Out of the Boondocks

A docuseries about Philippine-American creativity

Series Description: 

“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.

Season Two

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.

Season One

Aired May 2022 (Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month) on KPBS

Ep 1  |  Segment 1

Kim Montelibano Heil

(Theatre Casting Director and Producer)

Show notes

"Raising The Curtain On Filipino American Theater’s Past" - Positively Filipino article by Walter Ang

Ep 1  |  Segment 2

Angelo Gonzales 

(Film and TV Actor)

Show notes

Wowee Does It - YouTube series

Ep 2  |  Segment 1

Dr. Dario Villa 


Show notes

"The Filipino Diaspora in the United States" - Publication from the Rockefeller Foundation/Aspen Institute Diaspora Program (RAD)

Ep 2  |  Segment 2

Willy Santos

(Professional Skateboarder)

Show notes

"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

Jess Mercado


Show notes

"What Is Arnis? Facts About The Philippine National Sport" - Tatler article by Franz Sorilla IV

Ep 3  |  Segment 2

Tha Kuya

(Tribal Tattoo Artist)

Show notes

"The Beautiful History and Symbolism of Philippine Tattoo Culture" - The Aswang Project article by Daniel De Guzman

Ep 4  |  Segment 1

Dr. Cat Sy Luib


Show notes

"HILOT: The Science and Philosophy of Ancient Filipino Healing Arts" - The Aswang Project article by Daniel De Guzman

Ep 4  |  Segment 2

Jaime Estepa

(Writer and poet)

Show notes

"Growing up queer: a Filipino perspective" - Dumbo Feather article by Adolfo Aranjuez

Ep 5  |  Segment 1

Ground Floor Murals


Show notes

"The Mexipino Experience: Growing Up Mexican and Filipino in San Diego" - Remezcla Article by Rudy P Guevarra Jr.

Ep 5  |  Segment 2

San Diego Filipino Cinema


Show notes

"A guide to Filipino cinema: 10 essential films from the Philippines" - Far Out article by Swapnil Dhruv Bose

Episode 6

Jay Jay Maniquis and Rio Villa

(Hosts of Out of the Boondocks)


Contact outoftheboondocks@gmail.com to get more information on the project