Search This Blog

Friday, December 30, 2016

Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway: Great Family Fun!

Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway: Great Family Fun!
Review By Stella Schour for Kababayan Media

The Broadway adaptation of the 1992 Disney film, “Aladdin” is nothing short of spectacular. Having debuted in 2014, this play is still capturing the hearts of theatergoers all over the world.

This show stays true to the film with a few adaptations for the theater such as Iago the parrot of Jafar with a human character of the same name, and Abu, Aladdin’s monkey friend with three friends; Babkak, Omar and Kassim.

Flowing and vibrantly hued costumes transport the viewers to a whole new world in its opening scene and does not fail to impress from start to finish. The very impressive set decor with 84 illusions and effects magically takes you to a Middle Eastern marketplace, the palace, the cave of wonders and of course, a magic carpet ride! No detail was spared and all the 337 costumes were a sight to behold. More impressive were the costume changes that happen right before your eyes!

Aladdin is a lighthearted Broadway musical peppered with jokes with modern references. The performances of Adam Jacobs (Aladdin) and Courtney Reed (Jasmine) were stellar, but what really made the play very enjoyable for me was the way Alfie Parker, Jr played Genie with his impeccable timing on the jokes and his charming flamboyance. 

Aladdin’s non-stop action is definitely a treat for everyone in the family.

(Photos: Deen van Meer)

# # #

Tickets are available for purchase through, by calling Ticketmaster’s Disney on Broadway hotline at 866-870-2717, or in person at the New Amsterdam Theatre box office (214 W. 42nd Street).  The New Amsterdam Theatre box office is open Monday through Friday 9:00am – 8:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 8:00pm and Sunday 10:00am – 6:30pm. 

Premium and group tickets are also available.  For information about tickets for groups of 20 or more, CLICK HERE.

For more information on Aladdin, visit  Connect with Aladdin on and  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Photos | Jose Rizal's 120th Death Anniversary Commemoration in New York

Humanity of the Hero Revisited. The Knights of Rizal New York Chapter and the Philippine Consulate General, New York led the community in remembering the death of the Philippines national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. It was also a celebration of the enduring legacy of a short-lived life, full of accomplishments. Rose Torres Javier, whose great great grandmother is Narcisa, a sister of Rizal, joined the historic occasion. The evening program included a solemn Knighting Ceremony of new members into the Order of the Knights of Rizal. December 21, 2016. New York.(Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media CC BY)

Ambassador Virgilio Reyes, Consul General Tess Dizon-de Vega and Rose Torres Javier.

Master of Ceremonies, Ner Martinez.

Ferdinand Suba, immediate past president KoR NY chapter.

Monsignor Oscar Aquino offered a prayer.

Consul General Tess de Vega reads a letter written by Rizal. 

Con Gen Tess Dizon-de Vega, a member of the Ladies for Rizal, offers a brief commentary.

Charlie Caramanzana and Michael Dadap's interpretation of Rizal's "Mi Ultimo Adios".

Charlie Caramanzana delivers "Mi Ultimo Adios" in Tagalog. 

Knighting Ceremony for new members of the KoR New York.

Consul Arman Talbo and the new members of KoR NY chapter

Miguel Braganza, knighted into the Order of the Knights of Rizal.
Francis Sison, KoR Regional President USA

Abigail Sorio, Fil-Am 7th grader,  recites an excerpt from Rizal's "Mi Ultimo Adios" in Tagalog.

Con Gen Tess de Vega presents KoR chapter representatives with the book 'Rizal Without the Overcoat'  by Prof. Ambeth Ocampo.

Michael Dadap, incumbent president KoR NY chapter.

Rose Javier, great great grandniece of Jose Rizal with Con Gen Tess de Vega.

Knights of Rizal and the Ladies for Rizal joined by Rose Torres Javier. 

Dr. Jose Rizal | June 19, 1861 - December 30, 1896.

Friday, December 23, 2016

JCI Philippine-New York re-launches the Outstanding Young New Yorker (OYNY) Program


The Philippine-New York Jaycees, Inc. is pleased to re-launch its local chapter’s Outstanding Young New Yorker (OYNY) competition.  The OYNY is a community development project recognizing exceptional high school senior students in New York.

