MEET THE KUMARES & KUMPARES

Meet ALLICE

ALLICE is the portmanteau for Alliance for Community Empowerment, an independent nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonpartisan team of volunteers formed in 2003 to engage individuals and groups to educate the public about healthy relationships. Its members call themselves Kumares and Kumpares, from the Filipino term for confidante.

On Dec. 7, 2006, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo presented the “Kaanib ng Bayan” Presidential Citation for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas to the CORA Kumares, as ALLICE was known when it was component of the San Mateo County domestic violence service agency, for its “admirable humanitarian services in promoting the welfare of Filipino Americans and empowering them to end domestic violence.”

In 2009, the team went independent and named itself after its honorary chair Alice Bulos, a retired sociology professor who dedicated her life to empowering the community.

Who are the 2018 Kumares and Kumpares?

Allen Capalla
Secretary

Llowelyn “Allen” Chin Capalla came in the United States in 1986. Married to Eric Capalla and mother to their only son Andrew, Allen is a 19-year administrative assistant for a venture capital. She loves to cook, host parties and sing in the church.

Born in the Philippines, she completed her Bachelor’s in Chemistry at the University of San Augustine in 1982. In 2004, she received her school’s presidential award as an outstanding alumna from Fr. President, Vergara, OSA. In 2014, she raised $36,000 for the renovation of the Our Lady of Mercy Church carpet, and was honored for Outstanding Community Services by then-Daly Council Member David Canepa.

Currently she is vice president of Daly City-Colma Curia Legion of Mary, president of the Legion of Mary at Our Lady of Mercy, member of the Filipino Ministry Consultative Board since 2012, and 2018 secretary of ALLICE. She continues her father’s legacy to help those in need in Iloilo City. She lives by her favorite aphorism: “As the great Saint had spoken: our hearts are restless, and restless it will remain until it rests in Him. We are restless followers of the One who wish to serve rather than be served.”

Anastacio 'Junior' Flores
Member

Philippine-born Junior immigrated at age 8 with his family to San Francisco in 1981. The youngest of 4 children grew up with a lot of support from his parents and siblings. He attended City College of San Francisco and then completed his Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.

Aside from jobs prior to completing college, most of his employment has been in nonprofit and behavioral health services. He began working in Daly City in 2001 for Asian American Recovery Services as a youth counselor and case manager and today is the Program Director for the AARS San Mateo County Treatment and Prevention Services.

Junior has strong affinity for ODASA, an outpatient treatment program that targets Filipinos with substance use issues. The biggest challenges he has encountered in all his programs have not been in providing quality services but rather engaging marginalized and or ethnic communities into services.

A husband and father to two, he is blessed to be surrounded with supportive people and his passion is to give back what he has received.

As Kumpare he intends to provide support to those who are facing challenges and become their better selves.

Bettina Santos Yap
Founding President

Bettina Santos Yap was born and raised in Manila. She graduated from the University of the Philippines majoring in Broadcast Communications before moving to the US in 1983. She earned a degree in Marketing at Golden Gate University.

For 25 years, Santos Yap was a marketing professional in the technology industry working for renowned companies including Genesys, Alcatel-Lucent, NEC, Cisco, NetApp, Apple, and Sun Microsystems. In 2018, she embarked on her second career: to become a pastry chef. Santos Yap completed the Baking and Pastry Arts program at the City College of San Francisco Culinary and Hospitality Studies. She worked briefly as pastry baker at the San Francisco Baking Institute.

Santos Yap was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in US in 2007 by the Filipina Women’s Network. She performed in FWN’s annual production of the Vagina Monologues from 2003—2006, directing the English and Tagalog (Usaping Puki) productions in San Francisco and New York in 2006.

Santos Yap is also a volunteer recording talent for Learning Ally, a nonprofit producer of audiobooks for blind and dyslexic students. She, along with her husband, son and daughter, are also active ministers of the Mater Dolorosa parish community.

