FYLPRO joins 450+ orgs denouncing Anti-asian racism amid COVID-19 pandemic


Krystle Canare




April 28, 2020

Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) joins more than 450 organizations to denounce the racist attacks and discrimination against Asian Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

FYLPRO has signed onto a letter of support for H.RES. 908, introduced by Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) which has 131 cosponsors and condemns all forms of anti-Asian sentiment related to COVID-19.

FYLPRO joins the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), the Democracy Initiative along with 450 organizations including AFL-CIO, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, National Federation of Filipino American Associations, Filipino American Service Group, Inc. and Philippine American Foundation for Charities, Inc.

“Signing onto this letter amplifies our voices as a network of Filipino young leaders dedicated to supporting our community during these challenging times. This is a direct way of voicing grassroot concerns to the grasstops,” said FYLPRO Board of Director and NaFFAA Capital Region Chair Krystle Canare. “We’ve gone from being the so-called model minority to yellow peril – let us not be the silent minority too. Let’s hold ourselves accountable to standing against hatred and honoring our organization’s guiding values of integrity, collaboration, and compassion.”

Since its creation in 2012, FYLPRO’s core purpose has been to:

  • Capture and magnify the voice of the Filipino youth community in the US;
  • Preserve the Filipino culture, customs, and values;
  • Build empathy towards Filipino community both in the Philippines and the US; and
  • Maintain grassroots and non-partisan approach of working locally in fields that will have an impact nationally and globally

In response, FYLPRO alumni from across the nation have held town halls, news conferences to raise awareness, including Board of Director Tony Delarosa who conducted a national dialogue on Anti-Asian Racism for Teach for America.

“According to the organization Stop AAPI Hate, recorded hate crimes towards Asian Americans have surpassed 1,500 people. During this time where Anti-AAPI rhetoric and violence continues to rise so does division to our most marginalized groups. We need a way of being that reminds us of collective solidarity across communities of color like Isang Bagsak,” Delarosa said. Across the nation, FYLPRO alumni are joining in arms with other organizations to take action against the hate. Isang Bagsak is a framework for creating more allies and co-conspirators during such an unprecedented time. 

As Secretary of the Asian American Commission of Boston (AAC), Commissioner Philjay Solar (FYLPRO ‘19), alongside AAC members, legislators, Massachusetts legislators, and advocates held a press conference at Boston City Hall on March 12 to publicly condemn attacks, xenophobia, bigotry, and hatred that Asian American and Chinese American communities have experienced in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Next month, Commissioner Solar will meet with the Massachusetts State Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division to discuss resources needed to support the AAPI community. 

On March 28, Greg Cendana (FYLPRO ‘12) co-hosted a townhall on anti-Asian racism co-sponsored by 18 Million Rising, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Asian Solidarity Collective, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Consulting & the University of Connecticut Asian and Asian American Studies Institute.

Over social media, Dr. EJ David (FYLPRO ‘16) shed light on the nuances of the current racism faced within the AAPI community. According to Dr. David, what the data shows is that beyond the coronavirus-related racism. Filipinos experience different kinds of stereotypes and racism such as being called names, harassed, threatened, getting poor service in restaurants and stores, being denied promotion, are more commonly experienced by Filipinos overall, so those kinds of stereotypes and racism affect us more, and they capture our racism realities better than COVID-related racism.

The COVID19 pandemic has profoundly impacted our communities in unspeakable ways. It’s in these uncertain times that we have to uplift and support each other in the fight against anti-Asian discrimination and xenophobia.

About Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO)

The Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of high-performing, next-generation leaders that have a passion for advancing the Philippines and the Filipino people.

FYLPRO was established in 2012 by the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC in cooperation with the Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI) to annually identify outstanding young professionals in the Filipino communities across the United States and provide the delegates with invaluable community, business, and government insights and access to distinguished network captains of industry and government.

