What is ALLICE?

ALLICE is the acronym for Alliance for Community Empowerment, a nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonpartisan team of volunteers formed in 2003 to engage individuals and groups to share resources toward educating the public about healthy relationships. Its members are called Kumares and Kumpares.

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 then, 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.

Meet the 2023 Kumares and Kumpares

Anastacio 'Junior' Flores

Philippine-born Junior immigrated at age 8 in 1981 with his family to San Francisco. The youngest of 4 children said he 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 have been in Non-Profit and in 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.

He has a strong affinity with ODASA, an Outpatient Treatment Program that targets Filipinos with substance use issues. The biggest challenges he has encountered in all his programs have been not about providing quality services but rather engaging marginalized and 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.

Buenaflor Flor Nicolas

Buenaflor “Flor” Nicolas is a rising star in Filipino American politics and a longtime passionate community leader since settling down in the Bay Area.  In 2018, she was elected to the South San Francisco City Council, the first FilAm woman (along with the first FilAm man thus elected), third Asian American woman and only the fourth female to serve in that capacity in the 110-year history of the City.

Flor was born in the Philippines and became a South San Francisco resident in 1988 when she and her husband immigrated to the United States. Their 42-year union is blessed with two children (and their spouses) and two grandchildren. She received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree from Mapua Institute of Technology and a Master of Public Health from University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Her professional career includes 20+ years in leadership positions at various biotechnology companies.  Currently, she is the head of the Pharmacovigilance department at Forty Seven, Inc., a clinical stage immuno-oncology company in Menlo Park.

Her community and public service commitments in South San Francisco and San Mateo County span over 30 years and she pledges her unwavering commitment to the mission of ALLICE.

Cherie M. Querol Moreno
Founder, Executive Director

Cherie M. Querol Moreno learned empathy, compassion and responsibility from her journalist parents, whose example inspired her to form ALLICE.  She draws attention to the plight of families of color as Philippine News Today executive editor, Positively Filipino correspondent,, GMA News Online and Rappler contributor.  

 A BA Communication Arts grad at Maryknoll College, she studied Newswriting at UC Berkeley.  She combines journalism and direct service as nonprofit community outreach coordinator: today with the Older Adult Programs of Peninsula Family Service; previously with HICAP, the Medicare counseling program, and earlier with CORA, where she earned her state certification as domestic violence counselor, learning cultural competency while giving presentations on the dynamics of intimate partner violence to change attitudes and behaviors. Currently she is in her fourth term as Commissioner with the San Mateo County Commission on Aging.  

Named 2002 PAAWBAC Woman Warrior, KQED Local Hero and 2019 Maryknoll Amazing Alumna Achiever, she was nominated for the 2007 and 2009 San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame, among honors she has received for writing and volunteering.  She cherishes her family - husband Mike, son Chico, daughter-in-law Crystel and their sons Joaquin and Matias.

Edna Murray

Edna Biscocho Murray is a mother, wife and retired 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 became a domestic worker 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 FWN, she starred in its presentations of The Vagina Monologues. She is a state certified domestic violence counselor. Her testimony on her experience as an abused child has enlightened many.

Elsa Agasid
2019 President

Born in the Philippines to a veteran of WWII and the Korean Conflict, Elsa Agasid 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 and compassion for new immigrants experiencing racism and discrimination, and survivors of domestic violence.

Music helped Elsa cope with challenging 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. Elsa 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 7 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.

Dr. Africa was a founding member of the LGBTQ Commission in San Mateo County.

Jennifer Jimenez Wong
Chair, Training

Jennifer Jimenez Wong was born and raised in San Francisco, youngest of three children. She holds a BA Psychology from University of California, Davis, and a masters 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 the Vice President in 2010 and 2016, then President in 2017. That same year she joined FMHI Filipino Mental Health Initiative of San Mateo County to outreach to 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 her first private practice. She is a clinical supervisor at Fred Finch Youth Center. She has three young daughters who inspire her to continue to work with ALLICE.

Joanne del Rosario
Co-chair, Rainmaker

Joanne del Rosario was born in New York City in 1953 and lived in Yonkers until the age of 12. She then resided in Manila 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.

Currently Mayor of Colma, Del Rosario has been a 4-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 and continued to break another barrier in 2008 by being the first Filipina to become a Mayor in all of the 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 in 2009, became president in 2010. In 2018 she received commendation from SMC Supervisor David Canepa for her outstanding efforts to prevent IPV.

Jose Antonio
Co-chair, Rainmaker

Jose Antonio is a philanthropist and current manager of the San Francisco Federal Credit Union.  He was Vice President with Bank of the West and manager of its San Jose Branch. When he joined ALLICE in 2011, he brought in 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.

Leonard Oakes

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

In August 1997, he immigrated to the United States to join his wife Haidee, a nurse at Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco. In 2003, he enrolled in Nursing at San Mateo Colleges and completed his Licensed Vocation Nursing at Nursing Care Provider in South San Francisco. In 2008, he was elected 3rd Filipino Vicar of Holy Child and St. Martin Episcopal Church 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, together with Alice Bulos.

Leonard celebrated his 10th anniversary as Vicar of Holy Child and St. Martin on November 17, 2018. He and Haidee have three children: Joshua,20, Heather, 18, and Hailey,14.

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

Lina Susbilla

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 activisit. She describes herself as a member of the “sandwich” generation, being 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
Chair, Resource Providers

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 Danny Aclan. They are blessed with 2 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 grandmothered 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.

She 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 own 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.

Nan Santiago

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 in Psychology from U.C.Berkeley. 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 MultiServices in San Francisco.

The 19-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.

Nan’s passion throughout her career has been about making a difference for children and families.
Outside of work, she enjoys practicing yoga, meditation and mindfulness. Recently, she went to Santa Fe New Mexico for a one week meditation retreat.

Nellie Hizon

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. 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 21 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

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

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 among few 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.

At 82, she’s a participant of Dr. David Burns’ CBT-TEAM training in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Science Department of Stanford University, Palo Alto.

  • 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, Mark Reburiano, Sarah Jane Ilumin, Teresa Ferrer, Hanna Giselle Baluyot, Allen Capalla*, Blessy Valera, Corin Lujan
  • Honorary Members: Lloyd LaCuesta, Frances Dinglasan