Schools in New York are invited to nominate a high school senior student who exhibit leadership abilities, have an exemplary academic record, and are involved in school and community service activities.  Judging will be based upon these criteria and a select few will move on to the interview and public speaking portion of the judging.
Winners will be announced and awarded with cash prizes that they can use to assist with college expenses at a formal awards ceremony banquet on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at Sheraton La Guardia East Hotel in Flushing, NY.

JCI Philippine- New York is a group of young men and women whose mission is to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change in the local and global community and their own lives through training and networking opportunities.  JCI Philippine-New York is a New York City chapter of Junior Chamber International, a membership-based non-profit organization of nearly 200,000 young active citizens ages 18 to 40 in 5,000 JCI local organizations in more than 100 countries who are engaged and committed to creating impact in their local communities. 

The Philippine Consulate General in New York conveys Secretary Martin Andanar's response to the The New York Times article entitled “They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals”

"There are two sides in every story. The New York Times article entitled “They are Slaughtering Us Like Animals,” dated 7 December 2016 is totally one-sided as it depicts the Philippines as the Wild, Wild West in this part of the world.This is farthest from the truth.
If the reporter had bothered to check the facts of the 3,000 deaths under investigation by the Philippine National Police, only 1,080 are drug-related. The rest are murder and homicide cases perpetrated by gunmen which the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now investigating, the results of which will be made public in due time.
The police have nothing to do with these killings. The President has not given any direct order for them to kill drug dealers and users on mere suspicion. Police operatives only neutralize those who violently resist arrest, or else they could be the ones who end up dead. Thus, the President’s marching order to the police is that they have the right to defend themselves when their lives are endangered.
There are police officers who have already died or been killed in the war on drugs. This demonstrates the magnitude of the drug problem in the country and the need for resolute and decisive response by law enforcement. As President Duterte pointed out in his first State of the Nation Address, “To our police officers and other officials, do your job and you will have the unwavering support of the Office of the President. I will be with you all the way. Abuse your authority and there will be hell to pay, for you will have become worse than criminality itself.”
We ask the foreign media to present both sides of the story when reporting on the Philippine war on drugs. We in government, including the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies, would be more than willing to help in unearthing the truth and presenting the facts about the drug menace to the public." 

Photos | Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado 1st Night

"Mapayapang Pasko Para sa Maunlad na Pagbabago - 2016 Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado". Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Papal Nuncio to the United Nations was the main celebrant and Fr. Ed Jocson was concelebrant. The first night was sponsored by the Coalition of Schools: Assumption, Ateneo, Holy Spirit, La Salle, Maryknoll, San Beda, St. Paul's, St. Theresa's & St. Scholastica's. ANCOP & the Couples for Christ was the Choir.

The 9 consecutive pre-Christmas day masses, a Filipino tradition of the Catholic faithful is held in the Kalayaan Hall. Organized by the Philippine Consulate General, New York with the cooperation of community organizations in the Northeast. The sponsors also provided for a Salu-salo at the Philippine Center lobby after the mass. December 6, 2016. New York.

Photos by Lambert Parong for Kababayan Media/ CC BY

Praying the Rosary before Mass.

Offering a sign of peace.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza pose for a photo with community members including Consul General Tess de Vega (standing 5th from left); Mannuel Caballero of the Filipino Reporter (crouching - middle); Olive Magpile, cultural officer (3rd from right); also in this photo Mrs. Eleonor de Leon at the back beside Merela Gret Aberin.  

Salu-salo after the Mass.

