Who We Are


To strengthen Filipino identity through education and build thriving global communities by fostering a deep appreciation of the Philippines’ rich living heritage and history.



We welcome everyone and foster a deep sense of belonging among those who participate in our programs.


We collaborate with like-minded organizations and individuals to do our best work.


We believe that innovation is integral to how we do our work.


Service to others and elevating the common good is integral to our program.


We nurture a strong sense of self and connection to one’s Filipino identity and heritage.


We value building strong, thriving communities throughout and beyond our programs.

Member of National and International Organizations

International Association for Intercultural Education
World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence
Massachusetts Nonprofit Network
National Council of Nonprofits


Our leadership team is made up of accomplished Filipino and Filipino-American professionals who are committed to sharing their knowledge, skills and networks to strengthen the global diaspora.

Geraldine Acuña-SunshineCo-Founder &
President of the Board

Geraldine is a corporate lawyer, community builder, and social impact investor and entrepreneur

Geraldine has practiced corporate law in New York and Boston, most recently as Senior Counsel in Derivative and Alternative Investments at Bracebridge Capital, a fixed-income hedge fund in Boston, MA. She graduated from Harvard College, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Columbia Law School. She serves on several boards including the Harvard University Board of Overseers, the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows, the Harvard Kennedy School Fund Executive Council as Co-Chair, the Harvard Club of the Philippines as Co-President, The Resolution Project (Social Venture Fund), the Women’s Foundation of Boston, and the Massachusetts General Hospital President’s Council.

She founded the Collaborative Center for X-Linked Dystonia Parkinsonism (XDP) at the Massachusetts General Hospital and The Sunshine Care Foundation for Neurological Care and Research, two institutions focused on finding effective therapies for XDP, a genetic movement disorder affecting only Filipinos. Through her foundation, Geraldine provides free medicines and clinical care for indigent patients in Philippine rural areas and humanitarian aid for communities in need. The foundation’s partners include top research universities worldwide, as well as the Philippine Department of Science and Technology, the Philippine National Institutes for Health, and the Philippine Genome Center. She has co-authored various peer-reviewed journal articles and lectured on XDP and recently received the Alab ng Lahi award from the Philippine Consulate General in New York for her work in the field on behalf of the Philippine community.

Myrish Cadapan-AntonioCo-Founder &

Myrish is a lawyer, leadership development expert and higher education professional

Myrish served as Deputy Legal Counsel, Faculty of Law and Director of the Dr. Jovito R. Salonga Center for Law and Development at Silliman University in the Philippines for over a decade before she and her family moved to the United States. She was also as an elected local public official for two terms.

In the US, she trained young public leaders pursuing their graduate degrees in public policy and public administration as Director of Fellowship and Leadership Development Programs at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. Most recently, she was Senior Director of Global Initiatives at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship where she managed various global programs including its pilot Foundry Fellowship for successful founders across Africa and taught early stage entrepreneurs on building stronger ecosystems. She serves on the boards of the Harvard Club of the Philippines Global and Save One Life, an international non-profit serving children with bleeding disorders worldwide. Myrish received the 2019 Outstanding Sillimanian Award for Global Leadership Development, was among the 2019 Harvard Heroes and received the PCGNY’s 2021 Sinagtala Award for Distinguished Filipino Women in the United States. Myrish graduated from Silliman University, The George Washington University Law School and Harvard Kennedy School. She lives in Boston with her husband and 3 boys.

Mara EalaCurriculum and Programs
Research Fellow

Mara is an educator and a community builder

She started her career as an English teacher for 5th and 6th graders in Metro Manila. Through her work as a classroom teacher, Mara saw both the fundamental value of education as a means of improving equity, and also the opportunities to expand the realm and reach of education systems.

She co-founded The Ultimate Learning Accelerator (TULA), a chain of after-school centers that aims to improve access to quality educational supports for children from low income backgrounds in Metro Manila. For seven years, Mara led the development of the TULA model, and spearheaded curriculum development and people development for the chain. Since its inception, TULA has reached thousands of students and trained dozens of teachers in the Philippines and in Pakistan.

Though no longer involved in its daily operations, Mara continues to drive systems level change in education through her work with Delivery Associates, a social impact consulting firm that works with public sector partners in the execution of their projects. Mara graduated from Ateneo de Manila University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is currently based in Cambridge, MA.

Denise FabellaProgram Management and Operations Fellow

Denise is an education researcher, evaluator, and digital marketing professional

After graduating from New York University, Denise grew as a digital marketing professional in New York and Metro Manila, working with corporations, mobile applications, and charity organizations to develop their multi-channel strategies and polish content creation systems.

