Maple Bamboo Network Society (MBNS) is a registered non-profit society and publisher of Canadian Filipino Net (CFNet)
President/CEO of Maple Bamboo Network Society (MBNS), and founding Editor of Canadian Filipino Net
Prod Laquian is Professor Emeritus of community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He was a former director of the UBC Centre for Human Settlements. After retiring from the university in 2000, Laquian served as acting director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Special Program in Urban and Regional Studies in Cambridge. He was also resident scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC, a consultant at the Asian Development Bank on China, and a coordinator for a study of basic urban services in 700 cities and towns in 16 Asia Pacific countries, which was funded by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) in Barcelona, Spain. Laquian has degrees in public administration, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines, and a Ph.D. in political science, major in urban studies, from MIT. He has authored 20 books and numerous articles on urban planning, governance and delivery of urban infrastructure and services.
Vice-President and Director of MBNS, and Editor of Canadian Filipino Net
Eleanor R. Laquian has written four best-selling books, and co-authored four others with husband Prod Laquian. She has served in various capacities at the University of British Columbia’s Institute of Asian Research: manager of administration and programs; editor and chair, publications committee; and primary researcher of the Asian Immigration to Canada project. She has a degree in journalism from Maryknoll College in the Philippines, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of the Philippines. She has worked with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization and the UN Information Center. She was a researcher and bureau manager of The New York Times in Beijing, China from 1984 to 1990. She and Prod have visited for work and pleasure over 100 countries. They immigrated to Canada in 1969. They have been married for over 50 years.
Director of MBNS responsible for Fundraising and Fund Development, and Social Media Director of Canadian Filipino Net
Emmy Buccat is a donor relations professional at the University of British Columbia’s Development and Alumni Engagement office. She supports the communications, stewardship and events team in keeping donors informed, involved and engaged. She moved to Canada in 2008, bringing 10 years of experience in marketing communications, public relations and event management for brand FujiXerox and Speedo. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Santo Tomas, Asia’s oldest university, and a certificate in integrated marketing strategy from UBC’s Sauder School of Business.
Advisor to the MBNS board
Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell is a city planner, community champion, and writer. She came to Canada in 1977 with a degree in English and Comparative Literature, and a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, both from the University of the Philippines. She went on to work as a planner manager in Edmonton in Alberta, and Surrey, Richmond and Vancouver in British Columbia. Guerrero-Campbell co-founded the Multicultural Helping House Society, where, as executive director, she established programs to assist newcomers in Canada. As chief executive of the Minerva Foundation for B.C. Women, she managed leadership programs for women in various stages of their careers. She currently co-convenes the City of Vancouver's Immigrant Partnership Program Committee on Access to Services. Her first novel Stumbling Through Paradise: A Feast of Mercy for Manuel del Mundo depicts the struggles of a Filipino family's immigrant journey in Canada through three generations. Eleanor is a recipient of many awards including Vancouver Civic Merit Award (the only Canadian Filipino to receive this awar thus far) and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service.
More details about Eleanor and her novel can be seen at www.eleanorguerrerocampbell.com
Honorary Legal Counsel
Melissa Briones, barrister and solicitor, is a lawyer licensed to practice law in British Columbia and the Philippines. A graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Law, she also received a degree in HR Management at Ashton College (with honours) and obtained a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation. A lawyer for ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, she became the first editor-in-chief of the Philippine Canadian Inquirer, a nationwide publication that focused on the Filipino diaspora, when she arrived in Canada. She is a director and member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver Mountainview and a former UPAABC President. She practices Corporate Law, Employment Law, Real Estate Law, Wills and Estates, and Family Law in her Vancouver law firm, Northam Law Corporation
Canadian Filipino Net staff
Rachel Ramos-Reid started writing for magazines and newspapers when she was still a junior at the University of the Philippines’ Communication degree program majoring in Journalism. She continued to write in a public relations/corporate communications capacity in various private and government offices until moving out of the country in 1997 to work as Programme Officer for the arts and culture branch of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO-SPAFA) in Bangkok, Thailand. At the end of her term, Rachel found herself immigrating to Canada in the year 2000 and again searching for new beginnings. Currently, she is a governance professional at a small community college on Vancouver Island.
Arlene Wright is an independent website designer. She has developed sites for various companies over the last 10 years.
Social media and newsletter coordinator
Iona Santos-Fresnoza has worked in government, IT, academe, and the non-profit sector. She specializes in program and community development, communication strategy, and advocacy. She believes in diversity and inclusion. A relentless learner, Santos-Fresnoza is also a fair-trade coffee advocate.
Lucille Nolasco started her career in broadcast media as a researcher and writer for ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Department in the Philippines. She was part of award-winning programs such as Magandang Gabi, Bayan, Assignment with Teddy Locsin, Jr., Companero Y Companera with the late Senator Rene Cayetano and The Correspondents.In Winnipeg, she is a well-known voice in the air through her radio program, “Afternoon Pasada” over at CKJS 810. CKJS is the only multi-lingual station in Manitoba, where over 60,000 Filipinos reside, majority of them in Winnipeg. She has contributed articles to The Filipino Journal, The Winnipeg Sun, and Pilipino Express News Magazine. Lucille is a proud Bulakenya, and is a licensed Zumba instructor.