Mayor de Blasio Launches GetCoveredNYC Initiative to Enroll More New Yorkers in Health Insurance Programs

Goal to enroll 50,000 New Yorkers through 2017; open enrollment period ends Jan 31, 2017

(photo: press office

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio was recently joined by Health + Hospitals Interim CEO Stan Brezenoff, Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T Bassett, Community Service Society President and CEO David R. Jones and Public Health Solutions President and CEO Lisa David at Health + Hospital/Gouverneur to launch the GetCoveredNYC campaign focused on enrolling more New Yorkers in health insurance and providing them with access to primary and preventive care at public Health + Hospitals facilities. The campaign’s goal is to enroll 50,000 New Yorkers through 2017 who are eligible for health insurance but are not taking advantage of existing enrollment options.
The Mayor’s Office has partnered with Health + Hospitals, the Human Resources Administration, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and MetroPlus to launch this ambitious campaign. On December 10, the City hosted five enrollment events focused on engaging potential youth applicants and assisting them in applying for coverage.
“We don’t know the future of the Affordable Care Act, but we do know that Obamacare and Medicaid expansion are helping New Yorkers every day,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We must continue to enroll eligible residents in these vital programs, paying special attention to those most appealing to low-income residents, such as Medicaid and the Essential plan.”
Throughout the campaign, GetCoveredNYC outreach teams will proactively engage uninsured New Yorkers who have visited Health + Hospitals facilities. In order to reach the maximum number of New Yorkers, the campaign will include at-home outreach as well as office hours at community partner or elected officials’ offices, providing direct access to in-person assistance from outreach specialists. Specialists will schedule individuals for an enrollment appointment and case-manage each applicant through the entire process. The open enrollment period will end on January 31, 2017.
Depending on income and other criteria, applicants may be eligible for Medicaid at no cost. Those whose earnings exceed Medicaid limits may be eligible for the Essential Plan, which also offers a comprehensive coverage package for either $20 monthly premium or no cost, depending on income. Those earning more – between 200 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level – may be eligible for Qualified Health Plan coverage, offered by MetroPlus and others, with public subsidies on a sliding scale reflecting income. All the plans cover inpatient and outpatient care, physician services, diagnostic services, mental healthcare and prescription drugs.
While NYC Health + Hospitals makes care available to all New Yorkers, regardless of ability to pay, the public health system emphasizes the importance of insurance enrollment as a tool to best engage patients in their healthcare – as opposed to waiting until health issues reach critical levels and require emergency room or inpatient care, the most expensive care for the system. Further, to address its financial challenges, Health + Hospitals needs more of its patient population to gain access to insurance to help close its growing budget gap.
New Yorkers may connect with free in-person GetCoveredNYC enrollment assistance near them through calling 311 or texting CoveredNYC to 877-877.


The Filipino American Press Club of New York (FAPCNY) strongly denounces the proliferation of ‘Fake News’ that appears in most social media. At the same time, we decry the practice of individuals and organizations that knowingly disseminate bogus information for the sake of muddling issues that are currently controversial.

As a community of reporters, photographers, bloggers, editors, marketing and advertising professionals, the FAPCNY adheres to information based entirely on 1) facts, 2) carefully researched documents, or 3) interviews with personalities who are witness or have knowledge or authority on an issue. Outright lies and hearsay have no place in newspapers, websites, videoblogs, podcasts, and radio/television or any vehicle where news is distributed. More important, reports masquerading as “news” have no place in a democratic society.

As journalists and media professionals, society has entrusted us with the responsibility of being the “gatekeeper” of information. Some may not trust the politician, the government official, the business leader, the community organizer, the lawyer, etc. But the media institution they trust because we are known to uphold no other interest but the facts and the truth. In a story where the truth is vague or fuzzy, we at least try to present a balanced perspective to guide the reader to make his/her opinion. Always, our facts are gathered by tenacious journalists and reviewed by eagle-eyed editors.

Fake News has changed all that. Fake News is a new form of bullying, mockery and deception.

We have all read about “Pizzagate,” a manufactured story about a sex ring in DC targeting young children. Nothing about the circumstances as reported was true, but a man’s attempt to rescue the abused children amid a volley of gunfire was all too real! As noted, Edgar Welch was arrested “chasing a rumor.”

