By: Lou Maningas Cabalona
The year 2019 marks the start of the renewed partnership between the Philippine Embassy in the United States, Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI) and the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) for the yearly immersion program offered to ten outstanding young professionals in the Filipino communities across the United States.
FYLPRO, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization born out of the collaboration of the program’s alumni now boasts of seventy high-performing, next-generation leaders that have a passion for advancing the Philippines and the Filipino people including the latest batch of young leaders who went on a weeklong trip to Manila from November 18 to 23, 2018. The Manila-based immersion program aims to expose them to invaluable community, business, and political insights and access to a distinguished network of captains of industry and government, and key players in media, social entrepreneurship, and arts and culture.
And the work only starts from there. At the beginning of the year, a new set of executive officers assumed their roles effective January 20 this year, taking helm of the nonprofit to lead an ambitious and impact-driven strategic plan to create stronger relationships between the United States and the Philippines. Incoming President JR Calanoc, a business and technology expert and Chief Executive Officer at Panalo Solutions in San Francisco, shares, “I am honored to serve as FYLPRO president to the 2019 team. It’s our time to spark passion, connect together, and empower one another.”
He is joined by Joshua Ang Price, an expert in the advancement of nonprofits and minority-owned businesses as Vice President; US Air Force Major Charlynne McGinnis, an awarded officer with extensive intelligence and logistical background as Secretary; And Dr. Melissa Palma, a physician passionate about the health of underserved populations as Treasurer.
Thirteen Board of Directors, Darell Artates (Ex-Officio), Eileen Aparis , Bryan Benitez McClelland, Christina Laskowski along with FYLPRO alumni Louella Cabalona (2012), Jennifer A. Coliflores (2015), Rafael Diokno (2014), Kit Furukawa (2012), Anthony Guevara (2013), Dr. Catherine Sy Luib (2018), Dondi Leonidas Quintans (2017), Bea Rico (2012), Donny Rojo (2017) and Lakhi Siap (2015), will guide this executive committee during their two-year term in office.
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez who signed the Memorandum of Agreement with Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan, Joanna Duarte, AFI Senior Director of Programs and FYLPRO 2018 President Dondi Quintans last November looks forward to closer collaboration saying, “We congratulate the new Board and look forward to working closely with these young leaders in steering FYLPRO to more growth and success in the next two years.”
FYLPRO founders, Ambassador Jose Cuisia (5th fr bottom L) and wife Vicky (5th fr top R) hosts a welcome dinner for FYLPRO 2018 delegates at alumni at their home. Also in attendance are Philippine business and government leaders including Ayala Corp executives – Joanna Duarte (2nd fr top L), JP Orbeta (4th fr top L) and Ruel Maranan (8th fr top L), Philippine Airlines COO Jaime Bautista and wife Joji (7th and 6th fr top L), Department of Foreign Affairs-Office of American Affairs Executive Director Jaime Ramon Ascalon (top right), US Ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Yong Kim (4th fr bottom R)
FYLPRO 2018 President Dondi Quintans, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez, Ayala Foundation Inc (AFI) President Ruel Maranan and Joanna Duarte, AFI Senior Director of Programs signs the three year Memorandum of Understanding last November 23, 2018 at the FYLPRO Closing Ceremony at the Ayuntamiento de Manila in Intramuros.
Delegates of the 2018 Immersion Program (clockwise from top left) Baron Cabalona, Brian Tajo, Joshua Ang Price, Tony Delarosa, Dr. Catherine Sy Luib, Major Charlynne McGinnis, Dr. Melissa Palma, Amanda Bantug, Lauren Lalicon and Meriden Villanueva.
Husband and wife FYLPRO alumni, Baron and Louella with US Ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Yong Kim and Philippine Ambassador to the US, Jose Manuel Romualdez during the reception dinner at US Ambassadors’ home in Manila.
FYLPRO Alumni with “Fil Ams Making It in the Philippines” panel (clockwise fr top left) FYLPRO’s Anthony Guevara, Dondi Quintans, Louella Cabalona and Lakhi Siap, with Morris Agudo, Micaela Beltran, ANC Newscaster Annalisa Burgos and Joel Littman, President and CEO, Valens Research.
Delegates Baron Cabalona (left) and Amanda Bantug (right) being interviewed by local TV show, MARS’ hosts Suzi Entrata-Abrera and Camille Prats.
With Ayala Executives – Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ruel Maranan and Jaime Zobel de Ayala during the FYLPRO Opening Ceremonies at the Blue Room in the Makati Stock Exchange.
GMA TV hosts a studio tour, panel discussion and thanksgiving dinner for FYLPRO (Front row, L to R) GMA Artist Mika Gorospe, GMA International Assistant Vice President for Programming Cheri Domingo, GMA Kapuso Foundation EVP and COO Rikki Escudero-Catibog, actress Heart Evangelista, Journalist Howie Severino, GMA Senior Assistant Vice President for Alternative Productions Gigi Santiago-Lara, and GMA First Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph Francia.
Louella and Baron with Philippine celebrity, Heart Evangelista.
Birthday Celebrant, San Juan vice Mayor Janella Estrada and Mayor Guia Gomez enthusiastically listens to Spoken Word artist and FYLPRO Tony Delarosa’s thank you message in rhyme after delegate Baron Cabalona presents Vice Mayor with a surprise birthday cake
San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez (seated, in blue), Vice Mayor Janella Estrada (4th fr top right), City Councilors and staff hosts lunch for FYLPRO at Gloria Maris in Greenhills after the delegates spent time at low income communities in the city.