For more information:


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FYLPRO Announces New Leadership for 2020

Filipino Young Leaders Program
Contact: info@fylpro.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), a joint initiative with the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the Ayala Foundation, Inc., is pleased to announce its 2020 – 2021 Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Executive Committee:
The Honorable Joshua Ang Price ‘18, President (Little Rock, AR)
Louella Cabalona ’12, Vice President (Chicago, IL)
Major Charlynne McGinnis ‘18, Secretary (Honolulu, HI)
Melissa Palma, MD, ’18, Treasurer (Chicago, IL)

Board of Directors:
Darell Artates, Ex-Oficio (Washington, D.C.)
JR Calanoc ‘12, Immediate Past President (San Francisco, CA)
Jen Coliflores, Esq., ’15 (Boston, MA)
Krystle Canare ’19 (Washington, D.C.)
Tony DelaRosa ’18 (Miami, FL)
Joanna Duarte, Ex-Oficio (Manila, PH)
JP Ferrer ’14 (Chicago, IL)
Donny Feliciano Rojo ’16 (San Francisco, CA)
Lakhi Siap ’15, Immersion Program Co-Chair (Chicago, IL)
Leezel Tanglao ’19 (New York City, NY)

The new leadership will assume their roles effective 5 February, 2020, taking the helm of the nonprofit FYLPRO to fulfill its mission to identify young Filipino-American leaders and reconnect them with their cultural heritage and history; provide professional development to empower them to positively impact their communities; and give them the tools and networks to nurture and grow Philippines-US relations in the areas of government, business, and philanthropic and humanitarian initiatives.

“It is truly wonderful to see young Filipino leaders continue to embody the spirit and pride of being a Filipino here in the United States. The future is bright for FYLPRO and the communities they are a part of”, said Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez in a statement.

“I am extremely proud of FYLPRO’s achievements in 2019,” said outgoing President JR Calanoc. “As the organization quickly nears 100+ delegates, it is even more critical to engage alumni, strengthen operations, fundraise, and improve on the immersion program. Having had the opportunity to work with the incoming leadership last year, I feel confident that they will lead FYLPRO to new heights.”

Incoming FYLPRO President, The Honorable Joshua Ang Price, is the first Filipino American (and first Asian American) Election Commissioner for Pulaski County, Arkansas – the most populous county in the state with 400,000 residents and home to its capital city of Little Rock. He is the second elected official of Filipino-American heritage in Arkansas history and one of four Asian American elected officials currently in the state.

He is joined by Vice President Louella Cabalona, an artist, lead singer of SamaSama Project and Senior Manager for Analytics at Blue Cross Blue Shield who was a member of the very first batch of FYLPRO delegates. US Air Force Major Charlynne McGinnis, a decorated officer with extensive experience in the Asia-Pacific region; and Dr. Melissa Palma, a physician who passionately works to advance public health in underserved populations will serve their second terms as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. The members of the Board of Directors are comprised of FYLPRO alumni from across the nation in multiple industries including business, banking, nonprofits, education, journalism and law. Along with representatives from the Philippine Embassy and Ayala Foundation, Inc., this body will advise and support the executive committee during their terms in office.

Incoming President Joshua Ang Price states, “FYLPRO has grown tremendously in this past year under JR Calanoc’s leadership, and I am honored to serve as the president this year and work with our 84 alumni to empower our communities as we recognize the longstanding friendship between Filipinos and Americans. There are currently over 4 million Filipino-Americans in our nation, and one of FYLPRO’s main goals this year is to make sure our communities are properly represented by encouraging them to participate in the US Census and register to vote in the upcoming 2020 Elections. I know that with this outstanding team at the helm of FYLPRO, the sky is the limit in how we can positively impact our Filipino communities here in the U.S. and in the Philippines.”

“To lead this outstanding group of Filipino American Leaders is a great honor and privilege, and I thank my fellow FYLPRO alumni for their trust,” said 2020 Vice President Louella Cabalona. “I’ve seen the growth of this organization over the past eight years and am excited to use my purpose, experience and puso (heart) to work with our leadership to further FYLPRO’s mission and maximize our impact in the Filipino and Filipino-American communities we serve.”

