HomeAsian AmericansFilAm History: Listen up! Podcast Tells Stories of the Filipino Diaspora

FilAm History: Listen up! Podcast Tells Stories of the Filipino Diaspora

By Ed Diokno
Views From The Edge

A Filipina American journalist has launched a podcast series exploring the immigration of Filipinos to the United States, reports Colorlines.

Paola Mardo, an independent audio reporter and producer, released the first of the Long Distance podcasts this week, just in time for Filipino American History Month.

“In 2016, I began working on an audio project about Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown,” Mardo wrote on the podcast’s website. “But after extensive interviews and research, and through my work as a journalist, I saw a great need to tell thoughtful, well-reported audio stories about my community.

“That’s how Long Distance got started,” she added.

Filipinos began immigrating to the United States in great numbers in the first years of the American empire. Ever since then, Filipinos have been arriving in greater and greater numbers to the point that they are the third-largest Asian American community, behind Chinese Americans and Indian Americans. In California and Hawaii, Filipinos form the largest Asian community.

“As a child of the diaspora, I’ve always been interested in stories about people in new places and finding ‘home,’ wherever that may be,” wrote Mardo.

In the first episode of Long Distance, Mardo visits the Little Manila Center in Stockton, California. The center recently experienced vandalism and the death of co-founder and activist Dawn Bohulano Mabalon.

The episode focuses on the city’s deep-rooted Filipino community and the discrimination that Filipino immigrants, especially single Filipino men who came to the U.S. to work, experienced during the early 20th century. Listen up!

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