Fil-Am Celebrities

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Fil-Ams In The Spotlight

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Other Filipino-American Personalities:
Rey Pagtakhan-First Filipino In Canada's Cabinet
Olivia Ongpin - Top Web Designer
Dado Banatao - Venture Capitalist / Inventor
Cecilia Pagkalinawan - Web Entrepreneur
Delasin / Rosales - Fil-Am Pro Golfers
Von Flores - Actor
Pinay - All Female Singing Group
Brandon Baker - Teen Actor
Innerlude -All Male Singing Group
Cecil Mamiit - Pro Tennis Player
Kai - All Male Singing Group
Brian Viloria - US Boxing Olympian
The New York's Mets - Benny Agbayani
Miss America 2001 - Angela Perez Baraquio
Michelle Malkin, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Rodney Jay C. Salinas - a Rising Star of Politics
Lexa Doig - Star of Jason X and Andromeda
Dan Inosanto - Martial Arts Expert
Lt. Gen. Soriano and Major Gen. Taguba - Fil-Am Generals

Watchout for more "Fil-Am In The Spotlight" celebrities.

Perhaps the most succesful Filipina-American web enterpreneur that we know. She is a Communications major graduate of Hofstra University. She immigrated with her parents at age 8 and still very Filipino, she eats at turo-turo and speaks Tagalog. She's been in the ecommerce field with several companies before starting her venture, She has been named by Silicon Alley (New York's version of Silicon Valley) Reporter as one of "Top 100 Internet Executives in New York," by A. Magazine as one of "Ten Hottest Entrepreneurs under 30" and appeared in articles in the Industry Standard and Vogue Magazine.In 1997, she cofounded MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education), a volunteer group of over 500 Silicon Alley professionals dedicated to improving technology in the educational system to help prepare youths for a future in new media, business, and technology. Another Filipina-American who deserve to be featured in our 'Spotlight'.
  • ASIA NOW Magazine article
  • The AWIB 2000 Entrepreneurial Achievement Award Winner: Cecilia Pagkalinawan

    Pinoys here's... "PINAY"
    If you're looking for a Filipino singing group that is made up of Filipinas here it is - PINAY. Listening to the album is really an experienced. The two cuts, 'Next Time'- an a capella and 'Is it Real?' are really the best for me. Their rendition of Filipino song 'Dahil sa Iyo' also included. What really impresses me with this group is that they all have talents and brain, not to mention Filipino beauty - perhaps you have to see them to know what I mean. Tell me a group that is all college graduates, Pinay has 3 from the prestigious University of California at Berkeley and one from San Francisco State, brains they have plenty. The group is made up of Loredie Cruz Reyes, Maylene Cochan Briones, Irma Baretto de los Santos and Angelica Page Abiog. But speaking of talent, listen and judge them by yourself, listen to the blending and the harmony of their voices - perfect. Before I forget, did I mention that Jocelyn Enriquez, yes that famous Jocelyn, started with this group -another proof that the caliber of this group's singing talent is world best. We are proud to spotlight 'Pinay'. Please learn more about this group ......
    more >>>>>>

    Venture Capitalist...DIOSDADO BANATAO
    Dado Banatao is not new really but to some he's big news right now but he was even then. He is the first Fil-Am who really made a fortune in Silicon Valley and he's credited as well of several patents that contributed to the development of the PC and networking as it is today. He came into the limelight in 80's when he co-founded Chips and Technologies which later was sold to Intel. He founded several other companies like S3 (makers of Diamond PC components)and Mostron. His latest venture is as chairman of the board of Marvell Technology Group Ltd., a leading developer and supplier of communications solutions for the data storage and data communications markets. He's now a VC , not a Viet Cong but as one of the successful venture capitalists, the people who help start-up companies by providing capital and expertise for a piece of a pie - a big slice. In 1997 Forbes estimated Dado Banatao's worth to be around 50 to 100 million but he's worth over that by now as stocks went up so much in the last 3 years. Banatao is a graduate of BSEE from Mapua Institute of Technology and MSEE-CS from Stanford University. He's been in the computer industry for over 20 years, first in the chip technology and later in the PC hardware development. He was voted by Ernest and Young as 1997 regional "Master Enterpreneur of the Year". If we talk of computers there is one Fil-Am that is really famous with Silicon Valley techies, he's Dado Banatao - a real living example of what we can achieve. Are there more of us out there? yes, I am sure but if you know, please send us an e-mail. Our research of Banatao led us to the following sites:
  • A candid interview of Leigh Anne Varney in 1997 for Upside Today- with link to his inventions
  • Forbes October 1998 issue about venture capitalists

