The FilAm at 6: Growing, continuing to explore the community, and asking a lot of questions

From left: Nicole Ponseca, Dien Magno, and Brendan Flores

From left: Nicole Ponseca, Dien Magno, and Brendan Flores

By Cristina DC Pastor

The FilAm online magazine maintains its standing among the ranks of independent ethnic media publications in the New York area. We couldn’t be prouder.

We would like to report a surge in readership (‘views’ in digital jargon) in the past year. I, as Founding Editor, was thrilled beyond all expectation. In my search to find out what drove the growth, these things stood out: There was a desire for stories that provoke and inspire. Interviews with Filams I would call ‘futurists’ because they advocate unique ideas and start something different got a lot of reads.

Just for starters, our conversation with NYU Dean for Science Michael Purugganan and his collection of post-colonial Philippine flags generated a lot of traffic. I’d like to thank our videographer Anuz Thapa of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism for his excellent camera work. Our article where Jeepney and Maharlika co-founder Nicole Ponseca explained the allure of cannabis as food was equally well read.

The FilAm exists for the many Filipino Americans who are constantly challenged by the way of life in this country. It could be their need for affordable housing, the need for professional and reliable balikbayan box companies, or public service about some arcane traffic law they never knew existed. Jocelyn Bernal Ochoa and Rebecca Sucgang spoke to us about how they lucked into their affordable Manhattan apartments and shared some tips on NYC housing lottery. The legal battle between Rena Avendula and Rommel del Rosario exposed a colossal business rift and how this has caused some balikbayan boxes to remain undelivered. Vivian Talambiras Cruz never heard of the Move-Over Law until she had to face a traffic court judge and fined more than $300 for supposedly violating it. She shared her story with The FilAm, and her grateful readers shared them with others.

Vivian Talambiras Cruz,  Frenie Acoba, and George Conway III

Vivian Talambiras Cruz, Frenie Acoba, and George Conway III

The triumph of the Filipino will and spirit is best exemplified in these stories: Filipino theater actors returning to “Miss Saigon” after 25 years, designers Aloysius and John Ablaza finding their space in NYC’s crowded fashion market, young Broadway actress Frenie Acoba who is losing “Matilda” but moving on to other projects, “Aladdin” becoming one big happy family for the five FilAm actors in the cast, Manny Imperial introducing the first Filipino food truck in NYC through Sisig City, and journalist Dien Magno exploring burlesque as dance art…because she wants to.

The article on Manhattan lawyer George Conway III, whose name came up in the national conversation when Donald Trump was scouting around for a Solicitor General, is bringing in lots and lots of views. So is the profile of banker Brendan Flores, who is NaFFAA’s first millennial chairman. The sweet interview with Shirley and Kirby Asunto reveals how nothing can come between this hardworking mother and her talented singer daughter or loosen their unbreakable closeness.

Happy 6th year anniversary to The FilAm. We promise more engaging, entertaining, and enlightening stories as we enter our 7th year.

Michael Purugganan, Kirby Asunto and Shirley Asunto

Michael Purugganan, Kirby Asunto and Shirley Asunto

One Comment

  1. CONGRATULATIONS TO FILAM on your 6th year. You are growing robustly. Keep on going.

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