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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 and Texas, there were a number of Filipino American candidates running for local and national offices this year.

In fact, Filipino Americans have held public offices in the US as far back as the 1950s.  And even amongst the TFAL crew, many of us have worked on electoral campaigns and worked for elected officials.

But what are the implications and the opportunities for Filipino Americans in seeking and winning these public leadership roles?  What roles can and should the Filipino American community play in both driving these campaigns and holding these leaders accountable?  How does community organizing in general fit into the picture?  And how have the political divides that exist in this country manifested in our own communities and families?

Listen or download through the embedded player, 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.

Have thoughts about the election and the role of Filipino Americans in public office?  Leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL

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 may not get the joke.  Some may.  Whatever the case, Filipino humor is distinct, tickling the funny bone of so many kababayans everywhere.

In this TFAL episode, the crew dissects what makes Pinoy humor Pinoy.  What is the anatomy of Filipino humor?  Do other communities laugh when hearing a Filipino joke?  Is it only for Filipinos of a certain class?  Can Filipino humor manifest in other ways beyond accent jokes, one-liners, or punchlines?  We discuss the humor we adopted growing up in Filipino households as well as popular comedians like Dolphy, Tito, Vic, and Joey, Rex Navarrete, and JR De Guzman.  We also talk about what we think of Fil Am YouTube comedians and the need for humor to dig a little deeper.  Hope you enjoy this episode and share a bit of laughter with one another.  With the world in a constant state of crisis, laughter will always get us by.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Got any good Filipino jokes?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL.

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 Nights (PCNs).  We also get into the nitty-gritty and take a look at hip hop dance through the lens of race, gender, and immigration.

In this episode, TFAL dives deep into dance and choreography as we talk to scholar, choreographer, and instructor, Dr. J. Lorenzo Perillo, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  He’s also a former PCN coordinator at UC Berkeley when Ryan was a young college student (Go Bears!).  In his new book, Choreographing in Color, we begin to discuss not just the craft of dance, but how participation and choreography in hip hop dancing is a window into Filipino and Filipino American cultural politics.

Listen as we engage questions such as: Are Filipinos just natural dancers and good mimics or are there deeper historical conditions that gave rise to this Filipino hip hop dance phenomenon?  How does dance shape Filipino dancers’ migration from the Philippines?  How do Filipino Americans express “Filipino-ness” through dance?  Most importantly, what are Joe’s favorite dance moves??

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

 

 

Were you part of a dance crew?  Do you have aspirations to be on a dance contest?  What do you think about Filipinos’ place in hip hop dancing?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

To purchase a copy of Perillo’s Choreographing in Color, go to the Oxford University Press’s website here.  Use Discount Code:  AAFLYG6 for 30% OFF!!!

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 the 1930s.

In this TFAL episode, we spoke with filmmaker and professor Celine Parreñas Shimizu about her upcoming film THE CELINE ARCHIVE. The documentary film explores the murder of Celine Navarro, its impact on Navarro’s descendants, and its importance in Filipino American history and the history of race and gender in the United States. Listen as we dive deep into a largely unknown and dark part of Filipino American history.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

You can check out the film, THE CELINE ARCHIVE, at its world premiere in the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.  Buy tickets here: https://laapff2020.eventive.org/passes/buy.  You can also check out the film as part of CAAMFest later this month.

Finally, check out TFAL co-host Elaine Dolalas as she moderates an online panel to further discuss THE CELINE ARCHIVE with Celine Parreñas Shimizu as well as members of Celine Navarro’s relatives.  The panel happens on Friday, October 2, 2:00pm PST.  Link here:  https://festival.vcmedia.org/2020/special_events/c3-the-celine-archive/.

 

Episode 128 – A Stoner’s Parable: TFAL Talks “Call Out” Culture (Social Distance Series)

“Call out” culture, an inevitable part of online conversations, has become a bigger part of public discourse over the past few years. While critique and criticism have been around forever, social media has perhaps accelerated confrontations and further deepened divisions between people as online identities increasingly coalesce with personal identities. And the Filipino American community is certainly not immune from its ethos.  There have been many instances over the past year where “call out” culture has called into question both Filipino Americans’ privilege and marginalization.  While there is certainly backlash against calling out, there are certainly moments when it is justifiable and necessary for progress in our communities.  But where do you draw the line between accountability and petty drama?

Join the TFAL crew as we discuss our thoughts on “call out” culture. We discuss where it’s appropriate, and where it devolves into noise.  We discuss issues of “call out” culture in our Filipino American community (albeit vaguely because we don’t want to get into any legal trouble!).  And we even bring some scripture into the episode.  Yoooo!!!

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Got a hot take on “call out” culture?  Let us know, leave us a voicemail at 805.394.TFAL (8325), tweet at us at @tfalpodcast, or tag us on instagram @tfalpodcast.

Note: We didn’t decipher between “call out” culture and “cancel” culture in the episode.  Apologies if we used them interchangeably.

