It’s About Telling Stories and Doing What You Love

Tenacity. Passion. Dedication. Hard work. Jannelle So-Perkins, host and executive producer of So Jannelle TV embodies all this and more. She stuck to her guns and rebuilt her career from scratch upon migrating to Los Angeles in 2003. Named as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipino Women in America by the Filipina Women’s Network, and recently recognized as one of the Powerhouse: Top 50 Influential Filipinas by the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles (FACC-GLA), Jannelle’s journey spans two countries and a couple of decades in between.

Photo: Jannelle So-Perkins
(Reporting in front of the Van Nuys Courthouse)

She started her career in journalism as a sportscaster, covering the Philippine Basketball Association, and acting as a correspondent for both local and international sporting events, including the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Malaysia, the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea, and 2006 NBA All-Start Weekend in Houston, Texas. She also had her own weekly sports TV show while covering national events from the 1998 Philippine Presidential Elections to the 2000 Centennial Celebrations in the Philippines. In addition to being a tv personality, she also wrote for The Philippine Star, a national paper in the Philippines, as both weekly lifestyle columnist and a weekly sports columnist.

It’s no surprise that a year after leaving her career and moving to Los Angeles, she found herself landing a job as a daily Filipino talk show at KSCITV-LA18, a local Asian network to add to their programming. Kababayan LA, a show she hosted and produced for the station, was launched in April 2006. It was America’s first and only locally produced daily talk show for Filipinos in the U.S. She stayed for over eight years and left the show to get married to her now husband and start a family.

After a hiatus from her career, Jannelle started her own production company, Jannelle So Productions, LLC. and in 2017, launched “So Jannelle”, a weekly magazine and lifestyle show on the Lifestyle Network of The Filipino Channel, a global Filipino channel. Her show features the Filipino and Filipino-American community—from events to human interest stories to community issues. It documents the Filipino and Filipino American experience—their journeys, triumphs, and challenges.

Today, she shares a glimpse at her goals, challenges and a bit of advice to those in pursuit of their dreams.

Photo Credit: Jannelle So-Perkins

What continues to inspire you in growing and evolving your company?

My ultimate goal for my company is to create more Filipino and Asian-centric shows. And there are mainly two things that inspire me to grow my company to achieve this goal.

First, my children. I do want them to have a vibrant community they can belong in, that will embrace them; and that they can contribute to.

Second, the stories we feature weekly on the show are just so diverse, so inspiring and so entertaining. I am always encouraged to provide a platform for these stories not easily picked up by so-called “mainstream” media. So if I can grow my company, I can provide a bigger platform.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment thus far? How about your biggest challenge?

My biggest accomplishment is also my biggest challenge – effectively balancing my career with being a mom. Whenever I see my kids thriving, that’s an accomplishment for me. But the challenge is also that – spending enough quality time with them, being present and available for them – while at the same time fulfilling my commitments to JSP (my company); my community (including the Board organizations I serve.)

What advice do you have for those who pursue their dreams and passions?

It will be difficult. It will not be without its set of challenges. Even when you think you’ve got or you’ve made it, there will be struggles. Because that is life. But it is the pursuit of your passions that makes life worth living!

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