DiscoverThe Filipino Garage - KuyaChris & Friends - A Filipino American Perspective
The Filipino Garage - KuyaChris & Friends - A Filipino American Perspective
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The Filipino Garage - KuyaChris & Friends - A Filipino American Perspective

Author: KuyaChris

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Through conversations with artists and community members, we're spreading positivity, thoughts, music, and art—all through a Filipino American perspective. Based out of Daly City—the Pinoy Capital of the United States—the goal is to empower the FilAm community and Pinays / Pinoys throughout the world by profiling awesome people and spreading good vibes. This is a mix of personal journals, interviews, recordings, and whatever can be created. Hope you enjoy!
44 Episodes
Richmond Mayupao is a barber, artist, creative, and entrepreneur based out of Union City, CA. While he's been cutting hair for years, he's also an active artist and designer. He's released a number of shirt projects that have quickly sold out and he’s currently releasing work under Cutty Flamenko. In this episode, he shares about his creative process, how he views himself as an artist and the work that he creates, and a general conversation about creativity and identity.
Stephanie Garma Balón, MA, AMFT (she/her) is a second-gen, Pinay-American, & proud Mama—born/raised on occupied land of the Ramaytush Ohlone people, AKA: Daly City/San Francisco, and of Ilokano & Visayan decent. As an Expressive Arts Therapist at StarVista in North San Mateo County (SMC) providing individual and group therapy to youth, parents, and families, Steph leans on her belief in the transformative healing power of the arts. This inspires her to intentionally integrate ritual, visual art, writing, and poetry in her professional and personal practice, especially as it relates to her continuous decolonial healing journey. Steph’s work is rooted in trauma-informed care, narrative & relational-cultural therapeutic approaches. She has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector and has an extensive community mental health advocacy background addressing health inequities amongst underserved populations, namely within the Filipinx community. She is a co-chair of the Filipino Mental Health Initiative of SMC, which was awarded a 2.6M grant by the State of California to launch a Social Enterprise Cultural Center for the Filipino American demographic in Daly City.
New project! This is the first experiment of exploring books on the podcast. I'll be giving an overview Leny Strobel's Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization Among Post-1965 Filipino Americans. This is a pivotal book in FilAm literature and it has a lot of wisdom and lessons within it. It's an informal overview, with specific quotes thrown in to highlight the main takeaways. Coming Full Circle is a project of decolonization based off interviews with post-1965 Filipino Americans . Through a process that Strobel calls "fishing for knowledge" through books and interviews, she organizes themes of decolonization under the categories of Naming, Reflection, and Action. This framework is greatly influenced by Paulo Friere and his idea that oppressed peoples need to name the source of their oppression before they can enact change upon it. 11 generative themes of decolonization are presented, alongside a literature review of relevant material and research.
Rich Bustos is a Filipino American engineer, videographer, and financial minimalist. He currently works as a front-end developer at LinkedIn, where he's been at for seven years. Entering the company through an internship with Year Up, Rich shares about how he was hired on even if he didn't know how to code. The passion and drive in him opened up doors and led to his current career and financial stability. In this episode, we go over his entry into the workforce through Year Up, and organization that helps under-connected youth enter the tech industry. We talk about how minimalism and meditation helped Rich work through anxiety and panic attacks. Rich also shares a lot of reflections about financial stability and investing—a very important thing for our communities to learn and develop an understanding for.
Nate Nevado is a Filipino American leader, Counseling Creative, and Educational Innovations Consultant. He currently works at Skyline College as a counselor and head of the Rock the School Bells conference—a hip hop educational program now in its 13th year. He is currently finishing his doctoral program at SFSU—writing about the intersection of counseling and Hip Hop Education. He’s also the founder of the CIPHER Hip Hop Learning Community at Skyline College, which provides Hip Hop education through transferrable college courses and relevant community programming. In this episode, we dive into the roots of his journey through Hip Hop and academia. From dropping out of community college to his eventual pursuit of a doctoral degree, Nate shares the multiple challenges and pivots he made throughout life to find his sense of purpose and direction. He goes over his early love for Hip Hop, the tensions within his traditional Filipino family, the doubts he had though college, and the eventual strength he found through community work and Hip Hop Education. There’s a wide range of wisdom in this episode, especially for Hip Hop heads, educators, counselors, and community workers.
Marc Escobar is a FilAm journalist, poet, and drummer. Currently majoring in Political Science at UC Berkeley, he's spent majority of his time in the Bay Area—attending Westmoor High School in Daly City and transferring from Skyline College in San Bruno. Born in the Philippines, Marc shares about his childhood in San Diego and his family's eventual move to the Bay Area. He opens up about learning how to drum from his uncle and the spaces that led him to over the years—band in middle school and high school, then drumming for the Pilipino Cultural Night at UC Berkeley. In this episode, we also talk about the community college experience and transferring into UC Berkeley—social circles, authenticity, balance, and friendships.
