Recap: Fly Pinays Informational Night

46766002_1185354554936644_2822980135626473472_nOn November 26th, we hosted a Fly Pinays Informational Night at San Jose State.

We’ve officially entered “Fly Pinays season” and hosted the event as a means of engaging and informing all interested community members in the undertaking of our largest event of the year – our upcoming 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit. 

In the next few weeks, we will be finalizing our 2019 Fly Pinays Organizing Team, which will be the group that carries the vision of our Fly Pinays work into the next year.

If you would like to learn more about taking on a leadership role in our Fly Pinays program and related activities, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

For more information on Fly Pinays, please contact Angelica at


2018 Winter Retreat


December 1, 2018

Twice a year, our organizers gather during both June and December, to reflect, plan, and strategize for our group’s programs, initiatives, and educational campaigns.

At the end of the year, December enables us to look in the rearview and celebrate our past year’s work, while also planning for the year ahead.

This past weekend, on Saturday, December 1st, our organizing team spent a day together in reflection, intention, and fun, where we evaluated our series of programs and events, but also defined our action (and intentions) for 2019.

In the coming year, we have a whole lot planned for our organization, and by consequence, each of you.

Thank you to San Jose-Evergeen Valley Community College District Board Trustee, Wendy Ho, for joining us during our Retreat, and furthermore, for her sharing of her experiences and influences in public service and elected office.

In the next few days, we will unveil our 2019 Strategic Plan, but for now, a sneak peek into our organization’s initiatives, programs, and campaigns include:

Awareness in Action Program Expansion
A staple of LEAD Filipino, our Awareness in Action Program (AAP) combines aspects of Filipino/a history, language, identity, and political education. This free eight-week program has been held in San Jose since 2016 and continues to grow in its size and scope. Understanding the interest and need in our community, LEAD Filipino is building its capacity to expand AAP to other parts of the greater South Bay Area. Expansion would involve ease of access to our communities/student populations, more opportunities to attend exposure tours, and leveraging our partner relationships.

Community Workshops
Each of our organizers is tasked with developing a cultural workshop that focuses on Filipino/a leadership, history, identity, and civic engagement. As part of this work, we aim to challenge ourselves as leaders and educators, and work with local organizations and schools to provide free workshops that help bring awareness to health and human issues within Filipino/a communities. We have hosted workshops at UC Davis, De Anza College, San Jose State, Santa Clara University, and Cal State East Bay. In 2019, we look forward to expanding our reach and presence with local community groups and campuses.

3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit
Our largest event of the year, our Fly Pinays Leadership Summit (and related Mixer/Summit Revealing) for Pinay professionals and students – also known as – our Fly Pinay mentors and mentees, will continue with with a larger footprint and growing network of participants. With unique and strategic partners, we will work in 2019 to continue serving our mentors, mentees, and broader community in a shared movement to advance gender equity, rights, and inclusion.

2019 Filipino Community Advocacy Day
A new undertaking for our organization, in partnership with the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, LEAD Filipino will co-lead the efforts to host a legislative advocacy day, centered on issues within the Filipino American community, in our state’s capital, Sacramento. This means that our organization will take a lead role in the planning, steering, and execution of bringing together partners and leaders to identify a shared agenda, and subsequently, legislative visits with elected officials.

Ethnic Studies – CA Graduation Requirement
Our organization has identified AB 2772 as our number one state legislative priority. AB 2772 was co-authored and introduced by Assemblymembers Jose Medina and Rob Bonta in early 2018. Though vetoed by Governor Brown, we hope that the bill will be re-introduced this legislative session. The bill would have authorized funds to pilot mandatory Ethnic Studies classes at 11 school districts in CA, with the idea being to mandate Ethnic Studies classes as a requirement for all CA public high school students (just like we all had to take PE). LEAD Filipino will follow this issue closely, update our membership, and engage our members and leaders in advocating for the passage of this bill in 2019.


LEAD Filipino

City of San Jose Observes FAHM


October 30th, 2018

In honor and celebration of Filipino American History Month (FAHM) we joined several members and nonprofit agency leaders of our local Filipino/a American community to accept a commendation from the City of San Jose, honoring the month’s significance. Pictured above, Auntie Thelma Boac (Trustee, Berryessa Unified School District), Ian Crueldad, Angelica Cortez, and Kevin Suarez with our organization.

We were so pleased to be joined by leading founders of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) with Dr. Joan Cordova, President Emerita of FANHS-National and Manong Ben Menor.


A huge thank you to San Jose Councilman Sergio Mendez, Mayor Sam Liccardo, and the rest of the City Council in celebrating the importance of FAHM to our broader San Jose community.


LEAD Filipino

Recap: Fly Pinays Photo Day at Google


October 27th, 2018

Last month, through our Fly Pinays efforts, we hosted our first ever “Fly Pinays Photo Day” at Google in Sunnyvale. The Photo Day was exactly what you might expect – a community event for our Fly Pinays mentors and mentees to come dressy and receive free professional headshots.

While the event centered on the headshots – and impromptu photo shoots amongst our attendees – we were joined by a lineup of dynamic speakers, performers, and community partners that tabled and promoted their services and resources.

We would like to especially thank our guest speakers, performers, and tabling partners that helped to contribute to the event’s substance and who ultimately came through for our mentor and mentee network!

