethnic categorizations are unfair to Filipinos, how they fail to encapsulate our lived experiences, and how they elide so much of our political realities in the United States.  We speak with Dr. Anthony Ocampo, Associate Professor of Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona and author of the renowned book The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race.

Listen as Anthony talks about Filipino Americans ambiguous belonging to Asian America and what Filipinos need to do to advance from our marginalized position under the Asian American category and in the United States at large.  Later, we have a great conversation about his future book project on the experiences of LGTBQ persons of color.  Also, we find out what race Ryan really is!

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

How do you identify?  Do you believe Filipino American are Asian or any other category?  Drop us a line on our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325)!

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