Podcasts

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 key positions to move our families and communities in a more inclusive and equitable direction.

In this TFAL episode, we speak to LGBTQ+ activist, artist, brand manager, and author of The Wisdom of Guncles, Michael Dumlao.  He discusses his journey as a gay man from a very conservative Filipino family, his experience crossing (and recrossing) geographical, racial, and sexual borders, as well as his brave attempts at breaking barriers and redefining what it is to be human.  Michael’s story, as well as others he shares in his book, will inspire all of us as we aspire to be better people for ourselves and for others.

 

About the book:

The Wisdom of Guncles is about queer people and their relationship with family — however they choose to define it. Featuring a diverse pantheon of gay uncles (“guncles”) and other queer mentors, their stories offer unique perspectives about life, love, and personal empowerment.

The Wisdom of Guncles shares ten powerful journeys, each bearing knowledge honed through struggle and triumph, on living with audacious authenticity and compassion. While these narratives are unapologetically queer, they hold universal lessons about the human condition that, like all stories about family, are grounded in love.

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Do you have a story to share about your experiences as a black sheep?  Leave a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

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 Filipino identity, culture, and politics.  And these tensions have significantly heightened over the last few years because of social media.  Why is there such a divide?  Why have we developed such different perspectives, particularly on issues such as racism, classism, and imperialism?  Are Filipino Americans considered a part of the Filipino nation?  Where can we find commonality?

In this TFAL episode, we explore the tensions between Filipino Americans and Filipinos from the Philippines.  The crew first discuss our experiences with Filipinos who recently immigrate to the United States and our views of other communities.  Then we have a great conversation with Kristoffer Pasion, a Historian and Museum Researcher at the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.  Also known as the Indio Historian, Kristoffer provides us with great historical insight on these contested relations between our communities.  He points out how we can resolve many of our issues through much needed dialogue.  He also discusses the important work he is doing with the National Historical Commission.

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

What are your thoughts on this divide?  Do you agree or disagree with what was said in the episode?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

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. We discuss how to best care for our pets, what animal welfare practices are specific to Filipinos, and what kinds of Filipino food to feed your pets (hint: not a lot!).

Dr. Solacito has been the Senior Veterinarian for the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.  She currently serves on the California Veterinary Medical Board and served as President of the Southern California Filipino Veterinary Medical Association (SCFVMA) for 2016-18.

Dr. Joey is a veterinarian who provides affordable veterinary care in Los Angeles, running the North Figueroa Animal Hospital.  He also works with organizations like the Humane Society and local rescues, providing veterinary services for the pets of the homeless and impoverished families.

Before our interview with these two veterinarians, the TFAL crew discusses our evolving views of animal welfare, what we learned from Bob Barker at the end of Price is Right, sabong (cockfighting), and we even talk a little bit about the derogatory term “Dogeater.”   Find out who from the TFAL crew hates animals (joke lang!), who wants a corgi, who named their pet after a famous actor, and who had pet chickens growing up. Finally, we talk about why it’s so important for people to look at pet adoption when considering getting pets.

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Do you have pets?  How do you care for them?  Any specific Filipino-related stories about having pets? Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

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 to something outside of ourselves. In this very personal TFAL episode, the crew discusses our roles as caretakers for our families. Did we do that??

All four of us have gone through tremendous life changes over the past year – and we’re not just talking about COVID.  We all found ourselves as new caretakers of other members of our families.  Joe (and his boss, Gerlie) are now raising a young daughter, Ryan is now co-raising the children of his girlfriend, and Elaine and Mike are now taking care of Elaine’s recently widowed mother.  Listen as we discuss our experiences as relatively new family caregivers.  Through it all, we are both embracing as well as learning from the challenges of our new responsibilities.

Do you have any experiences in taking care of your family members?  Let us know!  Email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL.

 

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 sports, however our fandoms lean towards basketball, a sport where the average height of an NBA player is above 6 feet. Would it surprise you to know that in Philippine history, baseball was once the most popular sport amongst Filipinos? (https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Big-Boys-Imperialism-Philippines/dp/0803255462

 

In this episode the TFAL crew share how they all became baseball fans before having a conversation with The Baseballogist L.A. Gamo, a Filipino American content creator who is highlighting the sport of baseball on his instagram (@baseballogist) and Youtube channel (The Baseballogist). L.A. shares his story and his love of baseball from a kid playing tee-ball to playing college baseball to his role now as a coach and baseball ambassador. Take a listen to the episode to find who’s favorite baseball clip is this scene from Naked Gun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-S-eeInJVk

 

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

 

Which baseball team do you root for?  What’s your favorite baseball memory?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

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, the artform as we know it today really came together through the efforts of Black and Latinx pioneers, whose sound selections, skills, and techniques were rooted in long-standing rhythmic traditions and were honed for the masses in backyards, at block parties, and underground clubs.  And as with many forms of popular art that originated with those communities, those styles were were adopted and adapted the world over, including by DJs in the Philippines and throughout the diaspora.

