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9 Global Filipino Trailblazers You Need To Know – NextDayBetter

At NextDayBetter, we scour the Earth for the boldest changemakers and creatives from the global Filipino diaspora. We found them and asked them to share their world-changing ideas on our stage. These leaders in entrepreneurship, civil rights, the arts, and more are helping to reimagine the capacity of global Filipinos to create impactful solutions, not just for the Philippines, but for the world.

#1: Jose Antonio Vargas

[San Francisco, United States] Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Founder of Define American, Advocate for Undocumented People

This Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist became the face of the immigrant rights movement when he outed himself on the cover of TIME Magazine. His documentary, “Documented”, tells his life story as an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S.

“Take Bold Actions. Being Here is a Privilege.” — Jose Antonio Vargas (@joseiswriting)

#2 Tara Abrahams

[New York City, United States] Global Policy Advisor at Girl Rising

This social entrepreneur champions girls education across the globe. As the Global Policy Advisor at Girl Rising, she led the worldwide launch of a documentary film of the same name. “Girl Rising,” from Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, captures the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world.

“Invest in girls. Education is the most precious gift.”- Tara Abrahams (@taraabrahams)

#3: Francis Manapul

[Toronto, Canada] Award Winning Writer/Illustrator for DC Comics

This Filipino-Canadian is a New York Times bestselling comics creator and an award-winning writer. His past comic book works include Superman/Batman, Legion of Super-Heroes, and the Flash.

“Be a hero. Be true to yourself.” — Francis Manapul (@FrancisManapul)

#4 Geena Rocero

[New York City, United States] Model, Founder of GenderProud, Advocate for Transgender Rights

Geena Rocero is known for her fierce runway and modeling experience. In 2014, she took a massive leap and came out as a Transgendered person at TED and NextDayBetter. Her TED talk advocating for Transgender rights has been viewed over 3,000,000 times.

“Live your truth. I’m a proud #Transwoman.” — Geena Rocero (@GeenaRocero)

#5: Reese Fernandez

[Manila, Philippines] Social Entrepreneur, President of Rags2Riches, Forbes Top 30 under 30.

This Forbes Top 30 under 30, social entrepreneur co-founded Rags2Riches — a fashion and design house empowering community artisans in the Philippines. Rags2Riches has trained 900 artisans and directly employs 50 people—professionals, in-house artisans, marketers, and strategists who are all working together towards the same goal.

“Wear something beautiful. #Style + #sustainability can co-exist.”- Reese Fernandez (@reese_fernandez)

#6: Nicole Ponseca

[New York, NYC] Restaurateur, Founder of Maharlika and Jeepney Restaurants

This restaurateur and tastemaker’s mission is to bring Filipino food to the global mainstream. Her New York City based restaurants have been celebrated by Top Chefs and have been featured in VICE, NBC, the Huffington Post, and more.

“Go beyond fear. Explore and create.” — Nicole Ponseca (@Nicole_Ponseca)

#7: Estelle Reyes

[Los Angeles, United States]Executive Director, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

This former banker combined her love of education and innovation as the Executive Director of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Estelle Reyes played a central role in launching entrepreneurship focused educational programs, reaching 10,000 students from low-income communities across the greater Los Angeles Area.

“Invent your own job. Create a ripple effect.”- EstelleReyes (@NFTEGreaterLA)

#8: Maria Ressa

[Manila, Philippines] Journalist, Founder of Rappler

Maria Ressa is a wonderwoman, garnerning positions such as CNN’s Bureau Chief in Manila, Philippines and Jakarta, Indonesia. She is currently CEO and Co-Founder of Rappler, a social news network that combines professional journalism and citizen journalism with crowdfunding.

“Help our country build institutions bottom up.” — Maria Ressa (@maria_ressa)

#9: Johneric Concordia

[Los Angeles, United States] Restaurateur, Founder of The Park’s Finest

Johneric Concordia is a true community organizer. Combining his love for Filipino Cuisine, BBQ, and community, he opened the doors to one of LA’s most renowned restaurants, The Park’s Finest. His foodie creations have been featured on the Food Network, helping to push forward Filipino-inspired cuisine into mainstream.

“Hustle all day. Hustle never hurt anybody.” — Johneric Concordia (@theparksfinest)

The search continues. We are looking for the most daring visionaries across the Filipino diaspora. Know somebody to add to the list? Tell us in the comments below.

Learn more about our work unlocking the genius of the Philippines diaspora by watching the video below.


ABOUT: NextDayBetter is a storytelling platform for creative diaspora communities. We celebrate Filipino + Asian Pacific changemakers around the world and call them to action.


© 2015 NextDayBetter
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