Podcasts

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

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.

Bonus Episode – Live at the 2016 Justice for Filipino American Veterans March

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As a follow-up to our last episode on Filipino WWII Veterans, we present to you a collage of sounds and interviews from last year’s Justice for Filipino Americans Veterans march in Hollywood, CA.  It features interviews with students, community organizers, and a veteran, as well as the many chants that have come to characterize this event over the years.  Special thanks to Stephanie Sajor and Eddy Gana of Kabataang maka-Bayan for letting us tag along (and participating in the previous episode), Aquilina Versoza of Pilipino Workers Center for letting us ride in the Jeepney, and of course all the people we interviewed as part of this episode.

Listen, subscribe to and rate us on iTunes, learn, and join the discussion in the comments!  And you can email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave a voice message on (805) 394-TFAL.

 

 

Episode 18 – Filipino WWII Veterans

 

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Images from the 2005 JFAV March in Historic Filipinotown (Photo Credits:  Producer Mike)

On November 11, 2017, Filipino American Veterans, students, and their allies will gather in Hollywood, CA for the 17th Annual Justice For Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) march.  In fact, for many years now, throughout the country, Filipino Americans have been organizing protests, actions, remembrances, and celebrations in honor of Filipinos who fought for the United States in World War II, many of whom never got the recognition or benefits they deserved and were promised.  Many of us here at TFAL have been a part of the Filipino Veterans movement in LA since the very first march, and continue to support local advocacy efforts to this day. But how can we best honor the sacrifices of our elders? What can we do now, with so many Veterans passing away each day?

In this episode, we dive into these issues and talk with both national and local leaders of the movement for justice and equity for Filipino Veterans of WWII.  Calling in all the way from Washington DC, Ben de Guzman of The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project shares his perspectives on the national movement, and Stephanie Sajor and Eddy M. Gana Jr. from KmB Pro-People Youth join us in the studio to talk about the upcoming JFAV March.

Listen, subscribe to and rate us on iTunes, learn, and join the discussion in the comments!  And you can email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave a voice message on (805) 394-TFAL.  Who knows, we just might share your thoughts on a future episode!

And check out this mini documentary from 2004 by our friends Michele Gutierrez and Christine Araquel:

Broken Promises Short Version from Science Friction on Vimeo.

 

Episode 17.5 – TFAL Goes to the Bay. Stories of Cannabis & Tech with Nina Parks and Carlo De La Fuente

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On this episode of This Filipino American Life we continue our Bay Area invasion and talk story with Filipino Americans in the Cannabis industry, as well as address the tech boom that’s associated with Silicon Valley and the many companies who dominate the area.  Nina Parks of Mirage Medicinal educates the crew about how her work goes beyond the product and is also a lifestyle brand. This is followed by our conversation with Carlo De La Fuente who highlights his experiences in San Francisco’s rapidly growing tech field.

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

And since it’s Halloween, don’t forget to check out Bindlestiff’s latest work MUMU, an otherwise experience! This show runs until November 18th. Former TFAL guest Joel Quizon helped develop the soundtrack for the show! That is if you are brave enough to face the mumu!

What are your thoughts on cannabis and the tech field? Let us know! Email us at  thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave a voice message on (805) 394-TFAL.

Episode 17 – TFAL Goes to the Bay: Lily Prijoles and Allan Manalo

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The San Francisco Bay Area is home to the 2nd largest Filipino population in the United States.  Soma Pilipinas, the Filipino cultural district recently designated by the City of San Francisco, is the heart of Filipino America in the Bay.  Last month, TFAL paid a visit to Soma Pilipinas to talk to some of the movers and shakers in the community.

In this first installment of interviews, we talk to Lily Prijoles, one of the co-owners of Arkipelago Bookstore.  We then interview Allan Manalo, a long-time community activist and co-founder of Bindlestiff Studio, the “epicenter of Filipino American performing arts.”  Listen as we discuss the history of these great institutions in the Bay Area, the future of SoMa Pilipinas in this age of gentrification, and of course, some NorCal-SoCal sports rivalry banter.

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

Episode 16.5 – TFAL goes to the Bay: Voicemails / Filipino Folklore

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Once upon a time…we started a podcast. 

Storytelling is one of the most fun ways we communicate in our podcast – sometimes through deep reflection and other times through funny interpretations of our past.  More importantly, it was a way our parents, grandparents, or teachers were able to communicate important lessons and morals to us as we grew up.  It was a way to engage young minds, and perhaps a vehicle for inspiration.