Established in 2012 by the Philippine Embassy in the United States in cooperation with the Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI), FYLPRO annually identifies outstanding young professionals in the Filipino communities across the United States and provide them invaluable community, business, and government insights and access to a distinguished network captains of industry and government. For more information, please visit www.fylpro.org.

15 Young Leaders Named 2019 FYLPRO delegates

Filipino Young Leaders Program
Contact: info@fylpro.org


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), a joint initiative of the Philippine Embassy, Consulates General in the United States, and the Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI), has named the 2019 FYLPRO Delegates.

The 2019 FYLPRO delegates will go on a week-long immersion trip to Manila, this November and be given the opportunity to interact with Philippine government officials and leaders in the fields of business, arts and culture, and civil society.

Due to an overwhelming number of high-quality applicants this year, the traditional number of ten delegates has been increased to 15 to reflect the growth of the Filipino American population and the expansion of the FYLPRO program. The 2019 FYLPRO Delegates (in alphabetical order) are:

The delegates are:

  1. Sergio Alcubilla (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  2. Krystle Canare (Arlington, Virginia)
  3. Frederick Docdocil (Carson, California)
  4. Everett Icao (Chicago, Illinois)
  5. Eileen Agahan Igcasenza (Barrigada, Guam)
  6. Joyce King (Frederick, Maryland)
  7. Bernadette Lim (Berkeley, California)
  8. Antonio Moya (Los Angeles, California)
  9. Rizza Palmares O’Connor (Vidalia, Georgia)
  10. Elle Ramel (Chicago, Illinois)
  11. Timothy Simba-Medel (Bryant, Arkansas)
  12. Philjay Solar (Boston, Massachusetts)
  13. Leezel Tanglao (New York, New York)
  14. Earl Valencia (San Francisco, California)
  15. Kevin Zagala (Redwood City, California)

They now join a prestigious network of 85 young, Filipino-American leaders across the nation to collaborate, exchange ideas, and continue to inspire a wave of diplomatic innovation.

“This year we saw applications more than double and we were thoroughly impressed by the breadth and quality of applicants. On behalf of FYLPRO, I am excited to welcome our fifteen 2019 delegates who stood out amongst a competitive group for their accomplishments and potential,” said FYLPRO President JR Calanoc. “We’re excited to see how together we can continue to advance the Philippines and Filipino people,” he added.

“We are deeply impressed with the number and quality of applications received this year and the selected delegates all represent the dynamism, passion to serve and contribute, and leadership prevalent among the next generation of Filipino-Americans,” said Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez.

“All of us at the Philippine Embassy and Consulates General take great pride in the current and previous batches of FYLPRO delegates. We are also proud of our continuing collaboration with the Ayala Foundation, Inc., Department of Foreign Affairs, and FYLPRO non-profit alumni organization in designing a transformative and impactful immersion program,” Romualdez added.

Established in 2012 by the Philippine Embassy in the United States in cooperation with the Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI), FYLPRO annually identifies outstanding young professionals in the Filipino communities across the United States and provide them invaluable community, business, and government insights and access to a distinguished network captains of industry and government. For more information, visit www.fylpro.org.

ABS-CBN #SmilePH FYLPRO Teaser 2019

TFC The Filipino Channel and ABS-CBN #SmilePH was there with the 2018 FYLPRO Delegation and distinguished members of Philippine government, business, and community, including President Dondi Leonidas Quintans and FYLPRO founder Ambassador Jose Cuisia.

Catch the full feature on TFC or stay tuned here.

Learn more about the Filipino Young Leaders Program at: fylpro.org

#Mabuhay #Family #Filipino #American #TFC #ABSCBN #Leaders #FYLPRO

Ten young Fil-Ams named ’18 FYLPRO delegates to PH

Filipino Young Leaders Program
Contact: info@fylpro.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ten young Filipino Americans have been chosen 2018 FYLPRO (Filipino Young Leaders Program) delegates.

