2018 Fly Pinay Student Sign Ups

— Calling All Fly Pinays in College —

The sign ups for our 2nd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit are officially OPEN.  If you are a young Pinay, a young API womyn, and/or a supporting member of our community, please consider registering for our largest event of the year that focuses on Filipina mentorship, sisterhood, and cultural identity!

Last year, we had young womyn join us from nearly every Bay Area public university, private college and community college.  With nearly ~130 participants at our 1st Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit, we were able to successfully pair our students with Filipina professionals (mentors) from every professional sector in our area.

If you’re a young womyn and you reside in the Bay Area, we hope you’ll consider joining us on Saturday, March 10th, 2018 (for our mentor and mentee revealing) and Saturday, March 24th, 2018 for the 2nd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit.

Don’t wait too long, spaces are open on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited!

Click here to complete the student registration



2018 Fly Pinay Mentor Sign Ups

— Calling All Fly Pinays Professionals —

Dear Kasamas —

Last year’s 1st Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit was nothing short of spectacular.  We celebrated Pinayism through the frames of mentorship, sisterhood, cultural identity and leadership as Filipinas do – in song, dance, delicious food, and with great company. We were so thankful for your participation and commitment to help bring about our successful inaugural event.

LEAD Filipino is proud to announce the date for our 2nd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit!

On Saturday, March 24, 2018, LEAD Filipino will be hosting its 2nd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit. The Fly Pinays Leadership Summit will again, pair local Filipina professionals (Mentors) and college level/recent grad Pinays (Mentees) in a single-day of shared experience by way of workshops, speaker panels, TED-style talks, and keynote addresses reflective of the Filipina Narrative.

We are looking for Filipina professionals in various industries and fields of work who want to serve as mentors for our mentees!  If you are or know someone who is an exceptional Filipina role model, we hope that you consider joining or helping our local effort  to empower tomorrow’s Pinay leaders.

Last year, we had 38 Fly Pinay Mentors from Google, Facebook, Genentech, SamTRANS, the City of San Jose, the County of Santa Clara, and various nonprofit agencies. We had 72 Fly Pinay Mentees from local South Bay universities: San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, De Anza College and Stanford University.

This year, we plan to grow even more, inviting more mentees and mentors to participate in this amazing event!

Help us plant these roots in our Fly Pinays event- can you join us as a Mentor?

Sign Up To Be A Mentor Today!

Maraming salamat po!

Vanessa Carr
Mentor Manager
2018 Fly Pinays


Big Wins: Bay Area Fil Am Mayors!

– Congratulations to Mayors Juslyn Manalo and Gabriel Quinto –

This past December, many local municipalities re-organized their city councils. While this is a procedural occurrence, December 2017 brought great news and celebration for our local Fil Am community in the announcing of TWO Fil Am Mayors taking the helm of their respective city’s leadership and council, as Mayors.

LEAD Filipino would like to extend a huge congratulations to Daly City Mayor Juslyn Manalo and El Cerrito City Mayor Gabriel Quinto in their leadership posts as mayors of their cities. Mayor Manalo is the first Filipina American to serve as Daly City’s Mayor and Mayor Quinto is the first Filipino to serve as El Cerrito’s Mayor. We look forward to hearing of the policy, community/economic development and other exciting initiatives that they’ll lead in the coming year.

Members of LEAD Filipino pose with Daly City Mayor Juslyn Manalo at our 2017 Fly Pinays Leadership Summit.
El Cerrito Mayor Gabriel Quinto attends our 2nd Annual Summer Reception and awards our API Legislative Caucus scholarship winners for their leadership and public service.

Spring Training Course

– We are excited to announce the roll-out of our new Spring Training Course! –

Our Spring Training Course will be an intensive 10-week program aimed to train community members with deep interests in the intersection of community organizing and Filipino/a ethnic studies/education in the development and awareness of our youth today.

The Spring Training will convene on Monday evenings from 6:30pm-8:30pm in Eastside San Jose, beginning February 26th and ending on April 30th.

While our Spring Training curriculum largely consists of presentations, weekly reading assignments, and group discussions, participants in our Spring Training will also gain classroom experience in shadowing, observing and working with high school aged youth at South Bay high schools, along LEAD Filipino’s organizers.

