Raising An Influential Filipino Generation Meant to Disrupt

If you’re called cheugy then maybe it’s time to let the young ones lead? But what support can we give the new crop of leaders, and how can we best raise them while keeping our Filipino values intact? When do we become toxic and what examples of generational trauma should stop with us?


Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cElVPr0ENLk


This panel is scheduled for:

Day 3:  Nov. 6,  10:30-12:00 a.m. ET  (Nov. 7,  10:30-12:00 p.m. Philippines)

Karaoke Room by Samasama Project

Scheduled for:

Day 3:  Nov. 6,  10:30-12:00 a.m. ET  (Nov. 7,  10:30-12:00 p.m. Philippines)


SamaSama Project was launched as one of Chicago’s premiere Filipino Folk Fusion band in 2008. “SamaSama” translated as “united, together” truly live up to their name creating a blend of Filipino folk, rock, ska, and Latin music, inspired by a 1970s musical movement called Manila Sound.
Over the years, the talented group led by Baron Lloyd Cabalona, a versatile musician and arranger and wife, Louella Rose, a TV and musical theater actress in Asia and in the US have made their mark showcasing a fusion of Filipino traditional folk and contemporary music at many notable venues and events. SamaSama Project regularly performs around Illinois and other Midwest States notably at the Windy City Ribfest, Chicago Loop Alliance’s ACTIVATE Series, Old Town School of Folk Music – World MusicWednesday Series, the Chicago Cultural Alliance’s MOSAIC Fundraiser, Chicago Wildlife Conference, Bolingbrook Piyesta Pinoy, Morton Grove Festival of Cultures, Northbrook’s Taste Of Asia. They also performed in Madrid, Spain for the Pope’s World Youth Day MacroFestival Concert for over 12,000 youth.
As one of the top bands in the Filipino American community in Chicago, SamaSama Project is highly sought after in providing great live band entertainment for weddings, anniversary celebrations, birthday parties, debuts (18th birthday), holiday parties and corporate events.
Inspired by the drive to promote diversity through music, SamaSama Project continue to captivate audiences with their unique sound that transcends all boundaries.
Please consider purchasing official SamaSama Project merchandise to support our music and all independent artists.

  • Lou Ella Rose – Lead Vocals and Agung (ethnic)
  • Baron Cabalona – Drums, Bass Guitar, Kulintang (ethnic), and Musical Director
  • Ran Sevilla – Rhythm Guitar and Dabakan (ethnic)
  • John Kniker – Lead Guitar
  • EJ Luna – Bass Guitar
  • Giga Yanong – Saxophone and Bongos


Lou Ella Rose is the Lead Singer, Producer and Creative Director for Filipino Folk fusion band SamaSama Project. Lou Ella is also an accomplished actress who has been in many television shows, commercials, and stage productions performing in the Philippines, Singapore and the USA. If you lived in Manila in the early 2000s, you may recognize her in the widely popular Selecta Sundae “Jolex” and Lucky Me Spicy Hot Mami TV commercials.
She is passionate about sharing Filipino culture in the modern world through her art.
A seasoned IT Professional with over 20 years of experience specializing in Data for various Fortune 500 companies, she is a Sr. Manager of Business Management Platforms for Data and Analytics Solutions at Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois (HCSC). Her multiple careers, including being a writer for Chicago-based Via Times News Magazine, intersect at understanding truths through stories founded on facts and data.
She was an inaugural delegate of the FYLPRO Immersion program by the Philippine Embassy in 2012 and is now serving as President of its 501(c)3 Nonprofit, Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO). She also serves as Director for Asian Popup Cinema, the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Chicago (PACCGC), and the Midwest Pilipino American Coalition (MPAC).
Lou Ella Rose’s passion for helping her home country drives her philanthropic work to found and support organizations such as IL-PRO, the Illinois Philippines Recovery Operations at a time when the Philippines was ridden with calamities that claimed thousands of lives and, the League of Volunteers for relief Expeditions (L.O.V.E), a network of volunteers that conduct medical missions in the most underserved areas in the Philippines.
Of the many hats she wears, however, she finds being mama to her toddler Reign and life-long partner to husband Baron, most fulfilling.