In our community, the volatile nature of Philippine politics is ripe for all kinds of irresponsible reporting -- from Vice President Leni Robredo being named after Vladimir Lenin “because she is a communist” to President Duterte being the ‘role model’ of President-Elect Trump. As media professionals, we have the training, the skill set, the experience, and the education to detect what’s real and what’s not. It’s a job we all take seriously. There’s a reason we have a Journalist’s Code of Ethics.

To our community, let us be more vigilant, more discerning and more rational as we examine everything that we read. If news sounds too good to be true or too preposterous to be believed, maybe it is. It does not help that we recklessly pass things around via Share. It contributes to another individual being fed a steady stream of falsehoods.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Adam Jacobs. (Photo:Deen van Meer)

Disney's Aladdin, the Tony Award-winning hit musical based on the Academy Award®-winning animated film, is now in its third smash year on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre (214 West 42nd Street). 

Aladdin opened to critical acclaim on March 20th, 2014 and quickly established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years, breaking 11 New Amsterdam Theatre house records and welcoming over 3 million people worldwide. Its global footprint has expanded to include productions in Tokyo, Hamburg, London and Sydney and the upcoming North American tour. NBC-TV raves “Aladdin is exactly what you wished for!” New York Magazine calls it “Musical comedy wish-fulfillment!” while The New York Times hails the show as “Fabulous… Extravagant! It defies expectations,” and the Daily News declares, “Seriously, it’s amazing!”

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the show features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon). 

Courtney Reed & Adam Jacobs. (Photo:Deen van Meer)
Aladdin stars Adam Jacobs (Les Miserables, The Lion King) in the title role, Courtney Reed (In the Heights, Mamma Mia) as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart (Memphis, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) in his Tony Award-winning role of Genie, and, as Jafar, Tony Award nominee Jonathan Freeman (Mary Poppins, The Producers, She Loves Me) brings to the stage the role he indelibly created in the animated film.  The show also stars Steel Burkhardt, Brian Gonzales and Brad Weinstock as Aladdin’s sidekicks Kassim, Babkak and Omar, Clifton Davis as Sultan and Don Darryl Rivera as Iago.  Major Attaway and James Moye stand by for several principals. 

In a cast of 36, Aladdin also features Kathryn Allison, Tia Altinay, Giuseppe Bausilio, Sam J. Cahn, Mike Cannon, Andrew Cao, Lauryn Ciardullo, Joshua Dela Cruz, Yurel Echezarreta, Tiffany Evariste, Daisy Hobbs, Rodney Ingram, Donald Jones, Jr., Nathan Lucrezio, Stanley Martin, Michael Mindlin, Amber Owens, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Jennifer Rias, Trent Saunders, Jaz Sealey, Angelo Soriano, Dennis Stowe, Kathryn Terza and Travis Ward-Osborne.

Aladdin, adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights,” is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical.  Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance.  This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.

The animated film Aladdin was released by Disney in 1992 and was a critical and box office smash, grossing over $500 million worldwide (not adjusted for inflation) and becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.  

The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won the second of the film’s two Academy Awards as Best Original Song.  The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Arabian Nights Scene. (Photo:Deen van Meer)

Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira.  The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly

Tickets are available for purchase through, by calling Ticketmaster’s Disney on Broadway hotline at 866-870-2717, or in person at the New Amsterdam Theatre box office (214 W. 42nd Street).  The New Amsterdam Theatre box office is open Monday through Friday 9:00am – 8:00pm, Saturday 10:00am – 8:00pm and Sunday 10:00am – 6:30pm. 

Premium and group tickets are also available.  For information about tickets for groups of 20 or more, CLICK HERE.

For more information on Aladdin, visit  Connect with Aladdin on and


Notice is hereby given of the resumption of registration and election provided under Republic Act 9189, as amended by Republic Act 10590, and of the issuance of COMELEC Resolution 10167 that provides that Filipino citizens overseas will be able register for the May 13, 2019 National elections and subsequent elections from December 01, 2016 to September 30, 2018

All qualified Filipino citizens at least 18 years of age on 13 May 2019, and are not registered overseas voters may file their applications for registration at the nearest Embassy/ Consulate or other registered centers authorized by the Commission.   

