Honoring Jolynne’s Spirit of Helping Others


the late Dr. Jolynne Andal, PhD – a social justice fighter for children’s rights, a mother of two children, and a friend

In 2019, for a second year in a row, the Bayanihan Foundation will help support the Jolynne Andal Biljetina Community Leadership Award and Scholarship  The scholarship award honors the late Dr. Jolynne Andal Biljetina’s commitment to children and her community. In June 2018, the scholarship committee will select the scholarship recipient honoring Jolynne’s spirit by making this world a better place and her indefatigable spirit to help.

(left to right); Dale Asis, Bayanihan Foundation; Jocelyn Azada, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair: and Kristy Liu, recipient of the 2017 Jolynne Andal Biljetina Community Scholarship Award (July 2018)

In 2018, the selection committee awarded the Jolynne Andal Biljetina Community Award Scholarship to Kristy Liu. She was selected from a competitive list of applicants. Kristy embodied the community spirit of Jolynne and her dedication to help others. Kristy is currently studying nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

(left to right): Dale Asis, Bayanihan Foundation; Jocelyn Azada, scholarship committee Co-Chair; Pastor Glenn Aguiree; and Pastor David Kokiong of Hinsdale Fil-Am Seventh Day Adventist Church (July 2018)

In 2017, my friend Jolynne Andal Biljetina PhD passed away peacefully at her home after a courageous battle with mesothelioma. The Bayanihan Foundation honors her indefatigable spirit by assisting in awarding a community scholarship award in her honor.  The Bayanihan Foundation is honored to play a small and critical role to make this scholarship award come true.

(left to right): Linda Andal, mother of the late Jolynne Andal Biljetina; Kristy Liu, recipient of the scholarship award; and Shirley Pintado looking on (July 2018)

 

 

 

The Jolynne Andal Biljetina Scholarship Award embodies the Bayanihan Foundation spirit of giving. The scholarship award  continues Jolynne’s spirit of helping others. To learn more about the scholarship, click HERE.

You can also contribute to the Jolynne Andal Biljetina Scholarship Award by clicking HERE.

Advertisements
Posted in Chicago, Health, Volunteerism | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Bayanihan Foundation’s Advisory Board Members


Since 2010, the Bayanihan Foundation Worldwide has relied on the support of individual donors. In 2019, the foundation is proud to announce three dedicated individuals that have been providing their professional expertise, insight, and/ or financial support. They form the the Bayanihan Foundation’s advisory board members for 2019-2020:

Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal (photo courtesy of Filipino Women’s Network Leaders 2013)

Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal. Since 2006, Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal has been a licensed Psychotherapist at various Student Health Centers of the Los Angeles Community College District. Prior to that, she was employed by the County of Los Angeles with several departments including Health Services, Mental Health and Family Services. Joselyn served on the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission for 12 years and she was a founding board member of the Echo Park Neighborhood Council. In 2019, Joselyn is the co-chair of the Filipino American Mental Health Summit in Los Angeles, CA. Since 2015, Joselyn has been a strong supporter of the Bayanihan Foundation and has been giving advice to the foundation’s NEXTGEN Program.

Richard Lauter (photo courtesy of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith LLP)

 

Richard Lauter. Richard Lauter is a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP. For over 35 years, Mr. Lauter has extensive experience in civil and commercial litigation and in bankruptcy laws. Mr. Lauter is considered to be one of the leading lawyers for chapter 11 creditors’ committees in the United States and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Bankruptcy Institute. In 2018, Richard recently completed his Masters of Social Work in Clinical/ Medical Social Work at Loyola University Chicago and is interested in helping Filipino Amerasians and in other challenging social work issues affecting Filipinos locally and globally.

(left to right): Dale Asis and Grace Villamora at the Holy Name Cathedral fundraiser, May 2019

Grace Villamora. Grace is an experienced Senior Vice President Research with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing research industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Vendors, Integrated Marketing, Advertising, and Feature Writing. Grace is a strong business development professional. She graduated from University of the Philippines and was the former President of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Greater Chicago (UPAAGC). She currently belongs to the Holy Name Cathedral Parish Pastoral Council, 2017-2019 and the Chairman of the Cathedral Filipino Network, July 2018-2020. Grace has been sharing her marketing skills and advice to help with the foundation’s fundraising efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What is the difference between a board member and an advisory board member?

