we’re on Vogue!

This has been the summer of pure blessings! (Sorry. I know that sounds so cliche.) I was recently contacted by Audrey Noble, a contributing writer for Vogue Magazine. She stated that she was writing a story on colorism in Asia and asked for an interview. After a short exchange, I agreed to answer some questions via email… and then time swept under me and I ended up voice recording my responses. Sigh. I’m a terrible respondent. Along with the voice recording, I sent the TFAL episode I was on, as well as a few written responses. Confession: I was super nervous about this piece because Vogue is a pretty big outlet and this is a pretty hefty story. In addition, I’m currently listening to Eliane Welteroth’s More than Enough, which amplified my feelings about Vogue! Anyhoo… I want to extend a HUGE thank you to Audrey Noble for her patience and hard work. You wrote a great piece and I hope this ignites more curiosities about the topic.

Maraming Salamat,
Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.
South San Francisco, CA

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SM recommendations

Confession: I’m a media whore. I consume media any chance I get. Since becoming a supporter of CAAMedia, I have been able to watch some incredible films. Their annual film festival, which happens during the spring, features some if the best that Asian American filmmaking has to offer. In addition to the various newsletters I receive from CAAM, I take note of movie trailers and various social media that highlight up and coming films. This has been a pretty good year for diversity in filmmaking. In case you’re wondering, here’s what I’ve been watching. Depending on when you read this post, you may have to do some digging to access these works. Hope you’re able to catch some of these films!

Maraming Salamat,
Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.
South San Francisco, CA

Mutiny Radio

After a humdrum July 4th holiday, The Huz and I made our way to the Mission to meet Roman Rimer of Mutiny Radio. Roman hosts a weekly radio show called The Weekly Review. We were introduced by a mutual friend, Shirley F. Rivera, the mastermind behind Anthrocubeology and An Improvised Life. In truth, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this radio appearance. In the end, I had a great time talking to Roman about various topics such as colorism, the beauty industry, Vincent Chin, my love for Duran Duran, and so much more. I come in after the 15-minute mark and we chat for the rest of the show. Enjoy!

Maraming Salamat,
Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.
South San Francisco, CA

TFAL Podcast: Episode 88

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hanging out (virtually) with the incredible team at This Filipino American Life Podcast. I’ve been listening to the podcast on and off for about a year now. Joe Bernardo, one of the hosts, is a friend from college. I knew him as a youngin’ when we were at UC Santa Barbara together. That he is involved with this podcast makes perfect sense. Joe has always been invested in and curious about the various textures of Filipino/American life.

I was so happy to be part of this episode because it allowed me to discuss further, some of the issues that weren’t covered in the Refinery29 story. Since it aired, I have received a tremendous amount of love and support from people who felt connected to the topic. For that, I am very grateful. Again, many thanks to Joe, Elaine, Ryan, and Mike of This Filipino American Life Podcast for the lovely conversation and share.

Maraming Salamat,
Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.
South San Francisco, CA

coffee stories

As I was listening to an episode of This Filipino American Life, I learned that my FAVORITE coffee shop carries Philippine coffee. (As of this writing, it’s unavailable, but I’m keeping my eye out on you, Andytown!) After listening to the show, I found this story by Corazon Padilla, Andytown’s Director of Quality Control. I’m sure we all have a coffee story to share. Here, Padilla explains a brief history of Philippine coffee in the U.S. that pre-dates Starbucks. Fascinating! Cheers to your morning cuppa joe and the pan de sal you’re dunking into it.

Maraming Salamat,
Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.
South San Francisco, CA

on Refinery29

A few months ago, I was invited to be interviewed by Refinery29, a multi-media news outlet that focuses on stories that concern young women. They run a series called Shady, and were producing an episode on skin lightening products in the Philippines. I was really impressed by the team’s ability to visit and conduct interviews overseas. Their enthusiasm and curiosity was clear throughout the process. While the issue of skin tone hierarchy and discrimination is a vast one, I’m always happy with any interest surrounding it.

The interview process was a little lengthy because the team was juggling budget and location issues. After a little back and forth, we managed to meet in Southern California, where I was interviewed for about two hours. This, on top of the pre-vetting in the very beginning, I spent just under three hours total with the team. I mention this because I have received a number of comments about the feature. Please note that interviewees do not have say over the final story. Also, the feature is meant to function as a simple taste into the larger issue. If anything, this experience really inspired me to go forward the research because there is a lot to say and the Refinery29 story just scratched the surface.

The video is below, and you can find the corresponding story here. Enjoy!

Maraming Salamat,
Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.
South San Francisco, CA

The Philippine American War

Hello Friends!
Through the magic of Facebook, I saw that filmmaker Marissa Aroy (the genius behind the documentary, Delano Manongs) is working on a new film with Niall McKay. The new project is titled, The Philippine American War: America’s Bloody Empire. For those of you who don’t know much about the Philippine American War, blame history books… and the colonialism… and the patriarchy… and the haole supremacy… and… and… and…

To help get this film underway, I urge you to donate to their fundraising efforts. As you all know, independent filmmaking is difficult because the production costs can be insurmountable. However, it’s also important that the funding remains grassroots because it helps maintain the integrity of the film. To donate to Aroy and McKay’s film, please go here or here. Donate as much as you can, when you can.

Here’s a message from the filmmakers:

We’re raising funds for the Philippine American war documentary by Marissa Aroy and Niall McKay. Your donation will be tax-deductible and will go towards the research and development and production of the film.

We’ve got a lot of archival research to do and have our Filipino and Filipino American academics to help advise, support and research with us.

Screen America Inc is the non-profit started by Marissa Aroy and Niall McKay. Screen America Inc Showcases And Supports Films And Filmmakers From Immigrant Communities Providing Them With A Platform And Network In The United States.

As an educator, I’m ecstatic to hear about this project because (1) Marissa Aroy is 100% phenomenal (I should know. I met her this past spring at a conference and I’m still starstruck. That is why there is no photographic proof of that meeting. You’ll have to simply trust that I met Marissa and likely acted like a blundering fool because that’s how I do in the presence of greatness.) (2) I’m glad to see something about the forgotten Philippine American War that’s not Savage Acts. (To clarify, Savage Acts was life-changing for me. It’s what helped inform the beginnings of what would be my dissertation. Sadly, EVERYONE in Ethnic Studies uses it. After a while, you kinda crave for more stuff. If films about the Philippine American War were treated like films about Steve Jobs, I’d be happy.)

Again, please donate. If you have any questions about the film, please direct them to the filmmakers.

Maraming Salamat,
Joanne L. Rondilla, Ph.D.
South San Francisco, CA