Applicants are advised to personally appear at the Consulate General, 556 5th Avenue, NY, New York 10036 during office hours for biometrics capturing and to bring the following as proof of Philippine citizenship: 1) photocopy of valid passport 2) if dual citizen, copy of oath of allegiance or proof of Philippine citizenship from the Bureau of Immigration, and 3) for seamen, copy of seaman's book.

Any subsequent announcement relating to the 2019 National Elections will be posted on this website ( 

Any question about registration matters can be submitted to our website or FB account.

The official document can be seen below.

Monday, December 12, 2016

What’s new on Cinetropa this December: 4 movies from QC filmfest

NEW YORK--Four of the films that the critics and independent film enthusiasts enjoyed watching at the government-run QCinema International Film Festival in 2015 is finally streaming on, the Filipino movie-streaming site curating only the best Filipino movies for its global audience, streaming began on Friday, December 9.
The new films making it debut on Cinetropa are “Water Lemon” by Lemuel Lorca; “Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo” by Mihk Vergara; “Gayuma” by Cesar Hernando and “Matangtubig” by Jet Leyco. For those in the United States who are not familiar with these directors’ works or the type of the movies they make, below is a rundown and even some mood descriptions of each movie. And yes, they come with English subtitles.
IF YOU LIKE QUIET AND LAID-BACK. “Water Lemon”, co-written with Lilit Reyes, is set in a coastal Quezon town where the mundane lives of a grieving widow, her socially-handicapped son and a helpless grandfather interconnect to create bumps in their flatline lives. Lorca’s previous film, “Mauban”, competed in last year’s Circle Competition at the same festival. 
IF YOU LIKE COMEDY AND COLORFUL CHARACTERS. In his debut feature, Mihk Vergara’s “Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo,” is about a young neighbourhood underdog or a “patalo” who assembles an unlikely team of losers to join her in the ultimate street game for kids: patintero which is like American football, except that there’s no tackling, because it’s a touch-and-you’re out game. Vergara has worked as director of the TV series “Rakista” as well as music videos.
IF YOU LIKE MYSTERY AND AMBIGUITY. Production designer and graphic artist Cesar Hernando also makes his first full-length feature with “Gayuma,” a dark tale of fatal obsession and erotic passion. It centers on a young student artist mesmerized by a beautiful and mysterious figure drawing model in his art school. Not for kids.
IF YOU LIKE ATMOSPHERIC CRIME DRAMAS. Jet Leyco’s “Matangtubig” tells the story of how a violent crime disrupts a quaint rural town in Batangas. A girl’s dead body is discovered and puts the whole town on trial while the former’s companion remains missing. The ensuing media spectacle slowly exposes the town’s secrets. As they celebrate its yearly festival by the lake, an unknowing sleeping evil unravels and haunts the townsfolk.
The movies are priced at $5.99 each while other movies start at $3.99 to $6.99 in the United States and worldwide and P288 in the Philippines. Unlike illegal streaming sites out there, Cinetropa is backed by independent producers like TBA (Tuko, Buchi Boy and Artikulo Uno) and was especially created to give Filipino films more exposure on a global scale, either for Filipinos or those discovering or exploring Filipino films.


Jelani Remy as Simba Photo by Joan Marcus
In its 19th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.  Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 23 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years.  Translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Mexico City; Shanghai and on tour across North America.  Having played 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.   

THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®:  Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical.  THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.  

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success.  The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.

Circle of Life. Photo by Brinkhoff-Mogenburg

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.  The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”  

The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.  Other members of the creative team include:  Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.

For more information worldwide, visit

New York Fil-Am Community Gives Warm Sendoff for Miss Philippines Competing in Miss World 2016 in Washington DC

Ms World Philippines Catriona Gray in New York City. (Lambert Parong/Kababayan Media)

New York – On a special night dedicated to newly-crowned Miss World Philippines 2016 Ms. Catriona Elisa Magnayon Gray, a Meet and Greet event hosted by the Philippine Consulate was held at the Philippine Center lobby which was attended by supporters from Fil-Am media and the Filipino Community.

