Interview with Genesis Magpayo

Introduce yourself! 

Hello! My name is Genesis Magpayo, and I am a 17-year-old Filipino-American girl living in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. I am one of the co-hosts of Dear Asian Girl! 

What is the Dear Asian Girl podcast, and how did you begin it? 

Dear Asian Girl is branched off of Dear Asian Youth, a student-led 501(C)(3) that strives to lead Asian Youth into intersectional empowerment where we uplift marginalized communities, encourage engagement in societal issues, and celebrate each other and ourselves. A podcast for Asian girls by Asian girls, we are focused on uplifting, highlighting, and supporting Asian women everywhere. With the lack of representation amongst Asian girls in social media, we started this podcast because we believe in the power of supporting one another. 

As for how Dear Asian Girl got started, I was scrolling through my Instagram around June 2020 and happened to find Dear Asian Youth’s Instagram. At the time, they only had 5,000+ followers, so they had a following, but I also saw that they were accepting applications to be on the national team! So I went on a whim, applied, got an interview, talked about my experience in radio, podcasting, management, and more, and fortunately, they allowed me to pitch the idea of a podcast! Shortly after, they got Alina Rahim, my podcast co-host, and we recorded our first episode, “The Model Minority Myth, who is she?” Now it’s spiraled to 25 episodes, two more podcast co-hosts, Naina Giri and Melissa Yu, to a full-on campaign! As for the name, Dear Asian Girl was a campaign that Dear Asian Youth did in May, celebrating and highlighting Asian Girl stories. Our founder, Stephanie Hu, thought it’d be a great idea to name our podcast after this campaign. 

The podcast touches on a range of topics, such as representation in media to college pressures, to imposter syndrome. How do you craft these episodes and choose these topics?

Since our show now is very guest-centric, we tend to either think of topics in which we could find guests, or we find a guest, and we center a topic around what they could be knowledgeable on. Sometimes it’s a topic we’re very passionate about, and we know a lot about or even a topic that some of our listeners want to hear. An example of this was “Adopting into the Asian Identity” since a lot of our listeners wanted to hear about the Asian Adoptee process since a lot of them are adoptees. Our podcast is very flexible in that way in which we can have a wide array of topics that always interconnect with one another! 

How has this time of COVID-19 affected you and your work? How have you been coping? 

Honestly, not that much. Dear Asian Girl and Dear Asian Youth is a fully remote organization to begin with since we live in so many different states and so many different countries. Podcasting is also super flexible in a way because all you need is a mic, Zoom, and a good stable internet connection. But honestly, this podcast has really helped me during these times, a positive thing that came out of this COVID-19 experience. If I wasn’t on lockdown, I probably wouldn’t have had the time to fully dedicate myself because of other activities, but this podcast and the organization were a blessing in disguise and have helped me in so many ways! It has been a really good, productive distraction from the world around me. I also made so many new friends and connections through my time working. It’s crazy considering I never thought I would make friends online two years ago, but here I am! 

You are open about your own mental health struggles and are the founder and co-director of Mental Note —what is this project, and how did it begin?

Mental Note is an online magazine run by a group of teens from the Chicago suburbs. Our goal is to counter the stigma around mental health through literature, photography, and art. Very similarly to how I came to join Dear Asian Youth, I was bored in quarantine and wanted to make productive use of my time. My friend, Lillie George, also was trying to find ways to be productive. So we kick-started Mental Note with a bunch of my friends, and it’s been really fun! Given our certain circumstances, however, we’re all seniors and applying to colleges, scholarships, and more; we have become inactive on the account, but when we do work on it, it’s such a fun, collaborative experience. 

What does self-care mean to you? How do you take care of yourself? 

Self-care, in essence, to me is listening to your body spiritually, physically, and mentally, like having an intuition on your worth and well-being. For example, if I feel burned out or overworked, I will listen to myself and take a break instead of ignoring it. Self-care is something that needs to be practiced; you’re not just gonna magically be able to discipline yourself to listen to your wants and needs. Especially in this age of social media, where you see everyone working, it’s hard not to want to work 24/7. So for me, when I experience this, I am a creature of habit, and I like to establish a set routine that allows me to work in those self-care things. I love doing yoga, dancing in front of the mirror to Ariana Grande, reading especially, or just talking to my best friend. I also love driving in my car and listening to Taylor Swift, podcasts, and Olivia Rodrigo. I don’t think there’s a set algorithm for self-care; it really depends on what you want and what you like! 

Here are some rapid-fire questions: 

Your go-to coffee shop order? 

Venti White Light Iced Chocolate Mocha with oat milk instead of whole milk 

Favorite color? 

Definitely periwinkle blue at the moment 

Any good films/tv shows you’re watching right now? 

iCarly just came back on Netflix, so I’m rewatching all the episodes 

Ultimate comfort food?

Hummus and Pita Chips 

What has been the highlight of your day today? 

The highlight of my day is that my mom got Chipotle without me asking, so I’m so happy!

What is upcoming for you and your work? 

Currently, Dear Asian Girl is in its second season called the Power of Politics, where we highlight current political topics, and our latest episode (2/6) was essentially about Affirmative Action. Our next season, in March, is about Asian women, so be on the lookout for that! 

genesis bio.jpg

Genesis Magpayo is a 17-year-old girl living in the Chicagoland area and is one of the podcast co-hosts of Dear Asian Girl. Besides being a podcast co-hosts she loves reading, hosts her own on-air radio show, and loves thrifting. You can find her on @dearasiangirl or her personal account @genmagpayo with her linktree to see her work and things that she does! 

Head Interviewer

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