Baron Lloyd Cabalona is the Musical Director and Co-founder of the Chicago-based Filipino Folk Fusion band, SamaSama Project. A Nurse by profession, he co-founded the League Of Volunteers for relief Expeditions (L.O.V.E), a medical mission group that has provides medical, surgical (minor) and dental assistance to patients that live in remote and underserved areas.
An alumni of the Merit School of Music, Baron is a versatile instrumentalist playing the clarinet, bass, tuba, ukelele among others. He recently went back to his roots playing keyboards as he did back in Tacloban when he was young, performing around the city and often guesting in TV Shows such as Tita Jenny’s Kiddie Land. He is the backbone behind SamaSama Project’s solid instrumentation and is even more proud to be a good friend to our crew and to everyone. During the pandemic, he picked up learning to Dj-ing and was actively providing music to staff and patients during dist-dance events helping create some normalcy.
His passion for music is only equaled by his passion to bring medical care to poor communities and disaster stricken areas in his home country, the Philippines. Since 2013, he has been mobilizing a dedicated group of doctors, nurses, dentists and volunteers to conduct “Sagip Kalusugan” Programs in Mindoro Occidental, Bukidnon, Lipa City, Abra, Verde Island, Tacloban City, Smokey Mountain in Manila and other areas.
To the community that he serves, Baron is a leader and a mover in their collective cultural and philanthropic endeavors. Through his leadership, SamaSama Project whose objective of promoting Filipino Culture through music and the arts have proven themselves to be outstanding representatives of the community in established cultural events in Illinois and the neighboring states, as well as internationally, such as the World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain. He led charity events that gathered hundreds of volunteers to raise money for victims of natural calamities that hit the Philippines.
In the arts, he has utilized his creative talent in arranging musicals and shows that touch on the our peoples’ struggles and successes with the hope of giving a voice to the community as Filipinos and most importantly as Americans. Moreover, Baron has and continue to contribute immensely in paving the way for Filipino Arts and Fil-American artists to be on the Cultural map of Illinois with performances invitations and shows throughout the year and annual ground breaking concerts that showcase Filipino music, dance and theater arts to a broader audience.
A jack of all trades, Baron is also a painter whose works are displayed in Oakton Community College, the Choir Director for Saint Joan Of Arc Parish, a music teacher, a marathon runner with 21 medals to his name and a loving husband to Louella and a loving father to his their son, Reign.

With Great Kapwa Comes Great Responsibility: Embodying Our Values in Grassroots “Move-Meant”

Join us for a session of knowledge-sharing through storytelling, videos, and discussion.

As an organization founded by Filipino immigrants, we carry with us the legacy of People Power. We believe that the people most affected by structural injustice should be at the forefront of our movements. We seek to amplify the voices of those most silenced in our community: undocumented families, new immigrants, domestic workers, low-wage workers, seniors, and youth.

Learn how AFIRE Chicago has been rooting their approach in care, in order to inspire and build a more sustainable and liberating future for our Filipinx/a/o community.


Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZprEd5O2ww


This panel is scheduled for:

Day 2:  Nov. 5,  10:00-11:30 p.m. ET  (Nov. 6,  10:00-11:30 a.m. Philippines)


Danielle “L” De Vera
Energy bender of mandirigma (“warrior”), and healer. I exist within the in-between, and believe that my calling in this life is to bridge people through storytelling and creation.

In community work, I often find my answers to difficult questions by exploring the dynamic of “how to honor the individual within the collective.” There is no one way to live this life, but I am so grateful to be in community, and to be able to cultivate spaces where we can “come as we are” and manifest a more beautiful, abundant, and liberated world by learning and practicing what it means to “show up for ourselves” and one another.

I love working with energy, and creating flow. I love to sing, work with my hands, and try new DIY projects. I am a community and wedding DJ, as I love to play music, celebrate life, and vibe with a broader crowd. My DJ name is “KnoWHiya” which is a pun for “Walang Hiya” (“No Shame”) and “Know Shame.”


André Adricula
Linguist and language teacher ng diyaspora. Within my teaching practice, I acknowledge and emphasize the unique individual history of each of my students, and I move with the intention of unpacking educational, linguistic, and intergenerational trauma. Where students seek reconnection to culture, I provide guidance towards reconnection to self. Because the Philippines is composed of many different ethnic groups speaking many different languages, I encourage reflection upon linguistic heritage and cultural history, empowering students to create meaning and connection for themselves within the diasporic Filipinxao community. I also interrogate access to and the study of Tagalog as an indicator of “Filipinx-ness.”