The 2018 FYLPRO delegates will be traveling in a week-long immersion trip to Manila this November and will have the opportunity to interact with Philippine government officials and leaders in the fields of business, arts and culture, and civil society.

The program is a joint initiative of the Philippine Embassy led by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez, Consulates General in the United States, and the Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI).

  1. Amanda Bantug (Washington, DC)
  2. Baron Cabalona (Chicago)
  3. Anthony Dela Rosa (Miami)
  4. Lauren Lalicon (New Jersey)
  5. Catherine Luib (San Diego)
  6. Charlynne Mae McGinnis (Honolulu)
  7. Melissa Palma (Chicago)
  8. Joshua Price (Maumalle)
  9. Brian Tajo (San Francisco)
  10. Meriden Villanueva (Los Angeles)

The ten leaders have carried out “inspiring work in their communities driven by their passions for the Filipino culture and the advancement of Philippine interests and advocacies in the United States. They now join a prestigious network of 70 young, Filipino-American leaders across the nation to collaborate, exchange ideas, and continue to inspire a wave of diplomatic innovation,” according to a FYLPRO press announcement.

“Our family has grown and I am beyond honored to lead amongst exceptional peers,” said Dondi Leonidas Quintans, FYLPRO president. “We are thrilled to welcome the 2018 Delegates into our program and to show them a side of the Philippines only a select few are privileged to experience. We hope our future partnerships will lead to collaborative, imaginative, community-driven, and long-lasting advocacies between the Philippines and the United States.”

“It was not without difficulty that we selected the 2018 delegates among many outstanding applications. But it gives me great pride to know through the FYLPRO selection process just how talented, driven and inspiring the young leaders of the Filipino diaspora community are,” said Ambassador Romualdez.

Drive For Young Leaders Golf Tournament

The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, Filipino Young Leaders Program, and the Department of Foreign Affairs present.

Golf Tournament

Monday, September 24, 2018
Crystal Springs Golf Course, Burlingame, California
Early Bird Special Pricing: $135/person | $520/Group of 4
Prices after 8/25/18: $150/person |$565/ Group of 4


Delegates selected for 2017 immersion program to the Philippines

Filipino Young Leaders Program
Contact: Kit Zulueta (808) 291-9407

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Philippine Embassy today announced the sixth cohort of the Filipino Young Leaders Program to participate in the week-long, expense-paid Immersion Program to the Philippines.

The delegates are:

Marjorie Baltazar (Chicago, IL) – Baltazar, a staunch advocate for immigrant rights, is the Principal of Baltazar Global LLC, a business immigration law firm aimed at making sophisticated immigration services simple and accessible. Prior to launching her firm, Marjorie spent nearly 10 years practicing immigration with a large international law firm. She has assisted a diverse range of clients in developing creative and sound legal strategies to hire and retain talent from all over the world. Born in the Philippines and having immigrated to the United States as an eight-year old, Marjorie is a staunch advocate for immigrant rights and routinely provides pro bono legal services to individuals seeking immigration benefits. She serves on the Junior Leadership Board of the National Immigrant Justice Center and is a past recipient of the National Immigrant Justice Center Rising Star Award and has been selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for immigration lawyers since 2014. Marjorie is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago and was a member of its Board of Directors for its 2014 inaugural term and 2015 term.

Amanda Bernardo (New York, NY) – As an immigration attorney, Bernardo has helped win asylum for refugees, ensured a Filipino programmer the pay and position he deserves for his skills, empowered a Chinese nail technician victimized by domestic violence, fought for a single mother fleeing gang rape in El Salvador and expanded the business of a Bangladeshi entrepreneur. As an immigration expert, she saved countless families from deportation and legalized the status of even more. Amanda sees first-hand how people of various nationalities experience the immigration system. She is committed to using her legal expertise to transform the experience of Filipinos and underrepresented communities in that system. Amanda received her Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School. She is the Chair of the Immigration Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York and of the Public Relations Committee of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York. She is a widely sought-after speaker on immigration law. Recently, she collaborated with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and Filipino-American Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas to educate Asian/Filipino immigrants on their rights under the Trump Administration. She graduated from American University​ summa cum laude ​ with honors where she focused on Philippines and US migration.

