Filipino Americans Donate Computers, Books to Help Iligan Students


Vivian and Max Balagtas donate laptop, DVD player, DVDS and computer accessories for computer lab in Iligan , Philippines

Filipino Americans in Chicago donate computers and books to build a computer lab and library to help students in Iligan City, Philippines. Vivian and Max Balagtas led the charge by donating a laptop computer, DVD player, DVDs and computer accessories to the planned computer lab at a high school in Iligan City.  Vivian and Max’s generosity contradict the growing cynicism that abound recent news and politics.  I think that their humble act of philanthropy proves that the sincerity of helping others will win against the tide of growing skepticism. Bayanihan (community giving) is alive and well.

(left to right); Dale Asis and Chica de Jesus of Chica Salon donated another laptop computerVivian and Max Balagtas are not alone in their generosity. Many other everyday citizens are proving that they can make a difference. Chica de Jesus, owner and proprietor of Chica Hair Salon also donated another laptop computer for the computer lab. For the last 15 years, I have had my haircut at Chica Salon. Chica made a point to help others.

Helen Tulen of Iligan-Lanao Association of the Midwest donated books to the Iligan Central High School library

 

Helen Tulen, long-time leader of the Iligan Lanao Association of the Midwest recently donated over 80 books and magazines for the Iligan City Central High School. In 2014 and 2015, Helen helped mobilized her hometown compatriots from Iligan to donate over 1,000 titles of books and magazines to build the high school library there.

 

 

 

Loyola University Chicago graduate student Jennifer Fieten donated used elementary school books

2015 NEXTGEN Fellow Jeselle Santiago collected used books for elementary school in Iligan (October 2015)

2015 NEXTGEN Fellow Jeselle Santiago collected used books for elementary school in Iligan (October 2015)

Earlier this year, my partner Will Dix; my graduate student Jennifer Fieten from Loyola University Chicago; and Jeselle Santiago, NEXTGEN 2015 Fellow collected and donated books for the Iligan City schools. Their acts of generosity of belie the growing cynicism. The acts of giving and philanthropy from everyday citizens like Vivian, Max, Chica, Will, Jennifer and Jeselle prove that  the sincerity of people helping others will win the day.  Do you have a gently used desktop, laptop, books and/ or computer accessories you would like to donate? Please contact me at dale@fdnbayaynihan.org or call at (773) 273-9793 and join the fight against cynicism and make a stand for optimism and hope and helping others. The spirit of Bayanihan (community giving) is alive and well.

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Community Power Giving Circle Debut


On June 23, 2016, Jeselle Santiago introduced the ‪#‎CommunityPowerGivingCircle‬, an initiative of the Bayanihan Foundation Worldwide. The giving circle plans to be center among young Filipino Americans helping and giving to other young Filipino and Filipino Americans in the US and abroad. Learn more at; https://fdnbayanihan.org/…/community-power-giving-circle-l…/

(left to right): Dale Asis, Serena Moy of Asian Giving Circle; and Jeselle Santiago

(left to right): Dale Asis, Serena Moy of Asian Giving Circle; and Jeselle Santiago

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Giving Circle Influences Young Filipino Americans to Give Back


Jeselle Santiago, Co-Chair of the Community Power Giving Circle Joins the Asian American & Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy Conference in New York City (June 2016)On June 2016, Jeselle Santiago, NEXTGEN Fellow 2015, represented the Bayanihan Foundation at the Asian Americans & Pacific Islander in Philanthropy (AAPIP) Conference in New York City. She debuted the Bayanihan Foundation’s newest initiative, Community Power Giving Circle, a giving circle created by young Filipino Americans like Jeselle dedicated to give back to young Filipinos and Filipino Americans locally and globally.

 

Jeselle Santiago announces the launch of the Community Power Giving Circle with Shirley Pintado (second from right) and Alicia Santiago (far right) looking on (June 2016)

What is a giving circle? A giving circle is a group of individuals who come together, pool charitable donations from its members and make collective decisions where to grant their money. The COMMUNITY POWER Giving Circle is one of the few active Filipino American giving circles in the US. The giving circle plans to be center among young Filipino Americans helping and giving to other young Filipino and Filipino Americans in the US and abroad.

Young Asian American philanthropists gather to join the Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) Convening of Giving Circles in New York City (June 2016)

The Community Power Giving Circle started out as an idea from Bayanihan Foundation’s board member James Castillo and Jeselle Santiago. Through a series of online discussions, they came up with a giving circle to influence others to give back to their communities, locally and globally. The giving circle will be beyond a social network but a real working group of young Filipino Americans helping others.