    Fil-Am Teen Hearthrob...BRANDON BAKER
    He plays "Cray", the youngest member of the Blake household on NBC's newest Saturday morning series "One World" is part Filipino. Brandon will soon be in the movie 'Johnny Tsunami' as the grandson of this Hawaiian surfer - a leading role. Another one of ours who's making a scene in the tube and the movies. See him saturday mornings on your local NBC station. Know more about this young actor ....
    more >>>>>>

    The Ball Is In ...Cecil Mamiit
    For those who are not into tennis may not have heard of Cecil Mamiit but the 23 year Los Angeles native is the highest ranked Filipino-American pro in the world. Ranked No. 132, this pro has a long way to go. After winning the NCAA single's title in 1996 in his feshman year at University of Southern California, he turned pro. In 1998 he won his first career Challenger title. Know more of Mamiit at ATP under 'Profiles'....
    more >>>>>>

    Introducing: The "INNERLUDE"
    Excerpt from their bio "Their talents are diverse in the art of music; ranging from song writing, assisting in the production of their music, as well as playing instruments. INNERLUDE creates a style like no other, combining the sultry sounds of R&B, a smooth blend of Pop, and a touch of acappella." These guys have performed with the best groups in the country creating their own unique style. Listen and get captivated by this group's music. Truly a Filipino group deserving the limelight.
    more >>>>>>

    On The Tee: Not One But Two Filipina Golfers Debuted In LPGA
    We should be proud that there are two Filipinas, the first ever, to become professional golfers in the prestigious tournament. Only the elite golfers could joined the ranks of this professional league - the counterpart of men's PGA. The two Filipinas had put the Philippines as a top golfing nation producing 2 great players in last year's qualifying school. Taiwan just had their first player in the league this year. Let's support them and may more of our kababayans strive to attain what these 2 Filipinas did.
    Dorothy Delasin won her 1st tournament on July 30, 2000 - $1 Million Giant Eagle LPGA Classics.
    Delasin LPGA bio >>>>>>
    Delasin - LPGA's 2000 Rookie of the Year >>>>>
    Rosales LPGA Bio >>>>>
    Rosales' USC Page >>>>>>

    One..Two..Three..Action: Von Flores
    The star of the sci-fi long running series "Earth: Final Conflict" is a Filipino-Canadian who potrays the FBI special agent Ronald Sandoval. Von Flores was born and raised in the Philippines. He had acted in shows like FX:The series and Kung-fu, to named some to his credit. Read more about this up and coming Filipino-Canadian actor.Find more about this exciting Filipino personality, why he deserve such a success...
    more >>>>>>

    The group known as ... 'Kai'
    Kai is short for Kaibigan, Tagalog word meaning 'Friend or Friendship'. Making friends is what we believe is one very Filipino trait. We are a very friendly people and we love hanging out with friends most of the time. This group is aptly named 'Kai'. Their single "Say You'll Stay" was in the top 40 at one time. Listen to their music and you'll notice the harmony is solid. Here's what fans say about them:
    "the members of kai are talented, funny, friendly, charismatic guys who just jam....
    and highly entertain the audience at the same time. AND they're asian american! "
    "They wrote like 10 tracks of their new album. I think that music is mainly about
    expression, and coming up with your own type of style of music".
    more >>>>>>

    The Queen Bee - Olivia Ongpin
    One of the top web designers in San Francisco is a Filipina American, Olivia Ongpin. She is the creator or some call her ' The Queen Bee ' of Fabric8 and its related web sites, Finery, Soundbuyz and Bazaar. Visiting Fabric8 will give you a unique site experience, it has features seldom seen in other sites like the haiku generator and it defies the use of non Microsoft tools in developing the sites, using freewares like mySQL and Linux. Her sites are really unique and innovative. It has clothings design that could only be found in this part of the world wide web - not so mainstream. Catering to this market segment, the site found its niche. Ongpin is included in this year's prestigious Top 25 Women On Web award that includes among the honorees are women like Kim Polese(Founder of Marimba), Judith Estrin (CTO of Cisco), Carly Fiorina (CEO and President, Hewlett Packard) and Carol Bartz (CEO of Autodesk) to name some of them. Another one of us who made it in the competitive web market. Proving once more that we can do it too.
    Ongpin's Fabric8 Web Site >>>>>>

