Filipino American Disruptors is a month-long storytelling initiative powered by NextDayBetter x AARP AAPI Community celebrating the stories of Filipino Americans in a range of disciplines from community activism to tech entrepreneurship.

These forward-thinking individuals are trendsetters, trailblazers, and problem-solvers in their respective fields, helping to push America and the Filipino American community forward through their leadership, creativity, and innovation.

Click on each image for the full stories.

Read their Stories

  • Loida Nicolas Lewis: Following Her Compass with Conviction

    “Let’s do as much as we can to right a wrong. I’ve dedicated my life to doing what’s right at every stage of my life. After all, we are the captains of our destinies.”

  • Dorothy Laigo Cordova: Recording the Stories of Filipino Americans

    “We are different, but we are not freaks or dog eaters. We are members of American society, we have fought its wars and sent our own boys to fight, and we continue to contribute to the growth of this country.”

  • Aquilina Soriano: Protecting the Dignity and Welfare of Filipino Workers

    “Filipinos are the largest Asian Pacific Islander group in California. Imagine our impact, not just in the US but also in the Philippines, if we harness our power as such a huge community.”

  • Dante Basco: A Pioneering Actor for the New Generation

    “I’ve been lucky to have been a working actor for over 30 years. You’ve got to learn your craft, get really good at it, so it’s undeniable. See, the better you become, the luckier you get.”

  • Aniceto Ilanga Bagley: Standing for All Valiant Filipino Veterans

    “Filipinos fought and died side-by-side with American soldiers on Bataan and Corregidor. Please remember the sacrifice that we made for freedom during the years of World War II.”

  • Major General Tony Taguba: Fulfilling a Life of Honorable Service

    “As a military man, I only wish that we can take care of all the men who have given their lives to protect our country and to preserve the freedom for the next generations by taking care of their needs and their dignity as well.”

  • Gregory Cendana: Creating Intersectional and Inclusive Spaces for Change

    “When we build genuine relationships regardless of our affiliations and come together, the more powerful we become to right the inequalities that face us.”

  • Nicole Ponseca: Rebranding Filipino Cuisine for Modern Times

    “Our mission is to foster an environment and a Filipino identity that is nourishing, irresistible, and celebratory. Maharlika and Jeepney are built for us to be our authentic selves while being competitive with the best cuisines in the world.”

  • Alvin Cailan: Pushing Filipino Food onto American Consciousness

    “Promoting Filipino food is my passion. We Filipinos have been here for 500 years, and our food deserves to be part of the culinary conversation.”

  • Michele Bumgarner: Breaking Records and Stereotypes on the Racetrack

    “Many people think being a race car driver is so glamorous. They don’t know the blood, sweat, and tears that go behind the scenes.”

  • DJ QBert: Putting in the Work to be the Best

    “When you stop working hard, everything falls apart. Being a musician means you never stop being in a creative process.”

  • Joe Bataan: Proudly Claiming His Filipino Heritage

    “I’m that little guy who grew up with a black mother and a Filipino father in Harlem and was able to get a piece of the pie!”

  • Yana Gilbuena: Bringing Filipino Food and Heritage to Every City

    “After more than 50 weeks of traveling, I know I have made my mark in placing Filipino food and culture in the consciousness of people around the country, especially for the Filipino diaspora.”

  • Josie Natori: Fearlessly Growing a Fashion Empire

    “You need a stomach of steel to tackle the fashion business, but the challenge is also what motivates me.”

  • Geena Rocero: Standing Up for Gender Equality

    “I believe if you want to make an impact in this world, you must make personal success your biggest advocacy and empower people from where you are. Be proud of who you are.”

  • Gemma Bulos: Designing Solutions through Intuition and Resourcefulness

    “I worked with grassroots communities to build on each other’s ideas and co-create integrated solutions. Those with the least resources are the most resourceful.”

  • Menchu De Luna: Saving Lives with Courage and Compassion

    “Every move we make as nurses is about saving lives. During the night of Hurricane Sandy, we had to save the lives of 20 babies that were in critical care.”

  • Jhett Tolentino: Overcoming Poverty to Broadway Success

    “Who would have thought that someone like me would end up with three Tonys and a Grammy? Poverty is not a death sentence and I am a living proof of that!”

  • Judge Lorna Schofield: Becoming the First Filipino American Federal Judge

    “Being the first Filipino Article III federal judge has rewarded me with a new understanding of my heritage. It has been an honor and a real pleasure to be taking this new journey.”

Special Feature

  • A Filipino American Story

    We're excited to present "A Filipino American Story" - an animated video presenting the pivotal moments of courage, sacrifice, and triumphs of Filipino Americans since 1587 and how they paved the way for the current generation shaping the future today. This story is powered by NextDayBetter and AARP AAPI Community for Filipino American History Month. FOLLOW US for more Filipino American stories throughout Filipino American History Month. We will also share stories of Filipino American disruptors in a range of disciplines from community activism to tech entrepreneurship. These forward-thinking individuals are trendsetters, trailblazers, and problem-solvers in their respective fields, helping to push America and the Filipino American community forward through their leadership, creativity, and innovation. To learn more about Filipino American history, please visit the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) website at http://bit.ly/2xFJ3UC.We are deeply thankful to over 40 organizations and individuals who helped make this storytelling initiative possible. If you have any further questions, please contact curious@nextdaybetter.com. #FAHM #FAHM2017

    Posted by AARP AAPI Community on Sunday, October 1, 2017

    A Filipino American Story

    The pivotal moments of courage, sacrifice, and triumphs of Filipino Americans who paved the way for the current generation.