Our Team


Tony Olaes

Tony Olaes, Co-Founder

Born and raised in San Diego, California, Tony Olaes belongs to second generation Filipino immigrants in the US. A graphics designer and entrepreneur by trade, he is the founder of Olaes Enterprises, Inc. (ODM) that supplies to national retailers like Walmart and Target. Tony started his reconnection with his Motherland, the Philippines, back in 2007 when he joined Gawad Kalinga (GK) and saw the warmth and hospitality of Filipinos despite their hardships. Believing in the value of Bayanihan, Mr. Olaes helped build homes and lives through GK. He continues to uplift Filipino communities from all over the globe through The Filipino School and its programs.

Estela Matriano

Estela Matriano, EdD
Co-Founder & Executive Director

Dr. Estela C. Matriano is the Executive Director of The Filipino School. A respected Filipino educator, Dr. Matriano was recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential Filipino Women in the United States of America” at the 8th Filipina Leadership Summit in San Francisco in 2011. She currently holds the Executive Director post of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction and a professor of Cross Cultural Studies.

Our Team

Bennett Peji  |  Chief Innovation Officer

Sam Banez  | Project Manager

Rosy Salutem   |  Social Media Specialist

Nico Lucero  |  Senior Project Officer

Rico Luancing  | Finance Officer

Carole Caparros  |  School Secretary

Jacquilin Magat-Lapid  | Educator

Analyn Thomson |  Educator

Briar Rose Duco  |  Educator

Founding Team

Myrna Ablana   |   Challenger Middle School

Atilio Alicio   |   San Diego State University, UC San Diego

Salvador Idos   |   Morse High School (Ret.)

Rosalina V. Idos   |    Morse High School (Ret.)

Jacquilin Magat-Lapid   |    Mira Mesa High School, Miramar College

Mary Rose Peralta    |   Sweetwater High School

Felix Tuyay   |    Southwestern College