Ryan Dalusag (Laguna Niguel, CA) – Dalusag is a first-generation Filipino-American citizen, born and raised in California. He graduated from San Diego State University with my Masters in Social Work. Currently, Ryan is a clinical social worker on the Behavioral Health Unit at Mission Hospital. He enjoys being able to help patients struggling with mental health issues by providing clinical interventions and resources to help them reintegrate into the community. When he’s not working, Ryan volunteers in the Filipino community, currently serving as Executive Director for the Lakas Mentorship Program, as well as a Publicity and Outreach Committee member for Filipino Cultural School (FCS) – both based in Southern California. Lakas mentors High School and college students, by providing guidance to obtain higher education and successfully move forward in their careers. The organization centers on its five pillars of Self-Awareness, Fil-Am Studies, College Prep, Positionality, and Leadership. FCS works to provide cultural education for the younger generation, from Kindergarten through High School, centering on music, dance, and cultural language and history. During his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with family and friends, rock climbing, and trying new foods.

Eric John David (Anchorage, AK) – E.J.R. David was born in the Philippines by Kapampangan and Tagalog parents, and grew up in Pasay, Las Piñas, Makati, and Alaska. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage (2002), and Master of Arts (2004) and Doctoral (2007) Degrees in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. E.J.R. David is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage and has published theoretical and empirical works on Internalized Oppression or Colonial Mentality, including Brown Skin, White Minds: Filipino -/ American Postcolonial Psychology (Information Age Publishing). His most recent book is Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups (Springer Publishing). He was the 2007 recipient of the American Psychological Association (APA) Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues (Division 45) Distinguished Student Research Award. In 2012, he was honored by the APA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) with the Early Career Award in Research for Distinguished Contributions to the Field of Racial and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and was also chosen to receive the Asian American Psychological Association Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in 2013. In 2014, he was honored by the Alaska Psychological Association with the “Cultural Humanitarian Award for Exemplary Service and Dedication to Diversity Award”, and in 2015 was inducted as a Fellow by the Asian American Psychological Association for “Unusual and Outstanding Contributions to Asian American Psychology.”

Tyler Dos Santos-Tam (Honolulu, HI) – Dos Santos-Tam is the Executive Director of the Hawaii Construction Alliance, the organization which represents the state’s 15,000-member strong Carpenters, Laborers, Cement Masons, Bricklayers, and Operating Engineers unions. In this unique role, he brings together representatives from the these unions to promote cooperation, collaboration, and coordination within the Hawaii’s construction industry. Tyler serves on the Neighborhood Commission, which oversees the City and County’s neighborhood board system, after being appointed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and confirmed by the Honolulu City Council. He has been an active board member of the Hawaii Children’s Action Network and the Filipino Jaycees, was a member of the 2014 Class of the Pacific Century Fellows, and is also a leader within the Democratic Party of Hawaii and the Young Democrats of America. He was recognized as one of Pacific Business News’ 40 Under Forty for his work in both the business and advocacy community. Tyler is a graduate of Punahou School and Yale University.

Rebecca Elmore (Guam) – Raised on the island of Guam, Elmore is a news anchor and reporter for the Pacific News Center for Sorensen Media Pacific Broadcast. Although working as a reporter, her first love is advocacy work in the community and her most passionate stories cover public policy affecting the Filipino population on Guam. She recently transferred from the University of Colorado Denver to the University of Guam to continue to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis on diplomacy and law. Ms. Elmore holds a B.A. with Latin honors in Communication from CU Denver where she served on the Auraria Board of Directors, founded CU’s first Filipino student organization, and discovered a newfound joy in Tinikling dancing. When Ms. Elmore is not chasing stories for the nightly news, her interests include international diplomacy, non-profit efficacy, and binge-watching TedTalks on Youtube. You can catch Ms. Elmore on the evening news every weeknight on ABC7 and Fox6. She aspires to leave the world a better place, one investigative story at a time.

