Reality-magazine TV show slated to air on June 11

The 3 hosts of iAmFiLAm: ‘It began as a crazy idea.’

The 3 hosts of iAmFiLAm: ‘It began as a crazy idea.’

East Coast FilAms are a forgotten demographics as far as media is concerned. The concentration of TV content is mostly on the West Coast where many early Filipino Americans had migrated.

With this in mind, a group of professionals is set to launch a reality-magazine format TV show to premiere in The Filipino Channel (TFC) on June 11 on 12:30 p.m. EST.

iAmFiLAm, produced by IQ Creative Media, will be hosted by three fresh new faces, led by Jessy Daing.

Daing, one of the executive producers, is the brains behind the program. Hardworking and fiercely entrepreneurial, she has an online store Jessy Couture on Facebook where she sells authentic luxury handbags and jewelries. She currently works as an Assistant Project Manager in a NYC public benefit corporation.

Maita Lockhart is a Fil-Arab-American who grew up in Pasay City. She came to the U.S. in 1995, went to school in London in 2007, back to the Philippines in 2011, and made New York City home in 2014 when she began to work in a top accounting firm as a tax manager.

Alain Echem, a singer and former member of the OPM band Frio, is the male co-host. This Queens resident works full-time in a bank.

“The population of Filipinos on the East Coast has exponentially risen and we feel that it is the perfect time to launch this project,” said Daing in a statement. “It is important for North American Filipinos to realize that the East Coast Filipino community is as strong as the West Coast. The East (specifically New York) can be rough and tough but it is where dreams are made of and dreams can be conquered if you fight for it.”

Head writer Angelito “JV” Valino Jr. said Filipinos are known for their ‘can-do’ fighting spirit and have the potential to grow and be successful anywhere in the world.

“They just need to keep their focus and motivation,” he said. “One of the main reasons we created this show is to keep them motivated and positive throughout their journey.”

The show’s director, known only as ACN, shared how the show got its start. “It began with a phone call and a crazy idea. Jessy and I were talking a couple of months ago and we started to dream that we can start a Filipino television show on the East Coast. Luckily, when the opportunity rose and East Coast was still untouched by TFC, we immediately grabbed the opportunity.

“We formed a group of seven inexperienced people to form our crew. They were all newbies but they had talent. I knew this will be tough but I never expected it to be very hard.”

The team’s initial meetings were done digitally through Google Hangout and Viber.

“I was in Manila back then, me and the team had to adjust to the time difference in every video conference we held. There were a lot of sacrifice from all of us, including the hosts, but we knew if we kept pushing we would ultimately succeed,” the director said.

Executive Producers Marcos Sicat and Gerda Pelayo-Sicat helped the dream become reality. The couple and Jessy are combining their resources as they created IQ Creative Media production company.

Said Daing, “They believed in us and in our project. They knew the idea was crazy but still laid down all of their cards to help us. It was really heartwarming. They were the sail on our boat that kept us from crashing and helped us reach our intended destination.”

iAmFiLAm airs Saturdays on TFC at 12:30 p.m. EST / 9:30 a.m. PST

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