This Filipino American Life

This Filipino American Life

A podcast that explores the nuanced experiences of Filipinos in the United States, atbp.

All Episodes

Gotta have faith! Freedom Like many Filipinos and Filipino Americans, the TFAL crew grew up around Christianity, specifically Catholicism. We speak of our upbringing in our podcast, mainly about how it’s shaped not just our adult selves, but the continued practices and traditions of many family, friends and listeners alike. Although we all look at...

Dec 3

1 hr 10 min

Oh, the dad joke. We all know it. We all love it. And for Filipinos it gives us life. While Dad jokes can be a myriad of things, dad jokes to Filipinos are especially punny (get it?). For one Filipino American, dad jokes have become a way to learn Tagalog words. In this mini-episode, the...

Nov 12

48 min 50 sec

In this episode the TFAL crew is short one Ryan Carpio but is happily joined by Kat Carrido Bonds on this episode about Filipino Americans in Hip Hop. Mark Villegas shares his wealth of knowledge as an academic scholar in this field bridging his previous collaborative work with DJ Kuttin Kandi and Dr. Roderick N....

Nov 5

1 hr 4 min

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...

Oct 22

1 hr 10 min

“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...

Oct 15

1 hr 36 min

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. ...

Oct 8

50 min 20 sec

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...

Sep 10

1 hr 11 min

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...

Aug 20

1 hr 29 min

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....

Aug 6

1 hr 27 min

“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...

Jul 23

1 hr 2 min

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...

Jul 13

1 hr 25 min

  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,...

Jun 25

1 hr 19 min

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...

Jun 12

54 min 6 sec

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...

May 28

1 hr 16 min

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...

May 14

1 hr 3 min

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...

Apr 30

1 hr 18 min

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...

Apr 9

1 hr 6 min

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,...

Mar 26

1 hr 20 min

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...

Mar 5

1 hr 9 min

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...

Feb 19

53 min 11 sec

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...

Feb 4

1 hr 11 min

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...

Jan 22

1 hr

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...

Jan 14

1 hr 7 min

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...

Dec 2020

1 hr 36 min

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...

Nov 2020

1 hr 18 min

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...

Nov 2020

58 min 51 sec

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...

Oct 2020

1 hr 32 min

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...

Sep 2020

1 hr 6 min

“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...

Sep 2020

1 hr 13 min

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...

Sep 2020

1 hr 2 min

  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...

Aug 2020

1 hr 4 min

  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,...

Aug 2020

1 hr 4 min

TFAL is having a baby! Actually, just Gerlie and Joe are having a baby. The latest change in their lives prompted a discussion about pregnancy as Filipino Americans.  In this episode, the TFAL crew delves into what we know and don’t know about pregnancy. Most of our conversation is around what we don’t know because,...

Jul 2020

1 hr 19 min

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...

Jul 2020

1 hr 19 min

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...

Jul 2020

1 hr 24 min

The late Asian American activist Grace Lee Boggs towards the end of her life began to devote her activism to the urban agricultural movement in Detroit.  She believed that urban gardening provided nutritious food, beautifies neighborhoods, and creates and sustains neighborhood social capital,  More importantly, she believed that urban gardening had the capability to be...

Jul 2020

1 hr 27 min

The murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others at the hands of the police department has ignited outrage all around the world and once again, exposed the deep wounds of racism and inequality in the United States. While it’s easy to dismiss this unrest as somehow “outside” of the Filipino American...

Jun 2020

1 hr 32 min

  Early in the TFAL podcast journey we discussed therapy and mental health in Episode 2. As time has progressed the TFAL community has asked to continue the discussion around mental health. In this episode the TFAL crew has a conversation with Alyssa Lia Mancao, a therapist based out of Sherman Oaks, CA, who also...

