In June 2015, I traveled with young Filipino Americans to the Philippines as part of the Bayanihan Foundation’s NEXTGEN Program. The NEXTGEN Fellowship Program is designed for young Filipino Americans to learn more about their Filipino heritage and connect them to the foundation’s sustainable projects in the Philippines. In August 10, 2017, I will be traveling for 10 days with two young Filipino Americans, Marc Butiong and Camillo Geaga as part of the Bayanihan Foundation’s 2017 NEXTGEN Program. Marc, Camillo, and I plan to visit historic sites in the Philippines; learn more about their Filipino heritage; connect them to the foundation’s sustainable projects; and potentially give back to the community, locally and globally.
“I’m Marc Butiong. In May 2015, I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a degree in Business Management and minor in Finance. I work as a Sales Analyst at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. I hope to pursue a career in healthcare administration after completing graduate school. I split my time between Chicago and Detroit where I support multiple nonprofit initiatives including the Bayanihan Foundation.
As a recipient of the first NEXTGEN scholarship back in 2015, the program provided me the opportunity to visit the Philippines for the first time and understand my Filipino identity. For this year’s trip, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the country and exploring more of its rich history to share with the Filipino community back home.”
“I’m Camillo Geaga from Berkeley, California. I am completing an Associate degree (AA) in Liberal Arts and Humanities at Los Angeles City College. I will be joining this year’s NEXTGEN program and this will be my first time to visit the Philippines. I’m excited about my experience to travel to the Philippines in the hopes of cultural enrichment, education, and further participation with the Bayanihan Foundation.”
During our 10-day trip, we plan to:
- Visit historic sites related to precolonial Philippines; colonial sites under Spain and the US; Philippine revolution for independence; and to World War II;
- Connect with community groups like the Visayas Mindanao Resource Development Center (VMPRDC) and their local efforts for community sustainability. The Bayanihan Foundation has been connected with VMPRDC for the last six years;
- Plant mangrove seedlings in Liloan, Cebu, as part of the thousands of mangrove seedlings already planted to combat climate change;
- Complete the two new hospital lobby areas for the JP Rizal Memorial Hospital in Calamba, Laguna, the only charity hospital in the Laguna area. These hospital lobbies were donated by many donors from Chicago, IL; and
- Relax and enjoy the Philippine islands, including visiting an active volcano, Taal.
Interested in joining the 2018 Bayanihan Foundation’s NEXTGEN Program? Applications for travel scholarship will be available late fall 2017. So stay tuned! In the meantime, take a look at the history links and Voice Thread presentations to learn more about Philippine precolonial history, its colonial past, and its diverse culture and heritage.