Row of 106.1 KMEL to be at 3rd Annual Fly Pinays!


Announcement:  We’re so excited to share that Row of 106.1 KMEL will be joining our list of guest speakers at our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit!  Row will address our crowd of ~150 women and girls on Saturday, March 23rd at Mission College.

About: Row is a Radio Personality on 106.1 KMEL. She currently has a podcast called “100 Proof Radio” with co-host G-Biz of the Sana G Morning Show – available at, iTunes, iHeartRadio app, and Spreaker. She will also be launching a new podcast “Row After Dark” this Spring 2019, which will be available across the same platforms. Her passion for music, Hip-Hop culture, and radio has helped her make a name for herself within the industry – and she’s just getting started. Catch this Fly Pinay at our 3rd Annual!

Be sure to keep checking back for updates on our guest speakers and featured workshops!

Recap: Fly Pinays Retreat (1.13.19)

When we retell the story and the journey of each year’s Fly Pinays, we stretch our memories of the laughter, bonds, and last-minute-panic-scramble-runs-to-the-store-to-grab-a-forgotten-item back several months.

The community planning, that’s characterized best by student and young adult leadership, starts the fall of the preceding year.  It truly takes special people to commit of themselves in their talent, treasure, and time, to produce a two-series Fly Pinays program each spring for our region.

While our first meeting was last November, we had our visioning and strategy retreat this past Sunday at Google. Shout outs to Advisor Bautista for hosting us at her home base.

Joined by pizza, salad, home-made pancit, and great company, our team spent an afternoon sharing their goals for their respective Director positions, receiving a training on fundraising, and learning the ropes of their roles from their predecessors.

Needless to say, after our calendaring session of must-dos and release dates, our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays team is off to the races!

Stay tuned, and follow our journey on IG: LEAD_Filipino

Recap: Advocacy Day Training (1.11.19)

Last Friday, Jan. 11th, several members of our Education and Civic Engagement teams spent the day at UC Davis, with our partners at the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, in a deep discussion and training for our first [Filipino/a Legislative Advocacy Day] in Sacramento, planned for later this spring.

This Advocacy Day has been a long-time coming, and one that is being planned with consideration, thought, analysis, and most importantly — our community’s voices.

If you all remember, our organization co-spearheaded execution of last Fall’s Filipino Policy Symposium at UC Davis, where we featured speakers such as Genevieve Jopanda (with now, Treasurer Ma’s office), Appointments Secretary Mona Pasquil, Commissioners Austin and Villavicencio, nonprofit leaders Terry Valen and Angelica Cabande, and many more educators and activists.  Most especially, this Symposium engaged its participants — over 20 Filipino grassroots and nonprofit organizations and 80 community members — in “policy advocacy talks” on interests of public issues: Immigration, Workers and Women’s Rights, Housing, Education, Justice/Prison Reform, and Small Business Ownership. The list was endless…and we loved it.

The outcome of the Symposium was clear. 

We, and the Bulosan Center, would take our community’s feedback, experiences, and concerns, to the drawing board and sketch out our Advocacy Day in Sacramento, to show that the largest API community in California, is here to stay and most saliently, listening and observing.

During our training, we covered the basics on everyone’s mind:

  • We answered why we’re hosting an Advocacy Day.
  • We re-shared the goals of the Advocacy Day.
  • We provided the who within the Advocacy Day.
  • After the basics, we dove into providing a deeper view into Sacramento: our new Governor, bills that we will advocate on related to Ethnic Studies and Human Issues, and newly elected leaders that we could ask to support these efforts.

We look forward to continuing this work with — and for — the community.

The next training is scheduled for March.  We hope you’ll join us!

LEAD Filipino

Eskrima Workshop at Santa Clara U.

January 8, 2019

We had the privilege of presenting a tactical and interactive workshop on Filipino Martial Arts: Eskrima to the students and members of Barkada at Santa Clara University!

Led and developed by one of our organizers, Kevin Suarez, we were joined by Guru Lester Fontecha with Inayan Martial Arts in San Jose, in a workshop that provided a historical context on Filipino Martial Arts – Eskrima, Arnis, Kali – in light of Spain’s 300-year occupation in the Philippines. 49270406_1214664858672280_8334955208408825856_nDid you know that Eskrima emerged as practice of self-defense during just the 1980s in the United States? Its resurgence across American martial arts/defense classes was attributed to the Delano Manongs that maintained the Filipino martial art form from the Philippines.49251305_1214664832005616_4067241962393042944_nSpecializing in open-hand movements, tactical positions, and weaponed stances, Eskrima continues to gain popularity across martial arts communities. Through the provision of our free workshops, and Kevin’s leadership, we hope to continue preserving the spirit and education of Eskrima for our community.

Announcing Our: 2019 Fly Pinays Directors!

We’re proud to announce the leaders of our upcoming 3rd Annual Fly Pinays Leadership Summit – be on the lookout for this year’s directors because we’ll be cooking up big things the next several months!

2019 Fly Pinays Directors

Marissa Martinez (SCU ’16) – Program Director

Eleaine Reyes (SJSU) – Assistant Program Director

Jenna Edra (SJSU ’19) – Workshop Director

Jenn Cayanan (SJSU) & Katie Mendoza (SJSU ’18)– Co-Mentee Directors

Isabel Bagsik (UC Davis ’17) – Social Media & Publicity Director

Katrina Figueroa (SJSU ’18) – Volunteer Director

Angelica Cortez (SJSU ’10, USF ’13, and USC ’21) – Mentor & Fundraising Director

Congratulations to this year’s 2019 Directors, we look forward to the creativity, positivity, and imaginative magic you all will bring to our 3rd Annual Fly Pinays!

2018 Annual Community Report

We’re long overdue, but at last, we’re so proud to present our 2018 Annual Community Report that details our accomplishments, highlights, and major programmatic areas from the past year.

Maraming salamat (thank you so much) to everyone that journeyed with us throughout 2018 from our programs, projects, and campaigns, each one of you made the world of difference – and gave meaning – to community service.

It’s truly an honor to present our 2018 Annual Community Report (click link).

2018 Annual Community Report

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