Jed Lee is a Chinese-Filipino Taiwanese-American who's studying at UC Berkeley. He's currently majoring in Society & Environment while also minoring in Global Poverty & Practice, Food Systems, and City Planning. This summer of 2018, Jed traveled to the Philippines and worked with the IBON Foundation for the Practice Experience component of his GPP minor. Jed shares his reflection of being in the Philippines, seeing the differences and inequalities, especially from a privileged first-world perspective, while also trying to find ways to advocate for both the environment and marginalized communities. He talks about his experience within the Global Poverty & Practice minor, in addition to some reflections regarding "sustainable development," activism, and other complicated topics related to poverty alleviation.
Jon Tulio is a Filipino American educator, father, and director of the Nothing to Lose (N2L) Foundation, which operates in the Philippines. N2L runs a scholarship program where the top basketball and volleyball players in the Romblon province are brought together for an all-star camp, in addition to offering full-ride college scholarships to selected leaders and community members. John co-launched this organization in 2006, alongside a fellow educator and high school basketball coach—Michael Ferolino. The two started a summer all-star camp in Romblon, and their initiative has expanded to include a volleyball program and medical missions throughout the area. N2L has also been able to successfully support numerous scholars throughout their college education—covering costs—with some scholars coming back to work as staff for the organization.
Niko Stephen is a Filipino American / Pilipinx producer, DJ, and singer who has grown up in Union City, California. As a musician, he has a background playing brass and bass instruments, with a solid background in Jazz and competitive marching band. He is an alumni of UC Berkeley, having graduated in 2016 with a degree in Public Health, and was active in on-campus organizations such as PASS (Pilipinx Academic Student Services). He's a member of the music collective Soul Vision, and is currently active as musician in the bay area—producing, performing, and DJing music. In this episode, we talk about range of topics from music fundamentals to our thoughts on love and masculinity. We go over Niko's reflections about being a man of color in America, along with lessons learned from his time in student organizations. Throughout the session, Niko also drops mad musical skills, performing three songs (he produced all the instrumentals) and freestyling over one his beats in the end. Come listen, tell us what you think, and be inspired to get your music game up.
Joy Ng is an Asian American writer, community service worker, and events organizer from San Francisco, California. Born and raised in The City, she’s worked with numerous Filipino American organizations, ranging from PACE at SFSU to the Veteran’s Equity Center in SoMa. She actively works within the world of Asian American hip hop, most recently working with Ro3lay to coordinate the Native Immigrant album launch at the I-Hotel Manilatown Center. With a wide range of experience in both academia and hip hop, she connects both worlds through her writing, publishing pieces such as “Friscopinos & the Native Immigrant” and “Re: CIRCA91.” In addition, she contributes to the telling of Asian American narratives through her “High Tides” series—a set of non-fiction short stories based on her Chinese American mother’s experiences in San Francisco.
Richard "Ro3lay" Olayvar is a Filipino American rapper and artist born and raised in San Francisco. He recently dropped "Native Immigrant," a collaborative album with Mister REY that explores the duality of his experience as a Filipino American. In this episode, we dive deep into his album, talking about the motivations and meanings behind each track. He talks about the struggles of an artist in "Simula," the effect of savory but unhealthy Filipino foods in "Kawali," the intersectional experience of being a Filipino American in "Native Immigrant," the changing state of San Francisco in "Playaz," and a bunch more. Take a listen and soak up some reflections about poetry, rap, music, and hip hop. Ro3lay also shares about his family's history, specifically his mother, who also writes poetry and raised him in a very creative household. Overall, Ro3lay is a seasoned artist and performer. He has a few more upcoming projects to keep an eye out for, so listen and get connected!
Dre "Dre?Who" Cuevas is a Bay Area Filipino American music producer, DJ, event organizer, and all-around creative. He runs Homeroom Radio, interviewing local artists and creatives, and has also released two production EPs—LETTERS and Love Without a Limit. He's performed at numerous venues over the years and has recently begun organizing his own events and parties. In this episode, he shares a little bit about his production process as we listen to tracks from his most recent project. He also opens up about his growth as a producer and his experience of expressing emotions through his music. Dre opens up and is honest about his struggles as a student, especially in regards to moving to Southern California, away from his family and community. He found solace through music and has intentionally created his tracks to evoke certain emotions and feelings when listening. We talk a lot about personal growth, love, relationships, and creativity throughout this oped. Take a listen!
Kris "BerjaBeatz" Berja is an up-and-coming producer based out of San Francisco, California. Born and raised in The City, Kris is currently pursuing the craft of music production—consistently releasing beats and collaborating with local artists. We open this episode with a beat he threw together IN 15 MINUTES—dude can work fast. We also have a few more freestyle sessions throughout our talk, with Kris walking through his process of producing beats, from finding a melody that he likes to building the percussion of the song. This one is a fun and bouncy episode!
Aristel "Aristyles" De La Cruz is a Filipino American rapper, producer, poet, and teacher. Born and raised in San Francisco, he developed a love for hip hop through community exposure and cyphers, leading him to release multiple projects and collaborate with various local musicians, like Mister REY. As an alumnus of Balboa High School, he eventually returned there to teach an ethnic studies class through Pin@y Educational Partnerships (PEP). This experience solidified his desire to pursue a career in education. Graduating from San Francisco State University—like 80% of the other guests on this podcast—he worked in various local schools, before establishing himself at South San Francisco High School. Over the years, he's taught Ethnic Studies at this campus, eventually transitioning into his current focus of teaching English Language Development (ELD) to multiple grades.
Kim Davalos is an accomplished Filipina American educator, community artist, and counselor. Born and raised in Stockton, California, she moved quickly through academia, finishing her undergrad at San Diego State University and her Masters in Counseling at San Francisco State University—all by the age of 21. At the same time, she worked on her craft as a poet—participating in open mics and winning a slam competition during her undergrad—eventually taking on photography as well. She's currently working as a counselor at Skyline College. She teaches for CIPHER, the first West Coast hip hop learning community in the country. Using hip hop as a platform to engage students and promote academic success, she's now taking on the position of lead Coordinator for Rock the School Bells—a conference that uses hip hop and arts to engage and empower youth to excel in higher education.
Patrick Racela is a Filipino musician and community organizer based out of San Francisco. Originally from Pittsburgh, California, Pat shares his transition from student to organizer throughout his years at San Francisco State University. He became politicized though the League of Filipino Students (LFS) at SFSU and was also a member of the historic Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE). Currently, he works as a coordinator for Kabataan at the Filipino Community Center—a high school youth program—while also organizing for Kabataan Alliance, a national coalition of various youth and student organizations across the United States. In this episode, Pat shares a few raps and poems inspired by his life experiences and political education. We also talk about his various community exposure trips throughout the Philippines with Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network and his continuing advocacy work for Filipino issues and concerns.