On this mini episode, TFAL Crew is joined by Roger Habon and Rhean Fajardo, members of our TFAL family, as we share fables, stories, and legends that some of us grew up hearing.  We look at Filipino folk tales that our parents and grandparents have passed on to us.  Discover with us the legend of the pineapple, who is afraid of the “white lady” and why you shouldn’t be eating red meat with tea!

Plus, listen to our fans who have left us voicemails asking important questions about Filipino American food and identity.

In honor of Filipino American History Month, we record from Arkipelago Books, a Filipino bookstore in the SoMa Pilipinas district in San Francisco.  They have been a great pillar to the Filipino American community in the Bay and our gracious hosts for this episode.

Whether written or told, share our stories, pass on your own, and discuss. Let’s learn together and not be Juan Tamad about it.

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

Episode 16 – The World Is Just A Bridge. Gaming and Dungeons & Dragons

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On this episode of This Filipino American Life the TFAL crew talks about video games and Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). We talk about who used video games as an escape, who did not really play as much as a kid, and who thought video games reinforced Eurocentric mythology.

 

While we start the conversation around video games, the conversation pivots to Dungeons and Dragons when we talk to our guests Earl Baylon (Elaine’s semi-cousin, Jonah Maiava from the Tomb Raider series, and Artistic Director of Room to Improv) and Edren Sumagaysay (writer, The Park’s Finest expediter, and Dungeon Master extraordinaire). Earl and Edren go into how they got into Dungeons and Dragons and explain to the TFAL crew how D&D works. We even begin to brainstorm a Filipino American D&D campaign!

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What are your thoughts about gaming and D&D? What were/are your favorite video games? If you played D&D what character would you play as? Orc? Rogue? Wizard? Would you play a Filipino American D&D campaign if we put one out? Let us know! Tweet at us @TFALpodcast. Email us thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com. Leave us a voicemail 805-394-TFAL.

 

This episode is brought to you by Brown Baked Homemade Desserts. Thank you to Jason Lustina for providing TFAL with delicious cookies while we recorded this episode! Want more cookies and waffles and other delicious Filipino Food treats? Follow Brown Baked in Facebook and Instagram

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

 

 

Episode 15.5 – Filipino American Hometown Associations

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“Welcome to the Induction Ball of the Filipino Association of Sorsogueno Americans of Greater Las Vegas and Vicinity, Inc. (FASAGLVI).”

For many Filipino Americans, hometown associations and other organizations gave recent immigrants a home away from home. In these associations, Filipinos found fellow kababayan, built networks, developed a sense of community, and found power in a country where they faced constant marginalization. On the other hand, these associations also served as battlegrounds for community leadership, venues to reinforce heteronormative and gender norms, and distractions for pertinent political issues affecting the Filipino American community.

In this mini-episode, the TFAL crew discusses our 2nd generation experiences with hometown associations and try to make sense of the multiple functions of these unique institutions. Find out why “incorporating” is so important, who went to high school dance with a beauty queen, and who served as an “escort” for a hometown association.  And, of course, at the end, we:

SAYAW  –  SAYAW  –  SAYAW

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

Episode 15 – Lab and Basketball: Hoops from a Filipino American Perspective

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Basketball has a special place in the hearts of many Filipinos and Filipino Americans alike. One cannot visit the Philippines and not notice Filipinos playing on the millions of makeshift basketball hoops, barangay courts, and gymnasiums throughout the country. Likewise, one would be hard-pressed to know a Filipino American (particularly male) who does not follow the NBA.

Basketball was first introduced to Filipinos by YMCA clubs established in the Philippines during the early American colonial period. Institutionalized by American colonial officials in Philippine physical education as a way to instill discipline among their colonial subjects, basketball was adopted and adapted by many Filipinos and spread quickly among the populace. With Filipinos’ early success in the sport on an international stage and its economic accessibility, the game became a national obsession.

Yet, basketball is more than simple recreation. It tells us a lot about ourselves. For instance, basketball is a way many Filipino and Filipino American men perform masculinity. Likewise, the way that basketball is played among Filipinos reflects more communion and democracy compared to American norms on the court.

In this episode, we explore Filipino Americans’ particular relationship with basketball. How did our families introduce us to the sport? How do Filipino Americans play basketball differently than Filipino immigrants? And most importantly, who was the Philippines’ “Best-Looking Team”? All these discussions and more in this edition of This Filipino American Life.

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

 

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