Simultaneously, Denise set up the first Philippine chapter of I Support the Girls, a non-profit organization that collects and distributes bras and menstrual products to folks who need them, where she continues to serve as Affiliate Director. Under her leadership, I Support the Girls–Philippines has provided hundreds of thousands of menstrual products to communities in need across the country and partnered with local and global corporations on national campaigns.

Presently, Denise works under the monitoring and evaluation arm of American Council’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth administration, as a researcher at Harvard University’s Reach Every Reader, and as a career readiness mentor with Boston Partners in Education. Denise holds a B.S. Media, Culture and Communication from New York University and an Ed.M. in Learning Design, Innovation and Technology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is currently based in Boston.

Ken Garcia-GonzalesCurriculum and Programs Adviser

Ken is a seasoned educator, DEIB consultant and trainer, school administrator, and classroom teacher

Originally from Northern California, Ken has over twenty-five years of experience in public, independent and international schools, as well as in the education not-for-profit sector.

He started his career as an Ethnic Studies teacher at Berkeley High School, at that time the only public high school in the country that designated ethnic studies as a graduation requirement. He transitioned into independent schools as an Administrator and Dean. He served as Dean of Multicultural Life at the Urban School of San Francisco and also taught Ethnic Studies, Identity Development, Asian American History, and Service Learning. He next served as the Senior Administrator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the first person to hold this position in the history of the school.

He also has extensive experience working in the education not-for-profit sector. He worked as the Program Manager for School Services at KQED, PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) San Francisco, and oversaw the development of curricular, instructional, and web-based content for over forty films in the PBS pipeline. Ken currently works as a Program Associate for Facing History and Ourselves, an international non-profit that provides teacher trainings, professional development, and curricular resources centered in critical history, social-emotional learning, and civic engagement. He holds a B.A. in American Studies with a concentration in Ethnic Studies, and an M.A. in Teaching. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), a husband and father of three, and lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Rosanna Quesada PalmFilipino Culture and Arts Adviser

Dessa joined the Philippine Educational Theater Association at age 13 and has since devoted her life in theater as a performer, teacher, organizer, director, and playwright

Dessa spent many years with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), and worked with UP Repertory, Ma-Yi Theater in New York City, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and Silliman University. She finished AB Economics at the University of the Philippines (1986), and her master’s in International Relations at the New School for Social Research (1994) as a Fulbright scholar, and has worked at integrating theater in education, advocacy and development work and community building.

She has conducted theater and other workshops all over the Philippines as well as parts of Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. She lives in Dumaguete City and co-creates with the members of the Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts (YATTA) which she co-founded in 2005. YATTA was declared one of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations in 2008 by the National Youth Commission, and was a recipient of the CCP Kaisa Ini sa Sining, Lunsay nga Artistang Pilipino (KSSLAP) Awards in 2021.

She served as Head of the Committee on Dramatic Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts from 2017-2019 and is currently a faculty at the Silliman University College of Performing and Visual Arts. She is the Vice President of the Women Playwrights International- Philippines.

Ivan Anthony Henares, PhDPhilippine Heritage Programs Adviser

Ivan is a tourism educator, cultural policy researcher, and advocate for heritage conservation in the Philippines

He is Secretary General of the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines and Assistant Professor at the Asian Institute of Tourism of the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He is also the current Secretary General of the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC), Head of the National Committee on Monuments and Sites and Vice Head of the Subcommission on Cultural Heritage of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Chairperson of the Heritage Conservation Society (HCS)Philippine Committee President of the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH Philippines), Board Member of the Southeast Asian Heritage Alliance (SEACHA) and, International Correspondent (Philippines) to the Asian Network for Industrial Heritage (ANIH). He was named one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in the field of Heritage Conservation in 2012, and an Asia 21 Young Leader in 2008.

His advocacy and research interests are in heritage conservation and tourism policy, and cultural tourism in historic urban landscapes, industrial heritage, cultural landscapes, and indigenous communities in the Philippines. His work is currently focused on Pampanga cultural heritage, especially in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, and the Sugar Cultural Landscape of Negros Island, where he is working with local stakeholders to protect early 20th century sugar centrals, hacienda houses and plantations, and 19th century sugar mills.

Dr. Henares completed his Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Master of Business Administration and Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning degrees all at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He received his PhD in Hospitality and Tourism Management and Graduate Certificate in Environmental Policy from Purdue University as a 2017-2018 Fulbright-CHED Scholar.