    Colorado Rockies - Benny Agbayani
    The Hawaii born Filipino American, Benny Agbayani, has been in the minors for 6 years before playing outfielder for the Rockies. The 27 year old is married to Niela Guigui, who once played soft ball for University of Hawaii. Agbayani played college baseball for Hawaii Pacific University after a short stint in college football for Oregon Tech University. So far the only Filipino American in the major league. To Benny Agbayani, may you have a great season.
    ED's Note: Agbayani was used to be a New York Met.
    ESPN Profile of Benny Agbayani >>>>>>

    Our very own Olympian - Brian Viloria
    Our best bet in this year's Olympics is another Hawaiian born. Brian is a Filipino American boxer in light flyweight class. He won the US national title in 1999. Dubbed as the "Hawaiian Punch", he is ranked No. 1 in the world in his class. Taught by his father so he can defend himself against his big brother started his career in boxing. The pugilist is currently a student at Northern Michigan University pursuing a degree in broadcast journalism and would eventually like to become a sportscaster. Bring home the gold, Brian.
    Viloria's Bio at CNN>>>>>>

    Miss America 2001 - Angela Perez Baraquio
    Representing the State of Hawaii, Ms.Baraquio bested other beauties of the different states. Her platform issue is character education among our youth.The 24 year old K-3 Physical Education Teacher/K-8 Athletic Director for a Honolulu catholic school came from a family of 9 children whose parents, Claudio F. Baraquio and Rigolette P. Baraquio were born in the Philippines. Graduated with a 3.7 GPA from University of Hawaii, Manoa, she planned to pursue her master in education with the scholarship money she won from the pageant. Congratulations to you, Angela from all of us.
    Post competition interview with Ms. Baraquio >>>>>>
    Filipino Beauty Queens >>>>>>

    Rey Pagtakhan-First Filipino In Canada's Cabinet
    Rey Pagtakhan, a doctor and naturalized Canadian citizen, was appointed secretary of state for the Asia-Pacific region by Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. The first Filipino Canadian to be appointed in the cabinet in Canada's history. Born in Cavite province (south of Manila) in 1935, Pagtakhan graduated in medicine from the University of the Philippines before leaving for the United States to pursue further medical studies. Immigrated to Canada in 1968. He won his first race for a parliament seat 20 years later and has been re-elected since from his home district in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    More >>>>>>

    Michelle Malkin, National Syndicated Columnist
    Among the up and coming opinion writers is a Filipina named Michelle Malkin. A nationally syndicated writer affiliated with Creators Syndicate which count among its famous talents some of America's respected columnists such as Robert Novak, Bill O'Reilly, Mark Shields and talk show host Larry Elders. A graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio and had worked with LA Times and Seattle Times. Ms. Malkin is a daughter of Filipino immigrants, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1970 and raised in southern New Jersey. She founded recently,, an online publication which monitors corporate welfare.
    Michelle Malkin Column and Bio >>>>
    Ms. Malkin's Website >>>>>

    Rodney Jay C. Salinas, a Rising Star of Politics
    Rodney Jay C. Salinas Communications coordinator, Association of Fundraising Professionals. Founder of, an Internet portal that encourages Asian Pacific American political participation. Formerly directed the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies. Master’s Degree, Graduate School of Political Manage-ment, George Washington University. Every year at this time, Campaigns & Elections magazine selects the Rising Stars of Politics. Campaigns & Elections' Website >>>> >>>>

    Lexa Doig - Star of Jason X and Andromeda
    What's with these Filipino-Canadians? They have produced several actors recently with the likes of Von Flores of Earth: Final Conflict fame and now comes Lexa. They have one thing in common though, their films are sci-fi genre. We wonder what's in Toronto, eh.
    Lexa Doig's Site >>>>

    Edward Soriano and Antonio Taguba - Fil-Am US Army Generals

    Two highest ranking Filipino Americans in the US Army were recently promoted, they are Army Maj. Gen. Edward Soriano who has been nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general (3 stars) and assignment as commanding general, I Corps and Fort Lewis, Fort Lewis, Washington. Soriano is currently serving as the director, Homeland Security, U.S. Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, Va. And Army Brig. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba who has been nominated for appointment to the rank of major general (2 stars). Gen. Taguba is to be reassigned as director of management and vice director of the Army Staff, Washington, D.C. is currently serving as commanding general, U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center, Alexandria, Virginia. We are sure we have a lot more high ranking Filipino American in other branches of the US armed forces. We have to hear from Fil-Am officers in the US navy whether we have admirals with equivalent ranks of 2 and 3 star generals - let us know if you know of any so we can spotlight their achievements. By the way, the first Filipino American that achieved the rank of Maj. General was John R. D'Araujo Jr., he was as well became the first director of the Army National Guard Bureau of Filipino descent.
    Lieutenant General Edward Soriano's Bio >>>>
    Major General Antonio Taguba's Bio >>>>
    An Asian Pacific American Timeline (Military) >>>>