Emmie Joaquin, and colleagues Rey-ar Reyes and Paul Morrow, established The Pilipino Express Inc., and began publishing the Pilipino Express News Magazine in Winnipeg. She is currently the company’s president, and the news magazine’s editor-in-chief. Joaquin was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for media and community service. She earned her degree in broadcast communication from the University of the Philippines. She worked in media and public relations before immigrating to Canada in 1988. In Winnipeg, Joaquin produced and co-hosted the daily morning drive-time show, Good Morning Philippines on CKJS Radio 810 AM. She also produced and hosted the daily weekday afternoon show, Manila Sound and the Saturday show, Tunog Pinoy Pang Sabado. After almost 15 years in radio broadcasting, Emmie left CKJS in December 2003 to serve as special assistant for communications for then Federal Minister of Western Economic Diversification, Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. She also had a brief stint as executive assistant to then Deputy Mayor and Councillor Mike Pagtakhan on the City Council of Winnipeg in 2005.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Dr. Mike Rayel — author, entrepreneur, and psychiatrist — has helped many individuals and families with their mental health and family issues. Aside from his clinical practice, he has dedicated his time in writing articles and books, such as the Shrink Series, publishing webinars in mental health and emotional intelligence, and creating educational games and products to promote emotional health. Certified in psychiatry with a sub-specialty in geriatric psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine, he has written a number of psychiatry review books designed for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology certification examination. He loves the great outdoors, sports, music, politics, and photography. For details about Dr. Rayel, visit www.drrayel.com.
A youth program coordinator at the Multicultural Helping House Society in Vancouver, BC in 2006-2007, Maria Veronica "Vernie" G. Caparas wrote a syndicated column for three bilingual newspapers that were circulated in the West Coast. Her articles focused mainly on South Asian newcomer-youth and their families. Vernie moved to Edmonton where she taught ESL at the University of Alberta and eventually joined the Alberta Children and Youth Services (aka Social Services or Children Services). Her curiosity on the plight of skilled immigrants from Canada’s top three source countries (China, India, and the Philippines) lead her to a research journey that - through her Critical Theory lens - uncovered plots of Canada’s undelivered promises; international immigrants, however, successfully navigate their way around social mazes and do their home countries proud.
Veronica finished her PhD in Educational Policy Studies (Theoretical, Cultural, and International Studies in Education) at the University of Alberta on a full SSHRC-Bombardier scholarship, Presidential Prize of Distinction, and GRA Rice Scholarship in Communications. She taught for more than two decades at the University of the Philippines Diliman where she retired with the rank of Professor.
British Columbia *
Dulce Amba Cuenca Dulce Amba Cuenca is a lawyer in British Columbia, and was also admitted to the Philippine Bar prior to immigrating to Canada in 1996. She has worked in the field of human rights, and employment and labour law since 2006, for which she has travelled across B.C. and the Yukon, representing workers and human rights complainants. She is a grateful immigrant who got her first job in Canada in 1996 by volunteering. She is passionate about civic engagement and contributing to the community. She served as Trustee of the Richmond Public Library Board for eight years, and is currently a member of the Board of Richmond Cares Richmond Gives. She also volunteers with Access Pro Bono. She believes that volunteerism completes any immigrant's integration in the community and unites people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal.
GK Limcangco moved to Vancouver from Manila in 2005. She loves exploring new places, things, and ideas. In her free time, she contributes to various print and online publications because writing makes her feel complete.
Argentinian born Silvia Di Blasio is a Certified Career Counsellor, Life Coach and an immigrant herself. With a passion for sustainability, food security and resilient communities, Silvia shares her time and skills through diverse projects including writing, blogging, facilitating workshops, coaching and consulting. Silvia works as a Case Manager helping immigrants to get back to their pre-landing occupations at the Career Paths Program at ISSofBC.
Meyen (Marilynn) Quigley has a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of the Philippines. She met her husband Kevin while they both were working for an educational program for Indo-Chinese refugees at the Philippine Refugee Processing Center in Bataan. Their work with refugees took them to Sudan, Pakistan and Turkey, where Meyen also taught English at the university level. In Victoria she has worked for the BC public service and on programs for persons with mental health and substance abuse issues and persons experiencing homelessness. She has a Master's degree in intercultural administration from the School for International Training in Vermont and a graduate certificate in professional communications management from Royal Roads University.
Joe Zagala is an active participant in Greater Toronto’s Filipino community. He is a past president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (Toronto), former vice president of the Kalayaan Cultural Community Centre, a former (and only Asian) director of The Riverwood Conservancy, and one of the original organizers and a past president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Toronto. He is a holder of chemical engineering and master’s in business administration degrees from the University of the Philippines. He held high positions within large corporations in Canada, including vice president for Global Business at CipherSoft Inc. He is managing director of Lily Framarc Management Consultants based in Mississauga, Ontario.