Bayanihan Foundation board member conducting permaculture workshop in Cebu, Philippines (October 2014)

 

Both James Castillo and Jeselle Santiago set personal examples of giving and helping others. This giving circle initiative will hopefully encourage other young people to do the same. Since 2011, James Castillo has been donating his own personal funds to help youth in Cebu to plant mangrove trees and learn about environmental sustainability.

2015 NEXTGEN Fellow Jeselle Santiago collected used books for elementary school in Iligan (October 2015)

 

In 2015, Jeselle Santiago collected books to donate to the Iligan Central National High School. And in 2016, she spearheaded a local garage sale in Chicago to support the women vendors in Cebu’s Carbon Market.

 

 

 

Would you consider donating to support the Bayanihan Foundation’s Community Power Giving Circle? The Bayanihan Foundation plans to raise $10,000 for the Community Power Giving Circle.  The Asian American & Pacific Islander in Philanthropy (AAPIP) will match that investment dollar-for-dollar to the Giving Circle. The result? $20,000 to be invested in our local community on top of what the Giving Circle already raises and gives, along with the opportunity to get to know community members and organizations serving the needs of Filipino Americans in the US and around the world.  This will maximize and double your donation for diaspora giving locally and globally! You can also donate securely online at www.fdnbayanihan.org

Asian American & Pacific Islanders In Philanthropy (AAPIP) Convening of Giving Circles in New York City (June 2016)

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Community Power Giving Circle Launched with a ‘Kamayan’ Feast


Kamayan (Sumptuous Filipino Feast)

Kamayan (Sumptuous Filipino Feast)

On June 5, 2016, the Bayanihan Foundation launched its newest initiative, the Community Power Giving Circle with a traditional Kamayan (Sumptuous Filipino Feast), featuring local dishes from Quezon and Bicol Provinces of Luzon Island. Hands are traditionally used in these communal feasts but utensils were also provided. NEXTGEN 2015 Fellow Jeselle Santiago and Bayanihan Foundation board member James Castillo introduced the Bayanihan Foundation’s youth-led Giving Circle, “Community Power.”

Jeselle Santiago announces the launch of the Community Power Giving Circle with Shirley Pintado (second from right) and Alicia Santiago (far right) looking on

Jeselle Santiago announces the launch of the Community Power Giving Circle with Shirley Pintado (third from right); Alicia Santiago (second from right); and Jay Santiago (far right) looking on

What is a giving circle? A giving circle is a group of individuals who come together, pool charitable donations from its members and make collective decisions where to grant their money. The COMMUNITY POWER Giving Circle is one of the few active Filipino American giving circles in the US. The giving circle plans to be center among young Filipino Americans helping and giving to other young Filipino and Filipino Americans in the US and abroad.

Jeselle Santiago (sitting) connects electronically with James Castillo in Los Angeles (featured on the TV panel) to launch the Community Power Giving Circle

Jeselle Santiago (sitting) connects electronically with James Castillo in Los Angeles (featured on the TV panel) to launch the Community Power Giving Circle

Both James and Jeselle are inviting other young Filipino Americans, ages 14 years old and up, to join the Giving Circle to tap into young people’s personal interests and their desire for engagement locally and globally. The giving circle will leverage their dollars to make significant difference in their communities.

(standing far right) Bayanihan Foundation board member Ted Kirpach urges guests to donate to the Bayanihan Foundation's Community Power Giving Circle

(standing far right) Bayanihan Foundation board member Ted Kirpach urges guests to donate to the Bayanihan Foundation’s Community Power Giving Circle

Bayanihan Foundation board member Ted Kirpach urged guests and supporters to give generously to launch the giving circle. In 2015, the Bayanihan Foundation sponsored NEXTGEN Program of young Filipino Americans to travel back to the Philippines, learn about their roots and provide opportunities to help back home. Both Marc Butiong and Jeselle Santiago, NEXTGEN 2015 Fellows continue to be involved and wanted to engage young Filipino Americans both locally in Chicago and globally in the Philippines.

