Bart & Yoly Tubalinal
Husband and wife team, Bart and Yoly Tubalinal, may have come from two distinctly different academic backgrounds but they certainly share the same passion for writing and community service. A Certified Public Accountant, Bart was Assistant Manager at the Philippine National Bank and part-time college professor at the University of Santo Tomas before immigrating to Chicago. After two years, he took and passed the Illinois CPA board. He worked as Financial Analyst at First Chicago Bank (now, Chase Bank) before going into private practice and publishing Philippine Time-U.S.A., Philippine Time U.S.A. News & People Magazine and Filam Weekly MEGAScene. Yoly was a professor of English and Literature at the University of Santo Tomas and had a teaching stint in Maiduguri, Nigeria before coming to the U.S. with their three young children, Bart Xavier, Paul Xander and Madelene Grace, who are now successful professionals, living their American Dream.
Perry Diaz is a columnist and writer, a businessman, a community leader, and a political activist. Perry's column, PerryScope, is syndicated in more than 15 publications in 4 countries. In 2004, Perry was recognized as one of the "Twenty Outstanding Filipino Americans in the United States and Canada" by Washington, DC-based Fil-Am Image. In 2011, Gintong Pamana Awards Foundation honored him with the Pluma Award in Journalism. He also received the Adamsonian Award in 2012 and in 2017, the "Plaridel Award" for “Best Commentary” and Merit Award for "Best International Reporting." Perry holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Adamson University and was a George W. Bush appointee to the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board in Washington, D.C. from 1990-1996. Perry currently operates a residential care facility for the elderly.
Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS
Health/Health @ Heart
A Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, Dr. Chua is an international medical lecturer/author, newspaper columnist, health advocate since the 1970s, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States (FUN8888.com). He was a Denton A. Cooley Fellow at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas, a past president of the Association of Philippine Physicians in America (APPA), the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America (SPSA), and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiac Surgery Society. In 1996, he was honored by then Indiana Governor Evan Bayh, who became a US Senator and a US presidential candidate, with the The Sagamore of the Wabash Award, the highest civilian honor the Governor could bestow a citizen. In 1997, he and his Indiana heart surgery team established the cardiac surgery program of the Cebu Doctors University Hospital, Cebu City, Philippines, which he chaired till 2010.
Almira Astudillo Gilles
History, Arts & Culture/New Eyes
Almira Astudillo Gilles is many things---writer, social scientist, and conservationist. Most notable among her accomplishments are a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for “Art and Anthropology: Portrait of the Object as Filipino” (an artist exchange project, which was included in the international anthology, Alternative Art and Anthropology, Global Encounters, Bloomsbury, 2017) and the 2012 Pamana ng Pilipino Award from the President of the Philippines. She divides her time between Chicago, where she is a Research Associate at the Field Museum, and the Philippines, where she founded Coast 22, a social enterprise livelihood program for women in coastal villages who make decorative items out of discarded fishing nets. Her book for youth, Hotspot, Cool Country: Biodiversity in the Philippines (Anvil Press, 2016), was a finalist in the Science category at the 36th Philippine National Book Awards, where it competed with two academic publications for adults.
E. E. Punzalan
Pursuits/In My Eyes
Punzalan is a multi-faceted writer and artist who holds a Master of Arts degree in Economics from the University of the East, Manila, Philippines, Doctor of Economics from La Sapienza Universita degli Studi di Roma and a Diplomate Post Specialization in International Trade from Libera Universita di Roma Pro Deo in Rome, Italy. He was a professor at San Sebastian College in Manila, Philippines and at East-West University in Chicago, U.S.A. He was a writer/columnist/correspondent for Sunburst International Magazine, based in Rome, Italy, a Photographer/Fashion writer for Images Asia, based in the Philippines and writer/columnist for Philippine Time USA and Filam MegaScene in Chicago, U.S.A.
Rev. Dr. Bob Aquino
Faith & Religion/A Pastor's Point of View
Rev. Dr. Bob Aquino is the founder and senior pastor of Family Bible Church in Park City, Illinois. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from Bakke Graduate University. Dr. Aquino has served in numerous levels of Church ministry and leadership, where he uses his God given gifts to enrich and encourage the lives of God’s people. Currently, he is the president of the Fellowship of Christian Churches in the United States and also an active member of Association of Ethnic Pastors in Chicago [AEPCA], an ethnic ministry based in Chicago. IL. USA.
Filam Public Square/Community Engagement
Jerry Clarito retired as the founding executive director of the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE). During his term, Jerry and the FilAm community of Chicago built AFIRE’s ability to organize and mobilize Filipino Americans in registering voters, leading GOTV campaigns, winning legislations and executive orders benefitting aspiring immigrants, and engaging Filipino Americans to learn and act together in addressing the root causes of inequities, racism, exclusion from workers’ rights, and systemic injustices. Jerry extends his community engagement by writing for InquirerDotNet, Philippine Time USA and Filam MegaScene in Chicago. Currently, he is the co-convenor of the Filipino American Human Rights Alliance of Chicago (FAHRA-Chicago) which promotes human rights.
From both sides now (A Republican Perspective)
Norberto Luna, aka Bobby immigrated to the U.S. in 1990. He holds a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of the Philippines and a Master of Business Management degree from the Asian Institute of Management. He was a mortgage broker for 18 years and is currently doing business consultancy for Philippine-based business opportunities. Bobby will give his take on political issues from a Republican perspective.
From both sides now (A Democrat’s Point of View)
Yoly hailed from Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. She was a former English and Literature professor at the College of Science of the University of Santo Tomas. Yoly also taught briefly at the Borno College of Basic Studies in Maiduguri, Nigeria before immigrating with her family in Chicago, U.S.A. in 1984. After working briefly as office marketing representative at Harper Collins Publishers, she left the company to join her husband, Bart, in publishing the PhilippineTIME U.S.A., a broadsheet publication and then, the Philippine Time U.S.A. News & People Magazine and Filam Weekly MegaScene, which later became The Filam MegaScene. Yoly has served as President of the National Press Club of the Philippines in the U.S.A. She is a Board member of the US Filipinos for Good Governance (USFGG).
Mark Archer Balberde
Mark is the co-founder of a Philippine-based web design and development agency WeBiscuits.com. He is also the project leader of the team. He holds a degree in computer science and is adept in web technologies and marketing trends.