Consul General Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega led well-wishers during a short program and congratulated Ms. Gray for her accomplishments, describing her as a multi-talented Filipina and an accomplished visual artist with a generous heart for the marginalized sector in our country.

Consul General Tess Dizon-de Vega with Catriona Gray.(Lambert Parong/ Kababayan Media)

“On behalf of the Filipino community in New York, we admire you for sharing not just your skills and beauty, but Filipino upbringing, culture, and your socio-civic advocacies,” remarked the Consul General.

Ms. Catriona Gray, who passed by New York before proceeding to Washington DC for the one month pre-pageant activities and final competition, thanked the Filipino community for a warm welcome and for making her feel that New York is a home away from home. Miss World Philippines was the first pageant she joined and her trip to New York and Washington DC her first time in this part of the world. She believes in uplifting the marginalized sector from poverty through education, which she considers a personal advocacy even before she joined Miss World Philippines, she added.

During the program, Ms. April Talangbayan, a talented young Filipino-American flutist from Philadelphia, presented a special number. Fil-Am press members had a chance to get to know Ms. Gray better during a Q&A portion. 


New York’s Filipino Americans thank the state's Congressional Delegation for Co-Sponsoring & Passing the Bill

Passage marks first Federal legislative victory for newly-formed Filipino American political club

NEW YORK – Leaders of the Filipino American Democratic Club of New York (FADCNY), a political club that organizes and leads the Filipino American electorate in New York City and New York State, released the following statements on the recent historic passage of the long-awaited Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act.

Aries Dela Cruz.(Photo:Lambert Parong/Kababayan Media)
Aries Dela Cruz, president of FADCNY said: “Congress voted overwhelmingly to approve the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act. This bill recognizes the importance of the contributions of 200,000 Filipino and Filipino Americans who responded to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's call to duty during World War II and who fought under the American flag. It's time these veterans were honored with a Congressional Gold Medal for the sacrifices they have provided in the service of freedom and democracy. For over sixty years now, our community has been fighting to obtain formal recognition for the efforts of Filipino veterans during this conflict. Today’s vote is a result of a years-long bipartisan advocacy effort by the Filipino American community and our allies and friends. We would like to thank Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) as the main sponsor of the bill in the House, and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) as the main sponsor of the companion Senate bill that was passed unanimously.”
Steven Raga, the vice president of FADCNY and a member of the board of the nonpartisan Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project, and is a leader in the movement to achieve equity and recognition for Filipino veterans said: “Filipino Americans in New York are thankful that the vast majority of our Congressional delegation co-sponsored and voted for this bill, thanks to our intensive political efforts here. While this is an important victory for our community to celebrate, our community’s progress shouldn’t stop here. The passage of this bill today shows the importance of the unity and solidarity among the Filipino American community, and it is only the beginning of what we can accomplish if we join together and work towards common goals and principles to deliver the legislation and recognition our communities so desperately need. I look forward to many more victories for our community in the months and years ahead.”
Here in New York, largely due to the advocacy of the Filipino American Democratic Club of New York to mobilize all New Yorkers regardless of party to lobby their elected officials and by closely tracking each Members of Congress’ position on the bill, 24 of the 27 members of the New York Congressional delegation signed-on to become official co-sponsors of the bill:
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Daniel Donovan, Rep. Eliot Engel, Rep. Christopher Gibson, Rep. Richard Hanna, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. Steve Israel, Rep. Hakeem S. Jeffries, Rep. Peter T. King, Rep. Nita M. Lowey, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep., Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Rep. Kathleen M. Rice, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter, Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, and Rep. Lee M. Zeldin.
# # #
The Filipino American Democratic Club of New York is a political club that organizes and leads the Filipino American electorate in New York City and New York State. It is dedicated to advancing Filipino American and Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues and priorities among elected officials and candidates for public office.

Generation Balikbayan: Kaya Collaborative brings young global Filipinos back home for impact

For decades, the Philippines has been exporting its people; 10% of the entire Filipino population now lives abroad. But could the tide be turning? On November 23, Kaya Collaborative ( began its search for 20 young Filipino diaspora leaders to join its 4th annual Summer Fellowship in the Philippines.