Ireneo Reus III (Long Beach, CA) – Reus founded The Reus Law Firm in 2005 and represents international and domestic clients in commercial litigation, employment law and corporate matters. Ireneo earned his J.D. degree from the UCLA School of Law in 2004, where he was a member of the UCLA Moot Court Honors Program and served as Senior Articles Editor for the UCLA Journal of Law & Technology. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Economics and Political Science, summa cum laude, from Whittier College in 2001, where he also competed for the Rhodes Scholarship. He is a member of the State Bar of California, and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of International Trade. He served on the Board of Governors of the Philippine American Bar Association since 2006 and as chair of the Board of Directors of the California Young Lawyers Association from 2012 to 2013. With over 40,000 members, CYLA is the largest association of young attorneys in the world. Ireneo currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the UCLA School of Law’s Alumni Association.Ireneo is also a frequent speaker at continuing legal education programs on various topics such as ethics, professional responsibility, social media, and civil litigation. He served as Program Chair and Moderator at the ABA Section of International Law’s 2016 Fall Meeting in Tokyo, Japan and 2017 Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Christal Simanski (Alexandria, VA) – Simanski is the current President of the Filipino Young Professionals Organization of Washington, D.C., which works to elevate the Filipino-American professional to achieve success in their career. Simanski is also an international affairs and trade specialist for the United States Government. She has written reports on how well government programs and policies are meeting their objectives. She graduated from the University of Texas, Arlington, as Magna Cum Laude with bachelor degrees in political science and philosophy. Simanski went on to complete her graduate degree at the age of 22 from the University of California, San Diego, in the field of International Affairs. She has previously interned for Innovations for Poverty Action at their field office in Manila and for the State Department, at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. Christal has worked on an array of topics to include human rights issues and international migration. She is passionate about environmental conservation and civic involvement.

Ryann Tanap (Arlington, VA) – Tanap is a writer and advocate for suicide prevention and multicultural communities. She is the Manager of Social Media and Digital Assets at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), where she oversees strategy, partnerships, content, growth, and engagement across social media platforms. Prior to NAMI, she served as a consultant on the Asian American and Pacific Islanders for AARP’s Multicultural Leadership Team and as Editor-in-Chief for Pilipino American Unity for Progress. She is an alumna of the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, a leadership development program. As a Global Playground (GP) Teaching Fellow, she taught English, cross-cultural topics, and dance to middle and high school students in northwest thailand. She later served on the Board of Directors and played a pivotal role in the launch of GP Philippines in partnership with Advancement for Rural Kids. Ryann believes in the healing and transformative power of the arts. She performs spoken word and fundraises for This is My Brave and the Armed Services Arts Partnership. Her blog, Mama Tanap, explores mental health in our society. She earned her BA in International Relations with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies from the College of William and Mary.

Ray Villanueva (Seattle, WA) – Villanueva is an architect, educator, and aspiring builder. He is co-founder of Estudio Damgo, a student-led, community design and build program at Foundation University in Dumaguete City. The program focus is using local materials like bamboo to reintroduce cultural relevance and sustainability in construction. The program was awarded a 2013 Ten Accomplished Youth Organization and its alumnus was awarded a 2013 Ten Outstanding Student of the Philippines for his work with Estudio Damgo. Ray is currently co-director of the Philippines Bamboo Workshop Study Abroad Program through the University of Washington Department of Architecture, which won the 2016 ACSA Design Build Award. Ray has worked on health clinics, schools and public buildings as a project architect and project manager at Miller Hayashi Architects. Currently, Ray is project manager for Katerra, a technology, design, and construction company that is transforming the way housing is built. Ray earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland with Summa Cum Laude honors and completed his Master of Architecture at the University of Washington. Ray lives in Seattle with his wife, Amy, and two kids, June (4) and Lou (2).

