Filipino for Kids Summer Program Volunteers
The Fil4Kids summer program at FilCom would not have been possible if not for a group of dedicated young Filipino-Americans who gave up their Saturday mornings to serve as ate and kuya to youngsters who wanted to learn more about Filipino culture. Program Director, Imelda Gasmen had to make a trip to the Philippines for a portion of the program’s duration, and these young volunteers, led by Radiant Cordero, took the initiative to plan and implement this year’s summer program. Assisting with program planning was FilCom Program Specialist Marie Ramos, who had served as an ate for several summers while still an undergraduate student at UH Manoa’s Ethnic Studies.
Radiant Cordero grew up alongside the Filipino community as the publisher’s daughter of the Fil-Am Courier, where she is currently a staff writer. She graduated from Mid-Pacific Institute in 2008 with International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement honors. She attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) and was heavily involved in student organizations, like the Katipunan Club, where she served as a class representative, Treasurer, Secretary and Vice-President. She graduated in May of 2012 and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and American Studies. Radiant has received honorary recognition such as “Outstanding Youth” from the United Filipino Council of Hawaii and “Top Outstanding Young Filipino” from the JCI Filipino Junior Chamber. Cordero works at the Honolulu City Council as External Government Relations and a Legislative Aide and is a servant at New Hope Diamond Head’s KIDQUEST Children’s Ministry and volunteers for multiple organizations. Other volunteers are:
Inah Golez, who was originally from Alaska, and who graduated from the UHM in 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in Molecular.
Jeannice Aguilar is a recent 2013 graduate of the Masters program in Social Work, with a concentration in Behavorial Mental Health from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Northridge in 2007
Carolyn Abe, a product of Pearl City High School, graduated from the UH Manoa in 2010. She obtained a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Philippine Studies. Carolyn loves football and the clarinet. She hopes to live in the Philippines one day.
Michi Villaluz was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Sociology. She loves the ocean although she can’t swim, she loves to sing in the car but says she can’t sing well. Michi is a firm believer in if you can’t find an example to follow, try to be one instead.
Lei Calingangan is a recent graduate, class of 2013, from the UH Manoa where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. This is the 2nd year she has volunteered for this program.
Ashley Castillo is a 2013 graduate of DePauw University. She immigrated to Hawaii from the Philippines at the age of four. She loved being able to reconnect with the Filipino-American community in Hawaii by helping out with KaBATAan: Filipino for Kids.
Precious Mae Arao was born in Manila and raised in Iloilo and speaks fluently both Tagalog and Visayan (Ilonggo). She is a Filipino major at the UH Manoa and is planning to go to medical school.
Allysen Garcia is the youngest volunteer, an 8th grader at St. Joseph School in Waipahu. She loves to sing, play the guitar and ukulele and is extremely active along with volunteering for KaBATAan: Filipino for Kids doing activities such as a hula at Na Maka O Puuwai Aloha, and a black belt senpai for Heiwa Do Karate.
Maribell Pabala, or “MB” is a 2007 graduate of Nanakuli High and Intermediate School. She graduated from UH Manoa in 2011 with Bachelor’s in Communications and Speech.
Angelica-Marie Fernandez attended Seattle University for two years where she was a part of the United Filipino Club and the Northwest Filipino American Student Alliance. She transferred to the UH Manoa for her junior year of college and is now a member of the Katipunan Club.
Dryssen Higa is a graduate of Pearl City High School. He earned his AA in Liberal Arts from Leeward Community College. He is currently a Pre-Psychology major at the UH Manoa.
Gabriel Torno is a native of ‘Aiea and went to ‘Aiea High School where he graduated in 2004. He attended the UH Manoa and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies in December 2008. He is now attending Chaminade University in the Masters of Business Administration program. He enjoys eating ChickenJoy at Jollibee and dancing and performing with his traditional and modern Filipino-American dance crew, the Tekniqlingz.
Jordan Ragasa is a graduate of Damien Memorial School and a recent graduate of DePauw University with a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies. Jordan also dedicates time as a dancer in Onoe Kikunobu Dance Company (Classical Japanese dance).
Kimberlim Ramos attended Waianae High School, Leeward Community College and the UH Manoa where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. He is also a Filipino Martial Arts practitioner and assisted in teaching Escrima/Kali to the Filipino for Kids program in 2011.
Alex Acorda is a 2013 graduate of Waipahu High School. Alex moved to Hawaii in 2011 from the province of Laguna, Philippines. Alex loves riding his bicycle and plans to work in national defense and serve the public.
Other volunteers are Maria Gordon, Janine Chung, Cassandra Joy Ecrela, Genalyn Agustin, Jade Licudine, Agaton Pasion, Joseph Gorre and Christian Farinas. Other “one-time volunteers or guest volunteers” are April De la Cueva and Jan Garo.