An advisory board is a rather informal committee of members selected by the board president or board executive team. They provide valuable assistance to the foundation. Unlike board members, an advisory board member have no fiduciary responsibilities.

What kind of advice to advisory board members give?

Advisory board members may give advice on specific issues or campaigns of the foundation. Advisory board members are usually selected based on the targeted expertise that they bring to the organization. They help fill in gaps of knowledge for the organization.  On the other hand, board members give tactical advice and tends to be more specific to the actual changes happening in the organization on a larger operational level (Cerius Executive Profiles, 2019).

Posted in Diaspora Donors, Diaspora Giving | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You Can Help Build A Computer Lab for the Hearing, Visually Impaired


Young people with visual impairment learning to use computers (MIcrosoft YouthSpark stock photo)

In November 2013, super typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban City, Leyte. It was one of the strongest super typhoons that ever hit landfall. Today, the city continues to reel from the  typhoon’s devastation due to climate change. In 2019, the Bayanihan Foundation continues to invest in the region when all the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and aid groups have packed up and left. You can help make the foundation’s dream of long-term sustainability and help children at Leyte National High School who are visually and hearing impaired recover and thrive.

Evelyn Castillo (right) visits Special Education Coordinator Estenelle Macul (left)

Dale Asis and Evelyn Castillo visits Leyte National High School (2018)

In 2019, Bayanihan Foundation plans to build a computer lab for tudents who are visual and hearing impaired. The computer lab will also help students who have learning disabilities. Such a computer lab in a public high school dedicated to learners with special needs will be the first one in the island of Leyte. Will you make this gift of education a reality? Because learning and education is much needed especially those who have special needs.

Leyte National High School Special Education Coordinator Estenelle Macul uses sign language and leads class of hearing impaired students

  • Your donation of $5 can buy one book of sign language and materials for one child,
  • Your donation of $50 can buy 5 months of Internet access for 39 children,
  • Your donation of $100 can buy 3 speakers and headsets for the hearing impaired,
  • Your donation of $500 can buy one used computer with assistive technologies for the hearing and visually impaired,
  • Your donation of $1,000 can buy one big screen TV and one printer to help the teacher learning process, OR
  • Your donation of $5,0000 can pay for the computer lab and name it in your honor.

Youth with visual impairment at Leyte National High School with Dale Asis (seated right)

Students with special learning needs at Leyte National High School in Tacloban, Leyte

Evelyn Castillo and I visited the students who are visual and hearing impaired and those with special learning needs. They welcomed us into their classroom. I was struck that their classroom did not have a single computer or assistive technology or device to help them with their learning. You can help change all that.

Students with special learning needs and their teachers at Leyte National High School, Tacloban City, Leyte

A donation of any amount will help make the first computer lab in a public high school dedicated to learners with special needs, and probably the first one in the island of Leyte. Will you make this gift of education a reality? Because learning and education is much needed especially those who have special needs. Donate securely online by clicking on Paypal button on the top right hand corner of this page.

Posted in Diaspora Donors, Diaspora Giving, Disaster Relief, Education, philanthropy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Change Your Life! Join The 2019 NEXTGEN Fellowship – Apply Today


Travel to the Philippines, Learn About Your Heritage, Change Your Life.

Apply online at: NEXTGEN Travel Scholarship Application for Summer 2019 NEXTGEN Fellowship open until Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

This Summer 2019, the Bayanihan Foundation will sponsor partial travel scholarships for up to seven young adults (18 years old and up) to visit the Philippines for 10 days – June 27 to July 7, 2019: https://bit.ly/2VSp9hz  Take advantage of potential travel scholarship opportunities valued up to $3,000 each. They will be awarded based on merit and financial need. The travel scholarship will go towards domestic transportation in the Philippines, meals, lodging, and sightseeing. Anticipated costs that participants are expected to cover on their own are: round trip international airfare from US to the Philippines (around $1000); passport and/or visa costs; incidentals; souvenirs; travel vaccinations (please consult your doctor); and travel insurance. Participants are also encouraged to fund raise a minimum of $200 and contribute to the Community Power Giving Circle.

Why join NEXTGEN Fellowship to the Philippines?

