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Episode 73 (31.5) – Reflections on Beauty Pageants and Miss Universe Catriona Gray

Though beauty pageants in the Philippines can be traced back to the celebration of Santacruzan and other religious festivals, modern beauty pageants, emerged out of the Manila Carnival, an annual event during the early 1900s.  According to scholar Genevieve Clutario, the queen contest became a platform where both Filipino nationalists’ and American colonial officials attempted...

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Episode 31 – TFAL Goes to SD: Community Organizing w/ DJ Kuttin Kandi, Kirin Macapugay, and Ree Obana; Filipino American Apparel w/ Zar Javier of Kampeon Co.

  We conclude our San Diego interviews with community organizers DJ Kuttin Kandi, Kirin Macapugay, and Ree Obana. In this discussion we highlight the issues that these womxn currently center their work around. Kirin and Ree give their perspectives as born and raised Pinxys, while Kandi discusses her experience as a transplant from Queens, NY...

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Episode 30.5 – TFAL Goes to SD: Filipino American Politics with SD Councilmember Chris Cate; Broadcast Journalism with KGTV Newscaster Melissa Mecija

“Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale’s vagina.” – Ron Burgundy Anchorman jokes aside, San Diego has a long history, and Filipinos have been a significant part of it.  Largely attracted to the region because of the large naval presence, hundreds of thousands...

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Episode 30 – Creative Writing w/ Jason Magabo Perez

The pen is mightier than the sword, they say.  And in our history, the pen has certainly been very powerful.  The Illustrados who started the Propaganda Movement, which included Jose Rizal’s novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, sparked the rise of Philippine nationalism and the Revolution during the late 19th century.  Carlos Bulosan with...

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Bonus Episode – A Conversation with Geena Rocero

On this bonus episode the TFAL crew has a conversation with Geena Rocero, the trans activist, model, producer, and founder of GenderProud, her advocacy and production company that is committed to tell trans-focused and trans-specific stories.   We learn about Geena’s life as a trans beauty queen in the Philippines, her journey to creating a new...

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Episode 29.5 – 18 Questions for Producer Mike

Pew pew pew! He is the reason why we sound as good as we do – that you don’t hear any of our snorts and sneezes.  Due to his technical expertise, we are able to interview our guests from afar and because of his amazing photography, we have amazing memories of our TFAL journey.  He’s...

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TFAL meets Kate Gavino

In August our #TFALPodcastBookClub book was Sanpaku by Kate Gavino. Sanpaku is a graphic novel that follows Marcine, a Filipina American growing up in Houston. This coming of age story highlights the insecurities of being a teen growing up in the 1990s, attempts to understand religion, family history, and even pop star Selena. What was...

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TFAL City Shirt Series

We’re rounding out Filipino American History Month with NEW MERCH. Rep your city…if you happen to be from LA, SF, CHI, SEA, NY, HNL, SD! Get your City Shirt Here: This Filipino American Life LA – OG LA – DOYERS SF – THE BAY SF – GIGANTES CHI – TORO CITY CHI – BATANG OSO...

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Bonus Episode – Dear America with Jose Antonio Vargas

On this bonus episode, the TFAL crew talks with the Emmy nominated filmmaker and Pulitzer Prize journalist winner Jose Antonio Vargas. The founder and CEO of Define American has been traveling around the country on his book tour for Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen. In this episode we go straight into a conversation...

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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...

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The Debut Will Have Its Own “Debut” at the Cinematografo International Film Festival on November 10

You heard right, folks. It’s been 18 years since the release of The Debut, the pioneering Filipino American film by Director Gene Cajayon. To celebrate The Debut’s maturation into adulthood, the Cinematografo International Film Festival will host a special screening of the film with some of the cast and crew in attendance as part of...

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Episode 28.5 – Stockton’s Little Manila, Journey for Justice, and the Legacy of Dawn Mabalon

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...

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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, […]

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TFAL Podcast Merch

MERCHANDISING! MERCHANDISING! MERCHANDISING! Support This Filipino American Life by picking up a t-shirt, women’s t-shirt, women’s v-neck shirt, thank top, long sleeve, and hoodie. We even have onesies for the babies in your life and toddler and youth sizes for the little ones! Head to our store at This Filipino American Life at the good...

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Episode 27.5 – The TFAL Game Show!!

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...

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Episode 27 – TFAL goes to DC

Lincoln 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...

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Bonus Episode – TFAL talks Crazy Rich Asians

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...

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Episode 26.5 – Filipino American Weddings

(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...

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McRibbed for Our Pleasure: A Conversation with Xanthe Pajarillo and Jason Barlaan from ‘AIRMEN’

An Interview With AIRMEN’S Xanthe Pajarillo and Jason Barlaan In this guest blog post on This Filipino American Life, Xanthe Pajarillo, the creator of the web series AIRMEN, and Jason Barlaan, AIRMEN’s starring actor, sit down and talk about their new show, life in the military and the film industry, and their experiences of growing...

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Episode 26 – TFAL Meats Kris Wolf

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...

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Episode 25.5 – The Bakit List 2.0

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...

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Episode 25 – Filipino Americans and Panethnic Identity

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,”...

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Episode 24.5 – TFAL Goes to Las Vegas: Michael and Lynn Arage; Carl Araneta

Although Las Vegas is more than just America’s playground, we could not do a Vegas show without talking about the gaming industry and the combat sport industry. Las Vegas is arguably the most popular gambling city in the world and the fight capital of the United States.  As kids, we may have gone to play...

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Episode 24 – TFAL Goes to Las Vegas: Gloria Caoile and Rozita Lee; Tessa Winkelmann

Think Vegas is only about gambling, partying, and buffets?  Think again.  Las Vegas is also home to a fierce bunch of activists trying to make a difference in the Filipino American community. In this episode, the TFAL crew talks to long time political advocates, Gloria Caoile and Rozita Lee.  These fiery ladies have been organizing...

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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...

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