Guests enjoying Kamayan Feast (left to right): Brooke Reotutar, Vivian Santiago & Cyrus Santiago

Guests enjoying Kamayan Feast (left to right): Brooke Reotutar, Vivian Santiago & Cyrus Santiago

Would you consider donating to support the Bayanihan Foundation’s Community Power Giving Circle? The Bayanihan Foundation plans to raise $10,000 for the Community Power Giving Circle.  The Asian American & Pacific Islander in Philanthropy (AAPIP) will match that investment dollar-for-dollar to the Giving Circle. The result? $20,000 to be invested in our local community on top of what the Giving Circle already raises and gives, along with the opportunity to get to know community members and organizations serving the needs of Filipino Americans in the US and around the world.  This will maximize and double your donation for diaspora giving locally and globally! You can also donate securely online at www.fdnbayanihan.org

(left to right): Committee on Pilipino Issues CPI Eugene Asidao & Ellen Mayuga; Jeselle Santiago and Dale Asis

(left to right): Committee on Pilipino Issues CPI Eugene Asidao & Ellen Mayuga; Jeselle Santiago and Dale Asis

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The Bayanihan Foundation would like to thank the following donors and supporters for their support in launching the Community Power Giving Circle (in alphabetical order):

  • Bayanihan Foundation’s board members – Dale Asis, Maria Ferrera, James Castillo, Ted Kirpach and Vincent Saavedra
  • Marc Butiong
  • Committee on Pilipino Issues (CPI) Eugene Asidao and Ellen Mayuga
  • Nora Castillo
  • James Castillo, for co-chairing and spearheading the Community Power Giving Circle
  • Dyenina Donnelly
  • Rocky Valencia Hayes and John Hayes
  • Huong Nguyen of the Asian American & Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) for welcoming the Community Power Giving Circle in its family of giving circles around the country and for providing $10,000 matching challenge grant for Bayanihan Foundation
  • Alicia Santiago, Jeselle’s grandmother for cooking the food
  • Delfin & Vivian Santiago, for cooking the food and hosting the event
  • Jeselle Santiago, for co-chairing and spearheading the Community Power Giving Circle
  • Shirley Pintado for cooking the food
  • Brooke Reotutar
  • Mike Saavedra
  • Alicia Santiago, Jeselle’s grandmother for cooking the delicious food for tonight’s Kamayan feast
  • Cyrus and Jay Santiago
  • Buena and Virgilio Sarmiento
  • Marilyn and Peter Vesely
  • Eliza and Greg Wangerin
  • Julia Widmaier
  • Anonymous
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4 Notable Filipino Philanthropists in the US


4 Notable Filipino Philanthropists in the US

4 Notable Filipino Philanthropists in the US

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Rescue in the Philippines


Above: Philippine President Manuel Quezon (left) and U.S. High Commissioner Paul McNutt (right) in 1938. "Rescue In The Philippines: Refuge From The Holocaust" chronicles a real-life Casablanca, in which a high-profile group of poker buddies — including the Frieder brothers of Cincinatti, Philippine President Manuel Quezon, and U.S. High Commissioner Paul McNutt and Colonel Dwight Eisenhower — hatched an intricate international plan of rescue and re-settlement, saving 1,300 Jews from certain death in Nazi concentration camps (photo courtesy American Public Television)

Above: Philippine President Manuel Quezon (left) and U.S. High Commissioner Paul McNutt (right) in 1938. “Rescue In The Philippines: Refuge From The Holocaust” chronicles a real-life Casablanca, where a high-profile group of poker buddies — including the Frieder brothers of Cincinnati, Philippine President Manuel Quezon, and U.S. High Commissioner Paul McNutt and Colonel Dwight Eisenhower — hatched an intricate international plan of rescue and re-settlement, saving 1,300 Jews from certain death in Nazi concentration camps (photo courtesy American Public Television)

On May 17, 2016, I joined the film screening of the documentary “Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust” in Skokie, IL, where many Jewish and Filipino Americans live. The film screening was made possible by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Chicago and the Consulate General of the Philippines in Chicago. Rescue in The Philippines is a one-hour documentary of the previously untold story of how the five Frieder brothers, Cincinnati businessmen making two-for-a-nickel cigars in pre-WWII Manila, together with Manuel Quezon, the charismatic president of the Philippines, Paul McNutt, US High Commissioner and former governor of Indiana and an ambitious Army Colonel named Dwight Eisenhower – helped 1,200 Jews escape the Nazis and immigrate to the Philippines.

Jewish refugees attend dinner at the Frieders' home in Manila, Philippines on April 30, 1940 (photo courtesy of the American Public Television)

Jewish refugees attend dinner at the Frieders’ home in Manila, Philippines on April 30, 1940 (photo courtesy of the American Public Television)

The film dramatically shares this almost forgotten story of how the Frieder family from Cincinnati, Ohio and their poker card playing buddies President Manuel L. Quezon, US High Commissioner and former governor of Indiana Paul Mcnutt, and Colonel Dwight Eisenhower, planned the escape of 1,200 Jews from the Nazis and immigrate to the Philippines. It’s remarkable to learn about this little-known story of Philippine President Quezon and his poker player buddies saved 1,200 Jewish lives during World War II.

