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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 of Filipinos have been migrating “Daygo” since the early 20th century.  The last census counted close to 93,000 Filipino Americans living in the city of San Diego and over 182,000 living in San Diego County, making it one of the largest Filipino regions in the United States.  Naturally, it became one of the must-visited places for TFAL.

In the next couple of episodes, we talk to some of the movers and shakers of San Diego’s Filipino American community.  The first installment features a short introductory interview with USD Professor of Political Science, Alan Segui, and interviews with Councilmember Chris Cate, the first Filipino Councilmember of San Diego, and Melissa Mecija, news anchor for KGTV Channel 10, San Diego’s ABC affiliate.  Find out why many flock to San Diego, how we can get more Filipinos involved in electoral politics, and what it takes to be a newscaster in today’s multimedia world.  And of course, hilarity will ensue.

 

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

Part 2 of our trip to San Diego coming soon!

Episode 30 – Creative Writing w/ Jason Magabo Perez

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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 his quintessential novel America is in the Heart and his other writings forever cemented the history and legacy of the Manongs for future generations of Filipino American generations.  And today, numerous Filipino American writers, poets, and musicians continue the writing tradition to spark social change.

In this TFAL episode, we talk to Jason Magabo Perez, writer, poet, and Professor of Creative Writing at Cal State San Bernardino.  We discuss the power of writing, the re-emergence of the Filipino American spoken word movement during the 1990s/2000s, and pedagogy of creative writing – if there is such a thing.  We also have time to talk about the relevance of Zack Morris to young Filipino American graduates and the significance of his mother’s fight for justice for our community in the U.S. v. Narciso-Perez court case.

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

Do you have any writing that you’d like to share?  Email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com and maybe we’ll publish it on our blog!

Check out more of Jason’s work on his website: http://www.jasonmagaboperez.com.

 

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 life in San Francisco, and how she went from passing to coming out as trans through her widely viewed TED talk in 2014.

Geena is also a contributor to American Like Me : Reflections of Life Between Cultures.  This compilation of stories curated by America Ferrera reflects what it is like for 31 of her friends, peers, and heroes. Make sure to pick up your copy of American Like Me and read Geena’s story after you check out this episode of TFAL.

For folks looking for resources here are links to a few of the organizations we talk about in this episode:

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Many thanks to Visual Communications for hosting our conversation and welcoming Geena to Little Tokyo

Random fact: We learned that Geena is also a big fan of Ruby Ibarra. She raps the along lyrics to US just like we do!

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You can also catch Geena on tour with Together Live and Hello Sunshine, Reese Witherspoon’s media brand who’s mission is to tell stories centered around women.

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

What are your suggestions with supporting our trans family and friends? Leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

Episode 29.5 – 18 Questions for Producer Mike

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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 our tech geek, our video gamer, our passionate poet, our homeless advocate, our DJ.

On this very special episode, we get a bit silly but also learn more about the mysterious man behind the sound mixer of This Filipino American Life podcast, our very own Producer Mike Nailat.  Mike takes some time from his sound mixing duties to answer a few of our questions – 18 to be exact – so that you can learn more about why we love him.

Get comfortable and let the Producer Mike fandom continue.

Can we get a pew pew pew!!

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

If you have any extra questions for Producer Mike or any of us, leave us a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

Bonus Episode – Dear America with Jose Antonio Vargas

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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 about the complexities of immigration and how the Filipino American experience of mixed families (documented and undocumented) has changed the undocumented narrative in the US.

 

How have you supported your undocumented relatives? How do you have these conversations with your family? Let us know by emailng us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or call our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325).

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

In the episode Elaine misspeaks when she says “green card” she means “phone card.”

If you haven’t yet, pick up Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen at your local bookstore!

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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 idea of creating ice cream sammies with punny architecture names is now a popular product that’s available in over 6,000 stores in the United States and across the world!

On this episode of TFAL, we had the chance to talk to Coolhaus Ice Cream co-founder, Freya Estreller, who tells us her story about beginning this business venture with her life and business partner, Natasha Case. Freya discusses her experience as a Filipina American woman in the business world, her love of basketball, and the time she came out to her parents!

Have a listen as we discuss the versatility of Filipino migrants and their unique economic opportunities in the United States. Find out which TFAL host had a lemonade stand and who got paid for plucking grey hairs from their parent’s head!

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

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, […]

Episode 27.5 – The TFAL Game Show!!

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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 President?  Who knows where the Filipino American Highway is located?  Who can “name that tune”?  Who phones Producer Mike for help?  But most importantly, who wins the coveted banh mi sandwich?  Find out by listening to this hilarious episode!

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

Got any trivia questions to use on the next edition of the TFAL Game Show?  Call us at (805) 394-TFAL (8325) or email us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com.

P.S. Here’s the Santo Nino and the Rockyfellers videos we referred to in the episode.

Bonus Episode – TFAL talks Crazy Rich Asians

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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 Stakes Are High for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ — And That’s the Point.

Constance Wu shared why this film is a monumental moment for Asian Americans. Crazy Rich Asians is the first blockbuster film with a predominantly Asian American cast in twenty years. Nico Santos is a part of the cast and Kris Aquino makes an appearance, but does this film have a larger impact on Filipino Americans? Is the story reflective of our own stories? Does it have to be?  We discuss these issues and more on this bonus episode.

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

What are your thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians? Let us know by emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or call our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325)!

Episode 26.5 – Filipino American Weddings

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(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 are elusive to many people.  In decades past, people of color (including Filipino Americans) were forbidden from marrying Whites in many states of this country.  The LGBTQ community was not able to partake in marriages legally until recently (and even its legality is on shaky ground at this day and age).  Weddings (at least extravagant ones anyway) can exclude those without the means.

And yet, weddings continue to be prevalent in our communities.  They provide an opportunity to experience some cultural traditions.  Jumping the broom.  Riding a white horse.  Wearing something blue.  Many of these traditions are ways the married couple can share a part of themselves with people they love.

In this TFAL mini-episode, the crew discusses Filipino and Filipino American wedding traditions.  A mixture of Filipino, Spanish, and American traditions, many Filipino American weddings have a certain formula to them.  We talk about some of them and more!

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

Which Filipino or Filipino American wedding traditions do you know of?  Let us know by emailing us at thisfilipinoamericanlife@gmail.com or call our voicemail, (805) 394-TFAL (8325)!

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