Special shout outs to:

Los Gatos Town Councilmember Marico Sayoc



Zoe Biala

San Jose FACES

Winning with Other Women

NY Life

Brown Papaya

Little Honey Vee


Pilipinx Radical Imagination Reader

We look forward to seeing everyone again as we continue with our 2019 Fly Pinays efforts!


LEAD Filipino


Fly Pinays Informational Night

Come one, come all (especially our mentors and mentees) and join us in our Fly Pinays Informational Night on Monday, November 26th at San Jose State University!

Affectionally dubbed our “Fly Pinays Season” our organization takes pen to paper, ears to the ground, and shoulders to the wheel across four months of coordination, planning, and execution for our Fly Pinays program – or our Mentor/Mentee Mixer and Leadership Summit, every year.

During our Informational Night, we will cover the basics about our program, our roadmap, and key ways to engage and share your (much-needed) talent and treasure with our volunteer organizing efforts around Fly Pinays.

We hope to see you on the 26th!

LEAD Filipino

2019 Fly Pinays-page-001


Recap: September Natz. Ceremony


November 15, 2018

As an organization founded on the principles of Filipino/a culture and civic leadership – in the American context – you can catch us engaging in civic-related work around the greater South Bay Area.

For the past year, our organization has been a key partner with the Asian Law Alliance in the efforts to register and educate voters in Santa Clara County.

A core facet of this work has included the student leadership of Katrina Figueroa (SJSU, ’18) and Kevin Suarez (SJSU, ’18) who co-managed the outreach and volunteer management efforts related to our role in volunteering with the County’s monthly Naturalization Ceremonies.

To learn more about our Civic Engagement and Leadership efforts, please contact Katrina Figueroa,


LEAD Filipino

Recap: 2018 Filipino Community Policy Symposium

September 29th, 2018

The culmination of a months-long undertaking for our organization and our collaborative partners with the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies and UC Davis’ Asian American Studies Department was this past September’s 2018 Filipino Community Policy Symposium.

The day-long conference, held at UC Davis on Saturday, September 29th, convened community advocates, educators, activists, grassroots organizers, public officials, youth, and families in centered conversations on forming a uniquely Filipino/a American policy agenda for 2019. The issues that our workshops and breakout sessions focused on eight key areas that all Filipinos/as Californians can identify with:

  • Health and Human Services
  • Workers’ Rights and Justice
  • LGBTQIA Rights and Justice
  • Immigrant Rights and Justice
  • Women’s Issues – Leadership, Rights, and Visibility
  • K-12/Higher Education
  • Housing and Homelessness Advocacy
  • Small Business Growth/Economic Development

In keynote addresses from former City of Davis Mayor Ruth Asmundson and Cynthia Bonta, and speaker panels with esteemed nonprofit leaders, organizers, and governmental agency leaders, the energy in the space was palpable. The impetus and shared commitment to the Symposium was/is the awareness that Filipinos/as are the largest Asian/Pacific Islander ethnic group in California at a staggering population of ~1.5 million.

Despite our collective presence at ~1.5 m, we are seeing a pervasive absence of our community across elected and appointed leadership spaces where community and public decisions are made. LEAD Filipino’s involvement in the organizing and execution of this Symposium was based on the intention of contributing to the larger picture, and above all, galvanizing our local community to get involved in civic and political action.

The next steps and outcomes of the 2018 Symposium were clear: for our respective grassroots partners and organizations to form a comprehensive, representative, and reflective policy and legislative platform for 2019 that we can take to our state legislators in the coming year.

Angelica and Vanessa with our organization were pleased to co-emcee this past year’s Policy Symposium and look forward to meeting many of you in our shared work.

If you would like to get involved in these efforts as a volunteer organizer, we want to hear from you! Contact us at

Stay tuned!

LEAD Filipino

“2018 Community Partner of the Year”

IMG_0163On September 27th, 2018, our organization was recognized by Senator Bob Wieckowski at his Annual “State of the 10th Senate District” with a Resolution from the California State Senate, as the “2018 Community Partner of the Year.”

With the introduction of the Resolution presented by our dear Tita Thelma Boac (Trustee, Berryessa Unified School District – San Jose) and then awarded by Senator Bob Wieckowski, our grassroots organization was highlighted for our work around providing free Filipino/a studies classes, building empowerment programs through Fly Pinays, and finding meaningful ways to engage our community in civic leadership and visibility.

We were one of 11 other individuals and organizations, hailing from the 10th State Senate District, to be honored on that momentous evening. Our feelings of humility, appreciation – and awe – go without saying, to have been recognized and spotlighted alongside other community and homegrown sheroes was amazing.

Maraming salamat to Senator Wieckowski, his team, and our community for continuing to support and steward our growing work and service to the greater South Bay Area. Congratulations to all of the other award recipients! We were honored to celebrate alongside each of you.IMG_0147 (1)

This one’s for BAE (the community)!

LEAD Filipino

Filipin@ Voter Guide – English & Tagalog

CA Statewide Election

Dear Kasamas –

With only 26 days remaining till California’s statewide election – where we will vote on  8 new statewide officer positions and 11 propositions – we’ve developed a Filipin@ Voter Guide to help inform our friends, family, and community members on the statewide measures that Californians will be faced with, come this election.

Check out our English and Tagalog Voter Guides below.

English – Filipin@ Voter Guide



Tagalog – Filipin@ Voter Guide