By Alex P. Vidal
“Leadership is influence.” -John C. Maxwell
The Filipinos of New York has released a list of the “30 Most Influential Filipinos in New York City.”
According to the list prepared by Robert RDB, “there are many influential Filipinos in New York City who have made significant contributions to various fields.”
Here are some notable examples:
-Jose Llana – a Tony Award-nominated actor and singer known for his roles in Broadway musicals like “The King and I,” “Here Lies Love,” and “Allegiance.”
-Miguel Syjuco – a novelist and journalist who won the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel “Ilustrado.”
-Melissa de la Cruz – a bestselling author of young adult novels, including the “Blue Bloods” and “Witches of East End” series.
-Michael L. Tan – a sociologist, writer, and academic who served as the chancellor of the University of the Philippines.
-Erin Lim – a television host and entertainment journalist who has worked for E! News and is a regular contributor to “The Today Show” and “Access Hollywood.”
-Jo Koy – a comedian who has released several successful stand-up specials and has performed on “The Tonight Show,” “Chelsea Lately,” and other television shows.
-Renee Tajima-Peña – a filmmaker and professor at UCLA who directed the documentary “Who Killed Vincent Chin?” and co-directed the PBS documentary series “Asian Americans.”
-Maria Ressa – a journalist and CEO of the news website Rappler, who was named one of Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2018 for her work exposing disinformation campaigns in the Philippines.
-Romeo Santos – a singer, songwriter, and record producer who has been called the “King of Bachata.” Santos has sold out concerts at Madison Square Garden and has collaborated with artists like Usher and Drake.
-Vicente Rafael – a historian and professor at the University of Washington who has written extensively on Philippine history and culture. His books include “White Love and Other Events in Filipino History” and “The Promise of the Foreign: Nationalism and the Technics of Translation in the Spanish Philippines.”
-Cristina DC Pastor – a journalist, author, and founder of The FilAm, a news website covering the Filipino American community in New York City. Pastor has written for the New York Times, The FilAm, and other publications, and has authored books including “Scratch the News: Filipino Americans in Our Midst.”
-Victoria de los Reyes – a nurse and healthcare advocate who has worked to promote healthcare access and education in the Filipino American community. De los Reyes founded the organization Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UNIPRO), which provides resources and support for Filipino Americans.
-Jocelyn Bernal Ochoa – a community organizer and activist who has worked to promote social justice and immigrant rights in the Filipino American community. Ochoa co-founded the Filipino American Student Association at Queens College and has been involved with organizations such as Anakbayan New York and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.
-Loida Nicolas Lewis – a lawyer, philanthropist, and businesswoman who has been recognized for her work in promoting Filipino American representation and empowerment. Lewis is the founder of the Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions in the Philippines and has served as the national chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations.
-Oliver Oliveros – a theater producer and publicist who has worked to promote Filipino American representation in the performing arts. Oliveros has produced Off-Broadway shows such as “Noli Me Tangere, The Opera” and “The Romance of Magno Rubio,” and has been recognized for his contributions to the Filipino American arts community.
-Noel Cabangon – a singer, songwriter, and activist known for his contributions to the Filipino folk music scene. Cabangon has won several awards for his music, including Best World Album at the 2013 Independent Music Awards.
-Rafe Bartholomew – a journalist and author who has written extensively about sports, culture, and politics. Bartholomew’s work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Grantland, and The Atlantic, and he is the author of the book “Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin’ in Flip-Flops and the Philippines’ Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball.”
-Edwin Josue – a photographer and documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured in exhibitions and festivals around the world. Josue’s films include “Mabuhay Dream (Long Live the Dream),” which chronicles the experiences of Filipino migrant workers in the United States.
-Cristina Pato – a musician and composer known for her work in the Galician bagpipe tradition. Pato has performed with artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, and has released several critically acclaimed albums.