(from left to right): Trudy Pinto, Dale Asis and Minerva Maggongoy attending diaspora giving seminar 2009 in Haifa Israel

(from left to right): Trudy Pinto, Dale Asis and Minerva Maggongoy attending Filipino Diaspora Giving seminar 2009 in Haifa Israel

After watching the film, I cannot help conclude that the connection between Israel and the Philippines does not only remain in the past but continues to the present. In 2016, the Philippine Embassy in Israel estimates that there are about 31,000 Filipinos, mostly Filipina caregivers, domestic workers and health care workers working and living in Israel. A large majority of them are concentrated in the cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa (Profile of the Filipino Communities in Israel, 2016).  There is also a considerable number of Filipinos working in Beersheva, Netanya, Rehovot and Rishon Lezion. My aunt used to work as a domestic worker outside Tel Aviv.

After watching the film, I reflected about my own personal connections with Israel. From 2009 to 2013, I visited Israel several times to learn about the best practices of Jewish Americans giving back to Israel. From their diaspora giving best practices, I emulated and adopted my current philanthropy practices with the Bayanihan Foundation. It was in Israel I learned the best practices of diaspora philanthropy, of giving hope to others. I cannot help but make these connections and drew a circle of giving – of how a Philippine President helped saved Jewish lives from the Holocaust. Now, thousands of Filipino caregivers continue to give healthcare and assist thousands of Jewish elderly in Israel. The circle of life and giving continues…

“Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world.  And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” The Talmud

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Is it a Trend? Filipino Americans in their 20s, 30s going back for good


Josh Dorado, co-founder of Kaya Ko Collaborative

Josh Dorado, co-founder of Kaya Ko Collaborative

In 2016, I was surprised to read an email from Josh Dorado, 26, that he decided to return back to the Philippines for good. Like me, Josh was born in the Philippines and grew up in the US. He co-founded Kaya Ko Collaborative, a fellowship program that mobilizes Filipino diaspora youth in the US to spend time in the Philippines and become long-term partners for social change.  “Kaya ko” means “I can.” I said to myself, “Wow, that was  so brave of Josh to do.”  I was also wondering if Josh’s decision is a unique one or is he part of a growing trend of young Filipino Americans going back to the Philippines for good? The thought has crossed my mind. Like many Americans, I’m terrified by the prospects of a potential president. I’ve recently read a BBC news article pronouncing, “A Trump presidency has Americans looking north” (BBC News, May 2016). So how about also looking east, back to the Philippines? So I started poking around online and I found a whole thread of young Filipino Americans all thinking of going back to the Philippines for good.

Thinking of Going Back Home?

Thinking of Going Back Home?

Here are some of the comments of young Filipino Americans that have gone back to the Philippines, found jobs and are having fruitful, fulfilling lives back in the Philippines:

“I’m a student that returned to the Philippines after 7 long years. I’ve been here for almost an equal amount of time and am enjoying how much more ‘fun’ everything is in the Philippines (Literally!)”

“I know a couple of friends who returned/returning to PH soon. The positive economic outlook is a big factor in making that decision. So, yes, I don’t think you’re alone and being too idealistic. Living abroad is actually not necessarily easy (nor better) for everybody. I hope we’re all making the best decision and don’t regret it later.”

The Bayanihan Foundation has promoted NEXTGEN Fellowship of young Filipino Americans to discover their heritage and potentially help back in the Philippines. The Bayanihan Foundation has always encouraged “Pagbabalik” (Coming Home) with the long-term intent of return migration. The Philippines government have always recruited Filipinos and non-Filipinos to retire in the Philippines. But encouraging young Filipino Americans in their 20s, 30s to go back home? Then I read one entry online of this reader’s thoughts of returning back home for good, “Why wait half a decade to start a business back home? Your country needs you right now. I too was tempted to pack my bags and leave, but I decided to do business here, and it’s been a great decision. Do it now; waiting 4-5 years for “experience” is wasting 4-5 years of development for our country.”

Will the new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte usher in an era of continued growth and peace in the Philippines? Will this encourage more Filipinos in the diaspora to return? Are you also thinking of going back home? Or are you staying put? Leave your comments below or join the conversation on this online thread: http://bit.ly/1R33Wqs

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