Our Team


Tony Olaes


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, EdD


Dr. Estela C. Matriano was also the founding 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 also held positions as the Executive Director of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction, and a professor of Cross Cultural Studies.

Our Team

Glenda Genio | Executive Director/Finance Officer

Armand Panganiban | Digital Strategist

Sam Bañez | Project Manager

Caleb Galaraga | Communication Specialist

Christina Sheena Oftana | Program Assistant

Howie Esteves | Partnership Consultant

Bennett Peji | Chief Innovation Officer

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