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Episode 153 – Kulintang Kultura: A Conversation with Theo Gonzalves and Mary Talusan Lacanlale

Kulintang (literally meaning “golden sound moving” in English), is the gong and drum ensemble indigenous to the Sulu and Mindanao islands in the southern Philippines  This classical music genre has resonated across the Philippines and throughout the Filipino diaspora. As a way to honor and archive the rich sounds of kulintang, the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings...

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Episode 152 – A Life Well Designed: The Legacy of Pinky Santos and the Influence of Filipino Art on the Lived Environment

“If there was one thing to take away from this story, I would hope that it’s motivation for you to go create something.” -Antonio “Miko” Javiniar This is a story about chairs. Whether you knew it or not, the rattan and bamboo hourglass-style peacock chair that has been seen in photos and homes for over...

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Episode 151 – Filipino American Heritage…er History Month

Happy Filipino American Heritage…er History Month! It’s hard to believe, but in the five years this podcast has been around, we haven’t dedicated an episode to Filipino American History Month (FAHM).  So this episode, the TFAL crew discusses our experiences with October ever since the Filipino American National Historical Society declared the month as FAHM. ...

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Episode 150 – The Wisdom of Guncles: A Conversation with Michael Dumlao (Social Distance Series)

Are you the black sheep in your family who chafes at traditions and seeks examples of how to redefine them? As Filipino Americans, we are constantly pulled in various directions and navigate multiple spaces in our families and in society, often getting shunned for just being our true selves.  The black sheep, however, are in...

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Episode 149 – Contested Relations: Fil Am Experiences with Filipinos in and from the Philippines (Social Distance Series)

What are Filipino Americans’ experiences and relationships with Filipino immigrants and Filipinos in the Philippines?  Filipino Americans – Filipinos who are born and or raised in the U.S. – often have vastly different experiences from Filipinos in the Philippines and those who recently immigrate to the U.S.  Sometimes those differences clash when discussing issues of...

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Episode 148 – A Pawsome Episode for Filipino American Pet Owners (Social Distance Series)

Although they provide companionship, emotional support, and stress-relieving, these key “family members” of some Filipino American households may not get talked about very often: OUR PETS!  On this TFAL episode, we talk about pet ownership and welfare with two Filipino American veterinarians who are passionate about animals: Dr. Maria Solacito and Dr. Ronaldo “Joey” Vasquez....

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Episode 147 – Family Matters: TFAL Talks Taking Care of Family

“As the days go by…it’s the bigger love the family.” Growing up in communal households, many Filipino Americans sense the unspoken duty to take care of their families.  Whether it’s taking care of one’s own children, or one’s parents, or new, adopted members of one’s family, we all know we have some form of obligation...

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Episode 146 – No Crying in Baseball: A Conversation with The Baseballogist L.A. Gamo

Take me out to the ball game Take me out with the crowd Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack I don’t care if I ever get back  Let me root, root, root for the…   How many of you have had the opportunity to sing this song at a baseball game? Filipino Americans love...

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Episode 145 – Les is More: Mixing It Up with “Les The DJ” Talusan (Social Distance Series)

  Can you believe that, in the five years that we’ve been doing this podcast about Filipino American Life, somehow we have neglected to talk to a DJ about DJing?!  Neither can we, especially since Producer Mike is a collector and curator of vinyl himself! Though DJing may be as old as vinyl records themselves,...

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Episode 144 – Susus Maryosep: TFAL Talks Recent Filipino Representation (Social Distance Series)

In recent weeks, many Filipinos and Filipino Americans have appeared in mainstream U.S. news and entertainment.  Whether it’s the release of the Netflix anime series, TRESE, the long-awaited appearance of a Filipino nurse in Grey’s Anatomy, the recent announcement of a Pinay Captain America, or the heroic acts of Jordan Clarkson after a racist incident...

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Episode 143 – Filipino American Community Profile: Data and Statistics with Neil Ruiz (Social Distance Series)

How many Filipinos are in the United States?  Where are Filipinos located throughout the nation?  How well are we doing socio-economically?  What does this data tell us about our community? Many people have researched answers to these demographic questions using statistical data.  One of these important figures is Neil Ruiz, Associate Director of Race and...

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Episode 142 – The Bakit List 3.0: What Grinds Our Gears Edition (Social Distance Series)

3-2-1 …. 1-2-3. What the heck is bothering me? It’s been a while since TFAL has asked “Bakit?” “Why o’ why?”  For our latest edition of the Bakit List, the TFAL team shares what grinds their gears. We look at the annoying and ever so problematic topics that affect Filipino Americans.  Some of the discussions...