  • Learn about the Philippines and your Filipino heritage and travel to different islands
  • Work with reputable nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in: 1) environment & climate change; 2) education; & 3) community infrastructure & disaster recovery
  • Travel safely with 24/7 support during your entire trip
  • Get valuable experience that could give you an edge in job and graduate school applications
  • Change your life and take the next steps in your personal and professional life.

Take a look at Camillo Geaga. In 2017, he joined the Bayanihan Foundation NEXTGEN Trip and it literally changed his life. It inspired him to see the world in more ways than one. It motivated him to take on community and public health at the same take care of his own personal health.

(from left to right): Dale Asis, Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, MD; and Camillo Geaga (September 2018)

In 2018, he returned to the Philippines and met Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, MD. Dr. Tan was the former Secretary of the Philippine Department of Health and a professor at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. Dr. Tan has been advocating for Filipino fruits and vegetables both as food and medicine and as part of the Filipino indigenous and traditional healing, now also being scientifically proven as truly efficacious. Camillo was inspired by his message that he also improved his own personal habits for healthier living.

2018 NEXTGEN Fellow Camillo Geaga (attempting to) climbing a papaya tree (Samar, September 2018)

The trips to the Philippines inspired and motivated him. In June 2019, Camillo will complete his Associates degree at Los Angeles City Colleges (LACC). In the Fall 2019, he is scheduled to continue studying at the California State University Northridge to continue studying public health.

Apply for the 2019 Bayanihan NEXTGEN Travel Fellowship and like Camillo have a chance to change your life.

****************

Camillo Geaga 2018 Trip to the Philippines – REFLECTION: IN HIS OWN WORDS:

“This was my second trip to the Philippines. It was amazing! I explored many new places and visited four different islands. It was an adventure trip. We were in a small group but it was well-coordinated and facilitated. We had a packed and busy schedule. We’ve met with the former Philippine Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, MD in Manila.

Teachers looked on as Evelyn Castillo (standing middle) and Camillo Geaga (standing far right) look over the donated books for two elementary schools in Giporlos, Samar (September 2018)

 

Then, we flew to Samar and visited two schools and donated hundreds of books there to build two libraries. I could not forget the warm welcome we received from the teachers who received the donated books.

(left to right): Evelyn Castillo, Dale Asis, Venise Castillo, and Camillo Geaga) in Pintuyan island, Leyte

 

 

 

 

Then, we’re off to the southern tip of Leyte to visit Pintuyan island and see whale sharks.

Dodiongan Falls, Iligan City, Mindanao

 

 

 

 

Then, we went to Iligan City in Mindanao to visit Dale’s aunt and uncle, Dr. Vicente and Mrs. Luz Saavedra. It was also nice to visit a pristine waterfall, Dodiongan Falls, in Iligan.

Camillo Geaga hiking through banana and rice fields to reach Dodiongan Falls

 

 

 

 

It was a whirlwind trip!  I learned how faraway some of these places could be. I always thought that everything is accessible and moving at the same lightning speed of technology as in the US. It was nice to see a different pace of life.

(from left to right): Dale Asis, Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, MD; and Camillo Geaga (September 2018)

 

 

 

But most of all, the biggest highlight for me was the renewed hope and affirmation in meeting with Dr. Tan. I was inspired to pursue my interest in traditional foods for medicine and improving my health.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Be Inspired! Join the 2019 NEXTGEN Fellowship – Apply Today


Travel to the Philippines, Learn About Your Heritage, Be inspired.

Apply online at: NEXTGEN Travel Scholarship Application for Summer 2019 NEXTGEN Fellowship open until Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

This Summer 2019, the Bayanihan Foundation will sponsor partial travel scholarships for up to seven young adults (18 years old and up) to visit the Philippines for 10 days – June 27 to July 7, 2019: https://bit.ly/2VSp9hz  Take advantage of potential travel scholarship opportunities valued up to $3,000 each. They will be awarded based on merit and financial need. The travel scholarship will go towards domestic transportation in the Philippines, meals, lodging, and sightseeing. Anticipated costs that participants are expected to cover on their own are: round trip international airfare from US to the Philippines (around $1000); passport and/or visa costs; incidentals; souvenirs; travel vaccinations (please consult your doctor); and travel insurance. Participants are also encouraged to fund raise a minimum of $200 and contribute to the Community Power Giving Circle.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Visit family & friends and immerse in Filipino culture before or after the NEXTGEN trip (reconnect with your roots)
  • Contribute to the Community Power Giving Circle and  promote diaspora philanthropy (share resources with your homeland)
  • Learn about the foundation’s service and advocacy projects (contribute in sustaining community with action), but most of all
  • BE INSPIRED to take the next steps in your personal and professional life.

