Episode 84 – Filipino Canadian Businesses and Cultural Arts in Vancouver: TFAL Talks to WSDMCLUB Barber Shop, DISTRIKT MOVEMENT, and Kathara Pilipino Indigenous Arts Collective Society


Welcome back to Canada!  We round out our travel shows with our last two interviews from Vancouver.  In this episode we interview entrepreneurs Marvin Soriano of WSDM CLUB Barbershop and Jian Pablico of DISTRIKT MOVEMENT.  They discuss opening up their respective businesses, not only to make money, but to serve as community centers for a lot of folks in Vancouver.  We then talk to Birthmark Tattoos artist, Mayo Landicho, and JR Guerrero, co-founder of Kathara about preserving Filipino indigenous arts in Canada.  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.

We had a great time with our Pinucks in Canada!  We hope to visit again someday.  Where in Canada should we go next, eh?  Toronto?  Winnipeg?  Edmonton?  Who should we talk to?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail to (805) 394-TFAL (8325), or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.


Thank you listening to this episode!  Many of you have written us asking us to visit your city.  As you know, traveling is not cheap.  Only a part of our trip to Seattle and Vancouver was subsidized through your generous donations.  We certainly had to pay out of pocket to travel to those cities.  A $5/month or $10/month contribution makes a huge impact on our ability to bring Filipino American issues to the forefront.  If you enjoy our content and want to hear Filipino American stories from other parts of the diaspora, consider becoming a T-PAL through our TFAL Patreon account.  Salamats!!

Honor the Scholars Among Us with Doctora Designs!


It’s a little known fact that most of the TFAL crew have advanced degrees. Elaine, Gerlie, Joe, and Producer Mike (sorry Ryan!) invested portions of our lives in graduate school. For us, and for countless graduates of color, the journey through the academic path was full of hardship, difficulty, and restlessness. The bar is set much higher and the obstacles are more numerous for folks whom society has traditionally deemed not suited for university life.

Yet, what kept us going in graduate school were the little things – words of encouragement, advice from mentors, small victories along the way. Now, there’s another way to encourage graduate students to cross that finish line. For those who are continuing their education in graduate school, there is a special line of jewelry just for them.

Dr. Angela Chen presents Doctora Designs, a company that celebrates the academic achievements of ALL of us. Dr. Chen, a former undocumented student herself, started Doctora to inspire and empower those who identify as women, people of color, immigrants, and folks handling life on various intersectional margins. Her mission is to recognize our struggles and celebrate milestones of those historically marginalized in academia and society as a whole.

Whether you are a student or you know of someone in school, Doctora is the jewelry line everyone in education should get. These tokens of support, encouragement, and achievement go a long way in one’s academic career.

Graduation season, as well as Mother’s Day, is fast approaching. Honor the scholars among your family and friends with jewelry that celebrates their achievements. Make a statement, inspire yourself and others with jewelry from Doctora Designs! Isulong!

Check out all the inspiring jewelry on Doctora Designs!

The Geek Show 2: BindleCon

Hi Friends!  If you happen to be in the Bay Area in April, check out THE GEEK SHOW 2: BINDLECON, at Bindelstiff Studios in San Francisco. Filipino American geeks unite!!


Conceived by producers Thomas Paras and Marc Abrigo, “The Geek Show” is both a love letter and a critique on contemporary geek culture. From comedy sketches to dramatic pieces, the multi-genre theatre production brings together the passionate, the ostracized, and the awkward together in celebration of everything under the umbrella of geekdom.

This upcoming iteration of “The Geek Show” will be a little different, for all the stories presented will be set entirely within a convention. The roof is ripped off of a convention center, as interconnected stories emerge from this one day at the geek fest that is BindleCon. From the story of a first-time con-goer, to the showdown of seasoned geek parents, and the exciting life as a rover a la “Law and Order,” expect for ground of a different kind to be covered, all the while staying true to exploring the life and journey of geeks everywhere.

“The Geek Show 2: BindleCon” will be having its nine-performance run at Bindlestiff Studio from April 12th-28th. Tickets are $15-$25 and can be purchased here. For more information, visit geekshowsf.com.

Shout to TFAL super fan, Lauren Lola, for the heads up on this event!


Pogi Pose Picks!

TFAL loves a pogi pose as you can see by all the awesome pogi-ness below.

In preparation for our Happy Birthday TFAL party we asked TFALers to send us their pogi pose. Here are the top 3 pogistas!

