TFC, NextDayBetter unveil joint ‘next-gen’ project
SAN FRANCISCO, California – Citing US Census statistics showing nearly half of the 3.5 million Filipinos in the US are second-generation Filipino-Americans, The Filipino Channel’s Olivia De Jesus unveiled the “Speaker Salon” aimed at mobilizing the second generation to help build a “better Philippines.”
De Jesus, ABS-CBN North America’s managing director, presented the project at the “Community Kick-Off for Pistahan Parade & Festival of the Filipino American Arts Exposition (FAAE),” held recently at the Mayor’s Conference Room at City Hall.
“How do we reach out to the next generation of Filipinos in a way that is meaningful and impactful to them?,” De Jesus asked as she explained the Speaker Salon as her Pistahan Legacy Project.
A Pistahan Legacy Project is a requirement by FAAE from those who hold the position of Pistahan’s Hermano and Hermana Mayor.
De Jesus was chosen by FAAE as the Hermana Mayor (like Grand Marshal) of the 2014 Pistahan Parade & Festival at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, slated for August 9-10, arguably the largest annual two-day celebration of Filipino culture and pride in the U.S.
De Jesus pointed to the growing presence and influence of the younger Filipino American leadership and volunteer network at the Pistahan, even if mostly first-generation Filipinos attend it.
“This ‘next gen’ has been driving a major Filipino cultural event in a big city like San Francisco year in and year out,” said De Jesus. “We need to contribute a platform to continue encouraging and expanding such involvement, allowing them to nurture their talent and express their ideas in serving the Filipino.”
For the Speaker Salon, TFC is teaming up with NextDayBetter, described as a New York-based “youthful team of social innovation junkies.”
NextDayBetter’s Filipino American CEO/Chief Builder Ryan Letada, a Fulbright scholar whose life goal is “to squeeze social good out of awesome ideas,” explained: “NextDayBetter is a culture platform that builds and activates diaspora communities literally to make the ‘next day better’.”
NextDayBetter’s Head of Partnerships John Paul “JP” Capulong, a Filipino American and Bay Area native, represented his team at the Pistahan Community Kick-Off.
“Our team has been traveling to key cities to create hubs for innovation, bring thinkers and changemakers together to share their stories, ignite meaningful conversations and purposeful actions to create a better future,” Capulong said.
Lending support to the project, Jo Ann Kyle, managing director ABS-CBN Foundation International (AFI), the U.S.-based non-profit, philanthropic arm of ABS-CBN, said her foundation shares project’s goal of improving the lives of Filipinos.
Kyle said that while the foundation has almost become synonymous with its popular programs, Bantay Bata (Child Watch) and Sagip Kapamilya (literally Family Rescue) which has raised millions of dollars to assist calamity victims in the Philippines, “it is committed making a significant impact on child care, environment, education, disaster management and community development.”
Al Perez, FAAE president and San Francisco entertainment commissioner, a self-described 1.5 generation Filipino, thanked the ABS-CBN Foundation for its Pasig River rehabilitation work in his hometown, Sampaloc, Manila.
“Through the expertise of NextDayBetter, we can create a credible platform for ‘next gen’ thinkers and changemakers to connect, engage and exchange ideas and inspire action,” De Jesus said.
The first Speaker Salon is set for August 9, the first day of Pistahan Parade & Festival, at the Children’s Creativity Museum, with expert speakers and resource persons and a program designed to “provide the ‘next gen’ Filipinos with inspiration and insights on innovations, breakthroughs and challenges.”
The NextDayBetter-powered speaker salon is described as a learning space, a discovery theater and a Filipino cultural showcase for the senses.”
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