Kaya Co. Fellows in talks with Filipino entrepreneurs, including Rovaira Dasig of PULSE PH

Activating the global Filipino nation

Kaya Collaborative (Kaya Co.) was launched in August 2013 by a network of college students from Brown, Harvard, Stanford, and Seattle University. Since then, Kaya Co. has brought 34 young leaders from the Filipino diaspora - the 10 million Filipinos living outside their homeland - back to the Philippines for 2-month internships in the social impact sector.

“The Philippines is changing,” said Rexy Josh Dorado, Kaya Collaborative’s founder and CEO. “The problems are as complex as ever, but what world doesn’t see is this groundswell of solutions being created by and for local Filipinos. There has never been a better time for global Filipinos to come back, learn from the Philippines, and participate in this change.”

Evidence suggests that it’s already begun to happen. Earlier this year, Kaya Collaborative mined data from LinkedIn and found that the number of global Filipino professionals returning to work in the Philippines had increased more than threefold since the year 2000.

A lifelong journey home

This Fellowship is just a first step. Ultimately, Kaya Co. aims to develop leaders that will play long-term roles in the development of the Philippines.

Three years in, the program is beginning to show long-term returns. Micaela Faith Beltran, a Fellow from Kaya Co’s first class in 2014, has spent the past year working full-time in the Philippines. She is now Executive Director of OCEAN (Open Collaboration with East Asia New Champions), a Philippine-based summit by the World Economic Forum community which explores the role of technology in social change.

“After Kaya Collaborative, I went back to the US, and I couldn’t shake this feeling that I needed to return to the Philippines and be a part of everything I saw there,” said Beltran.

Beltran is not the only one who has heeded the call to return home long-term. Stephanie Dofitas, a Fellow from Kaya Co’s 2015 class, has chosen to take on her graduate studies in Ateneo de Manila. A member of this year’s Fellowship class, Bianca Taberna, is now working as a consultant at Ashoka, where she helps search for the best local Filipino innovators to support through funding and global network access.

“The Kaya Co. Fellowship was an overwhelming and necessary experience that has completely changed how I understand my connection to the Philippines,” said Taberna.

For other Fellows, Kaya Co. is a next step towards being a Filipino leader and advocate in the United States. Jon Luigi Caña, a 2015 Fellow, graduated from UC Berkeley this June and began working for The Filipino Channel, where he helps the company better engage Fil-Am millennials.

Earlier this year, Caña won a national essay contest on the legacy of EDSA. In his essay, he recalls being back in the Philippines and seeing the value of unity in action: “It is unity that supports us in our individual pursuits, knowing that there are people there to catch us when we fall, and cheer us on as we rise.” It is this same sense of unity that Kaya Co. is trying to forge between Filipinos in the Philippines and those abroad.

Kaya Co. Fellows with Dean Tony La Vina of Ateneo School of Government, visiting the Bantayog ng mga Bayani martial law memorial.

The 2017 Kaya Co. Fellowship

The 4th Kaya Co. Fellowship will take place from June to August 2017 in Metro Manila, Cebu City, Batangas, and Marinduque. Fellows will have the option to learn about social entrepreneurship, community mobilization, creative economy, education, technology as a platform for impact, and more. Fellows are also taken through a leadership development curriculum that brings together culture, entrepreneurship, design, and frameworks for understanding social change.

Potential internship placements in 2017 include:

  • Curricular research with Habi Education Lab, a nonprofit that trains Filipino teachers to innovate and think as designers and researchers
  • Digital marketing with Anthill Fabric Gallery, a social enterprise that strengthens livelihoods by embedding indigenous fabrics into contemporary Filipino fashion
  • Communications and innovation research with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, which identifies and supports system-changing social entrepreneurship globally
  • Strategy consulting with Amihan Global Strategies, which transforms Filipino public and private institutions for the digital age

Applications are now open on the Kaya Co. website: Early applications are due on December 23.