Cherie M. Querol Moreno
Founder & Executive Director

Cherie M. Querol Moreno learned empathy, compassion and responsibility from her journalist parents. Their example inspired her to form ALLICE.

As Philippine News editor at large, Philippines Today columnist, Positively Filipino correspondent, GMA News Online and Rappler contributor, she highlights race relations and family issues.

By day she coordinates community outreach for HICAP, the nationwide nonprofit Medicare counseling program as a state-registered counselor/community educator. A BA Communication Arts graduate of Maryknoll College, Manila, she studied Newswriting at UC Berkeley. She earned her state certification as DV counselor while 2002-2009 CORA community outreach coordinator, attended hundreds of hours in cultural competency workshops and trained diverse groups on the dynamics of intimate partner violence to effect healthy attitudes and behaviors. She is in her third term as Commissioner with the San Mateo County Commission on Aging.

Named 2002 PAAWBAC Woman Warrior and KQED Local Hero, she was nominee for the 2007 and 2009 San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame, among honors she has received for writing and volunteering. She cherishes loving husband Mike, son Chico and daughter-in-law Crystel and their sons Joaquin and Matias – the light of her life.

Edna Murray
Member

Edna Biscocho Murray is a mother, a wife , and Alameda County health care claims examiner. She graduated at the National Holistic Institute as a professional massage therapist and health educator in 2002.

A biology teacher in the Philippines, she chose domestic work in Singapore to help support her large family in Batangas. As an overseas worker she learned to fight for her rights. She is social action officer of Faith Community Church in Oakland.

A member of the Filipina Women’s Network, she starred in its presentations of The Vagina Monologues. She is a state certified domestic violence counselor and mental health first aid responder. Her testimony on her experience as an abused child has enlightened many.

Elsa Agasid
Vice President 2018

Born in the Philippines to a veteran of WWII and the Korean Conflict, Elsa Agasid’s family immigrated to the United States in 1956 to seek emergent care for the PTSD her father suffered. They experienced discrimination as newcomers. Elsa joined ALLICE in 2010 and identifies as a survivor of domestic violence. Her challenging experiences have helped her gain a greater understanding of and compassion for newcomers facing racism and discrimination and survivors of domestic violence.

Music helped Elsa cope with difficult times and stay connected to her Filipino roots through the singing of traditional Filipino folk songs. She is music director at Mater Dolorosa Parish in South San Francisco.

A family nurse practitioner specializing in geriatric and hospice/palliative care, she received her undergraduate degree from SFSU and her graduate degree from UCSF. She loves teaching and has served as an Associate Clinical Professor at University of San Francisco and provides community education on topics such as Advanced Dementia and End-of-Life. She also serves as an Associate of the Sisters of Mercy in Burlingame and a Commissioner on the Commission on Aging in San Mateo.

Elsa is blessed with 4 children and 6 beautiful grandchildren who are her pride and joy.

Jei Africa
Clinical Director

Jei Africa, PsyD, MSCP, CATC-V is the Director of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services of Marin County.

He was Director of the Office of Diversity and Equity within San Mateo County Health System, where he provided leadership and guidance to promote effective and culturally responsive services into the core functioning of County health services.

Dr. Africa is a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified addiction treatment counselor. He maintains a consulting and private psychotherapy practice in the SF-Bay Area. Dr. Africa is an Adjunct Faculty at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and had been a Senior Research faculty member at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University and a clinical preceptor at the UCSF.

In 2015, the California Psychological Association honored Dr. Africa with the Distinguished Humanitarian Contribution Award for advancing health equity and social justice. He was recognized among 2012 LGBT Local Heroes from KQED and Union Bank and the 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the United States (2009). He received the 2009 California Statewide Cultural Competence Professional Awardee for leadership, professional contributions and service promoting health equity and cultural competence. He was founding member of of the LGBTQ Commission in San Mateo County.

Jennifer Jimenez Wong
Member

Jennifer Jimenez Wong was born and raised in San Francisco, youngest of three children. She has a BA Psychology from University of California, Davis, and a master's of science in counseling, emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy, from California State University, East Bay. Jennifer worked at CORA, providing individual and group counseling to survivors of intimate partner violence.

