By Abraham Jonah, Middle East Editorial Contributor
TUE NOVEMBER 29 2016-The Republic of Philippines has invested in varied areas of capacity building, Youth Development and now home and in Diaspora, to make greater impact and build better leaders for the future of the nation.
As a way of giving back; ten young, dynamic and driven Filipino-Americans arrived in the Philippines to participate in the 5th Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), which is running from November 23 to December 01.
Established in 2012 by the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. under the leadership of former Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and his wife, Maria Victoria, FYLPRO annually provides 10 delegates the opportunity to meet with the top government, business and civil society leaders of the Philippines. It is a flagship project of the Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the United States, in partnership with Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI), that is designed to engage the Filipino-American youth and contribute to their development as future leaders in their respective communities. This year, the FYLPRO alumni organization has also taken an active role in delegate selection, program design, event coordination, and overall program marketing and promotion.
“FYLPRO is a great example of collaboration between the Philippine Government and the private sector in promoting what is essentially a social advocacy. FYLPRO delegates are selected for their leadership potential, dedication to community work, and commitment to becoming agents of positive social change. FYLPRO represents our investment in their professional and personal advancement,” said Mr. Marshall Louis Alferez, Executive Director for American Affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“Our FYLPRO family has been growing and we are very proud to have this partnership with the government. We are excited to see what legacy projects will be developed by our delegates,” said Mr. Ruel Maranan, AFI President.
The ten selected delegates hail from diverse backgrounds, all having a passion to serve the Filipino community both in the United States and the Philippines. This year’s FYLPRO delegates represent New York, Washington D.C., California, Hawaii, Washington, and Guam.
An innovation of the 5th FYLPRO is the mentorship scheme that pairs delegates with experts in their fields of interest. This year’s program features engagements with Vice President Leni Robredo, young legislators, social entrepreneurs, business groups, and specialists from various Government agencies. It also includes a cultural immersion component that will showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Filipino people.
“It’s an honor and a dream for us, and we’re very happy. We look forward to a good week of gaining history and experience that will help us in working more closely with the government,” said Ms. Maria Teresa Quintans, who spoke on behalf of the delegates.
The 2016 delegates are Noel Aglubat (New York, NY), Tiffany Batac (Washington, DC), Joanne Boston (Daly City, CA), Mark Calaguas (Chicago, IL), Brandon Dela Cruz (Honolulu, HI), Elizabeth Frilles (Honolulu, HI), Christopher Lapinig (Los Angeles, CA), Maria Teresa Quintans (Tamuning, Guam), Donny Rojo (Seattle, WA), Jhett Tolentino (New York, NY)
The 5th FYLPRO is made possible with the invaluable partnership of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the generous support of corporate sponsors that include PhilAm Life, SGV, PHINMA Corporation, and Philippine Airlines.