Outside of teaching, I love singing OPM classics, dancing to KPOP, and experimenting in the kitchen.

Council of Young Filipino Americans in Medicine Year in Review

This panel will highlight community issues the past year and share initiatives on building the pipeline for FilAm physicians, while advancing health equity.


Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PAveGw39fs


This panel is scheduled for:

Day 2:  Nov. 5,  10:00-11:30 p.m. ET  (Nov. 6,  10:00-11:30 a.m. Philippines)


Antonio Moya, M.D., M.P.H. is a neurologist and UCLA National Clinician Scholar. A physician of the Los Angeles Department of Health Services at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, he cares for underserved patients. Through his community partner, the Filipino American Service Group Inc. (FASGI) in LA’s Historic Filipinotown, Antonio leads a community-based participatory research project to promote healthy behaviors through media among Filipino Americans with a focus on emergency stroke care. He also is in collaboration to develop a national network of young Filipino American physicians in the U.S. with an emphasis on educational pipeline programs.
Dr. Moya completed his neurology residency at New York – Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience at UCLA, he traveled to the Philippines on a Fulbright Fellowship with a focus on telemedicine and acute stroke units. He completed his medical school training at UCSF as a PRIME-US Scholar, master’s of public health training from the Harvard School of Public Health, and has pursued his research interests in stroke and public health throughout both residency and fellowship.

Dr. Moya is particularly interested in improving health systems in resource-poor areas of the United States, the Philippines, and other Asian countries. He continues to advocate for improved physical and mental health for Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants and their communities in the U.S. and the Philippines. Antonio is also passionate about music, learning languages, and storytelling as powerful tools for healing.


Rommell Victor B. Noche is a second-year medical student at Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine in Connecticut, with a concentration in Health Communications. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Master of Science in Chemistry in the Vagelos Scholars Program in the Molecular Life Sciences. Prior to medical school, Rommell worked for two years in clinical research at Yale’s Department of Neurology.
Since 2020, he has served as the Co-Head of the Fundraising Committee in the Council of Young Filipinx Americans in Medicine. In medical school, Rommell is a student representative in curriculum oversight committee and a board member in the student-run clinic. His current interests include vascular disease, precision medicine, and health equity.


Carlos Oronce



Day 3 Plenary Presented by GMA Pinoy TV

FYLPROCon’s Day 3 Plenary features the 3rd installment of Hear/Here Now titled The Diamond Dialogue, celebrating 75 years of diplomatic relations between the US and the Philippines. Celebrity hosts will engage invited speakers on controversial yet thought-provoking conversations that we encourage you to continue moving forward.


Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/h3t9zVImbg8


This panel is scheduled for:

Day 3:  Nov. 6,  9:00-10:00 p.m. ET  (Nov. 7,  9:00-10:00 a.m. Philippines)


Jon Melegrito is the Executive Secretary of the Filipino Veterans Recognition & Education Project (FilVetREP), a community-based, all volunteer national initiative that seeks to raise awareness about the service of Filipino World War II veteran. A son of a USAFFEE soldier who endured the Bataan Death March, he has been part of national efforts over the last three decades to obtain justice and recognition for Filipino veterans who fought under the American flag.
A community leader for many years, he was the Executive Director of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) when it was founded in 1997. NaFFAA’s mission is to promote community empowerment through advocacy and civic engagement. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Manila Mail, a Filipino American publication.
Now retired, Jon Melegrito lives with his wife, Elvie, in Kensington, Maryland. They have one daughter and two granddaughters.


King Marie is a Musical Artist, DJ, Model, and Creative Director. Her brand’s mission aims to create a platform that will encourage empowerment and open doors for womxn, children, and Filipinx culture. She began DJing in her hometown of Chicago in 2012 and has since held residencies in Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, and Manila, Philippines.
Her recent work includes ASW 2020 with Foot Locker Women, Jordan’s “UNITE” world campaign, Nike’s Air Max “On Air” promotion, opening for Major Lazer and Kehlani, playing ASICS stage at Lollapalooza, headlining Red Bull Music Festival, performing the main stage at ComplexCon, and speaking on multiple panels with Apple, Nike, Adidas, and VICE.
Her debut EP “The Prelude” released in 2019 and her new single, KING 2.0 will release 11/16.
Find her music on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and all other streaming platforms.