Janice Sapigao is an accomplished writer, poet, and professor at Skyline College. Born and raised in San Jose, she finished her undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego. She then received her MFA from CalArts and has taught all throughout California. Her first book, Microchips for Millions, was first published in 2016, following by Like a Solid to a Shadow in 2017. She continues to teach at the CIPHER program at Skyline College and is an active writer and poet. In this episode, Janice shares some poetry and insight about her creative writing process. She gives her backstory and snippets of her journey as a writer—how she decided to pursue an MFA after writing for her college Pilipino Cultural Night. Janice also shares the ups and downs of balancing her career as a professor along with her work as a writer. She speaks on the process of finding a publisher for her first book and the transition to following projects.
This episode is a listening session for KuyaChris' most recent album, Mahalola. It's a big episode at 5 hours long! We go song by song, telling any relevant stories or takeaways from the album. The homies also share their thoughts and reactions to the music. We go into a range of topics, from creativity and perfectionism to past relessonships and masculinity. There's a lot of content here, with the first song playing around the 40-minute mark.
Angela Hien is a multidisciplinary creative who uses a variety of mediums—from sculture and installations to audio and singings—to express her experience as a Vietnapina American. She was born in Sacramento, CA to a Vietnamese father and a Filipina mother. She recently finished studying Art Practice and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, with plans to go into education in the future. In this episode, we talk about her creative process, her experience as a Vietnamese/Filipina American, and her experience going back to the Philippines and Vietnam this last summer. She participated in UC Berkekey's inaugural study abroad program (along with previous guest Joshua Laurel) and we go over her experiences and takeaways. She also sings two cover songs and two originals! Additionally, we go over her art portfolio in the end, deconstructing how she creates and approaches her art practice.
Zaldy Tubig is a rapper, musician, and creative based out of the Bay Area. With roots in the SoMa distrct of San Francisco, he has a rich history and knowledge of the Bay and the city—especially in regards to the Filipino community and culture of SoMa Pilipinas. In this episode, we talk about his beginnings with music and writing—from peotry and music sessions at Y Projects to his current work and releases with local Bay Area artists. On the podcast, Zaldy performs some of his recent tracks, in addition to pieces from his debut mixtape THERAPY VOLUME 1. Zaldy recently changed his stage name to Zaldy Water—we talk about the history of his name and the connections with his father and the Philippines. Throughout the episode, Zaldy drops some serious wisdom and reflections in regards to growing up in working-class neighborhoods and the growth he's gone through in his life.
Joshua Laurel is a Public Health major student at UC Berkeley, set to graduate this 2020! He went to the Philippines this last summer and studied at UP Diliman, through UC Berkeley's first Study Abroad initiative in the Philippines. In this episode, we talk about his experience during study abroad—going back to study at his home country's top public university—and any major takeways or lessons he learned. We also talk about a range of topics, such as pagibig and the cultural differences in terms of dating and relatioships between the Philippines and the United States. Joshua also shares his immigration story of moving to the United States at 12 years old and the process of acclimating to a new environment.
Kudazzers is a podcast based in the Philippines—made for and by Gen Z and Gen Y locals—hosted by Iris Montesclaros, Eudes Garcia, Natalie Estrada, Ingrid Joyce, and Martin Glen. In this episode, two of the hosts talk about the beginnings of the Kudazzers podcast and their plans moving forward. We also get into a range of topics, spanning from the concept of "bayawaks" who challenge the beauty standards of the Philippines and queer theory as situated within the Philippine context. Check out their podcast on Spotify and other platforms—it's guaranteed to be hilarious.
BC Poppas is the podcast, project, and platform of two jiu jitsu brown belts from Bacolod City, Philippines—Jojo and Jon. Born and raised in Bacolod City, Jojo knows the local context and life of the region, making him a perfectly-suited to work with the various communities in the area. In this podcast, he talks about his work with street children—majority of them in gangs or affected by drug use—and his development as a community leader and mentor. Jon shares more about his work and perspective regarding the Nothing 2 Lose Foundation and the outreach programs they are currently pursing. Both Jojo and Jon run a jiu jitsu gym in Bacolod City—BC Martial—while also working with "youth in conflict with the law" at the local Social Development Center where youth who have been arrested await sentencing.
