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Trade not Aid: In Praise of Entrepreneurship to Community Development

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Reviving the Inabel, Traditional Textile of the Ilocos, From Pinatubo to Haiyan--Disaster Response and Recovery, the Hawaii-Philippines Experience, Feminist Future in the Post Pandemic Hawaii, Preserving Philippine Living Traditions and Social Entrepreneurship

Reviving the Inabel, Traditional Textile of the Ilocos

Al Valenciano earned his accounting degree from De La Salle University. Working as an auditor for a bank, his longing to pursue the arts in painting landed him a grant from Syracuse University in New York with a field school program in Florence, Italy. He has had one-man shows and has joined several group exhibits held in key cities of Asia, Europe, and the United States since 1991. He currently sits as the director of the Museo Ilocos Norte. For the last 20 years, Al has devoted himself to the revival of the Inabel, traditional textiles of the Ilocos. He has been working closely with weavers in the Ilocos region, in full efforts to sustain the weaving tradition, empowering the weavers and their families and educating the younger generation of the Inabel tradition. He manages Balay ni Atong and the Study Center of the Traditional Textile of the Ilocos Region.

Bringing Indigenous to the present and the future through Social Entrepreneurship

Lydia Querian is a designer, dancer, and musician who left her corporate career to pursue social entrepreneurship. Born and raised in the Philippines who lived in San Francisco for 10 years and now based in Hawaii. She's done several performances, having toured nationally and internationally with Dancing Earth, KulArts, Parangal Dance Company and Fusion Dance Project. Querian was a featured artist at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2017. Lydia completed Fashion Design and Fashion business certification from Parsons New School and as her work evolves, she frequently immerses with indigenous communities in both Southern and Northern Philippines. Her work was recently featured at this year's SS21 New York Fashion Week. Daily Malong helps empower Indigenous Filipino artisans to continue their living traditions by extending appreciation in the diaspora. She believes that bringing indigenous weaving practices to the future perpetuates time-tested traditions, helping the present and protecting the future. Each indigenous textile worn today helps wearers and weavers navigate societal atrocities, prevent climate change, and restore a more sustainable environment.

From Pinatubo to Haiyan—Disaster Response and Recovery, the Hawaii -Philippines Experience

Daniel Z. Urquico played a leadership role in non-governmental organizations (NGO) from 1987 to 2018, serving children and families in extremely difficult circumstances, including abused children, youth in conflict with the law, single mothers at risk, indigenous communities and youth in armed conflict. A social architect, he brought insight, innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset to the design and implementation of programs in the NGOs he served. These included Consuelo Foundation, Child and Family Service Philippines, the Jaime Ongpin Foundation, the Philippine Development Assistance Program, the Association of Foundations, to name a few. He designed strategies to build resilient communities in addressing the numerous natural disasters that devastated many regions in the country including the Baguio earthquake, the Pinatubo eruption and the yearly cycle of typhoons that rip through the Philippines including super typhoons Ondoy and Yolanda. After resigning from his numerous consultancies, he now spends his time with his grandchildren but is still doing volunteer work in his community.

The Role of Food in Cultural Preservation and Social Entrepreneurship

Yana Gilbuena, a Filipino-born, critically acclaimed, nomadic chef, started Salo Series to share with the world the vibrant food culture of the Philippines. The Salo Series hosts Filipino kamayan dinners, in which food is served on communal tables decked with banana leaves, and guests are asked to eat with their hands. In her American tour, Yana hosted pop-up dinners in 50 states in 50 weeks, as well as across Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Australia, Europe and her home country, Philippines. She aims to host a Salo on every continent. A graduate of UP Diliman, Yana is a 2017 Stone Barns Exchange Fellow and has also been featured in major publications such as The New York Times and National Geographic. She's been published in The Cherry Bombe Cookbook, Feed the Resistance and has self-published her own book—No Forks Given released in March 2019.


Rhoda Yabes Alvarez is admitted to practice law in Hawaii, New York and the Philippines. She earned her JD at the Ateneo de Manila University and a Master of Laws in Commercial and Corporate Law at the University of London. She had worked with Citigroup Private Bank in NYC where she gained experience in international finance and was the founding dean of the St. Louis College of Law in the Philippines, lecturer at law at the UH Richardson College of Law and at the Mariano Marcos Memorial College of Law. She hosts a weekly radio program “Legal Pinoy” that was recognized in 2010 as best radio show in the Migration Advocacy and Media Award of the CFO. She also writes a column under the same title for the Filam Courier. She provides services in Ilocano, Tagalog and English. She is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA), Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

Special thanks to Co-Moderator Ava Alvarez

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