California is home to one of Filipinos’ biggest populations in the Philippines’ global outdoor, so a California-based total manufacturer should be the primary to begin a podcast devoted to testimonies of the Filipino diaspora. Long Distance actions beyond regular immigrant narratives to proportionate memories of love, loss, history, and humor. In its first season, the podcast featured tales about a hate crime in Stockton, a Filipina American rapper’s immigrant adventure, and an undocumented couple’s love tale in Los Angeles. Long Distance is also considered one of six podcasts for the primary cohort of the Google/PRX Podcast creator program.
The California Report Magazine’s host Sasha Khokha sat down with Long Distance’s manufacturer and host Paola Mardo in Los Angeles. What follows are excerpts of their communication, edited for brevity and readability.
What made you need to start a podcast targeted at the Filipino-American enjoy?
I was born in L.A. However, I grew up in the Philippines, the Bay Area, and Kuala Lumpur. So once I moved lower back to L.A. After university, I was given definitely interested by simply learning greater approximately the network right here. If you pressure around L.A., there are these kinds of signs that say “Historic Filipinotown.” I desired to recognize what that meant. So I commenced interviewing people inside the Historic Filipinotown network to examine greater about their tales. And as I began listening, I realized I could relate to their memories due to our diaspora connection. I determined to make a podcast approximately the diaspora that consists of memories about locations like Historic Filipinotown and different parts of the usa and the world.
How does a tale approximately a tiki bar match right into a podcast approximately the Filipino diaspora?
I’ve continually wanted to recognize approximately the first Filipinos who got here to Los Angeles and what existence become like for them. I stuck a glimpse of this existence in an e-book called “Filipinos in Hollywood,” by Carina Montoya. It’s where I found a photo of Ray Buhen, at the back of
a bamboo bar, serving a crowd of white males and females. Ray seems proud — glad even — as though he’s questioning, “Hey, I’m residing the American dream.”
I desired to understand more approximately his story. So I spent some time in tiki bars, with Ray’s son, and with tiki aficionados and specialists. I talked with Pacific Islander artists and activists. I found it becoming a lot more than just a little-regarded chapter in Filipino and American records. The tale of tiki touches on many troubles we’re still suffering within America nowadays: the difference between appreciating and appropriating life, race and popular culture, escapism, and the American dream.
Last 12 months, you produced a tale for The California Report about a pair who were high college sweethearts inside the Philippines and reunited in L.A. Four a long time later. How did you update their tale for the podcast?
[Terry and Jun] have been excessive faculty sweethearts separated after graduation, after reconnecting 40 years later. One of them changed into residing in Saudi Arabia as a foreign place Filipino worker (OFW). And one among them turned into residing in Los Angeles. After restarting their dating on social media, they eventually reconnected in Los Angeles at the airport. They were afraid to marry because they had been undocumented and didn’t need to draw attention. But after the primary story aired, we stayed in touch. Terry instructed me the remaining year that she was given her visa, and she or he and Jun had been ultimately going to get married. They wanted to seal that love and celebrate it through a marriage in which they invited close buddies and family. And it becomes definitely sweet.