What is the Fil-Am experience? This podcast shows many faces of it
For Filipino-Americans, the feeling of belonging is important—may it be in schools or other communities. Some even discover more of their identity or gain deeper understanding of their roots through media consumption, whether they invoke nostalgia or inspire a better understanding of themselves.
For folks who find solace, acknowledgement, or even entertainment from listening to different conversations even from strangers—may it be in the comforts of their bedroom or during a rumination-inducing trip—there are podcasts. There’s no pressure in answering or formulating your input, but you can feel more included and informed by just being a virtual fly on the wall.
Enter “Cultural Kultivators,” which was launched on May 31. Anchored by the themes of culture and identity, this podcast is hosted by Nicole Salaver, the program manager of Balay Kreative, which is many things all at once: an art studio, streaming hub, and maker space in San Francisco, California. According to its official site, Salaver “believes that elevating the culture and helping heal generational trauma through art is part of her legacy.”
Moreover, this initiative’s goal is to “showcase the diversity and richness of the Filipino-American experience, while inspiring listeners to explore and celebrate their own cultural heritage.” Tapping artists, activists, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs to hold conversations on both hardships and successes, “Cultural Kultivators” brings listeners together and identifies what the Fil-Am experience is actually like.
Well, it looks like it has a lot of faces—especially with its current lineup of guest stars. In the episodes of this Fil-Am podcast so far, “Cultural Kultivators” has been able to chat with your favorites in the Filipino-American community, coming from different fields.
There’s Ruby Ibarra, a rapper-slash-scientist from Tacloban, whose topics tackle imposter syndrome and Indigenous Filipino languages. There’s everyone’s YouTube OG AJ Rafael who talked about his relationship with music. Sarina Bolden, the Zillennial football history maker, has also taken the podcast’s seat for a conversation on mental health, identity, and representation.
For the TV regulars, you might want to dive into Josh Dela Cruz’s episode—the “Blue’s Clues & You” main guy has some inspiring words on making it to the entertainment industry. The 34-year-old, who is named the first Asian American Pacific Islander to host a major children’s show, also discussed feeling “not Filipino enough” in the podcast.
How dynamic is the Fil-Am culture? This Filipino American History Month, maybe a Fil-Am podcast can answer the burning question.