About Us

Tayo Help Desk provides vital, trustworthy, and culturally relevant information to help Filipinos navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the Editorial Desk, and this project here.

About the Tayo Editorial Desk

The Tayo Editorial Desk is responsible for the creation and curation of content around COVID-19 on the Tayo platform. The information and materials on Tayo is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or official legal advice. We will continuously add experts to grow knowledge base and breadth of subject matter expertise. Information found here is for educational purposes only.

Organizational Partners

Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Washington, D.C.

The Embassy is the principal representative of the Philippine Government in the U.S. It advances Philippine national interest largely by engaging US-based constituencies such as: government, business community, media, academia, “think tanks,” NGOs and the Filipino-American community.

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Minority Psychology Network

The Minority Psychology Network strives to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health within minority communities by spreading education about how stigma is formed and maintained culturally and environmentally.

Leadership Team


Leezel Tanglao

Project Director, Spokesperson for Tayo

Leezel Tanglao is a bridge journalist at the intersection of editorial, product, marketing, business development and tech. She is currently the Director of Audience Insights & Innovation at The Points Guy. Her previous stints include HuffPost, Associated Press, CNN, CBSNews.com, VICE News, Nowthis, ABCNews.com, KCBS/KCAL and The Press-Enterprise. She is FYLPRO's VP and the chair of the COVID19 Task Force.

Brian Tajo

Project Manager, Tayo

Brian Tajo is a successful business professional having held prominent roles at various Fortune 500 organizations.

Dr. Melissa Palma, MD, MPH

Health Advisor, Tayo

Dr. Melissa Palma, MD, MPH graduated with degrees in biochemistry and medicine from the University of Iowa. Her medical school capstone project focused on health ed programs for rural migrant farmworkers.


Mark Calaguas

Product Counsel, Tayo

Mark Calaguas is the Product Counsel for Tayo. An attorney based in Chicago, Marks practices at the confluence of law and technology, with a focus on data privacy and electronic discovery. Mark is a founding board member and current at-large trustee of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA) and serves as president of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA Chicago), as well as vice board chair of the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE). Mark also sits on the Illinois State Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.


Jobel Vecino

Special Projects Manager & Technologist, Tayo

Jobel Vecino is the special projects manager and technologist for Tayo. He is currently a software engineer working on podcasts at Amazon Music.


Krystle Canare

Fellowship Director, Tayo

Krystle Canare is a Program Specialist for the Georgetown University Center for Child & Human Development’s SAMHSA funded Center of Excellence on Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (CoE). She oversees FYLPRO's fellows program.

Senior Advisors

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Gerry Palon

Founding President of Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce (COFACC)

Gerry Palon is Founding President of Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce (COFACC). COFACC is umbrella organization of 16 orgs including 12 FilAm Chambers of Commerce in SoCal and Texas.

 

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Melany De La Cruz-Viesca

UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Associate Director

Melany also runs AASC’s Census Information Center and serves as Managing Editor of AAPI Nexus, a nationwide journal focusing on Asian American Pacific Islander policy, practice, and community issues.

 

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Dr. Joyce Javier, MD, MPH, MS

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Dr. Javier is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. 

 

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Dr. Monica Caffey

California Behavioral Health Planning Council, Governor Appointee

Dr. Caffey also serves as Regional Director, Asst. Professor of National University’s Psychology Dept., and Chair of the Behavioral Health Commission for San Bernardino County 4th District.

 

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Dr. D.J. Ida

Executive Director, National Asian Pacific Islander Mental Health Association

Dr. Ida has over 30 years experience working with Asian American/Pacific Islander communities. She is the National Alliance of Multi-ethnic Behavioral Health Associations’ Executive Director.

 

Expert Reviewers


The Hon. Joshua Ang Price

Election Commissioner and SBA Public Information Officer

Joshua Ang Price is an Election Commissioner in Pulaski County, Arkansas, the largest county in the state with 400,000 residents and home to its capital city of Little Rock. He also serves as an Public Information Officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

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Juliet Bui, MSW, MPA

Public Health Analyst at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health

Juliet Bui is a public health analyst in the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Isabella Aquino (she/her/hers)

Community Health Organizer & Manager
NAKASEK VA

Zowee Aquino is a 2nd-gen social worker with a background in public health and experience in mobilizing, healthcare and social policy, and support services coordination for individuals and communities

Marielle Kabin

COO/Owner of Travelwise International
Secretary of Philippine American Chamber of Commerce – D.C.

Ms. Kabin is recognized in the industry as a rising star and was named Top 30under30 travel agents by Travel Agent Magazine. She is the Pres. of the American Society of Travel Advisors, Philippines Chapter.

Dr. Melissa Palma, MD, MPH

Dr. Melissa Palma, MD, MPH graduated with degrees in biochemistry and medicine from the University of Iowa. Her medical school capstone project focused on health ed programs for rural migrant farmworkers.

Joel Vazquez (he/him/his)

Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment Manager
Venture for America

As a new Recruitment Manager focused on diversity and inclusion within Venture for America, Joel aims to recruit 200+ Fellows that are reflective of the communities they serve to ensure an inclusive, welcoming experience.

Fellows Fall 2020

Kristen Del Pilar

3rd year,
University of California, Los Angeles

Kathleen Frejoles

4th year,
University of Maryland, College Park

Sarah Mae Dizon

3rd year,
George Mason University

Justine Suegay (she/her)

Alumna,
George Mason University

Nichole V. Dungo

4th year,
University of California, Irvine

Shiela Mae Wong Valerio

3rd year,
University of California, Santa Barbara

About Tayo and the Caretaker Project

The Caretaker Project was developed by FYLPRO’s COVID-19 Task Force in response to the ongoing pandemic and to tackle the specific needs of Filipinos in the diaspora and back home. The project features a virtual help desk, Tayo, which connects Filipinos with vital information and services. Tayo's pilot launch location is Los Angeles, California.

About the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO)

The Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of high-performing, next-generation leaders that have a passion for advancing the Philippines and the Filipino people.