E.J.R. David was born in the Philippines by Kapampangan and Tagalog parents, and grew up in Pasay, Las Pinas, Makati, and Utkiagvik, Alaska. He lives in Anchorage, Alaska or Dgheyay Kaq – the traditional homelands of the Dena’ina Athabascan People – with his wife Gee’eedoydaalno (Koyukon Athabascan) and their four children – Malakas Betlee’ hoolaanh, Kalayaan Neełnohʉłno, Kaluguran Hoozoonh ts’e kk’ohoo’oyh, and Tala Nodoyedee’onh – and countless relatives and friends.
Dr. David 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. He is a tenured Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, with his primary duties being with the PhD Program in Clinical-Community Psychology that has a Rural, Cultural, and Indigenous Emphasis.
Dr. David has traveled to various states as an invited workshop facilitator, speaker, and presenter on Ethnic Minority, Asian American, and Filipino American psychology since 2002. He has published theoretical and empirical works on Internalized Oppression or Colonial Mentality, including Brown Skin, White Minds: Filipino -/ American Postcolonial Psychology (Information Age Publishing) and Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups (Springer Publishing), which is the first book to highlight the universality of internalized oppression, but at the same time acknowledges its unique manifestations and implications for various groups such as African Americans, Latinx Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Alaska Natives, women, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community, and people with disabilities. Dr. David’s most recent books are The Psychology of Oppression (Springer Publishing) and We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet (SUNY Press). Dr. David is also a contributor to Psychology Today and The Huffington Post, periodically writing about the psychology of race, ethnicity, and culture.
Dr. David 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 “for his significant contribution in psychological research related to ethnic minority populations.” In 2012, Dr. David 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, citing his “outstanding scientific contributions and the application of this knowledge toward the improved mental and physical well-being of people of color.” In 2013, he was also chosen to receive the Asian American Psychological Association Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research. In 2014, he was honored by the Alaska Psychological Association with the “Cultural Humanitarian Award for Exemplary Service and Dedication to Diversity, and in 2015 he was inducted as a Fellow by the Asian American Psychological Association for “Unusual and Outstanding Contributions to Asian American Psychology.” In 2020, he was awarded by the Alaska State Legislature with an honorary citation recognizing “his scholarly body of work and contributions to life in Alaska.” Also in 2020, Dr. David was honored by the First Alaskans Institute with the Friends of First Alaskans Ted Stevens Award because he “has greatly impacted and strengthened the work of racial equity and social justice in Alaska” and for “consistently using his expansive global and local platforms to call for immigrant and Indigenous solidarity.”

How to be you, po? A Guide to Filipinos who want to work in the US

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office will provide a helpful guide on recruitment and deployment services in the Philippines. This interactive room can help answer your questions – from requirements, what to expect, culture, and who knows – maybe you can find opportunities or meet a potential employer at the conference!


Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pClP7KfKNWc


This panel is scheduled for:

Day 3:  Nov. 6,  7:30-9:00 p.m. ET  (Nov. 7,  7:30-9:00 a.m. Philippines)

Angela Librado-Trinidad

Atty. Angela Librado-Trinidad is widely known for espousing women causes. Also a  staunch advocate for children and workers, this lady lawyer is a mother of four and one  hell of a cook.  

Labatt Angging, as she is fondly called, has been in public service since her youth in  Davao City. At present, she heads the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in  Washington, D.C as its Labor Attaché where she oversees the implementation of all labor  employment programs of the Department of Labor and Employment—all geared towards  protection and empowerment of our Overseas Filipino Workers in the United States and  the Caribbean Islands.


Mae Damole Codilla

Mae Damole Codilla hails from Cebu, Philippines. 

She is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Economics at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. She earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu City.

She has been working with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Regional Welfare Office 7 as Division Chief, Programs and Services Division and as the OIC-Regional Director before her current assignment as Welfare Officer of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO)-Washington DC.

She was posted as Welfare Officer of POLO-Madrid, Spain in 2006.

Monique Odono


Team Sinigang versus Team Adobo: A celebration of Filipino food and culture

Leading Filipino social media channels and podcasts, Subtle Filipino Traits, SoCal Filipinos, and Filipino Fridays, present a friendly debate between two teams – each to present facts and examples why their position reigns supreme. Ultimately, the audience will be able to vote who wins it for that day, but get ready for competition, surprises, and who knows, a Team Kare Kare might just be the twist we need.