For more information and/or questions, please contact Jay at jay@leadfilipino.org

Recap: Protect Our Neighborhoods


On Saturday, November 21st, Angelica Cortez and Jay Page with our organization participated in and represented LEAD Filipino at a community forum with SF-based Filipino community organizations such as SOMCAN, FCDC, Filipino Advocates for Justice, the Tenderloin People’s Congress, the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, the I-Hotel, and many more in a forum on the issues of gentrification, rising rental costs, and urban development that are plaguing the working class in the SF Bay Area.

The forum was themed on galvanizing grassroots organizations, advocates and families to rally behind repealing the Costa Hawkins Act.

The day was long and informative, featuring presentations from the FCDC and three speaker panels on, “Victims of Gentrification”, “Organizers & Advocates” and “Policymakers”.

We were joined by special guests Daly City Mayor Juslyn Manalo, Daly City Councilman Ray Buenaventura, and SF County Supervisor (D6) Matt Haney.

Our keynote speaker was CA State Assemblyman Rob Bonta.

We thank Steve Arevalo and FCDC for organizing this forum and letting LEAD Filipino partake in and learn from the community conversations around justice for renters, preserving our neighborhoods, and mobilizing as a community.

Gentrification Flyer

2017 Year End Highlights

 In 2017, LEAD Filipino embarked on an ambitious agenda, including major developments and roll-outs in our program areas.

What were the results of hours of planning meetings, conference calls, and last-minute runs to print handouts. . .

. . .our 1st Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit, tripling the participation of our summer Awareness in Action Program, media coverage from a number of local press outlets, multiple invitations to members of our team to guest speak at conferences nationwide, and much more to continue elevating the public and civic leadership of Filipino Americans, here in the South Bay.

This past year, our small organization celebrated significant victories in our (4) core program areas:


  • We hosted our first Fly Pinays Leadership Summit in San Jose, CA and engaged 120 Filipina women and girls.
  • We organized subsequent events for our Fly Pinays mentors and mentees and engaged 50 individuals through these efforts.
  • We led the organizing efforts for a South Bay Filipino American Town Hall at San Jose City Hall on the issue of understanding Filipino American concerns with domestic and foreign public policy.
  • We co-sponsored a community forum on neighborhood preservation at the I-Hoteln in San Francisco, CA.
  • We helped draft the City of San Jose’s proclamation language for Filipino American History Month (October).
  • We co-hosted a Filipino Heritage Night with the San Jose Earthquakes.



  • From June to August, we tripled the participation of our summer Awareness in Action Program from 5 to 15, held at Asian American Recovery Services (AARS) in San Jose.
  • We increased our Awareness in Action Program partners from 3 to 6.
  • 15 community members completed our 8-week Filipino Ethnic Studies & Community Leadership Program.
  • We organized 3 Filipino Ethno-Exposure Community Tours: SoMa Pilipinas, Watsonville, and the Fil-Am Mental Health Initiative.
  • We organized a two-day Delano Manongs Immersion Tour with 22 high school students and local Filipino/a leaders down in Delano, CA.
  • We partnered with the Filipino Googler Network (FGN) to host ~120 high school students from Newark Memorial, Overfelt, Milpitas High School and Westmoor at Google’s, “3rd Annual Career Day”.



  • We co-organized a “Know Your Rights Legal Clinic” with PAWIS, Fil-CAIA, FBANC and the Asian Law Alliance that attracted 60 attendees.
  • We became an official partner in the “Voter Mobilization and Engagement Project” with the Asian Law Alliance and Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters.
  • We helped register 500+ voters at the County of Santa Clara’s monthly Naturalization Ceremonies from September to December.
  • We marched alongside hundreds of other organization’s in the International Worker’s Day March.
  • We hosted a free training with 14 community members on getting appointed and serving on city/county commissions and committees.
  • We co-hosted a training with Sacred Heart Community Service and 4 other community organizations on becoming a “Rapid Responder” against ICE raids in our locality that engaged 19 individuals.
  • We joined the API Justice Coalition with other leading grassroots organizations and nonprofit agencies.



  • We hosted 6 different cultural leadership and education workshops with 8 local colleges and student organizations.  (De Anza College, Santa Clara University, and UC Davis, to name a few. . .)
  • We organized the 2nd Annual Eastside Entrepin@yers event for 100 students at San Jose State University.
  • We teamed up with FANHS Santa Clara Valley, AKOmicron, AKOmega and Akbayan SJSU to host a special, “Gender Justice” workshop for 65 students at San Jose State.
  • Our joint “Know Your Rights Legal Clinic” was covered by Balitang America.
  • Our Fly Pinays Dialogues Event was covered by Fil-Am Star.



