The United States’ imperialist relationship with the Philippines fueled waves of immigration that now makes Filipino Americans the third-largest Asian-American community. Filipina-American journalist Paola Mardo explores the diaspora’s history in Long Distance, a podcast she launched at the halfway point of Filipino American History Month yesterday (October 15).  


Mardo writes on the podcast website that Long Distance grew out of her own research into the history of Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown. “But after extensive interviews and research, and through my work as a journalist, I saw a great need to tell thoughtful, well-reported audio stories about my community,” she writes. “Recently, Filipino stories have made headlines through food and politics. But there are also more complex narratives about the Filipino experience unfolding beneath mainstream culture.”

For the debut episode of Long Distance (embedded below), Mardo visits Little Manila Center in Stockton, California, which recently experienced both vandalism and the death of co-founder and activist Dawn Bohulano Mabalon. The episode highlights Stockton’s longstanding Filipino community and the discrimination immigrants—especially single Filipino men who emigrated for jobs—experienced during the early 20th century.