Recovering Filipino podcast

Host Jim Agapito is a "bad Filipino." The Filipino-Canadian filmmaker can't speak Tagalog and is stumped by some of the things Filipinos do and believe. Join Jim on this enlightening, joyful, and surprising 10-episode mission to recover his culture.

New podcast uncovers what it means to be Filipino

Recovering Filipino podcast debuts on June 28 on CBC Radio One. (CBC)

Recovering Filipino podcast is an engaging and funny celebration of life, family, and Filipino culture through the eyes and escapades of host Jim Agapito. Growing up, Jim saw himself as the black sheep in his family. Years later, his Lola (Grandma in Tagalog) called him a 'bad Filipino.' Now Jim, a filmmaker, a punk rock singer and boxer, is on a recovery mission. He's on a mission to learn more about his culture and what makes Filipinos everywhere tick.

Jim's quest takes him around the world (virtually) to talk to experts, his fellow pinoys,and the most avowed Filipino in his life: his mom Yolanda. You'll relate no matter where your family comes from.

Recovering Filipino airs nationally Mondays at 11:30 a.m. on CBC Radio One, starting on June 28, 2021.

Meet Jim Agapito

Winnipeg's very own Jim Agapito is the host of a new CBC Manitoba podcast, Recovering Filipino. (Ally Gonzalo)

Jim Agapito is a Filipino writer, producer, filmmaker from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Jim's passion is storytelling, and his specialties include producing, screenwriting and directing documentaries, short films and music videos. He has worked in the Canadian film and television industry and with a number of independent production houses. When Jim isn't working on his multi-media projects, he writes, boxes, takes photos and sings in a punk band.

When asked about his motivation for undertaking this podcast, Jim said, "I'm on a recovery mission — a mission to recover my Filipino identity, one question at a time."

Recovering Filipino host Jim Agapito with his grandmother, Epifania Bulaong, 97. (Submitted by Jim Agapito)

We caught up with Jim as he was wrapping up recording Recovering Filipino and asked for his reflections on the experience.

What's your favourite Filipino restaurant in Winnipeg?

Supreme Ice Cream Shop in the heart of the Maples is my favourite! My mom and I go every week! 

What are some things that you discovered about Filipino culture that surprised you while you were making Recovering Filipino?

How Spanish and American colonialism influenced the entire culture. Heck, the Phillipine Flag is American in colour because of colonialism. Also how my dad got his Tuli done. There's no way in hell I'd just let some guy perform a circumcision on me. Oh and how the song My Way is banned in places in the Philippines. People have been killed because of that song.  

Not very many people know that the karaoke machine was actually invented in the Philippines. What's your "go to" karaoke song?

How can you ask me this?!?!? Too many!

  • Backstreet Boys - I want it that way

  • Hall and Oates - Man Eater

  • Bon Jovi - Always

  • Loverboy - Working For The Weekend

  • Concrete Blond - Joey 

  • Ricky Martin - Livin' La Vida Loca 

What's one thing that would surprise listeners to know about you?

I play in a rock n' roll inspired punk band called Agapito. My bandmates named the band this against my wishes. All of the guys are professional touring musicians and play in huge bands. Mike Peters plays in the Cancerbats and they were nominated for a Juno, Jordan McConnell was nominated for a Grammy Award with The Duhks and plays bluegrass folk, Ron Friesen is a former member of Comeback Kid as well as Stick To Your Guns, and Ryan Nash plays in Agassiz. The band started because Mike knew of my karaoke skills and thought making music would be a great way to keep me clean and sober. He was right.

How's your Lola?

She's good. Also recovering. She recently had a stroke in the Philippines, which was a huge scare. At 97, she's a tank. She misses me and all of her grandchildren in Canada. She really wants me to come to the Philippines to understand our culture more... maybe that'll make me a good Filipino?

Join us for the Recovering Filipino listening party on July 7


You're invited! CBC Manitoba is hosting a Recovering Filipino listening party featuring Radio Noon host Marjorie Dowhos, in conversation with Jim Agapito


  • Wednesday, July 7, 2021

  • 6:00 p.m. CT 

Tickets are free but require an RSVP on Eventbrite

Join the conversation online. Tell us what you think of the podcast using the hashtag #RecoveringFilipino.

Recovering Filipino is available on CBC Listen, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts and anywhere you find your favourite podcasts.