We believe in the potential of the Philippines. In the strength of its people. And in the untapped power of its diaspora: the more than 10 million Filipino migrants scattered across the face of the Earth.
We work to build bridges back.
Launch The Fellowship
We are a group of mobilizers, storytellers, and builders working to co-create a stronger Philippines. See our full team here.
“Balikbayan” means “returnee.” It’s a word that holds special weight in the Philippines, where 10% of the national population lives overseas. One of its most popular uses is in relation to the balikbayan box: a care package that’s traditionally filled up with goods and shipped back to one’s family in the motherland.
We want to redefine “balikbayan” to mean more than just temporary or symbolic return. In brief or in spirit. We want it to stand for something deeper: a culture of engagement and caring that’s more active, systemic, and anchored to needs and assets in the motherland. Learn more about how you can get involved through our fellowship program!
Gaby Montinola, a third-year Wesleyan student, returned to her native Philippines through the Kaya Co. fellowship two years after graduating from International School Manila. Her time with the Move.org Foundation has further solidified a love for education, and a particular interest in pursuing special education. Goodbyes feel bittersweet for Gaby, but also hold a silver lining within. […]
Gabbie Santos is a sharp, inquisitive world traveler, among many other things. Having begun to rediscover a critical lens of thought, her curiosity was tested in the Philippines while advocating transparency and good governance with Bantay.ph. Gabbie’s letter conveys nostalgia, gratitude, and hope, while reassuring others (and herself) treading difficult and divergent paths. Wabi-sabi, n. ; A way […]
By Anthony Garciano, a former Kaya Co. Fellow and an incoming junior studying History and Social Science Education at the University of Southern California. He grew up in the Camotes Islands until he was eight, before moving to the US. This post originally appeared on our Medium page. I sat beside my lola in her […]