October is almost over and that means Filipino American History Month is rounding out as well, but that doesn't mean we can't keep on celebrating us. However for now, let's dive in with these last couple of FAHM Spotlight features. If you've seen the Netflix hit, Bling Empire and binged in basically a day, did you know the mind behind the show is Fil-Am Brandon Panaligan.
1. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Brandon keeps his Filipino roots close
Brandon looks forward to spending more time in Manila when he can travel back. It's been years since the first time he visited the Philippines. He remembered taking a side trip to Manila and meeting his dad there while filming Shahs of Sunset in Thailand. After traveling throughout Luzon, he now wants to see Palawan and hang out at some of the best beaches with his family.
2. Brandon enjoys his Filipino food, especially halo-halo
Listing off some of his favorite foods, Brandon is definitely a foodie! You can't visit the Philippines without trying some of the most amazing food. He shared that he loves Filipino food like crispy pata, sinigang and anything with ube. Maybe he can link up with some of our favorite ube spots in LA. However he says his all time favorite is halo-halo. Same here!
3. Before becoming the Executive Producer and show runner of Bling Empire, Brandon worked in the music and film industry
According to an interview with Metro Style, Brandon worked with big names like Madonna and he always had a talent for storytelling. The passion for documentaries led him to taking on reality series. With the boom of reality tv, it was only natural for him to take on a new challenge of storytelling. He looked to increasing representation on television and he's definitely doing that.
4. Bling Empire isn't the first reality series, he's produced
You've definitely seen some of the other shows Brandon has produced. Does Million Dollar Listing New York, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and Big Rich Texas sound familiar? Yes, he's also produced those too. He's also taken space in the Netflix world with Made in Mexico and DeafU.
5. With Bling Empire, show creator Jeff Jenkins wanted an all-Asian cast and crew off and on camera
With Jeff Jenkins wanting to bring an all-Asian cast and crew, Brandon's Fil-Am heritage helped in his role as executive producer. The series may seem like it's all glitz and glam, but Brandon intended to share the "entire spectrum of life" and everything in between about the cast's families and lifestyle. He tells viewers "don't get distracted by the diamonds.” He wanted to tell an honest story and make sure he represents everyone as a full person.
Cover Photo Credit: IMDB