Which brings us to our guest for this episode, Les Talusan, aka Les the DJ.  Based out of Piscataway Land / Washington, DC, originally from Caloocan City, Manilla, Philippines, Les Talusan is a DJ, photographer, curator, teaching artist, and organizer whose practice immerses people in the joy of discovery, empowerment, and community.  And most importantly (for us anyways), Les is the opening half of our favorite weekly ritual, #OPMSundays on Twitch, where she and past (first!) guest of the podcast Joel Quizon / DJ joelquiz play Original Pilipino Music from the Philippines and throughout the diaspora.

Listen or download the episode through the embedded player on this page, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Who are your favorite DJs?  What are your favorite OPM artists and songs?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com!

You can catch #OPMSundays and Les’ other sets on her Twitch page at https://www.twitch.tv/lestalusan.  Also check out her Instagram for info on other events and gigs.

To learn more about some of the history of Filipinos and DJing, we highly recommend you check out Oliver Wang’s excellent book, “Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area.”  Definitely also pick up “Tropical Renditions:  Making Musical Scenes in Filipino America,” which we talked about all the way back on Episode 4 (!) with author and friend of the podcast Christine Bacareza Balance.

And in case you didn’t know, #TFALheartsOPM, so if you do too, why not show it off by picking up a Chicken Joy Division shirt from our WhatAManeuver! storefront?

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 befell a Filipino food truck in Utah, Filipinos have been in the mix of American popular culture more than usual.

In this TFAL episode, the crew discusses this recent surge of Filipino visibility in entertainment.  Listen as we discuss all of the latest news in Filipino American life and give our lukewarm takes on each of them.  (We even briefly touch upon the controversial Aswang Project hullabaloo!)

Listen or download through the embedded player on TFAL, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

What do you think about these latest developments in popular culture? Let us know by leaving a voicemail (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

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 Ethnicity Research at the Pew Research Center.  Listen as we discuss Neil’s upbringing in a military family, his career as a researcher, and his work in studying the Asian and Filipino American communities.  We also devote a huge part of the show breaking down the latest demographic information of the Filipino American community and its implications for future policy.

Come join us as we learn more about our community profile and how we compare to other communities.  And of course, we start the episode with our goofy selves and discuss our failed attempts at conquering statistics.

Listen or download through the embedded player on TFAL, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

What do you think about the demographic data we presented on the show? Let us know by leaving a voicemail (805) 394-TFAL or emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

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 include land inheritance, living and perpetuating the lies our parents told us, and dealing with our familial ties back “home.” We also look at how algorithms and data open the door for opportunists to take advantage of Filipino audiences by “Pinoy-Baiting.”

Grind your gears with us, vent a little, ponder the mysteries with us, or help us find some creative solutions to how we deal with things that annoy the hell out of us.

Listen or download through the embedded player on TFAL, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

What grinds your gears? Let us know by leaving a voicemail (805) 394-TFAL.

 

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 lifetime. 

How do regular folks get involved in politics? In this episode the TFAL crew talks with Russellie Bongolan and Lillie Madali. Two Filipina Americans who worked on political campaigns in the State of Georgia. Russellie was the Political Director for current Senator Raphael Warnock and was the Deputy Coalitions Director on the Biden presidential campaign. Lillie is a long-time community organizer in Atlanta and was the Eastern Region Chair of Filipino Americans for Biden presidential campaign. Russellie and Lillie share their story and their reasons for why and how they got involved in political organizing.

Given the recent hate crimes that occurred in Atlanta, a part of our conversation revolves around Stop AAPI Hate organizing that is taking place nationally. For more information head to StopAAPIHate.org

Listen or download through the embedded player on TFAL, find us on Mixcloud or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. And for folks on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Is there a Pinay in your life who has changed your world? Want to give them their flowers? Let us know by leaving a voicemail (805) 394-TFAL.