Out of the Boondocks
A docuseries about Philippine-American creativity
“Bundok,” a Filipino word for mountain and the root of the word “boondocks”, was adopted by American soldiers occupying the Philippines to describe the resilience coming from the boondocks, or mountains. Much is untold about the Philippine diaspora, the largest Asian-American group in California and San Diego, whose vast history and contributions are often omitted. Out of the Boondocks documents the stories of creatives, educators, and organizers who guide future generations through their contributions and passions. Our hosts talk to 15 guests about how their creative paths bring the Philippine-American experience out of the boondocks.
Watch the series on KPBS and stream it on the PBS website and app.
Coming October 2023! (Filipino American History Month)
Episode 1: “On Air”
Xavier The X-Man, a revered radio DJ, shares his love for music and Mexican and Filipino heritage while cruising in his lowrider with Jay Jay and showing him around the Magic 92.5 studio. Melissa Mecija, an ABC 10 news anchor, walks Rio through the newsroom and how she amplifies marginalized voices through broadcast journalism.
Episode 2: “One Foot in Front of the Other”
Rio heads to the desert to meet with Isabel Cautivo, a solo female backpacker who loves to hike and inspire people to get outdoors. Jay Jay learns self-defense moves from Pete “Sweet Pete” Salas, a martial arts instructor who preserves and embodies history through movement.
Episode 3: “On Food and Fame”
Jay Jay heads to Viejas Casino to meet with Chef Larry Banares while they prepare and taste an array he made for President Biden, a highlight of his career as a celebrity chef. Rio hones her sushi-making skills with Jeff Roberto, a sushi chef who sweeps food competitions, works on Hollywood movie sets, and provides nutrition programs in San Diego.
Episode 4: “Oneness Through Art”
The Soultry Sisters, Alyssa and Toni Junious, lead Rio through creativity exercises they use to encourage collective healing and art for people of color from San Diego to Washington D.C. Dr. Judy Patacsil and Anamaria Cabato, two local powerhouses and leaders, give Jay Jay a tour of the Filipinos of South Bay Exhibit that captures Fil-Am contributions in the region.
Episode 5: “On Dance”
Samahan Performing Arts, a multigenerational organization that honors the diverse music and dance of the Philippines, teaches Jay Jay the Tinikling. Carlo Darang, a professional dancer and choreographer, found his calling through dance and shows Rio how he taps into the creative mindset.
Episode 6: “One-Person Show”
Rio learns how to style traditional Philippine clothing with Mariel Velicaria, a viral jewelry designer known for their sun crowns. Jay Jay laughs and sweats with Kristel Dela Rosa, a stand-up comedian and fitness instructor who always finds a way to make light of life’s curveballs.
Aired May 2022 (Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month) on KPBS
Ep 1 | Segment 1
Ep 2 | Segment 1
Ep 2 | Segment 2
"Issues Affecting U.S. Filipino Student Access to Postsecondary Education: A Critical Race Theory Perspective" - Essay by Tracy Lachica Buenavista, Dep. of Asian American Studies, CSU Northridge
Ep 3 | Segment 1
Ep 4 | Segment 1
Ep 5 | Segment 1
Jay Jay Maniquis and Rio Villa
(Hosts of Out of the Boondocks)