In 2006, Jennifer joined ALLICE and has been active in educating and promoting healthy relationships for the community. She served as Vice President in 2010 and 2016, then President in 2017. She joined FMHI Filipino Mental Health Initiative of San Mateo County also in 2006 to outreach and help Filipinos increase access to mental health services and to help end stigma in mental health. She was co-chair from 2013-2016.

Jennifer started working at Fred Finch Youth Center in 2007 providing family therapy and behavioral services at-risk youth. She became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in 2012, and opened up her first private practice. She is a clinical supervisor at Fred Finch Youth Center, and serves clients at her private practice. She has two young daughters, who inspire her to continue to do the work with ALLICE.

Joanne del Rosario
Member

Joanne del Rosario was born in New York City in 1953 and lived in Yonkers until the age of 12. She moved with her family to Manila, where they resided until 1974.  Educated in the United States and the Philippines, she moved to California in 1978 and settled down in Colma in 2001 with her husband, Rene Malimban. She has one son, Reginald, from a previous marriage.

Current Vice Mayor Joanne F. del Rosario has been a three-time Mayor has served three terms on the City Council of Colma. She was first elected in 2006 and became the first Filipina American woman to be elected to the town council of Colma. She continued to break another barrier in 2008 by becoming the first Filipina to become a Mayor in all nine Bay Area counties.

She is the first Filipina American elected official to speak publicly about her own experience with domestic violence. In 2009, she was named one of the “100 Most Influential Filipinas in the United States” by Filipinas Women’s Network. That same year she joined ALLICE, became president in 2010. In 2018 she received commendation from SMC Supervisor David Canepa for her outstanding efforts to prevent IPV.

Jose Antonio
Treasurer

Jose Antonio is a Vice President with Bank of the West and manager of its San Jose Branch. When he joined ALLICE in 2011, he engaged the team’s first corporate ally with the sponsorship of Union Bank, where he was a VP. The world traveler was 2014 President of ALLICE.

Bon vivant Jose fancies haute couture, holds Wine Country club memberships and enjoys discovering new restaurants. He dotes on his terrier Mochi.

Leonard Oakes
Member

The Rev. Leonard Oakes was born in Kalinga in the Cordilleras, Philippines. In 1986, he took AB Philosophy at the University of Baguio before entering St Andrew’s Theological Seminary, an Episcopal Church Seminary in Quezon City where he graduated with bachelor’s degree in theology in 1993. He was ordained in 1994.

In August of 1997, he immigrated to the United States to join his wife Haidee, a nurse at Kaiser Permanente SSF. In 2003, Leonard enrolled in Nursing at San Mateo Colleges and completed his Licensed Vocational Nursing at Nursing Care Provider in SSF. In 2008, he was elected 3rd Filipino Vicar of Holy Child and St Martin in Daly City. In 2010, he was called to serve as member of the Community Advisory Board for Seton Medical Center/Verity Care in Daly City, with Alice Bulos.

Leonard will be celebrating his 10th anniversary as Vicar of Holy Child and St. Martin on Saturday, November 17, 2018 in Daly City. He and Haidee have three children: Joshua,19, Heather, 17, and Hailey,13.

Leonard joined ALLICE in 2016 to further educate himself and his community on the dynamics of healthy and unhealthy relationships and the family support system.

Lina Susbilla
Member*

Lina Susbilla is the first Filipina appointed to the San Mateo County Commission on Status of Women, completing 12 years and recruiting new members along the way. Until she suffered a health setback that forced her to go on leave* from ALLICE, she was a florist and neighborhood activist. She described herself as a member of the “sandwich” generation, having been caregiver for her elderly father and her grandchildren, on whom she dotes. She was everpresent in community events. Where there was a celebration or a rally, she was the first to arrive with her beautiful floral arrangements, often donated with love.