Minister Patrick Chuasoto, the Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires ad interim and chair of the Selection Committee composed by Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the United States, noted difficulty in selecting this year’s 10 delegates because of the competitive application process.

“As with the previous years, FYLPRO 2017 delegates bring with them a great deal of experience, dynamism and passion for empowering their communities,” Minister Chuasoto said.

“We are excited to see how they will use their learnings and takeaways from the Immersion Program in their legacy projects,” he added.

The 2017 Immersion Program is on October 8 – 14 and is organized in conjunction with the Ayala Foundation, Inc. The delegates are scheduled to meet and engage with government leaders, business executives, cultural experts, social entrepreneurs, and innovators in different fields to strengthen their understanding of issues affecting their country of heritage. FYLPRO was established to create a pipeline of young leaders to advance the interests of the Filipino community.

“We welcome the new roster of delegates to FYLPRO and look forward to executing a great program in the Philippines with our partners,” said Kit Zulueta, FYLPRO president. “As the family grows, we also encourage those not selected this year to remain in touch, as we are all leaders who share the same objective to uplift the Filipino community.”

Ms. Zulueta said the Immersion Program committee has now switched gears to gather and consolidate resources for the execution of the program’s itinerary. Those interested to support the program may e-mail mabuhay@fylpro.org.

Now on its sixth year, FYLPRO has built an alumni network registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which continues to reach out to new potential partners to help develop the program and its legacy projects.

FYLPRO alumni share experiences at Info Sessions, public invited

Two FYLPRO Info Sessions are scheduled this week for alumni to engage the public in meaning discussion as they share their experiences in the Philippines during the Immersion Program, and to share updates about their initiatives here in the U.S.

FYLPRO Immersion Program Info Session: Chicago
Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
Chicago Philippine Consulate
122 S Michigan Ave. #1600, Chicago, IL 60603

FYLPRO Immersion Program Info Session: Los Angeles
Friday, June 30, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
1145 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90017

Both events are free and open to the public, especially for young leaders who are considering applying for the program. FYLPRO alumni will be present to answer questions about the application requirements, especially the essay.

FYLPRO would like to thank Chicago Philippine Consul General Generoso D.G. Calonge and Los Angeles Philippine Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz , who will both be present at the respective events to support our leaders.

Every year, FYLPRO works with the Philippine Embassy, the Philippine Consulates in the United States and Ayala Foundation, Inc. to search for the 10 most outstanding, next-generation Filipinos in the United States to participate in its distinguished Immersion Program in the Philippines – a week-long, all-expense paid trip to the Philippines to meet leaders in various fields and strengthen the ties between the U.S. and the Philippines.

The official dates of the 2017 Immersion Program are October 8 to 14. This is the sixth FYLPRO Immersion Program since its inception in 2012.

The deadline to apply is July 7.


  1. Leaders no younger than 25 years old and no older than 40 years old by Oct. 8, 2017, the first day of the 2017 Immersion Program
  2. Ready and capable of traveling to the Philippines, arriving in Manila by Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 and departing no earlier than Oct. 14, 2017. If selected, the program will shoulder airfare and accommodations.
  3. Demonstrated leadership skills within their school, community,workplace or other area of involvement
  4. Have potential or demonstrated involvement in the Filipino community,or in issues and/or activities that align with the interest of the Filipino American community or the Philippines.


  1. Fill-out the Intent to apply form here.
  2. Completed Application Form.
  3. Resume
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. A selfie/profile photo and 200-word bio

Email everything to mabuhay@fylpro.org by July 7, 11:59 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time

FYLPRO recognizes the need for young leaders to have a stronger connection with the Philippines and to immerse delegates in the country’s current political and socio-economic climate. The program helps our FYLPRO leaders better position themselves in advocating for the Filipino-American community.