Watch it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVYQSpI51CI


This panel is scheduled for:

Day 3:  Nov. 6,  7:30-9:00 p.m. ET  (Nov. 7,  7:30-9:00 a.m. Philippines)



Michelle Macrohon, Founder of Subtle Filipino Traits, a community bringing together Pinoys from across the world. It’s a place where our kababayan can celebrate their Filipino identity, whether they’re in the homeland or abroad.

Jason Lustina, Founder of SoCal Filipinos, connecting Filipinos/Filipino Americans in or have connections to Southern California through our shared experience.

Archierose Natividad and Jasmine Monton, Founder of Filipino Fridays Podcast, Podcast for the Filipinx Millennial.

Mellanie Tanada and Melenie Yap Chesneau of Filipino Story Time, sharing Filipino stories, language & culture w/the greater Seattle community+beyond thru monthly (virtual) events

Frances Maher,  a biotechnology professional working as a Research Associate in cancer drug development in the DC/Maryland area. She graduated from Brandeis University with a B.S. in Biology and is passionate about cancer research and business

Intramuros Tour Presented by Suyomano

Until we can freely travel again, hop on this virtual tour of the “Walled City” in Manila, rich in history and culture. And PJ Hernandez will make it so much fun!


Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/1AUsFMtkhec


This panel is scheduled for:

Day 1:  Nov. 4,  10:00-11:30 p.m. ET  (Nov. 5,  10:00-11:30 a.m. Philippines)


Paul John D.R Hernandez is the founder of a passion project titled “The Traveling Salakot.” It aims to promote, protect and enrich Filipino culture and arts through walking or virtual tours and creative presentations. Tara na at maglakbay kasama ang The Traveling Salakot!

Speak Up Anak: Dear Dr. Abby

“My mom wants me to be a nurse, but I really want to tell her I love to dance.”

“Every time my tita visits our house, she always asks me if I’m getting married. It’s getting really annoying.”

“It’s so hard for me to say NO to my family because I feel like I owe them. But I really want to say No.”

Polite, Obedient, Respectful – This is what our parents taught us to be, and now we need to make in a forceful, direct, push-the-envelope society. How do we transition? Do we need to change? Dr. Abby will share her research on Filipino American psychology and provide insight that will help you realize your super power and get ready to break the bamboo ceiling.


Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/gcv_Pixlx0A


This panel is scheduled for:

Day 1:  Nov. 4,  7:30-9:00 p.m. ET  (Nov. 5,  7:30-9:00 a.m. Philippines)


Dr. Abby Hamilton

Who Am I?

I grew up in Tampa Florida, learning about life from my traditional Filipino parents and from the Filipino community and figuring out life in my American surroundings. I went to Stetson University and earned my degree in  communication studies, which led me into a variety of career settings including retail, non-profit, healthcare, and education. 

It was my 11 years teaching middle school students that gave me the handy tools for my parenting toolbox as I raised my three wonderful children. Watching them grow and analyzing their every move was my favorite hobby.

This might be why I decided to get my masters in management and eventually my PhD in industrial/organizational psychology (psychology of how people work). I love to ask, “Why do people feel the way they do and how do they communicate?” So many times, we don’t even realize why we do what we do.

In my role as the Director of Student Services at Everglades University, I get to help them find their best self to prepare for their future careers. Nothing can compare with the feeling of experiencing the joys and struggles of life with our students as well as the great solutions and opportunities that are available for them! 

I am excited about this new chapter of my life, where I get to tell everyone about what I discovered during my dissertation. It has totally changed my life, and I know it will change others! It turns out that so many people do not know how to be assertive, and this may be the reason they are not being promoted in the workplace. My study showed that Filipino Americans have low assertiveness when their Filipino cultural values are high. Many people have low assertiveness because of the values they were raised with. I want to open their eyes to see that they can be assertive without letting go of their values. I want them to realize that assertiveness allows them to be true to themselves, and without it, they cannot be their best self. I want to tell everyone to SHINE ALREADY.  This is my message, and I’m going to let it shine!


Jean Gavina is a Clinical Strategy Manager with a background in Health Administration and Nursing. Experience in strategy and operations, quality improvement and relationship development. Expertise with implementation of technology platforms and tools to support operations. Project management experience, program development and launch of new clinical programs.

