Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pinoy Pod 37

No easy match for biracial Fil-Am toddler in dire need of bone marrow donor

This week on Pinoy Pod, we interview the parents of Harrison Leonardo, a 2-year-old San Leandro boy who is battling Acute Myloid Leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

Harrison is in dire need of a bone marrow transplant, but the search for a donor has been difficult because of his mixed heritage. He is half Filipino and half white and his donor will most likely share the same heritage.

Harrison's parents, Stephanie and O.J. Leonardo, and little brother Lucas.
According to the
National Marrow Donor Program, of the 6 million people now registered as donors, only 34,000 are Pinoy, and even fewer are biracial.

In this podcast, Pinoy Pod's Michelle Louie talks to Harrison's parents, O.J. Leonardo - a San Francisco firefighter - and his wife, Stephanie Isaacson, who are trying to raise awareness about the lack of biracial donors on the national bone marrow registry.

They're hoping the more people who step forward to get tested, the greater the chance of finding a match for Harrison or others who await a life-saving transplant.



Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pinoy Pod 36

Tagalog on Site teaches language, fills cultural void

This week on Pinoy Pod, we spotlight a program that takes young Filipino Americans to the Philippines to learn Tagalog and find themselves in the process.

The program is called Tagalog on Site, which combines language instruction with lessons on history, culture and life in the Philippines. Pinoy Pod's Michelle Louie talks with new Tagalog on Site director Karen Villanueva, who says that like many young Fil-Ams, the inability to speak Tagalog used to make her feel she was missing something integral to her identity.

Villanueva says that while growing up in the land of opportunity has been a "rich" experience, it has also been a confusing one because she couldn't connect with the Philippines in a meaningful way. Last summer, she traveled to the Philippines through Tagalog on Site to not only learn Tagalog, but to, as she puts it, "decolonize" herself.

She was so transformed by the trip that she wanted to work for the 10-year-old program, which has served about 153 students. The seven-to eight-week program costs about $2,600, which includes lodging and meals, but not airfare. You don't have to be Pinoy to go - but this is not a tourist excursion.



Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pinoy Pod 35

The poet and his past - Part 2 of our talk with Oscar Penaranda

Oscar Penaranda tells Pinoy Pod about his personal journey from his boyhood in the Philippines to his coming of age in the United States and how his experiences shaped his writing.

Penaranda also reads from his book of poetry "Full Deck (jokers playing)." Often gently humorous and sometimes wickedly barbed, Penaranda's poems are like cards dealt from a fresh pack - and you can't tell how the hand will play out until the final turn.

"Full Deck (jokers playing)" is published by T'Boli Publishing & Distribution.



Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pinoy Pod 34

Penaranda's Principles

Storyteller, poet and playwright Oscar Penaranda has written compelling tales for more than 30 years. His characters and story lines are as rich as his own life.

Now a high school teacher, he's lived in the coastal town of Barugo on the Philippine island of Leyte, in cosmopolitan Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area. For many years, he was a follower of the seasons and joined the workers who toiled and trekked from the farmlands of California to the fish canneries in Alaska.

The short stories in his award-winning book, "Seasons by the Bay," are set in those places, but his characters and lots are drawn from imagination rather than reality, Penaranda tells Pinoy Pod. Find out more about the author and his secrets to good storytelling this week.
Next week: Penaranda, the poet.

"Seasons by the Bay" is published by T'Boli Publishing & Distribution. For more information, write: tiboli@comcast.net.

Check out the Pinoy Pod page at SFGATE.COM.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Pinoy Pod 33

FilAm scientist warns faster Arctic ice melt another sign of global warming

A group of top NASA scientists led by Josefino Comiso said in a recent report that sea ice in the Arctic region in the Winter has been shrinking at a faster rate in the last two years.

The alarming trend is another sign of global warming, says Comiso, is leading expert on climate change in the Arctic.

This week, Pinoy Pod talks to Comiso, a senior scientist in the cryospheric sciences branch of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Comiso, who was born and educated in the Philippines, has warned that the amount of Arctic sea ice reduction recorded has not been seen in the 27 years satellite data has been available.

Check out the Pinoy Pod page at SFGATE.com.