Episode 127: TFAL Live – Do The Hustle

Can you believe it’s been six months of quarantine? The TFAL Crew, including sleep deprived new dad Joe, came together this past Wednesday night for a TFAL Live where we engaged in a lively discussion about hustles. We talk about how quarantine and covid has impacted or inspired side hustles. The conversation also delves into the world of multilevel marketing “luxor shaped” enterprises.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

What is your hustle? How has covid impacted it? Let us know, leave us a voicemail at 805.394.TFAL (8325), tweet at us at @tfalpodcast, or tag us on instagram @tfalpodcast.

 

Episode 126 – LINGUA FRANCA: A conversation with filmmaker Isabel Sandoval (Social Distance Series)

 

In this episode the TFAL crew, with Kat Carrido Bonds filling in as a guest host, have a discussion with Isabel Sandoval, the artist behind the lyrical and delicate drama LINGUA FRANCA. LINGUA FRANCA follows Olivia, played by Isabel Sandoval, an undocumented Filipino trans woman, working as a caregiver to Olga, an elderly Russian woman, in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. When Olivia runs out of options to attain legal status in the US, she becomes romantically involved with Alex, Olga’s adult grandson, in the pursuit of a marriage-based green card. 

LINGUA FRANCA made history as the first film directed by and starring a trans woman of color to screen in competition at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival. The film continues to make history by being acquired by ARRAY, Ava DuVernay’s media company, joining DuVernay’s impressive slate of film and docuseries projects by BIPOC creatives.  
LINGUA FRANCA is available on Netflix. Watch the film and join the Cinema Sala x Array: #LinguaFrancaWatchParty Weds, August 26th, 5pm Pacific Time and participate in the live discussion with @isabelvsandoval and @ARRAYNow.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

 

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Episode 125 – When Nature Calls: TFAL Goes to the Great Outdoors (Social Distance Series)

 

Trading the city and WiFi for nature and No Service may be the break our overstimulated brains need to recharge. In this episode the TFAL crew talks about their experiences with hiking, fishing, camping, and nature. Find out who grew up camping, how karaoke and mah jong can be a part of these trips, and what can happen when you get elevation sickness. Most of all we answer the question, “Do Filipino Americans and the Great Outdoors mix?”

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Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

What are your experiences with the Great Outdoors? Leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL (8325) or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com and let us know.

Episode 123 – Culture Shock: How Filipino Americans deal with Americana (Social Distance Series)

Being raised in the United States, we as Filipino Americans have learned American cultural practices that we’ve grown accustomed to and even embraced – eating hotdogs in a bun, trick or treating, camping, Superbowl parties, calling in sick after Superbowl Parties, weekend BBQs, or even being treated to a meal on your birthday.  There are even American cultures that many Filipinos practice in the Philippines as a result of American colonialism/capitalism – playing basketball, speaking English, listening to U.S. pop music, etc.  Yet, there are still times when our Filipino American sensibilities still clash with our perception of normative “American” (read: white) cultural practices.

On this episode, we engage some of our listeners live on Facebook and Instagram on the topic of “culture shock” as we discuss “American” cultural practices that we may still have questioned internally, but were too afraid to ask when we were growing up.  Is it weird to call elders by their first names?  Do parties serving little to no food feel like an absolute sham?  Should I walk outside without wearing shoes?  We also talk about our own cultural practices that we, as Filipino Americans, may have hidden from our peers, either because we were too embarrassed or did not fit into the normative culture.

Reflect with us and remind us that we aren’t alone — so that Filipinos and other people of color who grow up in the U.S. won’t be embarrassed by their cultural practices, but rather have the courage to embrace it so that others might do the same.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

Got any examples of American things that shocked you (or still shock you)?  Let us know by leaving a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

Episode 122 – Hold the Line: Standing Up for Press Freedom with Maria Ressa (Social Distance Series)

Have you ever thought about how do you get your news?  Obtaining news has quickly evolved over the years.  Just in the TFAL crew’s lifetimes, the ways we have consumed news has transitioned from physical newspapers to local afternoon TV news to news sites then to social media feeds. In this new era of rapid information consumption where facts are outweighed by opinion, who and where we get our news from has detrimental consequences. 

In this episode, the TFAL crew has the honor of speaking with Maria Ressa, long time Philippine journalist and CEO of Rappler. In 2018, Time Magazine named Maria one of “The Guardians on the War on Truth” as a Person of the Year in 2018, and then named her one of the most influential people of 2019 for her fight to keep the freedom of press alive in the Philippines in the Duterte era. In this conversation, we discuss how social media has manipulated journalism and the way people think, how it’s deteriorating democracy in the Philippines, and why it is important for Filipino Americans to understand what is going on. 

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Note: We recorded this episode hours before President Duterte signed the Anti-Terror Bill into law on July 3rd, 2020, fundamentally changing the constitution of the country and making dissent illegal. The administration has been slowly dismantling freedom of the press taking advantage of how social media’s reach has fundamentally changed how people think. This is a dangerous time and, as Maria Ressa urged in our interview, we must all remain vigilant in fighting for democracy.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts here. For Folks who are on Spotify, you can take a listen to us here.

If you would like to support Rappler’s pursuit for freedom of the press, you can donate here: Rappler Crowdfunding

 

On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder is the book Maria mentions in the episode. 

 

You can view Maria’s Princeton Commencement speech here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-1ip9eRNNU

 

Or read the full text of her commencement speech here: Princeton Commencement 2020 Speech