I love podcasts. I grew up listening to serials on radio, and I have fond memories of lazy, sticky summer afternoons in the Philippines when my cousins and I were kids and would be forced to nap, falling asleep to scary stories or advice shows. There were a lot of dramatic retellings with equally dramatic voice acting and sound effects – cups of rice being poured into a bowl as rain, for instance. It therefore seemed quite natural that I veered towards podcasts in my early twenties, and now that I’m twenty-six, my list of favourites is absolutely a peek at who I am and what I love, which is basically food, scary stories, urban settings, and Filipinx culture.
Here is the list of five podcasts that I love and listen to regularly – plus a shoutout to my favourite podcast app! I’ve included links to their websites and Patreon pages if you wanted to check them out.
- Dear Hank & John
Soundcloud | Patreon
Mikaius was actually the person who introduced me to the Brothers Green via their Youtube series Crash Course back in 2012 before we even started dating, and I’ve been a fan since. I love listening to Dear Hank & John in the mornings on my walk to campus because they are so funny together, and their hilariously bad advice is the best dubious advice. In past times when I’ve been in a funk, such as when Mondays are particularly Monday-y in the dead of winter, Dear Hank & John lifts my spirits and makes me laugh as I walk across Queen’s Park trying not to slip on black ice or slush.
I have always loved food, and discussions centred on the history of food has always been of particular interest to me. When I was a child, I moved from Metro Manila to Bacolod City and learned that every province makes their adobo a different way, and I’m pretty sure that’s where the fascination began. I have been listening to Gastropod for about two or three years now – the “Extreme Salad and Crazy Potatoes” episode was the one that got me hooked. Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley are such good hosts, and have given me so many wonderful hours of learning new things about food and food history, and the science behind it!
- Just A Story
Website | Patreon
I love scary stories – Stephen King is my fave, especially his short story collections! When I happened upon Just A Story, I was immediately won over. I’m the type of person who prefers two-person podcasts because something about the back-and-forth makes the experience that much more enjoyable to me, and Jake and Sam have such good chemistry and are great storytellers. On days when I’m cleaning house or thrifting (or some similar activity that takes hours to do) I’m usually binging on Just A Story episodes.
- Spacing Radio
Soundcloud | Website
I love Spacing’s physical brick and mortar store at 401 Richmond, and when I found out that they had a podcast it was inevitable that I was going to be a subscriber. As someone whose biggest problematic fave is Toronto, and is in a master’s program for Urban Planning, Spacing Radio is so up my alley.
- Exploring Filipino Kitchens
If you’ve tried this before, you know that searching for Filipino-themed podcasts using the keyword “Filipino” is a rather dangerous endeavour, and the only good thing that came out of that was that I found Exploring Filipino Kitchens. It’s not very often that you find a podcast that is the intersection of things you adore (in my case, Filipino culture and food with a Filipinx host), but here it was! Nastasha Alli puts in so much work into this podcast, and it absolutely shows.
My favourite podcast app is Pocket Casts for Android. I’ve been using the app for ages and have seen no reason to switch over to a different one. I love it so much I even sprang for the $9 web player. If you’re curious as to why I got the web player when the Android app is perfectly usable, well, there are days when I need to switch my phone off to disconnect and get my work done. The web player lets me still access my podcasts, and they’re synced, too. For something that I use almost daily, $9 as a one time fee was not bad at all! I absolutely recommend Pocket Casts if you’re in the market for a podcast app – they’re available on both Android and iOS.