2016 FYLPRO Delegates

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2016 FYLPRO Delegates

The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. is pleased to announce the names of the 2016 Filipino American Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) delegates.


Noel AglubatNoel Aglubat (New York, New York) – Noel is a Civil Engineer at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the New York Regional Office. As an engineer for the Division of Dam Safety, he promotes safe, reliable, secure and efficient hydropower infrastructure. His project jurisdiction is Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, including other projects sprinkled throughout New England.

Noel has served as Vice President and is currently a Board member for the New York based community development 501c3; Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro). At UniPro Noel helped lead the expansion of the organization into 3 chapters; San Diego, Seattle and Chicago-Midwest. Noel earned an MS in Structural Engineering and a BS in Civil Engineering from NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering (formerly Polytechnic).


iffany BatacTiffany Batac (Washington, DC) – Tiffany currently serves as Manager of the Asset Management Service Area at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, where she leads a portfolio of transportation asset management and resiliency projects and initiatives across North America. Tiffany has distinguished herself as a rising leader in her field, and her efforts to address extreme weather and climate change risks through asset management have created new adaptive strategies to build system resilience. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, Tiffany served on the Board of Directors of the Young Filipino Professionals Association (YFPA) where she co-led the launch of its first mentoring program. Since 2007, she has served on the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Board, and most recently as Chairwoman of the Glass Ceiling Task Force where she has spearheaded first-of-its-kind studies to promote diversity and improve the recruitment, development, and retention of women in transportation. In 2014, Tiffany was awarded the Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award in recognition of her extraordinary efforts to facilitate professional opportunities for women and minorities, and for her contributions to the promotion of diversity, inclusion, and multi-cultural awareness.


Joanne Boston

Joanne Boston (Daly City, CA) – Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Joanne has always enjoyed exploring her culture. She co-founded her school’s Filipino organization, the Filipino Student Union, while earning her degree at Skyline College. Upon graduating, she became a freelance writer contributing her work to local food publications like CBS and SF Station as well as co-founded various Filipino food initiatives such her own personal food blog, kapaMEALya – social dining group and Project:Adobo – an online recipe anthology. Currently she is an oncology reimbursement specialist at a private practice in San Francisco and Vice President of The Filipino Food Movement, a 501(c)3 non-profit. Her mission is to bring Filipino food to the forefront through FFM’s efforts: events, pop-ups, educational programs and speaking engagements. She manages FFM’s social media platforms with the goal of bringing exposure to established and budding Filipino and Fil-Am restaurants. Volunteering at local Filipino efforts such as Savor Filipino and Pistahan bring her much joy and she hopes to contribute to her community for many years to come.


Mark Calaguas

Mark J. Calaguas (Chicago, IL) – Mark is a staff attorney at the Chicago office of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, where he is a member of the Discovery practice group. In addition to his experience in electronic discovery, Mark has advised local tech entrepreneurs on information privacy law and data protection matters.  Mark was a founding board member of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association and currently serves as its Vice President of Communications.  He is also a board member of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago and the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment.  Mark sits on the associate board of HealthConnect One, a nationally renowned nonprofit that promotes maternal and early childhood health, and is a Young Professionals Program Ambassador at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.  Additionally, Mark is the Community Relations Manager for Kultura, a contemporary Filipino American food and arts festival established in Chicago by the culinary media and events company, Filipino Kitchen.

Mark received a B.A. with Highest Honors in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan and a J.D. with Certificate in International Law from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he was president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, publications editor of the Annals of Health Law, and associate editor of the Loyola University Chicago International Law Review.


Brandon Dela Cruz

Brandon Trinidad Dela Cruz (Honolulu, Hawaii) – Brandon is a second-generation Filipino, born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He is the Director of Marketing for the international, Hawaii-based restaurant chain, L & L Hawaiian Barbecue where he oversees the marketing activities of the company.  While he continues to thrive in his professional capacity, he finds influence through a symbiotic relationship between his work and the community. His influence by the Filipino culture began at an early age with his parents instilling important values of faith in God, education, hard work, humility, and integrity into his character.  Beginning in 1998, Dela Cruz became exposed to a variety of Filipino experiences. He then parlayed them into involvement in the larger community including hosting a weekly radio program centered on the Filipino community, grass roots campaigning for the Filipino Community Center, and leading a group of young Filipino leaders in the Filipino Jaycees where he became president in 2004. Currently, he serves as the president-elect of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, the oldest Filipino Chamber in America.

With over 18 years of Filipino community involvement, Brandon has earned respect of his peers as well as many of the veterans who have paved the way before him.  Still, he feels that there still exists many opportunities to innovate and bring the Filipino Community to a higher level. Above all, he is thankful for the blessing and honor to contribute to the growth of the Filipino community.


elizabeth-obod-frillesElizabeth Obod Frilles (Honolulu, HI) – Elizabeth is a Filipino-American Educator in Hawaii. She is passionate about providing excellent and equitable education for all students. She believes in the power of volunteerism and teamwork. She expects to make a difference through civic leadership in both local and global communities. Elizabeth graduated Valedictorian at the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology in Mindanao, Philippines. She received her Bachelor’s in Science Education and Master’s in Teaching Natural Sciences at Tokyo Gakugei University through the prestigious Japanese Government Scholarship. She was a recipient of the 2015 Supernova HaSTA Teacher of the Year and 2015 Windward District Teacher of the Year in Hawaii, USA. She has held leadership positions at Olomana School where she is presently part of the Instructional Leadership Team.