Malou Aclan
Member

Malou Aclan was born and raised in Nueva Ecija, Philippines. The eldest of 7 siblings in a family of public servants including a municipal judge, she came to the USA in 1978 as a registered nurse, landing in Chicago. Together with other nurses, she settled in and embraced the American culture.

Malou moved to San Francisco when she married engineer Danny Aclan. They were blessed with sons Kristian and Daniel.

Malou continues her professional career as an RN at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, SSF. She is one of the two RNs who godmothered the Cardiac Rehabilitation/ Multifit program at Kaiser SSF in 1999. This program has been acknowledged by Kaiser Organization for Service Excellence and Best Practice in Medicine.

Malou found her calling in serving the Filipino community. In 1994, she co-founded Kaiser Permanente Filipino Association. The objectives are for Filipinos to be proud of their culture and heritage and achieve a sense of belonging anywhere they live. In 2007, she joined ALLICE Kumares and Kumpares, serving as president in 2011. She heads the Resource Provider committee that launched the A-List of resources with competence in Filipino languages and understanding of LGBT and newcomer issues.

Mark Reburiano
Member

Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Rev. Father Mark Reburiano will be Pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Belmont. Until the end of 2018, he is Pastor of St. Isabella Catholic Church in Novato.

Fr. Mark Polo was ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco on June 25, 2005. In 2003 he was ordained as a transitional deacon at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and served as a deacon at Saint Cecilia's Church in San Francisco and at the Pontifical North American College in Rome where he studied as a seminarian.  

In 2006, Fr. Mark began his first pastoral ministry as a Parochial Vicar at St. Matthew Parish in San Mateo, California. In 2010, he moved to St. Gregory Parish in San Mateo as a Parochial Vicar until his current assignment.

Famous for his compelling homilies, Fr. Mark is also known for his love of singing, especially BeeGees hits.

Nan Santiago
Member

Nan Santiago is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has practiced in the Bay Area for the last 25 years. She received her Bachelor’s degree from U.C.Berkeley in Psychology. She did her graduate work at San Francisco State University attaining a Master’s in Clinical Psychology in 1987. Her clinical internships were completed at S.F.State University Students’ Psychological Services, and Richmond Area Multi Services in San Francisco.

The 18-year clinician at Kaiser currently works as a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist at Kaiser Child Psychiatry. Previously she was a clinical supervisor at Family Service Agency, Child Abuse and Treatment Division in Burlingame.

Santiago also worked as a clinical supervisor at Cal State University, Hayward. She was clinical supervisor for Asian Americans for Community Involvement, program coordinator for Youth and Family Assistance Youth Diversion Program, mental health worker for S.F. Department of Public Health, clinical therapist for Bayview Hunter’s Point Pilipino Mental Health Services, and children’s program advocate for La Casa de las Madres.

Santiago’s passion throughout her career has been about making a difference for children and families.

Outside of work, Nan enjoys practicing yoga, meditation and mindfulness. Recently, she went to Santa Fe New Mexico for a one week meditation retreat.

Nellie Hizon
President 2018

Orphaned by her father at age 10, Nellie Hizon grew up in the loving care of her hardworking mother and 8 siblings.  Mother encouraged an environment where each member looks after the other.

Nellie graduated at age 19 and passed CPA Board Examination at 20.  She embarked on a career as an accountant and in financial management at the Lopez family businesses, becoming chief accountant of Benpres Corporation at 23.  She was comptroller of their U.S. food trading business, holding executive/supervisory financial management positions including in what is now The Filipino Channel.  She shifted to the legal field, where she has focused on immigration these last 20 years.

A parish leader growing up in Malabon, she continued involvement at St. Stephen parish, later representing the Filipino laity to the Ethnic Ministry.  At the Archdiocese of San Francisco, she was secretary, then vice chair of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, concurrently member of the Advisory Board of Catholic San Francisco newspaper and Board of Regents of St. Patrick Seminary and University, though it is now reorganized.

Her upbringing, education, and faith experience set the stage for her raising awareness of the merits of healthy relationships and preventing abuse and violence.