Jun 2020

1 hr 16 min

Pilipino Graduation.  P-Grad.  Fil-Grad.  Filipina/o/@/x Grad.  Whatever the nomenclature, these ceremonies celebrate the educational accomplishments of Filipino Americans at many universities, colleges, and increasingly high schools.  P-Grads are more intimate ceremonies where FilAm graduates personally thank their loved ones, don Filipino regalia, and honor a community whose retention and graduation rates are historically not very...

May 2020

1 hr 13 min

TFAL is back with yet another edition of Hilaw Pa, the ultimate Filipino American brainstorm where the crew comes up with half-baked ideas related to our experiences.  In this episode, we discuss Coronavirus-related ideas.  Listen as we come up with ideas to hang out with our pals, respect our elders, and grab our food while...

May 2020

1 hr 13 min

As we continue our social distance series, we wanted to know what the Covid-19 experience was like in the Philippines. For that perspective the crew talks to Isabelle Lacson, a Metro Manila resident and friend of Producer Mike and Elaine. Isabelle shares what life is like under Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ. While there are...

May 2020

1 hr 11 min

Pilipino Cultural Night, aka PCN, aka PACN, aka Barrio Fiesta, aka Filipino Night, etc.  is an annual production performed by countless Filipino American student organizations on college campuses (and some high schools) throughout the country.  It is a night of acting, singing, and dancing that draws thousands of Filipino Americans any given year.  It has...

Apr 2020

1 hr 32 min

When we began our podcast journey several folks reached out to us about covering the multiracial Filipino experience. The question came to mind “What does it mean to be a multiracial Filipino?” This is a question that we knew we’d need an expert to share their experience and perspective. In this episode we chat with...

Apr 2020

1 hr 27 min

What a tease! In the midst of this doomsday-esque reality that we are experiencing through the coronavirus pandemic, we thought it would be nice to travel down the world of… you guessed it—Burlesque! Although the roots of “burlesque“ range from parody stage shows to performances in a variety show format, it gradually transitioned into what...

Apr 2020

1 hr 35 min

On this episode of our Social Distance Series we were able to live stream via our Youtube Channel and on Instagram. The TFAL crew chats with Therese Golingay Donnelly, a nurse practitioner based in Los Angeles. Therese shares her journey going from Founding Mother of Kappa Psi Epsilon at California State University, Long Beach to...

Apr 2020

1 hr 6 min

Continuing the California mandate of social distancing the TFAL crew hosted another virtual live podcast with special guests Eugene Cordero & Mitch Narito. Initially we meant to host our live stream on Facebook, however technical difficulties lead to us hosting on our YouTube channel. In this episode we share one thing that we have learned...

Mar 2020

1 hr 17 min

Coronavirus is here.  We’re all required to practice social distancing.  For many of us, this type of isolation is normal, for others, not so much.  Despite these government mandates, we here at TFAL must continue, if only for our own sanity.  This past week, Elaine, Joe, Ryan, and Producer Mike came together virtually and streamed...

Mar 2020

1 hr 9 min

Documentaries are essential for our community.  There are certainly a number of good films that document the Filipino and Filipino American experience – Delano Manongs, The Fall of the I-Hotel, Imelda, The Learning, Bontoc Eulogy, to name a few.  These films are so important in spreading awareness of our people’s history and culture and keeping...

Mar 2020

1 hr 12 min

In this mini episode the TFAL crew get to know artist and musician Greg Narvas. Greg Narvas is the creator of the zine “I Was a Teenage Filipino Skinhead” and is the drummer and percussionist for the ska band Hepcat. Inspired by AZN FLUSH, a drinking game, Greg realized that there could be a Filipino...

Feb 2020

1 hr 15 min

CORRECTION: Contrary to what was discussed in the episode, there is no “long” or “short” form in the Census. The 2020 Census will only have nine questions. The “long” and “short” form discussed refers to the American Community Survey (ACS), not the 2020 Census. Additionally, the 2020 Census will NOT ask for income. Apologies for...

Feb 2020

27 min 48 sec