  • Razelle Buenavista, Asian American Recovery Services
  • Dr. Jen Briscoe, Commission on the Status of Women
  • Aurelia Bailey, City of San Jose
  • Tony Santa Ana, De Anza College
  • Vern Caruz, Stipe Elementary
  • Alex Bautista, Filipino Googler Network (FGN)
  • Annie V. Lam, League of CA Cities – API Caucus
  • Richard Gucciardo, League of CA Cities – API Caucus
  • Richard Konda, Asian Law Alliance
  • Salina Huang, Asian Law Alliance
  • Nick Kuwada, Asian Law Alliance
  • Bea Pangilinan, Asian Law Alliance
  • Michael Dalupo, PAWIS
  • Michael Tayag, PAWIS
  • RJ Payomo, Kawayan Folk Arts
  • Dr. Robyn Rodriguez, UC Davis
  • Francis Lopez, San Jose Earthquakes
  • Ann Reginio, FANHS Santa Clara Valley
  • Abe Menor, FANHS Santa Clara Valley
  • Lorenz Dumuk, FANHS Santa Clara Valley
  • Edwin Tan, AACI
  • Michele Lew, The Health Trust
  • Anthony Lin, PG&E
  • Patricia Gardner, Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits
  • Era de Castro, ECCAC of Santa Clara County
  • Uncle Steve Arevalo, Community Advocate
  • Tony Robles, Manilatown Heritage Foundation
  • The Hon. Wendy Ho, San Jose-Evergreen Community College District

We look forward to an eventful, impactful and fun 2018 alongside all of you.


LEAD Filipino

Fly Pinays Focus Groups

11/22/2017: Thanks to the ladies of PASA at CSUEB for hosting our Fly Pinays focus group at your campus!

Of the seasons abound, the “Fly Pinays” season is among us, and our organizers, advisors, and interns have already gotten to work on planning and developing our 2nd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit!

To inform the substance of our themes and topics for our 2018 Fly Pinays, we are doing extensive homework throughout our community.

From November to January, our lead organizers and interns will facilitate focus groups with college-level Pinays from local Bay Area colleges and students organizations to gain a better understanding of the issues, experiences, and concerns of young Pinays today.

In November, we hosted focus groups at Cal State East Bay, San Jose State University, and Santa Clara University.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we continue our listening tour and future development of our 2018 Fly Pinays!


Every March, in observance and celebration of Women’s History Month, we organize and host our annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit, a single-day conference dedicated to convening Filipina professionals and college students in a day of cultural identity, mentorship, and sisterhood.

Our 2017 Fly Pinays hosted ~120 Filipina women and girls from across the Bay Area.  With students from every major public and private university and community college in the region, to professionals from a range of sectors, Fly Pinays underscored the impact, influence, and leadership of Filipinas in our community.

Recap: November Natz. Ceremony

LEAD Filipino at the County of Santa Clara’s November Natz. Ceremony!

Christelle Aldea, on our Natz. Ceremonies Volunteer Team poses with some community members!

Since August of this year, we have been working alongside our partners at the Asian Law Alliance (ALA), Filipino Youth Coalition (FYC), and the County of Santa Clara to participate in the County’s monthly Naturalization Ceremonies, as we increase our local efforts to register and inform newly naturalized citizens, to become voters.  Our LEAD Filipino Naturalization Ceremonies – or Natz. – Team has worked hard each month to register nearly ~600 new voters this fall season.

This commitment and our organization’s successes were due to the leadership of our Natz. Ceremonies Head Organizer, Kevin Suarez, a current Economics student at San Jose State University.  Kevin has led our Natz. Team – Mandy Ngu, Christelle Aldea, and Nicole Liston – these past several months in direct community interfacing, registering voters, and connecting with other civic leaders.

We applaud our Natz. Team and await our spring season to ramp up and register more voters as we had into the 2018 elections!

Thank you to Mandy Ngu, Christelle Aldea, and Nicole Liston for volunteering your time, talents, and energy with LEAD Filipino!