-Eliza Romero – a filmmaker and writer who has created films and content focusing on issues facing the Filipino American community. Romero’s work includes the short film “A Thousand Words,” which explores the experience of growing up as a Filipino American.
-Kevin Nadal – a psychologist, author, and activist who has worked to promote mental health and social justice in the Filipino American community. Nadal is the author of several books, including “Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice.”
-Arlene Davila – a scholar and professor of anthropology and American studies at New York University who has written extensively on Latino and Latin American culture and globalization. Davila’s books include “Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos, and the Neoliberal City” and “Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People.”
Patricia Santos Marcantonio – a journalist, author, and playwright who has written about the experiences of Filipino Americans in the United States. Marcantonio’s work includes the novel “The Song of Rita Joe” and the play “Journey of the Heart,” which explores the lives of Filipino American nurses in World War II.
-Eric Gamalinda – a writer and poet whose work has been recognized with awards such as the Philippine National Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. Gamalinda’s books include “Empire of Memory” and “The Descartes Highlands.”
-Angela Perez Baraquio Grey – an educator and former Miss America who has worked to promote education and cultural understanding in the Filipino American community. Grey founded the National Federation of Filipino American Associations’ National Youth Empowerment Summit and has been recognized for her advocacy work by organizations such as the Filipino Women’s Network.
-Maria Lagasca – a community organizer and advocate for Filipino American immigrants in New York City. Lagasca co-founded the Philippine Forum, a grassroots organization that provides services and support to Filipino immigrants, and has worked on issues such as workers’ rights and healthcare access.
-Randy Gener – a journalist, editor, and critic who has written extensively about the arts and culture in the United States and abroad. Gener is the editor of “Love, Christopher Street: Reflections of New York City” and has written for publications such as The New York Times and The Village Voice.
-Ruth Rodriguez – a filmmaker and artist whose work explores themes of identity and culture. Rodriguez’s films include “Island Soldier,” which follows the experiences of Micronesian soldiers serving in the U.S. military.
-Rolando T. Lavarro Jr. – a politician and community organizer who serves as a councilman for Jersey City, New Jersey. Lavarro has been involved in a range of social justice and community organizing efforts, including fighting for immigrant rights and advocating for affordable housing.
-Jessica Hagedorn – a writer and playwright known for her contributions to Asian American literature and theater. Hagedorn’s works include the novel “Dogeaters” and the play “Mango Tango.”
“These individuals, along with many others, have played vital roles in shaping the Filipino American community in New York City and beyond. Through their work, they have raised awareness about the experiences and contributions of Filipinos in the United States and have worked to promote social justice, equity, and inclusion for all,” said the Filipinos of New York.
EX-NPA rebel Jeffrey Celiz doesn’t believe the killers of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and eight other civilians in Pamplona, Negros Oriental on March 4 were members of the New People’s Army (NPA).
“Deep sympathy and condolences to you and to your family Mayor Janice Degamo,” Celiz, who is now an employee of SMNI news, declared.
“We are deeply in pain for the death of Gov. Roel. Our prayers and sympathies to you. Be strong. Be very brave. Be steadfast. Justice will come.”
Here’s Celiz’s complete statement: “The people of Negros Oriental know who the mastermind of this cowardly and evil murderous rampage that has been happening in your province, including this assassination of Gov. Roel.
“Political figures who are into Bloody warlordism combined with illegal numbers and on-line sabong operations are the ones who masterminded this demonic murder of Gov. Roel. This assassination is not typical of NPA operation. Montero and Pajero were used as crime vehicles and the choice of place of retreat of the evil murderers, is too familiar. Alam ito ng mga mamamayan ng Negros Oriental. What about the PNP? Do they have the knowledge also?
“Our cries shall resonate in the entire country shouting for justice for Gov. Roel Degamo and justice for all those who were murdered by the bloodthirsty warlords cum narco-gambling lords who continue their evil deeds of terrorizing the people of Negros Oriental.
“The people of Negros Oriental know who these evils are!”
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies.—Ed)