Marisa Roque has a master’s degree in communication from the University of the Philippines. She has written for the Philippines Herald, Asia Philippines Leader, Philippine Free Press, and Philippine Daily Express. She has also performed editing and managerial tasks with the Office of the President and the Department of Education in the Philippines. Her responsibilities included editing transcripts of speeches of the President of the Philippines. Her work experience also includes a stint with a United Nations agency. In Canada, she has served as production editor in the development of educational materials. She coordinated the preparation of textbook manuscripts, and supervised copy editors. She has owned and operated a number of businesses. She has been a realtor with Century 21 Heritage Group since 1996. She can speak Spanish and French.
Rose Tijam lives in Toronto. She is a founding member of the Philippine Press Club of Ontario. She is serving her second term as president of the press club in 2016. She is a former president of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association Toronto. She was associate editor of two community publications. She worked for 25 years at a social work setting for women, and continues to do so on a part-time basis at a crisis line service for women. She graduated from the University of the Philippines. She has a master’s degree in communication.
Carissa Duenas moved to Canada in 2006, leaving behind a career in the management technology consulting space. She pursued her Masters in Business Administration at Queen’s University in 2008 and has since worked in various finance and marketing positions for companies based in Toronto, Manila and Hong Kong. Despite being rooted in the corporate world, she has always maintained a passion for writing. She writes essays that delve on everyday life experiences in her spare time. Her work has been published in The Philippine Daily Inquirer and Globe and Mail. More of her writing pieces can be found at carissaduenas.com. She hopes to complete her book of personal essays soon.
Jo Leuterio Flach, a graduate of the University of the Philippines, came to Canada to attend the University of Toronto Graduate School. She adores her family which includes seven grandchildren. Loves books, food and travel.
Maria Olaguera is a bibliophile, culture buff, editor, font geek, foodie, and writer. She has lived in Manila and Vancouver. She's now based in Montreal.
Mary Ann Reyes-Mandap has over three decades of experience in journalism, public relations and corporate communications work, and was a staff member and writer for Mr. & Ms. Magazine, Malaya, and Free Press in the Philippines. While living in San Francisco in 2003-2007, she worked as Associate Editor of Philippine News, the oldest and most widely circulated Filipino newspaper in the United States, and as Editor of the Filipino Insider Magazine. In Vancouver, she is associate editor of Dahong Pilipino and had worked as community news editor of Philippine Canadian Inquirer. She has also authored a book, the soon-to-be published Lakbay: Immigrant Seniors Find Their True North. She took up Bachelor of Arts in Communications (major in Journalism) and Master of Arts in Asian Studies from the University of the Philippines (Diliman), and was granted scholarships by the Japan Foundation and the Local Scholarship Program of the Philippine Civil Service Commission. She likewise earned the California Health Journalism Fellowship from the Annenberg School, University of Southern California.
Adelaida Lacaba-Bago, Ph.D. is a retired professor of education at De La Salle University in the Philippines where she handled courses in the graduate programs. She has published four books on curriculum development, supervision of instruction, social dimensions of Philippine education and the most recent one, Thesis Writing with Confidence.
Ellen Tordesillas is trustee and writer of VERA Files (verafiles.org),a group that undertakes in-depth reporting on current issues and does Fact-checking to fight disinformation. She writes opinion columns which appear in Malaya Business Insight, ABS-CBN online and VERA Files.
As a reporter, she has covered the education and health and science, the PCGG and foreign affairs beats, before she was assigned to cover politics. She has covered all Philippine elections since the 1986 snap elections that triggered the ouster of Ferdinand Marcos.
She continues to watch closely anything relevant to the Filipino people.
Jaime A. FlorCruzis a veteran China-watcher and foreign correspondent in China.He was CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief and correspondent, (2001-2014), TIME Magazine’s Beijing Bureau Chief and correspondent (1982-2000) and Newsweek’s Beijing reporter (1981).
Twice he served concurrently as the China Chairman of the Fortune Global Forum, a meeting of global business and political leaders in Beijing in 2005 and in 2013 in Chengdu. In 2017, he again served as China Chairman of the Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou. He is considered the dean of the foreign press corps in Beijing, having been the longest-serving foreign correspondent in China until his retirement in 2015. He was a two-term president of the 400-member Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (1988-90 & 1996-1999). He is the founding president of the Peking University International Students’ Alumni Association (2010-present). In November 2017, he was elected to a four-year term as one of the vice chair of the Peking University Alumni Association, the first ever foreign alumnus elected to the position.
He is the co-author of Massacre at Beijing, a book about the crackdown in Tiananmen Square (Warner Books, 1989) and Not On Our Watch, a book about campus journalists during the martial law years in the Philippines (2012).
He is writing a book on The Class of 1977, a personal account of the time he studied at Peking University (1977-82).. FlorCruz is fluent in English, Filipino and Mandarin Chinese.