Rodney Manalo is a Filipino American musician who goes by the stage name of Mr. No Name. He was born in Daly City and continues to create and perform his music in local shows and events—this guy can rip a freestyle! He's also in the Year Up program, currently interning at a tech company, while still consistently working on his craft. He has long-term visions to work as an illustrator and character designer, while still maintaining his love for music. He shares his experience growing up in the Bay Area, his personal struggles with drugs and family, while also diving into the positive influence music has played in his life. There’s good reflections and advice on music in this episode—tangible skills to work on such as rhyming and cadence—in addition to personal reflections on depression and self-harm ideations. This one is worth listening to, especially for the amount of freestyles Rod dropped during the episode.
Kevyn Lorenzana is a 22-year-old Filipino American emcee, poet, musician, organizer, barber, and community organizer. He’s headed to the Philippines this summer on a community exposure trip to visit rural schools. Once he comes back in the fall, he will be pursuing a degree in Asian American Studies at UCLA. In this return episode, he shares an original song written for Roderick Daus-Magbual’s Filipina/o American Community Issues class and drops a few freestyle bars. We talk about his history of being an SF-born FilAm and his journey through realizing his identity—thanks to the help of Skyline College and ethnic studies. Kevyn is dedicated to serving his community and shares his long-term vision to be a teacher, especially for incarcerated youth. He shares experiences of being mugged at gunpoint as an 8th grader and the effects of the prison system within his own family, but also shares an understanding perspective in regards to larger systems of influence such as poverty and colonial mentality. Take a listen, be inspired, and join us on this journey.
Katrina Liwanag is a FilAm singer-songwriter native to San Francisco and is active in multiple community organizations and grassroots movements. In this episode, she sings and performs two songs that relate to her experiences regarding community exposure trips throughout the Philippines. She shares her point of view on political and social issues, her background growing up in San Francisco, her involvement in various Filipina/o American organizations such as Kappa Psi Epsilon and League of Filipino Students, and her upcoming trip to the Philippines.
Michelle Yvette is a Pinay who immigrated to the United States in 2012 and is currently at Skyline College, pursuing a degree in Business. During her time in Daly City, she found a sense of home and community through dancing and other artistic endeavors. She’s helped choreograph for the Pilipino Cultural Night and has been working alongside other local dancers for events run by The Filipino Channel (TFC). In this episode, she opens up with a short song cover and poem, then shares her aspirations to pursue a career in Showbiz, especially in the Philippines. She also dives into how religion has given her support and purpose, especially in the face of challenges such as a broken family and immigrating to a new country. In the end, she leaves a few reflections for younger Filipinas, both general thoughts and relationship advice. Come listen!
07 – Dessa Hipolito / Filipina Immigrant, American Culture, Skyline College, Pilipino Cultural Night
Dessa Hipolito is a Filipina immigrant to California, an active leader at Skyline College, a singer, and an overall great role model for FilAm youth. On campus, she’s been this year’s Commissioner for Student Activities while also producing the last two Pilipino Cultural Nights. Next school year, she is planning to transfer to UCSD and continue her academic and personal journey. She shares her family's immigration history, her struggles, and her integration process into America and community college life. She closes with some reflections on relationships and shares some advice for other young immigrants.
Ate Bea Zamora is this year's Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) at Skyline College. She's an English teacher in the Philippines and has been in the US for the last 9 months, teaching the Filipino language and assisting Filipino American classes through the Fulbright teaching program. She's also been co-assisting College Success classes at both Westmoor and South City high schools. She shares a reflective poem, talks about her experience of arriving in America, and expounds on the differences she's noticed between Philippine-born and American-born Filipinos. Pinay power!