    Dan Inosanto - Martial Arts Expert
    Inosanto is the heir to Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do and one of 3 instructors certified by Lee personally. He was Bruce Lee's private student, sparring and training partner - meaning he has the insight of what made Bruce Lee a great icon in martial arts. Dan Inosanto is also a major promoter of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). Aside from Jeet Kune Do, Inosanto teaches Kali, the Filipino stick and hand to hand martial arts. If you will see Matt Damon's movie, Bourne Identity, you will find out how devastating this form of Filipino martial arts is. With over 30 years of training in martial arts, Inosanto is recognized as one of its leading authorities. He wrote several books and have appeared in several movies.
    Inosanto-Black Belt Magazine 1996 Man of the Year >>>>
    Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts >>>>
    An Interview with Dan Inosanto by Steve Grantham >>>>

    Other Filipino-American Personalities:
    Rey Pagtakhan-First Filipino In Canada's Cabinet
    Olivia Ongpin - Top Web Designer
    Dado Banatao - Venture Capitalist / Inventor
    Cecilia Pagkalinawan - Web Entrepreneur
    Delasin / Rosales - Fil-Am Pro Golfers
    Von Flores - Actor
    Pinay - All Female Singing Group
    Brandon Baker - Teen Actor
    Innerlude -All Male Singing Group
    Cecil Mamiit - Pro Tennis Player
    Kai - All Male Singing Group
    Brian Viloria - US Boxing Olympian
    Baseball Pro - Colorado Rockies's Benny Agbayani
    Miss America 2001 - Angela Perez Baraquio
    Michelle Malkin, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
    Rodney Jay C. Salinas - a Rising Star of Politics
    Lexa Doig - Star of Jason X and Andromeda
    Dan Inosanto - Martial Arts Expert
    Lt. Gen. Soriano and Major Gen. Taguba - Fil-Am Generals

    Watchout for more "Fil-Am In The Spotlight" celebrities.
    Last updated June 8, 2002.

