Karen Tongson’s Diaspora Jukebox Playlist

From the Philippines to the Inland Empire, George Michael to Taylor Swift, Songs That Chart a Queer Awakening

As part of Zócalo Public Square’s 20th birthday, we’re sharing the sounds of the Southland with “Diaspora Jukebox,” a series of playlists that celebrate the unique communities and musical traditions that represent Los Angeles. Our fifth Diaspora Jukebox playlist features tracks from queer studies scholar Karen Tongson’s life—songs that quite literally moved her from the Philippines to Hawai’i to the Inland Empire, and moved her to better understand the inner workings of love, life, and herself.

The songs I’ve selected for this collective “Diaspora Jukebox” …

A Letter From Quezon City, Where the Stars Have Come Back | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Letter From Quezon City, Where the Stars Have Come Back

In the Philippines, COVID-19 Has Made the Air Cleaner—And Revealed the Nation’s Deeper Challenges

It’s amazing how much more you’re able to see when you can’t go wherever you want.

We’re now more than six weeks into the “enhanced community quarantine” for Luzon. Just as …

The 19th-Century African-American Soldier Who Fought for Filipino Liberation

Angry at the Treatment of Blacks in the US, in 1899 David Fagan Deserted His Regiment and Became a Household Name Back Home

In 1899, during a campaign on the island of Luzon to entrap the Filipino revolutionary president Emilio Aguinaldo, a 21-year-old buffalo soldier named David Fagen deserted from the American army. …

Are Call Centers Rebranding the Philippines?

As the Global Economy’s Biggest Back Office, the Nation Seeks to Depict Its Workers as Educated, Empathetic, and English Fluent

What changes in a country—and what doesn’t change—when it devotes itself to servicing the businesses of other countries?

Not long ago, I found myself looking for answers to that question in …