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Episode 141 – Pinays in Political Organizing: A Conversation with Russellie Bongolan & Lillie Madali (Social Distance Series)

What is something that you thought was politically impossible but happened? This is the question that Elaine, Joe, Producer Mike, and special guest host Kat tackle in this conversation about Pinays in Political Organizing. Community and political organizing is a difficult and important job that allows for the impossible to become a reality in our...

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Episode 140 – The Good (Ha) Place – TFAL Thinks Happy Thoughts (Social Distance Series)

So… there’s a lot going on in the world.  A lot of it not so great.  And while we talk about many of those things on our show and in our social media, we figured we all needed to take a little bit of a break to try and focus on the good things that...

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Episode 139 – Cleaming the Gube: TV Writing with Rene Gube (Social Distance Series)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to write a TV or movie? If you had total creative freedom to pitch a show or movie, what would it be about?  Would you center Filipino or Filipino American stories? In this TFAL episode, we talk TV writing with the one and only Rene Gube,...

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Episode 138 – A Year of COVID 19: A Conversation with Cindy Evangelista (Social Distance Series)

It’s been one year since most of the United States has been under quarantine, significantly changing our lives.  In this TFAL episode, we reflect on a year like no other, how COVID has affected our personal lives and the lives of many of our kababayan, and reminders of what we need to continue to do...

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Episode 137 – tFalling in Love: TFAL Talks Valentine’s Day (Social Distance Series)

Roses are red. Violets are blue. These brown hands Choo choo choose you! Hello TFAL listeners, join us as the TFAL Crew reflects on love.  Well…sort of, through the lens of the commercialized and overpriced holiday of Valentine’s day! All joking aside, we can all agree that we need a little more love in this...

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Episode 136 – A Good Death: A Conversation with Death Doula/Midwife Michelle Mondia (Social Distance Series)

2020 will go down in history as one of the most difficult years for so many of us. At the time of writing, 443,000 people have lost their lives to covid-19. Deaths in 2020 that were not Covid-19 related were still impacted by the virus. In certain situations, they were unable to get care that...

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Episode 135 – Purge Towards New Beginnings (Social Distance Series)

New Year. Covid’s still here. Let’s start purging and clear… The energy for 2021. We all know that 2020 was a roller coaster that we were happy to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodnight, and goodbye to that wretched year. Within the first week of 2021, we faced an attempted coup attempt and more...

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Episode 134 – Philippine Archaeology and the Ifugao Rice Terraces with Stephen Acabado (Social Distance Series)

Did you know that the Banaue Rice Terraces are actually only approximately 200-300 years old hundred years old, and not 2,000 years old as many people believe?  Did you know that the “Wave Migrations” theory of the people-ing of the Philippines has no archaeological basis and is fundamentally racist? Some of these Philippine nationalist narratives...

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Episode 133 – TFAL Sweet Talks: Filipino Desserts with Ginger Lim Dimapasok of Café 86 (Social Distance Series)

Filipinos are notorious for their sweet tooth.  We put sugar in almost all of our dishes.  So much so our spaghetti would be a dessert in Italy.  And of course, who can forget our traditional desserts?  Bibingka, turon, halo halo, Cebu torta, tupig, puto bumbong, ginataan, buko pie…the list goes on and on.  In almost...

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Episode 132 – Bumoto Kami: Filipino American Electoral Politics (Social Distance Series)

Election season in the US has come and not quite gone, and regardless of who you voted for (and how you feel about the results), a noteworthy aspect of this year’s Elections were the sheer number of Filipino Americans running for office throughout the country.  From Hawaii to Virginia, California to Georgia, and even Utah...

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Episode 131 – Who Ordered Tax? TFAL Talks Pinoy Humor (Social Distance Series)

Filipino humor.  You know what it is.  Super corny one-liners your mom or dad, aunt and uncle might have said.  It may be a play on words.  May include using an accent.  On Filipino TV shows, it may include a high-pitched, solo laugh track.  Some Filipino Americans might find it hilarious.  Some may not.  Non-Filipinos...

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Episode 130 – Dance Dance Revelations: Filipinos and Hip Hop Dance with J. Lorenzo Perillo (Social Distance Series)

Dance off!  Dance crews and line dancers, dance fanatics, and dance contest watchers – gather around for another episode of TFAL as we discuss hip hop dancing and Filipinos’ proclivity towards the art form.  We reminisce about our abilities (or inabilities) to follow a dance routine, our love for dancing, and of course, Pilipino Cultural...

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Episode 129 – Digging up the Truth: The Celine Archive with Celine Parreñas Shimizu (Social Distance Series)

In 1932, Celine Navarro, a young Filipina American, was buried alive and murdered by other Filipinos just outside of Stockton, California. The murder of Navarro caught national media attention, sensationalizing the crime and painting Filipinos as savage members of primitive cults. Though mostly forgotten now, this horrific incident reverberated through the Filipino American community during...

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