Recap: “In Lady Liberty’s Shadow” TED-style talk with Dr. Robyn Rodriguez

In Lady Liberty

“They want us workers, but they don’t want us as people.” – Dr. Robyn Rodriguez

On Thursday, November 30th, we were proud to partner with the Filipino Googler Network (FGN) and Filipino Ohana at Salesforce in the co-organizing and co-hosting of Dr. Robyn Rodriguez, Professor of Asian American Studies at UC Davis, in a TED-style talk on the major themes of her recently released book, “In Lady Liberty’s Shadow: The Politics of Race & Immigration in New Jersey”.

Dr. Robyn Rodriguez – Dr. Rod – (also our closing keynote at our 2017 Fly Pinays) is a mentor to many of the leaders in our organization and broader community, in the realms of scholarship, academia/education, and human/immigrant rights activism.  In an intimate setting, held at YouTube in San Bruno, CA, Dr. Rod engaged the audience in a retelling of the historic redlining policies, anti-immigrant legislation and ordinances, and continued discriminatory practices seen in New Jersey localities, supported by local governments, till this day.

As a six-year resident of New Jersey, Dr. Rod took her research and study throughout the Garden State, from urban to rural communities, as she sought to unravel the experiences and narratives of community members with fresh stories of immigration, victims of anti-immigrant sentiment, and study local elected leaders that authored anti-immigrant legislation. In a state as seemingly diverse as New Jersey, many audience members tilted their heads in awe of the realities presented, contorting their faces into dismay.

Two attendees who happened to be from New Jersey, silently nodded in agreement, arms folded.

Group Pic In LadyFollowing Dr. Rod’s talk, the floor was opened for a Q&A dialogue, where many attendees inquired about how they might be able to make changes in their own communities – to which Dr. Rod responded with believing in the “power of the local” and leading change within our companies/organizations, community groups, and in local movements.

One thing is for sure, there is much work to be done.  Although many would contend that the Bay Area is a bubble (Bay Area) within a bubble (Northern CA) within a bubble (California), and that we exist in our own “utopian” world – this is far from true, and to ignite and create sustainable, genuine change, we must continue the work daily. Dr. Rod’s talk and the subsequent audience conversation were both salient reminders of the political undercurrent and movement of our country. The evening underscored how we mustn’t sneeze at 2018 with regard to upcoming local and state elections, and most notably on the horizon, our 2020 presidential race.

Special shout outs to Alex Bautista, Filipino Googler Network; James Binauhan, Filipino Ohana at Salesforce; and Eleaine Reyes and Jay Page, LEAD Filipino, for planning and making this beautiful event happen.

Check out Dr. Robyn Rodriguez’s book, “In Lady Liberty’s Shadow: The Politics of Race & Immigration in New Jersey” as the work chronicles and captures her research of migrant and immigrant worker communities through the six years she resided in New Jersey, as a Professor at Rutgers University.

Stay engaged!

Angelica Cortez
LEAD Filipino

2018 Fly Pinays Planning Committee Roster


The planning for our 2nd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit has begun!

Our Info. Night for those interested in joining our 2018 Fly Pinays Planning Committee was held on Monday, November 20th, in San Jose.  We’re excited to share that our Planning Committee has more than doubled since last year’s Fly Pinays core group, and we can’t wait to continue to share the journey with all of our committee members these next several months! In our Info. Night we covered our planning timeline, program overview, and discussed the various ways that we’re going to work to improve, develop, and enhance our 2nd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit.

It’s not too late to join our 2018 Fly Pinays Planning Committee!  If you’re interested in supporting our largest annual event for Filipina women and girls, please send us a message to get more information on our schedule of planning meetings and the various support opportunities that we have available.

Stay tuned!


2018 Fly Pinays Planning Committee Roster:

  • Angelica Cortez, Finance & Logistics Director (contact: angelica@leadfilipino.org)
  • Jaki Joanino, Program Director (contact here)
  • Jenna Edra, Workshops Director (contact here)
  • Carina Orozco, Fly Pinays Co-Emcee
  • Ann Reginio, Fly Pinays Co-Emcee
  • Isabel Bagsik, Mentee Liaison/Outreach Manager (contact here)
  • Vanessa Carr, Mentor Liaison/Outreach Manager (contact here)
  • Jeren Penalosa, Volunteer Manager
  • Rich Delan
  • Dom Guevara
  • Eleaine Reyes
  • Marissa Martinez
  • Razelle Buenavista*
  • Dr. Jen Briscoe*
  • Aurelia Bailey*

*LEAD Filipino Advisor