Bertie Santos Ocampo
Bertie Santos-Ocampo was born in Manila and grew up in San Juan City. He attended elementary and high school at La Salle Green Hills in Mandaluyong. He obtained his BS in Biology at UP Diliman and Doctor of Medicine at UP Manila. Dr. Ocampo completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and rheumatology fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. He briefly returned to the Philippines and was an associate medical director for Pfizer Philippines and part time visiting consultant at Cardinal Santos Medical Center and Makati Medical Center. Dr. Ocampo moved to Hawaii in 2003 to join Straub Medical Center. Currently, he is the Straub Department Chief of Rheumatology since 2014. Dr. Bertie, as he is fondly known to his UPAAH colleagues, served as secretary of the Philippine Medical Association of Hawaii for six years.
Cornelio “CJ” Ancheta is pursuing his second career as a licensed and certified mathematics teacher with the Hawaii State Department of Education at Lahainaluna High School after retiring from the corporate world. He earned his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Agricultural Engineering in 1979 and 1988, respectively, from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños where he worked as a Test Engineer until he immigrated to Hawaii in 1980. While on Maui, his passion for journalism and photography led him to publish the then Fil-Am OBSERVER, which was a newspaper aimed at providing news articles covering Maui while inculcating the importance of preserving the Filipino culture and promoting unity and camaraderie among Filipinos. The newspaper stopped its circulation in 2012. Because of his accomplishments and active engagement with the community, he was recognized by the United Filipino Council of Hawaii in 1995 and by the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and 2009, respectively. CJ’s advocacy towards the STEM fields led him to volunteer his services as the current Co-Director of the Maui Regional Science Olympiad.
Maria Asumpta “Maita” Milallos Merry
Maita was a research analyst on national security for 10 years in the Philippine government. She holds an undergraduate degree in social sciences from UP Manila. She also has graduate degrees in International Studies from U.P. Diliman and Strategic Studies from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
She is currently a full-time mother to a five-year old boy.
Mylene is a mother of three beautiful daughters, an entrepreneur, and a civic leader. She was born and raised in Manila and graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1988. Recruited by an international airline straight after college, she lived in Singapore, Sydney, and Bahrain prior to marrying her Naval aviator husband Rob. They call Rota, Spain, Jacksonville and Pensacola, FL, San Antonio, TX and Oak Harbor, WA their former homes. In 2006, Mylene and Rob started a Home Medical Equipment business out of their garage. It has now evolved as one of the premier HME’s in the State of Hawaii with locations on Maui, Hilo and Kauai. Mylene’s civic engagements include serving as Past President of the Rotary Club of Hickam Pearl Harbor, Past President of the Filipino Association of University Women (FAUW), currently a member of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii BOD, and President-Elect of UPAAH. She is also an active member of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and the Healthcare Association of Hawaii. Her passion to uplift and empower Filipino-American leaders led her to chair the first-ever FCCH Fellows Program. Mylene is a foodie and is always on the lookout for the next culinary gems. She is also a weekend warrior who loves to hike and spend time at the beach with her youngest daughter Izzy and husband Rob.
Gloria Manarpaac Aves
Born in Batac, Ilocos Norte, Glo now considers Iligan City in Mindanao as her home in the Philippines after 17 years of residence as a faculty member at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City from 1985 to 2002 before moving to Hawaii. She finished BS Forest Products Engineering (1985) and MS in Forestry (1993) in UPLB. She completed her PhD in Wood Science at the Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2001. After working with the United Airlines, at a case management agency, and at a dialysis center, she set her academic training aside in 2007 to become a foster home care provider. Being a care provider -- perhaps the only PhD holder caregiver in HI -- she finds time to take care of her garden and six furry babies in addition to her clients at the comfort of her home. Aside from gardening and the company of her dogs, Glo also loves traveling. Last year, she visited 32 European cities in 18 countries in 35 days.
After getting her BS in Physical Therapy at UP Diliman in 1979, Norma Domingo attended UP-PGH School of Allied Medical Professions, now College of Medical Professions. She migrated to Hawaii in 1989 with her husband and two children after working overseas with Cambodian refugees in Thailand and Afghan refugees in Pakistan. She is presently working as a Home Health PT for over 15 years. She volunteers with the Fishermen Ministry to help Filipino and non-Filipino fishermen with their medical or non medical needs. She considers volunteering in this group to be very fulfilling.
Belle Paras-England hails from Las Piñas City in Metro Manila. She completed her BS Forestry at UPLB in 2005 and her master’s degree in the same discipline from the same campus in 2010. She was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance, College of Forestry and Natural Resources from 2005-2015. Currently, she is a Project Coordinator (CAPM) for MDX Hawaii.
Sheena Bonita is a Lead Marketing Analyst for HMSA, specializing in competitive intelligence. She graduated from University of the Philippines-Diliman with a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics. She previously worked for P&G as a profit forecast analyst prior to moving to Hawaii in 2012. She later graduated from The University of Hawaii-Manoa with an MBA. In her free time, she likes to watch films and go body boarding on the weekends.
Dennis graduated from the University of the Philippines - Diliman with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. He was ranked number seven in the Chemical Engineering Board Exams. He worked in the detergent industry in the Philippines. He was commissioned to start up a sulfuric acid plant in Malaysia. He is currently working in Par Hawaii Refinery as Operations Supervisor. He is married to Judy and they have two daughters. Dennis enjoys photography, hiking, snorkeling and biking.
Artemio “Tim” Llena
Tim Llena was born and raised in Dagupan City, Pangasinan. He attended Philippine Science High School in Diliman, Quezon City. He was admitted to the BS Mathematics program in UP Diliman in 1982. He transferred to the BS Computer Science program in UP at Los Banos and graduated in 1987. He immigrated to Hawaii after graduation and started a career in Information Technology. He started as a programmer in a small software company. He was responsible for designing and implementing the enterprise computer network in the second largest general contractor in Hawaii. As the IT manager, he also implemented the enterprise e-mail system as the corporate world was starting to adopt the Internet. Tim is passionate about photography. While doing professional photography he did a project called, FACES, during the Filipino Centennial Celebration in Hawaii. He took portraits of Filipinos from different walks of life in Hawaii. The body of work was displayed at the Canon Gallery and the Centennial Celebration Gala. He organized two photo exhibits for UPAAH. In 2019 he organized the UPAAH photography workshop and curated students’ works that were displayed in the Hawaii State Public Library during the Filipino American History month. He is married to Dr. Benilda Luz-Llena, a UP alumna. Tim is currently the office manager for Benilda’s private practice. Their son is Julian Llena.
Kit Zulueta Furukawa
After more than 15 years of doing organization and creative work for the public and private sectors, Kit now operates Kit Zulueta Productions LLC full-time, and provides business solutions to start-ups and nonprofits. Prior to her current role, she was the Marketing Director for the University of Hawaii Maui College, Communication Director for the Maui County Council and Deputy Chief of Staff to Maui County Mayor’s Office. She also worked in Hawaii Public Television (PBS Hawaii) and served as an executive assistant to a Philippine senator. Kit is a Ka Ipu Kukui 2015 fellow and was a former president of the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce, where she continues to serve on the board. She also serves on the board of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii and the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui. She was a FYLPRO delegate in 2012, and served as the nonprofit's president in 2016. She occasionally writes for the FilAm Courier and owns and operates Mystery Maui Escape Room.