Getting to know this year’s FYLPRO delegates

  BY Ayala Foundation       October 10, 2017       Ayala Foundation, Department of Foreign Affairs, FYLPro 2017, United States Embassy, filipino-young-leaders-program

The FYLPro delegates have arrived in Manila last October 8. For an entire week, they will visit different communities and immerse in local culture. This trip will help them kickstart their legacy projects that will be relevant to the community and the country.


The 2017 FYLPRO delegates together with last year’s alumni.

Here is what you need to know about the program and the ten delegates.

Established in 2012 by Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia and Mrs. Victoria J. Cuisia, in partnership with Ayala Foundation, the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO, formerly the Filipino American Young Leaders Program, selects ten outstanding young Filipino American professional and gives them the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with distinguished Filipino leaders from government, industry, the not- for-profit sector, and others. Participating in this immersion program gives them invaluable community, business, government, and cultural insights that can build empathy towards Filipino communities in the Philippines and the United States.



The ten Filipino American delegates for FYLPRO 2017. Source:

Marjorie Baltazar (Chicago, IL). A staunch advocate for immigrant rights, Baltazar is the Principal of Baltazar Global LLC, a business immigration law firm aimed at making sophisticated immigration services simple and accessible. She is a is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago and was a member of its Board of Directors for its 2014 inaugural term and 2015 term.

Amanda Bernardo (New York, NY). As an immigration attorney, Bernardo has helped win asylum for refugees, ensured a Filipino programmer the pay and position he deserves for his skills, empowered a Chinese nail technician victimized by domestic violence, fought for a single mother fleeing gang rape in El Salvador and expanded the business of a Bangladeshi entrepreneur. As an immigration expert, she saved countless families from deportation and legalized the status of even more.

Ryan Dalusag (Laguna Niguel, CA). Born and raised in California, Dalusag graduated from San Diego State University with a master’s degree in Social Work. Currently, he is a clinical social worker on the Behavioral Health Unit at Mission Hospital. When he’s not working, Ryan volunteers in the Filipino community, currently serving as Executive Director for the Lakas Mentorship Program, as well as a Publicity and Outreach Committee member for Filipino Cultural School (FCS), both based in Southern California.

Eric John David (Anchorage, AK). David was born in the Philippines, and grew up in Pasay, Las Piñas, Makati, and Alaska. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage (2002), and Master of Arts (2004) and Doctoral (2007) Degrees in Clinical- Community Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and has published theoretical and empirical works on Internalized Oppression or Colonial Mentality.

Tyler Dos Santos-Tam (Honolulu, HI). Dos Santos-Tam is the Executive Director of the Hawaii Construction Alliance, the organization which represents the state’s 15,000-member strong carpenters, laborers, cement masons, bricklayers, and operating engineers unions. He was recognized as one of Pacific Business News’ 40 Under Forty for his work in both the business and advocacy community. Tyler is a graduate of Punahou School and Yale University.

Rebecca Elmore (Guam). Raised in Guam, Elmore is a news anchor and reporter for the Pacific News Center for Sorensen Media Pacific Broadcast. She recently transferred from the University of Colorado Denver to the University of Guam to pursue a master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on diplomacy and law. Elmore is on the evening news every weeknight on ABC7 and Fox6.

Ireneo Reus III (Long Beach, CA). Reus founded The Reus Law Firm in 2005 and represents international and domestic clients in commercial litigation, employment law, and corporate matters. He earned his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 2004. He served on the Board of Governors of the Philippine American Bar Association since 2006 and as chair of the Board of Directors of the California Young Lawyers Association from 2012 to 2013.

Christal Simanski (Alexandria, VA). Simanski is the president of the Filipino Young Professionals Organization of Washington, D.C., which works to elevate the Filipino- American professional to achieve success in their career. Simanski is also an international affairs and trade specialist for the United States Government. She graduated from the University of Texas, Arlington, as Magna Cum Laude with bachelor degrees in political science and philosophy. Simanski earned a graduate degree in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego.

Ryann Tanap (Arlington, VA).Tanap is a writer and advocate for suicide prevention and multicultural communities. She is the Manager of Social Media and Digital Assets at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), where she oversees strategy, partnerships, content, growth, and engagement across social media platforms. She earned her BA in International Relations with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies from the College of William and Mary.

Ray Villanueva (Seattle, WA).Villanueva is an architect, educator, and aspiring builder. He is co-founder of Estudio Damgo, a student-led, community design and build program at Foundation University in Dumaguete City. The program was awarded a 2013 Ten Accomplished Youth Organization and its alumnus was awarded a 2013 Ten Outstanding Student of the Philippines for his work with Estudio Damgo. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland with Summa Cum Laude honors and completed his Master of Architecture at the University of Washington.