Ofelia “Ofie” Albrecht
Member

Ofelia "Ofie" was born in the Philippines, ninth of 11 children. In 1978 she came to the U.S on sponsorship by The First National Bank of Chicago to work in the San Francisco office International Department. She performed correspondent banking and trading for over 10 years.

Later she worked in sales and administration at New York Life and Metlife, and Waddell & Reed.

While employed at the insurance companies she was involved in community activities such as Bay Area Organizing Committee doing social justice work. She was also involved in various church activities, taking an active role in the Archdiocese of San Francisco to promote the Filipino culture.

From 2008 to 2018, she coordinated the Peninsula Family Service senior peer counseling program, where she helped the Filipino adult community deal with isolation, grief, depression and loneliness, offering them resources within the San Mateo County.

Recently she joined ALLICE because of its commitment to helping eradicate domestic violence. She liked that members are “professional and passionate, and really learned a lot from them.”

Ofie is married to Steve Albrecht. They have two children, five grandkids.

Paulita Lasola Malay
Member

Paulita Lasola Malay is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychotherapist, and Life Coach and a certified DV counselor. Her degrees are from University of the Philippines Diliman, De La Salle University Manila and San Francisco State University. She’s one of five foreign scholars trained by pioneer family therapist Virginia Satir at Avanta Process Community Institute in Colorado.

In May 1998, she participated in Tony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within” and went walking barefoot on live coals – without a burn. She credits Robbins for being a clinician in a successful private practice.

In 2009, when she accepted ALLICE’s invitation to join, she considered it a “full circle” of her work since she launched the Filipino American Outreach of CDVP that later became CORA, where the Kumares and Kumpares were conceived. In 2015, she was elected President of ALLICE.

In 2012, she was awarded among the “100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S.” by Filipina Women’s Network. In 2014, she’s certified as a Life Coach by Robbins-Madanes Coach Training in Portland, Oregon.

Currently, at 81, she’s a participant of Dr. David Burns’ CBT-TEAM training in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Department of Stanford University, Palo Alto.

Sarah Jane Ilumin
Member*

Sarah Jane Ilumin is principal of Yashi Okita Design, a marketing and advertising firm she managed with her husband whose name the company bears. “SJ,” as intimates call her, took leave of absence from ALLICE after the passing of her beloved husband. A Kumare since 2005, she identifies as a child witness to domestic violence. The experience inspired her to share through ALLICE what she has learned to prevent families from suffering the same fate.

Teresa Ferrer
Member*

Teresa Ferrer is the eldest of three daughters, proud mother to son Kai and takes delight in being born in Baguio City. Life has taken Teresa unique directions with many firsts. From being asked to be the first non-African American to join the Black Student Union in high school, to being one of two to first graduate with a Master’s Degree in Human Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State. A doctoral program allowed her the opportunity to become a certified clinical hypnotherapist.

Teresa served as San Mateo County and California State Parks and Recreation Commissioner and on the Board of Directors for Asian American Recovery Services. She is a founding Kumare with ALLICE and Board Member of the FALEO-Filipino American Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Teresa currently is a San Mateo County Health Commissioner. Her greatest joy has been watching her son, Kai, achieve many notable sports accomplishment with the latest becoming an official member of the Philippine National Wrestling Team. Watching Tagalog romantic comedies and the Golden State Warriors are just two activities she considers her guilty pleasures.

  • Founding Members: Cherie Querol Moreno, Bettina Santos Yap, Teresa Ferrer, Yumi Querubin, Amancio “Jojo” Liangco, Nerissa Fernandez
  • Past Members: Alice Bulos+, Erlinda Galeon+, Helen Marte, Kristine Zafrani -Averilla, Rachel Puno – Juliana, Christine Padilla, Lorraine Canaya, Mark Nagales, Jeannette Trajano, Randy Caturay, Robert Uy, Maria Segarra, Karina Layugan
  • Honorary Members: Lloyd LaCuesta, Frances Dinglasan

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