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22 September 2015

WASHINGTON, DC—Filipinos and other members of the diaspora community in Washington, DC came together to exchange ideas and connect with like-minded individuals and organizations in hopes to bring about innovation and change in their respective communities.

NextDayBetter + DC, a creative speaker series for diaspora communities which took place on 19 September at 1776 The Penthouse, drew some 150 participants who came to listen to inspiring stories and share their ideas over Filipino food prepared by some of the district’s well-known chefs.

The event brought together thought leaders and innovators from an array of disciplines including Nani Coloretti, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development; Erik Bruner-Yang, Chef and Restauranteur at Toki Underground and Maketto; Darryl Perkins, VP for Community & Business Development of Broccoli City; Kalsoom Lakhani, Founder & CEO of Invest2Innovate; Cathal Armstrong, Chef and Proprietor of Restaurant Eve; and Patrice Cleary, Owner of Purple Patch.

NextDayBetter, a creative media company, aims to tell empowering stories inspired by multicultural diaspora communities. In his remarks, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. commended the company for its efforts to reach out to the Filipino diaspora in Washington, DC and underscored the important role the diaspora community plays in the district’s economy.

“The Embassy shares NextDayBetter’s vision for partnership and collaboration with migrant groups and multicultural communities. With the growing diaspora population in Washington, DC, it is apt to have the NextDayBetter conference come to the District,” said Ambassador Cuisia.

He added, “According to 2015 data of the American Immigration Council, about 1 in 7 Washingtonians are foreign born. US Census figures show that DC was home to 92,819 immigrants in 2013. Immigrants are not only essential to the District’s economy as workers, but also account for billions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Stories of these minority groups are not often heard, and NextDayBetter can help tap into those powerful stories.”

The event ended with a reception which featured select fusion Filipino foods such as kinilaw, ube macarons, chocolate lollies with pili, champorado, pancit, and siopao. The food and libations were prepared by Twinkle Bakery, Whistle Pig + Craft Kombucha, Cosme NYC, and Jaleo.

Filipino food is an emerging trend in the US, with two new restaurants and a pop-up opening in Washington, DC this year. American TV personality, chef, and food writer Andrew Zimmern dubbed Filipino cuisine as the “next big thing.”

“It is an exciting time to be a Filipino in the US. More and more, the Filipino-American community is being recognized for its political, economic, and cultural contributions to society. Americans are even taking more notice of Filipino food. We often hear about the numerous ways America has influenced the Philippines. However, the presence of Filipino DC chefs this afternoon is an example of the many ways the Philippines also influences America,” said Ambassador Cuisia.

The September 19 installment of the series was the pioneer event for Washington, DC. NextDayBetter has chapters in London, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington, and Vancouver. ###

21 September 2015

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. delivering his remarks at NextDayBetter + Washington, DC on 19 September 2015. (Photo by aikathiele, courtesy of NextDayBetter)

21 September 2015

A selection of Filipino foods by DC-based chefs at NextDayBetter + Washington, DC on 19 September 2015. American TV personality, chef, and food writer Andrew Zimmern dubbed Filipino cuisine as the “next big thing.” (Photo by ranikinsss, courtesy of NextDayBetter).

21 September 2015

The team behind the successful NextDayBetter + Washington, DC. (Photo by pbandjamiez, courtesy of NextDayBetter)