Testimonies from Alumni

Allyson Arrieta

Candidate for a Master of Education in Educational Administration (Higher Education) (Fall 2017)
Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Language and Literature (Ilokano) at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2015)

"Being a part of the Ilokano Program helped me strengthen my identity as an Ilokano. As former President of the Timpuyog Organization, I was able to build my leadership skills, help my fellow officers grow as leaders, and network with other Filipino organizations. I am currently pursuing my Master's Degree in Educational Administration (Higher Education) and my goal is to work with Ilokano students in a leadership capacity."





Steve Ryan Badua

Candidate for a Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University (Spring 2014)
Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Language and Literature (Ilokano) at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2012)

"I entered ILLP looking to fulfill graduation requirements but left with a better sense of ethnic identity, family, and community. The program has added perspectives of heterogeneity and multiplicity countering the meta-narrative of the homogenous Filipino-American. To that extent, this program has allowed me to further my studies focused on the experiences of the plural Filipino American students in the classroom and the communities and how relevant education may impact their experiences."



Loreto Coloma Jr.

Masters in Public Health at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2016)
Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Language and Literature (Ilokano) at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2013)
Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2013)

"I initially had no idea about the Ilokano program until my second year at UH Manoa. I was glad to have found it in time to declare it as one of my majors. The Ilokano Language and Literature Program was a blessing in disguise. It has instilled in me the desire to remain close to the language and the people who speak it while also allowing me to research into my own family history. What I enjoyed most, however, was that the program gave me the courage and opportunity to have conversed with my late grandfather, asking him the questions I may never have had the chance to ask. In the same way as I was able to communicate with my grandfather, I plan to use the Ilokano language as a tool to communicate with others. As an aspiring physician, it will not only improve the experience of my Ilokano patients, but also improve the health of our aging Ilokano population here in Hawai'i."



Donnie Dadiz

Bachelor of Science in Travel Industry Management (Emphasis: Hotel Management) and Minor in Ilokano at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2011)

“The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Ilokano Language and Literature Program and Timpuyog Organization prepared me in being a leader in the Hotel Industry. My previous management experience began in Housekeeping, where I was the Supervisor. Knowing Ilokano allowed me to give instructions on the duties that my Housekeeping team (Room Attendants, House Attendants, Public Area Attendants) needed to complete at a high speed and thoroughly. Now, being one of the Front Office Managers, also known as the Manager on Duty (MOD) has allowed me to make the calls on how duties and projects need to be done and how to make a guest's stay important. I make sure issues are solved and overcome. When the Housekeepers aren't too sure with what there project is, I'm there to instruct the associates in Ilokano. I'm glad I have expanded my knowledge on Ilokano compared to what I have known before joining the Ilokano program.”



Dean Domingo

Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2016)
Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Language and Literature (Ilokano) at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2012)

“Going through the Ilokano program has helped me find, understand, love and respect the language of my ancestors. Ultimately instilling the knowledge of language, culture, and pride within me. Being involved with the Timpuyog Organization has also helped me with leadership and networking skills. Everything that I've experienced during my time in the program has prepared me to where I am today, as I am now part of the program as an instructor. I look forward to inspire incoming students to embrace their language and culture.”



Almond Jaye Ereno

Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Language and Literature (Ilokano) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Both in Fall 2013)

"Being in the Ilokano program at UH Manoa, helped me get through nursing school. The program provided me with the tools to communicate with my clients in the community as well as in the hospital and it broadened my sense of self identity which allowed me to empathize with clients that have different cultural backgrounds. The program also opens up other opportunities for me to make a difference in the community with medical and legal interpretation, writing literature for children, and being able to teach different medical and nursing theories and processes easily to the Ilokano community."



Janelle Funtanilla

Master of Social Work at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2013)
Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Language and Literature (Ilokano) at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2009)
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2009)

"My B.A. degree in Ilokano was extremely helpful when I went to do my social work practicum in the Philippines as part of my Master's degree requirements. I was placed in Baguio City and the language and cultural components really helped in the work that I did there with the Filipino youth."



Jessica Ignacio

Masters in Social Work at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2014)
Bachelor of Social Work and Minor in Ilokano at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2013)

"I initially entered the ILLP program with the goal of enriching my Ilokano speaking skills so I can better communicate with my elderly relatives and relatives in the Philippines. However, upon graduation and entrance into the field of social work, I realized that being in tuned with my culture and knowing how to speak the language can maximize my impact in the community."



Alycia Kiyabu

Candidate for Master of Arts in Education Administration at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Fall 2017)
Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, Minor in Sociology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Spring 2013)

"I would highly recommend to those who are harboring feelings of despondency towards their Filipino heritage, to seek out the Ilokano Language and Literature (ILL) Program, as well as its supporting Organization, Timpuyog. Both have played a significant developmental role in my academic and professional journey. The ILL program has allowed me the insight to effectively aide different student populations to achieve high academic success, as well as equip me with the necessary critical thinking abilities to see and navigate the world through culturally and politically sensitive lenses. In my personal life, the ILL program has been essential in enriching my understanding of my Filipino culture, language, and history. The education I received from the ILL program continues to be an positive and ubiquitous presence in all aspects of my life and without it, I would not be the woman who I am today."



Alan Manzano

Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Language and Literature (Ilokano) at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2011)

"The Ilokano program has helped me get to where I am now because I am an Ilokano teacher. This program has helped me reconnect with my family. At one point I found out I was related to one of my students through my mom's side. My mom has no family on this side when she immigrated here. We later found out she wasn't the first to arrive. Now we have a larger family. This program has helped me help my mom in various ways with family, translating, and communication."



Valerie Ruiz

Juris Doctor at Arizona Summit Law School (Spring 2015)
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2010)
Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Language and Literature (Ilokano) at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (Spring 2010)

"Participating in the Ilokano program significantly impacted my life. Not only was I educated about my ancestral language and culture, but was inspired and encouraged to follow my ambitions and strive for success. This was not taught through pure lecture and class attendance, rather it was a message that was fostered in the application and experience of the curriculum as a whole."