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23 July 2014


WASHINGTON, D.C.--The nation’s capital continues to be a source of participants for the Filipino American Youth Leadership Program (FYLPro).  Joining this year’s group are D.C.-based Rafael Diokno and Jason Tengco.  Their selection was not a surprise, owing to the two individuals’ active engagement in the Filipino American community.

Rafael, or RJ as he is known to friends, has become a familiar face in community functions.  The Illinois native is Vice President of Filipino Young Professionals-D.C. and a Board Member of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce-D.C.  He also played a vital role in the success of the After the Storm benefit concert as the Strategic Communications Chair of the Philippine Humanitarian Coalition, which partnered with the Philippine Embassy and US-Philippines Society in staging the successful show.

“I have a vision of what our Filipino American community could be.  And last May, I heard a keynote speech from Tony Olaes at the FYLPro Summit in Hawaii that validated this vision.  He talked about a strong and united Filipino diaspora and how we could get there.  And with that, I knew that I wanted to be a part of ‘One Filipino.’  It is a vision that focuses on education, connection, and developing the financial clout, as a community, to fund key programs and initiatives to make this vision possible,” Diokno said.

Jason is the youngest in the third batch of FYLPro participants.  He moved to Washington from San Francisco to serve in the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, where he currently holds the position of Senior Advisor.  Jason has been instrumental in organizing the annual White House briefing for Filipino American community leaders.  He also co-founded the website, JeepneyHub.com, a website dedicated to the career development of Filipino American youth and young professionals.

Jason has a lot planned when he returns from the program.  “I intend on making it a priority to work with the Embassy to organize Filipino Americans around typhoon relief, so that even as time passes, we continue to provide support and never forget those affected by the typhoon.  I would like to work with the Embassy in organizing the community around comprehensive immigration reform in order to help it along the finish line in Congress, and to enroll undocumented Filipino youth in Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals.  Finally, I plan to continue to lay the groundwork in order to launch a national progressive Filipino American advocacy organization in D.C.,” he said.

RJ and Jason will begin their FYLPro experience this Thursday, July 24.  The four-day program, an initiative of Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and his wife Vicky, will enable the participants to meet with senior officials in government, corporate executives and successful entrepreneurs, members of the academe, and representatives of leading NGOs.  The program ends with their participation in the 9th Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour.

The FYLPro’s program partner in the Philippines is the Ayala Foundation.  Corporate sponsors include Philippine Airlines, Chevron Philippines, General Electric Philippines, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines and Security Bank Corporation. ###