Today, FYLPRO continues to work on ventures to give back to the community in Legacy Projects. These projects are as diverse as its alumni roster, from leadership summits, launching political campaigns to seek for elected office, creation of social enterprises that feature Philippines’ culture and traditions, or through collaboration with other entities with similar values.

For any questions, email mabuhay@fylpro.org.

A musical about Filipinos and the Philippines inches closer to Broadway

SEATTLE – It was the first time the cast performed ​to​ a mostly Filipino audience for Seattle Repertory Theatre’s hit musical Here Lies Love’s, as guests relived the events during martial law and the iconic People Power Revolution. Emotions ran high amidst all the dancing, techno beats and controversy about the show.

The musical was the main event featured at the Seattle’s Philippine Soiree on Saturday, June 3, which was ​presented ​by Jhett Tolentino and the Filipino Young Leaders Program. The benefit event drew audiences to Seattle from Vancouver​, Los Angeles​ and Portland, as well as FYLPRO alumni from Hawaii, Chicago​, San Francisco​ and New York.

“The goal is to bring this show to Broadway, where never in a hundred years has there been a story about the Philippines and our people,” Tolentino said. “There are many steps ​involved,​ ​​they’re never ​easy – taking the show mainstream is a ​huge ​step, and community support remains the most essential component​.

“I want this to go further. Just sit tight.”

Special guests at the Soiree include San Francisco Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Kababayan Today host G Tongi, Filipino fashion designer Oliver Tolentino, singer Gaby Borromeo and public relations executive Rembrandt Flores.

“We want to thank everyone who joined us, especially to our sponsors​​, vendors and Kaya Collaborative volunteers who ensured the success of the event,” said Kit Zulueta, president of FYLPRO. “It is our goal to bridge the Philippines and the Filipino communities in the U.S. and this event helped us brand and elevate our culture and history.”

The audience were treated to a post-show Q&A where Mark Bautista, playing the role of President Ferdinand Marcos said, “As a Filipino, I’m very proud to do this show. We are sharing our history to the world.”

The cast of SRT’s Here Lies Love boasts of Filipino talent.

“It’s nice to not have to do an accent,” said Conrad Ricamora who plays Ninoy Aquino. “A lot of times going through this business, you get cast as an Asian role with a generic Asian accent, which reduces people to a stereotype. They tell you ‘any Asian accent is fine,’ which is really offensive.”

Jaygee Macapugay, who plays the lead role Imelda Marcos, choked up when asked about how deep they get into their characters. Macapugay said seeing a lot of fellow Filipinos in the audience, who all are part in the singing and dancing in the story, added a dimension, which made the roles seem more real.

“It’s just been an honor and a privilege to do this,” Macapugay said. “I have never been part of a show that is for the Filipino. I am hoping this is the first of many Filipino musicals.”

The Seattle’s Philippine Soiree is sponsored by Supersmile, The Filipino Channel, in cooperation with Inquirer.net, Kababayan Today, Pinoy Buzz and Constantine Screen Printing and Goods.

Guests were treated to a reception afterwards sponsored by The Filipino Food Movement, which featured Hood Famous Bakeshop, SaluSalo Filipino Kitchen, Kraken Congee and Seafood City.

The Soiree also featured a variety of cultural books from Pinoy Words Expressed Kultura Arts, ancient Philippine writing system Baybayin.com, Filipino-designer products from Matina and an exclusive showcase of limited edition Philip Stein Global Filipino Watch collection.​

The benefit nonprofit FYLPRO made an announcement that evening opening applications to its annual Immersion Program. Each year 10 outstanding young leaders are selected to take part in a week-long, all-expense-paid trip to the Philippines. Information about the program is available at FYLPRO.org.

SRT’s Here Lies Love is reported to be their most expensive show ever, which has transformed its theatre into a wild disco party. The show is extended until June 18.