Podcasts

Episode 22.5 – Filipino and Filipino American Slang

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Naks naman, pre!

Everyday, we hear a new term or phrase or acronym that we totes have to google. With the ever evolving ways of communicating, we can expect some of our words and phrases to be shortened and even more so, turn into widely-used slang.

Slang has multiple uses.  It can be used for inclusion.  People use slang to create and reinforce a people’s identity through a shared network of communication. On the other side of the coin, slang can be used for exclusion as well, essentially demarcating who’s in the know and who isn’t.  Slang can also be a way to rebel.  Many people use slang as coded or hidden words to conceal meanings from those in authority.  The use of slang among Filipinos and Filipino Americans is no different  We have used slang to include, exclude, and rebel in many forms.

On this TFAL mini episode, we discuss Filipino and Filipino American slang.  We explore Filipino “tadbalik,” the practice of inverting and reversing letters and syllables of words to give them new meanings, which is believed to have developed among Filipinos rebelling against the Spanish in the 19th century. It also gained popularity anti-martial law youth in the 1970s.  Likewise, we discuss slang among Filipino Americans.  Though fewer in number, Fil Ams have developed a unique identity through slang as well.

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

We only shared a few slang words, but do you know others??  If you want to share some Filipino or Filipino American slang that was hella popular where you grew up, feel free to email us or leave a comment below!

EDITOR’S NOTE: CON-ASS is Constituent Assembly, not Congressional Assembly. =)

 

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Episode 22 – If The Virgin Mary Could Do It: A Conversation with WASI (We Are She Is).

What happens when you are in high school physics class and a classmate says “Do you play an instrument” and your answer is yes?  Well for Merilou Salazar and Jesse Meehan, our guests on this episode of TFAL, they formed a three power chord knowing garage band called The Midol Poppers. After several iterations and learning more chords, they are now the Riot Pop band WASI. Influenced by The Clash, Matt and Kim, and MIA, WASI (We Are She Is) create an atmosphere of sunny melodies and dance beats with a subversive attitude.

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Photo by Shelly Simon

Want to check WASI out live? You are in luck! They are on tour right now with their latest EP Stranger California. Check out their site for dates and ticket info. WASI ON TOUR 

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Listen to WASI on Spotify, Itunes, Soundcloud, Google Play, and wherever you find your music. Want more info on Women Fuck Shit Up Fest? Check them out here: Women Fuck Shit Up Fest

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.

Also here is a bonus playlist that we’ve created for folks to check out a few of the artists that were mentioned in this episode!

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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

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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

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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.