She loves to go to various professional development trainings. One of her major volunteer works was at AMDA International Medical Information Center in Tokyo, Japan where she helped foreign nationals to access medical services and provide translation and interpretation when needed. Here in Hawaii she currently volunteers with the IUCN World Conservation Congress because she is convinced that conservation of nature should be embraced as a way of life. We only have one world and we have to protect it. She has provided support to underprivileged students, contributed to Brigada Eskwela which support teachers with painting, bookshelves and cleaning supplies. She has developed a charity for Filipino teachers and students that sends them educational publications donated by US teachers.


Christopher Lapinig

Christopher Lapinig (Los Angeles, CA) – Christopher is Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA’s Skadden Fellow in the Impact Litigation Unit. He provides legal services to victims and survivors of human trafficking in the Filipino community. He also advocates for legislative action to allow Filipino Amerasians—over 50,000 children of U.S. servicemen left in the Philippines—to migrate to America.

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Chris previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Denny Chin of the Second Circuit and to the Honorable Lorna G. Schofield of the Southern District of New York, the first federal Article III judge of Filipino descent in U.S. history. Chris was also a Fulbright Research Scholar in the Philippines.   A Phi Beta Kappa member, Chris graduated summa cum laude from Yale College and earned a B.A. with Distinction in Linguistics and with Distinction in Ethnicity, Race and Migration. In college, Chris served as President of Kasama: The Filipino Club at Yale and Moderator of the Asian American Students Alliance.

Chris received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2013. In law school, Chris served as the Co-Chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, the Co-Coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Conference, the inaugural Diversity Editor of the Yale Law Journal, and the Founding Coordinator of the Alliance for Diversity. Chris is admitted to practice law in New York and is a Registered Legal Services Attorney in California. He previously sat on the Steering Committee of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York.


Dondi QuintansMaria Teresa Quintans (Tamuning, Guam) – Maria Teresa Quintans, or “Dondi” as she is more affectionately known as, hails from family of print, television and event production, which all came very handy with her seven year stint at Galaide Group, LLC, Guam’s premier Marketing and Public Relations firm. Currently she is a Special Assistant at the Office of the Governor of Guam, where she focuses on the Lieutenant Governor’s public relations, marketing, events and social media. Originally from Project 4, Quezon City, Philippines, Dondi moved to Guam in the early 90s, where her family established the very first Filipino programming network outside of the Philippines. She received her undergraduate degree in Communication Studies from Seattle University (2006) and her Master in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Guam.


Donny Rojo

Donny Feliciano Rojo (Seattle, WA) – Donny continues to grow his professional career as an Integrated Product Leader of Innovation and Development at Philips, while driving his civic entrepreneurship through local civic engagement and community programs as President of UNIPRO Seattle. During his time at Honeywell Aerospace, Donny gained experience in engineering research and design for military and commercial aerospace.  As a design engineer, he achieved three patents and has been certified in Design for Six Sigma, Lean, Systems Engineering Management, and gained his Project Management Professional PMI certification, later becoming the lead in transitioning engineering design into manufacturing.  Soon after, he took the opportunity to become a Technical Engineering Manager for Honeywell’s Engineering Test Service business, ensuring quality testing of aerospace safety systems across the world.

Today at Philips as an Integrated Product Leader, Donny manages large project teams of an international oral healthcare business to develop new propositions from ideation, design, manufacturing, to global market launch.  Donny also does work with local and national Filipino American communities advocating socio-economic advancement through professional development and leadership.  He established the Seattle Chapter for Pilipino Unity for Progress (UNIPRO), aimed to create a pipeline of community and industry leaders through social impact and professional experience.  He also has held leadership, board of directors and advisory board positions in community and student organizations.  He continues to advocate for civic engagement, working with government, student, community, business, and professional leaders in establishing a cross functional network to increase Filipino American representation in both technology businesses and government.


Jhett TolentinoJhett Tolentino (New York, NY) – A Pinoy Pride born, raised and educated from the slums of Iloilo City, Philippines. He had won three Tony Awards for producing Broadway shows, making him the second Philippine-born Tony Award winner. He is the first and only Filipino Tony Awards voter among 27 million theater-goers in the United States. He is also a Grammy Awards voter.

He was recognized by the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts in February 2016 with “Ani Ng Dangal” Award in Manila for bringing international honor to the Philippines. He was also awarded The Outstanding Filipino American – New York (TOFA-NY) for Entertainment in 2014 at Carnegie Hall, New York City.

Currently, he is the Deputy Chapter Commander of the Knights of Rizal -New York Chapter. A Partner at OnQ Talent Agency, and the Sole Member of Jhett Tolentino Productions, LLC, both companies based in New York City. Jhett Tolentino Productions, Inc. is his Philippine production company on process for Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission registration this September, 2016, will start producing Broadway shows in the Philippines in 2017.


About FYLPRO. FYLPRO is a group of high-performing, next-generation leaders who have a passion for advancing the Philippines and the Filipino people. FYLPRO was established in 2012 by Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States of America, Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. in cooperation with Ayala Foundation Inc. to provide delegates with invaluable community, business, and government insights and access to a distinguished network of captains of industry and government.



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  1. Robert M. Wisda

    Congratulations to all of them. 👏🏽 It will be good to see more of their positive influence on both Filipino and American communities.


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