    Pacita Abad: International Artist
    Eleanor Academia: International Recording Artist
    Byron Acohido: Pulitzer Prize Winner
    Peter Aduja: Former Member, Hawaii House of Representatives
    Joshua C. Agsalud: Hawaii Cabinet Member
    Emilio Alcon: Hawaii State Representative
    Reynaldo G. Alejandro: Dancer, Choreographer, Chef, Author, and Columnist
    Alberto M. Alfaro: Editor-in-Chief, Manila Mail
    Constantino Amores, M.D.: Presidential Appointee on Arts Committee
    Jon Amores: West Virginia State Representative
    Tai Babilonia: Former World Ice Skating Champion
    Genara Banzon: Nature Artist
    Maniya Barredo: Atlanta and the Philippines’ First Prima Ballerina
    Bernaldo D. Bicoy: Member, Hawaii House of Representatives
    Cecilia Manguerra Brainard: Award-Winning Writer
    Thelma Buchhold: Alaska State Representative
    Cielo Buenaventura: Metropolitan Section Editor, The New York Times
    Carlos Bulosan: Outstanding Filipino Writer
    Robert Bunda: Hawaii State Senator
    Romy Cachola: Hawaii State Representative
    Annette Calud: Sesame Street Dance Instructor
    Tia Carrera: Movie Actress and Singer
    Benjamin N. Cayetano: Governor, State of Hawaii
    Reggie Chavez: City Official, Tacoma Park, Maryland
    Howard Chua: Time Magazine Senior Editor
    Lilia Calderon Clemente: International Money Manager
    Wil and Zen Coronado: Cosmetics Magnates
    Speedy Dado (Diosdado B. Posadas): Flyweight Boxing Champion
    Firmo S. Dayao: Police Commissioner, Honolulu, Hawaii
    Rolando A. De Castro: D.M.D., M.S.D.: Well-known Dental Professor-Artist
    Pedro dela Cruz: Member, Hawaii House of Representatives
    Vicky Manalo Draves: U.S. Diving Champion
    Julie R. Duldulao: Former Hawaii State Representative
    Jocelyn Enriquez: Queen of Free Style
    Ernesto M. Espaldon: M.D.: Plastic Surgeon, Six-Term Guam Senator
    Jose L. Evangelista: M.D.: Member, National Committee on 
    Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA)
    Stella, Evangelista, M.D.: Former Member, Michigan State Board of Medicine
    Juventino “Ben” Fajardo: Mayor, Glendale Heights, Illinois
    Pete Fajardo: Mayor, Carson, California
    Roman Gabriel: Former Los Angeles Rams’ Quarterback
    Pat Gacoscos: Member, School Board, Union City, California
    Ceferino Garcia: Middleweight Champion of the World
    Nestor R. Garcia: Hawaii State Representative
    Tita Dioso Gillespie: Newsweek’s General Editor
    Dennis Gonzales: Postmaster, Daly City, California
    Reynaldo Graulty: Hawaii State Senator
    Michael Guingona, Jr.: Mayor, Daly City
    Maria Luisa Mabilangan Haley: High-Ranking Filipino 
    American Official in Clinton’s Administration
    Sumi Sevilla Haru: Actress, Activist
    Venancio Igarta: Master Colorist
    Larry Itliong: Labor Leader
    Radmar Agana Jao: Up and Coming Actor
    Alfred Lareta: Lawyer, Hawaii Judicial Circuit Judge
    Loida Nicolas Lewis: Lawyer, Author, and 
    CEO of TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc.
    Gene Canque Liddel: First U.S. Filipino American Mayor
    Glen Madeiros: Singer
    Eduardo E. Malapit: Hawaii Elected Mayor
    Henry Manayan: Mayor, Milpitas, California
    Evelyn Mandac: International Lyric Soprano
    G. Monty Manibog: Three-term Mayor, Monterey Park, California
    Eduardo G. Manuel: Former Mayor, Hercules, California
    Gene G. Marcial: Senior Writer, Business Week
    Eleanor Concepcion Mariano, M.D. 
    President Clinton’s Personal Physician
    Salvador (Dado) Marino: Flyweight Boxing Champion
    Neal McCoy: Up-and-Coming Country Music Singer
    Ron Menor: Hawaii State Representative
    Irene Natividad: Noted Political Activist
    Josie Cruz Natori: International Fashion Magnate
    Enriquez M. Ostrea: Famed Pediatrician, professor, Inventor
    Andy Paras: Member, City Council of Hercules, California
    Veronica Pedrosa: CNN News Anchor
    Nia Peeples: Actress and Singer
    Lou Diamond Phillips: Movie Actor
    Elizabeth Punsalan: U.S. Ice Dance Champion
    Prince - singer and actor
    Ronald E. Quidachay: California Municipal Judge
    Mel Red Recana: Presiding Judge
    Los Angeles Municipal Court, California
    Josephine “Banig” Roberto: Singer
    Manuel Rodriguez: Father of Philippine Graphic Arts
    Jose Romero: World-Renowned Acrylic-Impressionistic Artist
    Ninotchka Rosca: Award-Winning Novelist and Short Story Writer
    Lea Salonga: Actress/Singer
    Bienvenido Santos: Well-known Writer of Fiction and Poetry
    Cesar C. Sarmiento: Superior Court Judge
    Los Angeles County, California
    Pilar Schneider: School Board Member, Pacifica, California
    Rob Schneider: Movie Actor
    Eulalio Bueno Silva: Internationally Renowned Artist
    Edward Soriano: First Philippine-born Soldier to 
    become a General in the U.S. Armed Forces
    Antonio Taguba: Second Philippine-born Soldier to 
    become a General in the U.S. Armed Forces 
    Alex Tizon: Pulitzer Prize Winner
    Emme Tominbang: Hawaii TV Personality
    Tamlyn Tomita: Movie Actress
    Emelio Uy: Outstanding Businessman and Civic Leader
    David Mercado Valderrama: Delete, Maryland General Assembly
    Velma R. Veloria: Member, Washington State House of Representatives 
    Philip Vera Cruz: Labor Leader
    Jose Garcia Villa: Foremost Filipino poet
    Pancho Villa: Foremost Filipino Boxing Great
    Mona Lisa Yuchengco: Magazine Publisher

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