Bettina Francisco is a student, musician, creative, and emcee based out of San Francisco, California. Currently, she is an RA at USF and is majoring in Critical Diversity Studies and Philippine Studies. Having spent a lot of time meditating and reflecting on her own energies, she shares her personal self-care practices and relationship with mental health. In this episode, we cover a wide range of topics, including her relationship with ancestors and intergenerational trauma. Bettina also shares beautiful creative pieces—a few about her daughter that passed away. In this episode, she also talked about her creative process and how she began writing raps. She shares a realization that: "I need to heal myself before I write something." Listen to her thoughts, reflections, and perspective on love and energy.
Rudy Kalma is a Filipino American musician, rapper, producer, and audio engineer, currently based out of Sacramento, California. Born in the Philippines, Rudy eventually moved to California, growing up around San Francisco & Daly City, before attending UC Davis for undergrad. After finding his love for making music and rapping in high school, he continued to hone his live performance skills while simultaneously releasing a multitude of songs throughout his college career. In 2018, he released a full-length project titled "Labor of Love" and continued to perform on local stages and events. Using a mix of elements for his album—from Tagalog sequences to a wide range of hip hop beats—Rudy delivers a uniquely mellow yet upbeat rap album. He tells a story of immigration, meditation, reflection, and the continued process of trying to find stability as a musician. Adding more to the impressiveness of this album, Rudy mixed all the tracks as well, displaying his skills as an audio engineer.
This last February, four Filipino bois participated in a challenge—The Pogi Boi GoPro Challenge. Using the MapMyRun app, we decided that whoever ran the most miles in the month would win a Gopro, and the losers would chip in to pay for it. We had Joshua Berja, Christian Guerrero, Joseph Magsaysay, and Kevin Reber participating in this challenge. In the end, Mr. Reber came out on top with a total of 108.57 miles! In this podcast session, we talk about our experiences, the takeaways from the runs, our reflections, and thoughts for another challenge. Overall it was a fun experience where we all collectively got better and improved, even with challenges throughout.
Mykho Magalong is a Filipino American drummer, musician, designer, and owner of the streetwear brand SFxDC. Born and raised in Quezon City, Philippines, he immigrated to the United States when he was around 14 years old. Entering Balboa High School, he was exposed to the hyphy movement in the Bay Area and eventually joined local music groups—Boondock Squad and Doble Bara. In the last few years, he launched his clothing brand SFxDC after making some clothes for friends, the Sorry Ser Crew. He's continually working on his brand, releasing new designs, and expanding his creative outlets—a community magazine is now in the works. Additionally, he continues to play the drums for a variety of music groups—most recently with Ruby Ibarra and the Balikbayans. In this episode, he plays some live drums, talks about his relationship to music, and his vision for SFxDC. Additionally, he shares reflections about working as a caregiver and the thoughts that experience has brought about, especially in terms of caring for family and his elders.
Isabel Bagsik is a Filipina American graphic designer and creative who recently published the Brown Papaya magazine project—an initiative to challenge the colonized beauty standards of the Filipinx community—one where skin whitening products dominate the beauty industry. The Brown Papaya project aims to "reclaim and embrace darker, brown sunkissed skin" and counteract the negative stereotypes attached to that aesthetic. Born in Pasay City, Philippines, Isabel was brought to the US as a child and grew up in the Bay Area, eventually graduating from UC Davis with double B.A. degrees in Design and Technocultural Studies. She has worked as a designer with students organizations and larger groups such as Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. She is currently working at the Communication Arts magazine as a Design and Production Associate while simultaneously developing her own personal design portfolio and projects.
Angelo Lirazan is a Filipino American entrepreneur based out of the 626 region of Los Angeles, CA—land of the boba. He currently runs Absolve Gaming, an online reseller of trading cards, while also consulting on website development and marketing projects. In this episode, we go over his history of being born in California, moving back to the Philippines, spending a few years in Hawai'i, and returning to Los Angeles for the remainder of his primary schooling. After graduating high school from Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead, he ended up joining the US Army Reserve in order to pay for college. Once entering the professional workforce, he reached the position of Marketing Director for a large tent-manufacturing company, managing a budget of up to $1mil/year for advertising. After working this job and a few others, he decided to pursue running his own business full-time. We talk about this journey, the ups and downs, the challenges, and the reasoning behind his decisions.
MC Zuko is a FilAm rapper and Hip Hop artist based out of Los Angeles, CA. Born Carl Viray, he's lived in both NorCal and SoCal, eventually graduating from Cal State University, Northridge. He recently released his "Respect the Hustle Mixtape" and it's officially flames. In this episode, Zuko performs a number of his tracks and talks about his journey towards pursuing music full-time. Through the lens of the 5 stages of grief, Zuko tells his story from childhood to present-day, relating his journey through music as a process of decolonization. We also get personal—deconstructing family dynamics, infidelity, and reflections of what type of men we want to be. This is a beautifully introspective episode with a lot of gems and little nuggets of wisdom. Go shoot him a follow, listen to his music, and get inspired.
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