Our initiative for the month of November is to celebrate the stories and experiences of our LGBTQ Filipino community. In our Filipino culture, there are still certain topics we shy away from, and it’s time we discuss them to validate our own members of the Filipino Community. There continues to be uproar from the recent murder of transgender woman Jennifer Laude that has flamed the topic of gender and it is unfortunate that it took a tragic situation for the media to really shed light about the LGBTQ.
My recent trip to Hawaii also airs this month. If you were unable to catch the specials I did for the Filipino Community Center episode that I shot in Hawaii, I showcased a short history about the waves of migration to Hawaii starting with the Sakada’s. And since it was Filipino History month, Historian Brandon Reilly helped me animate the story of our National Hero Jose Rizal.
For this week ahead, on Monday, Ben Cabalo from Honolulu Ford shares with me his inspiring story. Tito Ben moved from the Philippines to Hawaii when he was only 18 years old. He continues to serve his Filipino community and even came out of retirement because he genuinely loves what he does.
My dear friend, Sportscaster Dyan Castillejo-Garcia was also recently in town for the Nonito Donaire fight and passed by Kababayan Today. She has always shared with me her lifestyle of health and fitness and for Mommy Mondays, I think a lot of moms who watch the show will find her advice truly inspiring. She has an upcoming fitness camp in the Philippines that she shares with the viewers to help kickstart their path to wellness.
On Tuesday, for our LGBTQ initiative, I speak to filmmaker Janice Villarosa who directed the feature film called Shunned. Janice used to be a certified public accountant before she started Silent Voices Production where she makes films of consciousness and social activism. The film is timely as it discusses the stories of transgenders in the Philippines and their desires to alter the way they look to attain the image of a “perfect woman”.
Wednesday we have our ever dependable immigration advise from Aquino and Loew. Mercedes Benz Honolulu and May’s Hawaii will also be aired from when I was there to visit. Archie Castillo also brings his piano to the show as we collaborate on a short song made popular by Joey Albert. Archie has recently moved here and has also received numerous accolades as a musician.
Talent Thursdays has Actress Sharon Leal, who makes her first Kababayan Today guesting. Sharon is best known to play opposite Beyonce in Dream Girls. She stops by the show to talk about her Filipino upbringing and her return back to theater with the production of Stop Kiss, opening up at the Pasadena Playhuse this month opposite Acrtess Angela Lin. She is beautiful, articulate and so unaffected by her accomplishments. It was such a pleasure to speak to her.
As usual, every month we also have Mitsuwa Marketplace segments where I learn recipes that are healthy and easy to prepare. Masami helps me make seafood hotpot.
And Friday, filmmaker Joel Quizon speaks about his journey back to the homeland to film Cotabato Sessions, a film and music album about the Kalanduyan family legacy from Cotabato City, Mindanao. It’s a mix of music and film and we get to show the viewers an exclusive snippet of Joel’s work where we collaborated with Suzie Ibarra, the musician.
Since Thanksgiving is at the end of the month, I’d really like to give thanks to all the viewers who continue to watch the show. I have been getting feedback from many members of the community and want all of you to know that Kababayan Today is a platform for our community to be able to represent who we are to the rest of the world. If you have events coming up you can email them to email@example.com. Kindly email flyers at least three weeks in advance so we can accommodate all your events.
Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @gtongi.
Giselle “G” Töngi is the host and producer of Kababayan Today, a daily talk show that features relevant topics for Filipino’s living in America. Her aim is to bridge not only the cultural gap between America & the Philippines but to help with the generational gap between our own people. She is married with two children and is based in Southern California and makes frequent trips in the Pacific Rim to Hawaii and Manila to feature fellow kababayans who are empowering the FilAm community.