Crystle Dino (standing far right) greet guests at “The Art of Connection & The Spaces Between” exhibit as part of the 2019 Master of Art in Art Therapy, School of the Art Institute of Chicago January 2019

Take a look at Crystle Dino. In 2015, she joined the Bayanihan Foundation NEXTGEN Trip as part of the Kaluluwa Kolectivo. The trip to the Philippines made a big difference in her life and inspired her in more ways than one. Crystle has always been guided by her passions in the visual, performative, and healing arts. She has always been rooted in community and her cultural upbringings.

Crystle Dino exhibit at “The Art of Connection & The Spaces Between” at the Sullivan Galleries Chicago, showcasing patterns immersed in personal artifacts, collective experiences, folklore, and Filipino Martial Arts (January 2019)

Her trip to the Philippines contributed to her reflection and her questions of home, identity, culture, history, and spirituality. Crystle discovers her voice and Pinay aesthetic in her work to connect her Pilipinx indigenous roots and Chicago upbringing. With the help of her travel to the Philippines, Crystle connected herstory and investigates time, place, and the concept of freedom and her place and responsibility in the world.

(left to right): Dale Asis and Crystle Dino at her exhibit “The Art of Connection & The Spaces Between” presented by the 2019 Master of Art in Art Therapy, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (January 2019)

The Bayanihan Foundation invites you to be part of the 2019 cohort of NEXTGEN travelers. The foundation cannot promise you the same exemplar success of Crystle Dino as she finishes her Master of Art Therapy & Counseling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the best fine arts school in the US. However, the NEXTGEN Travel Fellowship could give the chance and opportunity to be inspired like Crystle, create a path of success for yourself, and discover the spaces in between and the connection to your heritage and beyond. Apply today!

Posted in Philippine travel, Philippines, Youth leadership development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

So You Think Christmas Is Over? Go To The Philippines


https://www.npr.org/player/embed/679764884/679764885

By early January 2019, the last of the After Christmas sales are over. People were packing up their Christmas decorations for next year. There were even signs in my apartment building on how to properly dispose live Christmas trees. So you thought Christmas is over? Head to the Philippines. It’s still going on. On January 12, 2019, I arrived at Manila International Airport and I was surprised to see a three-story high Christmas tree in the airport lobby still lit up in all its yuletide glory.

40-foot Christmas tree at Manila International Airport in January 2019

Christmas-obsessed Filipinos launch their yuletide season in the so-called Ber months – September, October, November. The Philippines’ Christmas season is as visually resplendent as it is long. Hotel lobbies and many public places glisten with decorations worthy of a czar’s winter palace. Christmas parades feature full-blown floats. The Philippines stands out in Asia for being more than 90 percent Christian – mostly Catholic (National Public Radio NPR, December 2018). Evelyn Castillo, Bayanihan Foundation’s Philippine Liaison said that many people even extend the yuletide season until February 14, Valentines’ Day!

Evelyn took me to lunch at her favorite lunch spot, Kitchenitos Restaurant in Tacloban City, Leyte. Lo and behold the fast food restaurant was bedecked with Christmas decorations. They were still playing Christmas carols.

Christmas decorations abound at Kitchenitos Restaurant, a local fast food joint in Tacloban City, Leyte in January

However, what I’m most surprised is how many Filipinos seems to have a healthy balance  between the secular and spiritual at Christmas time. The yuletide season seem to be more than just Christmas shopping as many retailers in the US seem to emphasize. Whatever the Christmas season meant to people, the extended yuletide season in the Philippines from September to February seems to put people in a good mood.