Professional Business Resource Groups include BCBS’s Asian American Business Resource Group, In-Abled Resource Group, Women Improving the Strength of the Enterprise, and Engaging Millennial Energy to Recognize Growth Enterprise wide . Community work involves Gawad Kalinga, LES-Live Every Second and Midwest Pilipino American Coalition.


Everett Icao is a 2016 graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Psychology. An active volunteer in the Filipino-American community, Everett strongly believes and advocates for change in issues of social and economic injustice, community collaboration, and youth leadership engagement. He has served in several leadership capacities through organizations such as The Philippine-American Cultural Foundation, Filipino-American National Historical Society Chicago and Knights of Rizal just to name a few.

In his professional life, he is employed at Cooney & Conway, a plaintiff’s personal injury firm based in Chicago that proudly serves clients who seek assistance when finding themselves at the most vulnerable time of their lives. He continues to grow by aspiring to complete his legal education and one day represent those who need an advocate. Everett continually strives to build strong and positive relationships through his work in his professional and community organizing by involving people from different groups, ages, and backgrounds by emphasizing the importance of educating, engaging, and empowering so change can be met with action. In his free time, Everett enjoys spending his time outdoors and participating in various physically healthy activities.


OPENING PLENARY Presented by The Filipino Channel

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/qVjbuJUFihI

This panel is scheduled for:

Day 1:  Nov. 4,  9:00-10:00 p.m. ET  (Nov. 5,  9:00-10:00 a.m. Philippines)

Francine Maigue has been recognized as “The Face of Global Pinay Power” and as “1 of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the World.” In 2020, she was included in San Diego Metro Magazine’s “Top 40 under 40” selected as “Woman of the Year.”

She graduated with her Master’s in Management from Harvard University and her Bachelor’s in World Arts & Cultures from UCLA. She received awards from both including the Commencement Speaker Prize, Young Humanitarian, Outstanding Senior, Chancellor’s Service, Woman for Change, and Homecoming Queen Awards.

She is an accomplished performer & director. She studied the Royal Academy of Dancing technique, receiving High Honors. Francine danced at The Kennedy Center, The Lincoln Center and The Seoul Olympic Stadium, to name a few. She’s contributed to multiple Emmy Award-winning shows and was the Director and Choreographer of the World Premiere Theatrical Production of Disney’s MOANA.

She is in her eighth year as District Director for California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, tenaciously working to develop and sustain programs and events that help ensure equity, inclusivity and resources for all of their ~500,000 constituents. Francine is in her 12th year as a weekly columnist for The Filipino Press and is the Poet-in-Residence for New Americans Museum, advocating for immigrant rights through her art.


Aika, TRICIA and JILLIAN Robredo

Observing from the backstage: Insights on building a community and carrying a legacy

Jessica Marie “Aika” G. Robredo is the Executive Director of Restart Micro-Enterprise (RestartME), Inc., a microfinance wholesale lending organization that provides post-disaster quick response livelihood funds to microentrepreneurs. She is also Chairman of Jesse M. Robredo Foundation.

Previously, Aika spent significant years working in the private sector, particuarly in the oil, gas and power industry. She also worked in the Department of Transportation, and eventually in the Office of Civil Defense, where the focus was on Disaster Risk Resilience and Management.

Aika finished her master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard Kennedy School in 2018. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Management Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University in 2008.

Janine Patricia “Tricia” G. Robredo is a primary health physician and a public health advocate in the Philippines. Aside from working in the frontlines, she has been deeply involved in various initiatives that strive to improve delivery of healthcare. She was instrumental in the development and operation of Bayanihan eKonsulta, a free telemedicine and emergency response platform created to make healthcare more accessible to indigent Filipinos and to decongest hospitals working beyond capacity due to the ongoing pandemic. Tricia is also the Executive Director of the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation.

Tricia obtained her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from Ateneo de Manila University in 2014. She finished her medical degree (MD) and master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) in 2020.

Jillian Therese “Jill” G. Robredo is currently a senior at New York University double majoring in Mathematics and Economics.  On campus, she’s the Consulting Director of Bridges for Enterprise New York, a non-profit organization supporting social entrepreneurs in developing countries.In 2018, she graduated from Philippine Science High School – Main Campus.