Category Archives: animal rights

Emil Guillermo: Why are Filipinos always the punchline? Seeing FX’s “The Comedians” reminded me of a dumb joke in “Anchorman 2.”

We know that Manny Pacquiao can punch.

And that  the champ is nobody’s  punchline.


So why is it that in U.S. pop culture, that’s not true for the rest of us.

Have you noticed? Filipinos are way too often the punchline.


It happened again the other night on the FX debut of “The Comedians.” Joshua Gad jokes about joining Billy Crystal in a sitcom. Talking to his agent on the phone, Gad says he wants Latinos to see his work; And blacks; And that other group. You know that group….

The agent then says, “Filipinos?  (beat) They’re terrific.”

The tag doesn’t soften the blow.

Listen to the dialogue here: 150409_001

So we’re mentioned. That’s some consolation prize.  Inclusion? I didn’t see any Filipinos in the cast.

It reminded me how Anchorman 2 had a Filipino dog eating joke that was really offensive. See my take here.

Replace “Filipino” with “Jew” and you know there’d be cries of anti-Semitism. It would be  somewhat mitigated by the fact that the Jews are making the products on screen.

So that’s really the answer isn’t it? We  need to  see more American Filipinos producing and directing projects.

If that were the case,  we can tell our own dog jokes.


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What the New York Times left out: More on the PETA investigation on the abuse of drugs in horse racing

All the news that’s fit to print? Or that fits? And then what about video?

This PETA-produced video fills in all the gaps left by the New York York Times story (3/20/14)  on horse racing and drugs.

Specifically, there are two main points–the use of thyroxine , and the use of a buzzing device that shocks horses into running faster–that were left out by the Times.

I did the voice-over for this video.

As previously disclosed, my wife is with PETA.


New York Times covered the investigation with this story on 3/20/14:



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We’re having an East Coast Chinese American student for Thanksgiving! (Not to eat–we’re vegetarian; he’s eating with us!)

I’ve often wondered why schools don’t have more family friendly schedules around the holidays to make it easy for kids attending schools far from home.

Let’s face it. It’s a drag to be stuck in a dorm for the holidays. But I know, there will probably be a few kids left to fend for themselves this year.

Thanksgiving is just too short. It’s also too close to the end of the school year and Christmas for some families to budget a second cross-country trip home.

It does, however, create an opportunity for one of higher ed’s best diversity moments:  the personal invite home from a roommate’s parents.

As a scholarship kid from California going to school in the Boston area, most people at my school didn’t know what a Filipino American was.

At the time, the only connection to the Philippines most had was maybe World War II. They’d seen the 1945 John Wayne film, “Back to Bataan,” and might have remembered the Filipino military man in the movie—played by Anthony Quinn, who just happened to be a Mexican American Hispanic actor, known more for playing a Greek (Zorba) but who played the Filipino hero, Capt. Andres Bonifacio in “Bataan.”

So imagine when I showed up at dinner as the cold, hungry, stray college kid. The perfect appreciative dinner guest.

I was also American. Who only looked foreign and exotic when I visited my college buddy’s family in tony Westchester County, New York.

The centerpiece turkey, I’d had before, of course–but with white rice (Asian style, no Uncle Ben’s).  It was all the other stuff at the other meals that were revelations to me. The latkes, the knishes, etc. Lox, white fish, sable.

My Jewish American roommate took all that for granted. For me?  It was a gastronomic adventure.

The next year, my Greek friend took me to his family’s home in Queens.  The experience was similarly delightful. Turkey again, of course, focused the meal, but along the way there were the dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), hummus (chick pea puree), baba ghanoush (eggplant) side dishes that I never had at a Filipino holiday meal. 

Top it off with two kinds of baklava, galactoboureko and Greek coffee, and I was a happy pilgrim.

It was such a memorable diversity moment, I figure we should replicate it for my son, a freshman at Berkeley.

I told him to be on the lookout for the East coast stray.

Dutifully, my son found and invited one of his suite mates, a Chinese American kid from New Jersey to our humble home for Thanksgiving.

It’s not the Filipino American urban home of my mom and dad.  My wife, from Missouri, of Irish/Scottish descent, and I have what I call a “Caucapino” home, and will be preparing a much more traditional meal—albeit vegetarian.

But we’ve got our fusion thing happening too.  I just got back from Asia and can whip up a wicked Thai curry recipe from scratch.

I have also developed this unique craving for a special fruit called durian, often called the “King of Fruit.”

On a fruit level, it is the absolute test of diversity and tolerance.

It’s also out of season, but we will  have it in some form, for sure.

We have hungry college kids to feed. And we all  have plenty to be thankful for.

Cat lover? See the the reason why “Babe” and “The Artist” star James Cromwell was arrested for protesting animal torture at Wisconsin; Check out the video here

Actor James Cromwell and Jeremy Beckham, an activist for PETA, were arrested Thursday for disrupting a meeeting of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, as they called experiments conducted at the university  cat torture.

I voiced this video that shows the grim details of the cat experiments at Wisconsin.