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Kid Heroes Filmmaker Patricio Ginelsa’s adorable son Logan rocking a baby pogi pose.

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Much love to Francis, Strela, and Iskra! The family that pogi poses at May Day marches!

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Friend of show Paolo Espiritu rocks an ice cream cone pogi.

Honorable pogi mention goes to AJ for this black and white group shot. Berto for the 90s bangs and asian squat shot. And lastly Beverly for the puppy pogi pose!


It’s been an awesome year of TFAL. Much love to everyone who listens to the show and enjoys our stories, history, and puns!

Join us at The Park’s Finest THIS SATURDAY, May 13th from 8pm-12am for an epic Filipino Family Party! RSVP now at Happy Birthday TFAL.  What are some of your favorite TFAL moments from this past year?  Let us know 805-394-TFAL 805-394-8325.



cat party

Happy Birthday TFAL! We made it to one year! Join us & help us celebrate a year of air horns, half baked ideas, and stories that have made us and you giggle.

There will be bbq.
There will be beers.
There will be (possibly) karaoke.

Saturday, May 13th

Many thanks to the homies at The Park’s Finest for hosting our one year shindig!

RSVP HERE: Happy Birthday TFAL

See you there,
TFAL mastermind Joe,
Food Appreciator Ryan
Oblivious Nerd Girl Elaine
Producer Mike

Episode 8.5 – Slow Jamz

Play another slow jam, this time make it sweet…a slow jam.

Many Filipino Americans love slow jamz, that sweet, loving, largely African American-composed music that dominated late nights on urban radio stations during the 1980s and 1990s.  They made slow jam mix tapes and gave it to girls, they sang them on karaoke, there were even some who started singing groups. For many of us the ritual of listening to radio and recording songs on a blank cassette tape was a skill we honed with fine precision. The task of finding the sweet spot where you got the song and not the dj talking  or the dj fading into the next song became a muscle memory.

Passing around mixtapes turned into burning CDs and then sending mp3 files to each other. One particular mix that made the rounds was by DJ Opus, a Filipino American DJ from California. The slow jamz came at you fast and furious on this mix. Back in the day, it could be heard at debuts, formals, and lowered cars with crews of Filipino Americans singing along.

There’s even a 90s Slow Jam Bracket, made by a Fil Am dude! All the songs on this bracket would make an excellent mixtape. 1780229_10152224095592125_126281615_o

In this episode, we discuss the impact slow jamz had on us and other Filipino Americans.  From traditional kundiman to “My Way” to Kai to even Manny Pacquiao, Filipinos can’t get enough of that slow, soulful, baby-making music.

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

As a bonus, the TFAL crew has put together our own slow jamz playlist.  Enjoy and sing along to these handpicked songs.

What would your #1 slow jam song be on your bracket? What songs would be on your playlist?  Hit us up on Twitter (@TFALpodcast), Facebook (This Filipino American Life), leave a comment on this post, or leave us a message on our new voicemail! Yes voicemail! TFAL has a phone number folks! 805-394-TFAL. That’s 805-394-8325.



Thank you to everyone who has got us to 1000 likes on our Facebook page! We appreciate you so much! Maraming Salamats for being a part of our TFAL podcast journey.

TFAL Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!


It’s time for Thanksgiving. The special time of year where your family tells you you’ve gained weight, but then tries to feed you more food. The time of year when you look at the turkey and wish it was lechon. Some of us do not have to wish it was lechon because there is a lechon instead of a turkey! And as always the lumpia shanghai should be plentiful, abundant, and always present at every holiday in the upcoming months!

This week This Filipino American Life will be guests on Kababayan Today! We share the podcast with the Kababayan Today audience and talk about our own Thanksgiving traditions. We’ll be on the show Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th. Set your DVRs and catch us on TV!

Here’s a sample sample of TFAL on Kababayan Today.

TFAL x Kababayan Today Bumper from Elaine Dolalas on Vimeo.

Shop Small! Support your favorite podcast!

In our first run of shirts we went with our favorite Los Angeles baseball team. This time around our shirt supports a Los Angeles basketball team that most of the podcast supports. Ryan supports the other team.

Support TFAL by buying one of our limited run t-shirts! Email thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com to purchase a TFAL shirt! They are 17.99 + shipping & handling. Spend some of your black friday money on us!


We all hope you enjoy spending time with your families this holiday season. We at TFAL are thankful for all the support of our listeners. Thank you for listening to our show and showing us love. We appreciate you all so much!