Evelyn Castillo and Dale Asis pose in front of three-story Christmas tree at Manila International Airport in January

Posted in culture, Philippine travel, Philippines | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Plans for Three Exciting Projects for 2019


In 2018, the Bayanihan Foundation had a banner year with the continued success of the NEXTGEN Fellowship and the donation of thousands of books to build libraries in Samar and Iligan. In 2019, the foundation plans to continue that momentum and build on three exciting projects to further the foundation’s mission of Filipinos abroad helping Filipinos at home.

Dale Asis in transit in Singapore on his way to follow-up on projects in the Philippines for 2019

1. Whale Sharks (Tiki tiki) and Environmental Conservation in Pintuyan, Leyte

In 2019, the Bayanihan Foundation plans to partner with KASAKA, a fisherfolk community organization in Pintuyan, Leyte. The fisherfolk community provides holistic ecotourism and proper interaction with whale sharks and other large marine vertebrates that passed by the islands between the months of November and May. The foundation also wants to contribute to the research and effects of climate change and at the same time support the fisherfolk community’s efforts in capacity building, raising awareness and social responsibility. The Bayanihan Foundation is also planning to bring NEXTGEN high school students to conduct an ecoscience adventure trip in April 2019.

Whale Sharks in Pintuyan, Leyte (photo courtesy of The Fickle Feet blog 2018)

The Bayanihan Foundation is exploring possibilities to work with the local fisherfolk cooperative, Kasaka, in Pintuyan, Leyte. At the same time, young Filipino Americans traveling with the new NEXTGEN High School Program will learn more about the fascinating whale sharks or ‘tiki tiki’ as the locals call it that passed Pintuyan Bay.

Whale Sharks in Pintuyan Bay, Leyte (photo courtesy of Joseph Pasalo, 2018)

NEXTGEN participants would learn about environmental conservation, know about the effects of climate change, and conduct brief ecoscience experiments with a  large marine vertebrate research institute in the area. The Bayanihan Foundation would also support capacity of the fisher folk community and help them with their advocacy efforts in protecting the whale sharks and other large marine mammals that pass through the Pintuyan Bay.

2. Supporting orphans in General Santos City, Mindanao

In 2019, the Bayanihan Foundation plans to support abandoned children and orphans in General Santos City, Mindanao. The city is located in the southern tip of Mindanao island with over 500,000 residents. International boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao hails from the city of GenSan, as many locals call their city. The Bayanihan Foundation plans to partner with the Marcellin Foundation with Brother Crispin Betita, FSM with the Marist Brothers Catholic congregation.

(left to right): Evelyn Castillo, Bayanihan Foundation Liaison; Brother Crispin Betita, FSM; and Dale Asis at Marcellin Foundation (January 2018)

The Bayanihan Foundation also plans to partner with the Zakat Foundation in potentially supporting Filipino Muslim and indigenous orphans and abandoned children in the area. These young boys are often abandoned by their parents due to extreme poverty; or they’re fleeing domestic violence or abusive home situations; or have been orphans and left to fend on their own in the streets of GenSan. Since 2010, the Bayanihan Foundation has partnered with the Zakat Foundation in providing meals and food to thousands of indigent Muslim families in cities of Iligan and Marawi.

3.  Building a state-of-the-art computer lab to help children with disabilities  and the disabled in Tacloban City, Leyte

People with disabilities in Pasay City, Metro Manila (stock photo Dept People with Disabilities 2015)

In November 2014, Tacloban City was hit hard by super typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon on record to hit landfall at 210 miles per hour. Since then, the Bayanihan Foundation has helped the devastated area and continue to help rebuilding efforts when other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have moved on.  In 2019-2020, the Bayanihan Foundation plans to build a state of the art computer lab at the local Tacloban High School in Tacloban, Leyte. The lab will have state-of-the-art computers and possible Internet access to potentially help high school students who are blind; who are hard of hearing; and/ or have learning disabilities. This state-of-the-art computer lab will be the first of its kind in a public high school in the island of Leyte. This project culminates the Bayanihan Foundation’s continued investment and partnership with local communities for long-term sustainability.

Over 95% of your donations go directly to worthwhile projects like these. Consider donating to the Bayanihan Foundation and support projects that help abandoned children, the disabled, and environmental conservation of whale sharks and other large marine mammals unique to the Philippine islands.

Posted in Diaspora Donors, Diaspora Giving, Education, Environmental conservation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment