Mikey Amistoso (Musicians Circle Mentor & Super Stage “Tito”)
Mikey is a musical composer/arranger. He is the main songwriter, producer, and frontman of the indie-rock band Ciudad, and the folk project Hannah + Gabi. He has also produced albums of indie bands and artists like Us-2 Evil-0, Monsterbot, The Strangeness, and Lili. Mikey is a renowned film scorer, having worked on musical scores of award-winning and critically-acclaimed films like Ang Nawawala, Harana, Saving Sally, Patintero, and Rakenrol. He has also made his mark in the advertising industry, having made jingles and commercial music for several brands.
Gabe Gabriel (Abot Tala Radio Station Manager)
Gabe Gabriel is a former radio jock, certified Berlitz English language assessor, and voice actor. He began his radio career as an announcer at 96.7 KLite in Baguio City. After moving to Manila, he went on to Jam 88.3 with daily segments such as “Hard Drive” and “It’s Better Late with Gabriel”, and a Sunday show on Christian contemporary music called “Lifted”. He is also a dedicated husband and hands-on dad to 3 boys. In between recording TV, radio, and digital ads and juggling fatherhood, Gabe maintains a home-based fitness routine of HIIT, bodyweight training, and capoeira.
Alex Francia (Clueless Coders Mentor)
Alex is a computer nerd whose coding journey started before he could even walk. He graduated with a degree in Computer Science specialized in Interactive Multimedia from Ateneo de Manila University. What got him into computer science was the idea that anything you could ever imagine—no matter how absurd—can be expressed in code. Alex has a deep passion for videogames, both as a gamer and a designer. He is also a musician, and dreams to someday design soundtracks as memorable as that of the Mario brothers.
Miguel Urgino (Mugs of Character Club Mentor)
Migs is a certified dork who’s loved the art of animation and character design ever since he could remember. Being homeschooled for a majority of his life, he’s been mostly self-taught when it comes to art and has received training through working in production during a six-month internship at the TBWA-SMP ad agency and learned both digital and good ol’ pencil-and-paper animation through Toon City Academy’s course on character animation.
Since he was little, Migs has been making his own characters for shows and movies he’s loved, as well as stories he’d make for himself. He especially fell in love with the medium of animation and illustration and how it allowed even the most fantastical stories and characters to come to life. Migs has a fiery devotion to storytelling in all its forms, whether that be through video games, film, or literature, and dreams to someday create stories as impactful and iconic as the ones he grew up on, such as Star Wars and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
Guest Block Mentors
Our block mentors are industry practitioners with extensive experience in the fields of their specialty. Throughout the block they will conduct regular classes, give personalized feedback when requested, and be there to answer specific industry-related questions for Launchpad members.
Micah Fernandez (Class: Mise en Scene)
Micah began his professional career in advertising and broadcast TV, working as cinematographer and master editor on major TV networks. He co-founded Luminaut in 2012, a video storytelling studio for commercials, corporate communications, and international NGOs like ADB and UNDP. He is also a core member of SIKAP, a non-government organization that advocates and supports Filipino creators in developing original intellectual property in media, creating and developing titles ranging from comic books, to animation and live-action concepts. His latest effort is putting up the first real-time filmmaking studio in the Philippines, integrating game engines with the video production process, and developing a training and development program for Unreal Engine users.
Louie Lao (Class: Wise Wallet)
Louie is the founder, owner and general manager of Salaro Staycations and a senior high school teacher. He’s also been a math and science mentor for teens and has taught accounting, business, and management subjects to teens. Louie is also fluent in Filipino, English, and Bisaya. He’s the guest mentor for the Wise Wallet class, aimed at showing teens practical ways to manage their resources.
Trish Cabral (Class: Voice Acting and Storytelling)
When it comes to the world of broadcasting and entertaining, Trish is not a stranger. Having been in the broadcasting field for twenty years, Trish has had her share of experience. Starting in 1996, Trish started as a newscaster, and slowly made her way to handling steady show and time slot. During that time, her skills at handling a microphone, both on-air and at various events, were sharpened and enhanced. Being able to handle any shape, size or form of audience, Trish has proven to be an “all-around host and emcee”, capable of handling any kind of event.
Aside from being in radio, Trish has also dipped her fingers into voice-over work in various radio and TV commercials along with AVPs for internal corporate use. She has also added voice acting to her list of qualifications. She currently works with several post-production houses to provide the character voices for actors for various soap operas in Tagalog, Spanish, Korean and Portuguese that are dubbed into English for export.
Nat Sundiang (Class: Learning Historians)
Nat is a History graduate and advocates the importance of keeping historical narratives alive and truthful. Being a tinkerer, he has always had an enthusiasm for various antiques and historical artifacts. Nat feels that preserving and studying these items can contribute to making Filipinos understand and appreciate history more deeply. He is currently taking up graduate studies in Archaeology at UP Diliman, where in the future, he hopes to find a place in the field. When Nat is not mulling over things related to history, he enjoys tinkering with other things such as looping guitar and bass, performing improv, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.
Previous Guest Block Mentors
Cristina Guanzon (Class: Filipino Sign Language via Abot Tala Plus)
Cristina graduated with a degree in Industrial Design from the University of Santo Tomas, and it was here that E.A.R.S. (Early Action Response System), an assistive safety device for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, was born. She designed and developed it having been born profoundly Deaf herself. Upon graduating from college, she worked for the Design Center of the Philippines under the Philippine government’s Department of Trade and Industry.
Pauline Guanzon (Class: Filipino Sign Language via Abot Tala Plus)
Pauline graduated with a degree in Communication Arts from the De La Salle University-Manila. Together with her sister Cristina, she co-founded Innovable, Inc., a startup dedicated to providing innovative, adaptive solutions for persons with disabilities. They also currently teach Filipino Sign Language, serve as FSL interpreters in the workplace, provide employment and other support to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She is also very passionate about literature and writing.
Cindy Wong (Entrepreneurship Club Mentor)
Cindy pursued her education at the University of Hong Kong while working full-time in her corporate job. Having worked a decade in the travel industry, specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa, her work allowed her to travel to over 50 countries, including Antarctica.
Cindy is now a full-time creative entrepreneur. She founded several businesses, including 8Letters Bookstore and Publishing, aiming to boost the evolving Philippine indie author industry. Aside from offering indie publishing services to professionals and aspiring authors, 8Letters nurtures a thriving writing community by conducting a monthly LitFest with author launches and writing workshops.
Ailene Ponce Molina (Class: The Job Hunt 101: The Battle To Find A Job In Today’s World)
Ailene‘s past lives include: travel junkie, jazz singer, entrepreneur, writer of devotionals and magazine articles, beauty advocate, marketing manager, kook, youth volunteer. She graduated with a degree in Organizational Communication from the University of the Philippines back in the days before smartphones were invented, and has since added to that with certificates in Retail Marketing Excellence, Nonprofit Management, Project Management, and a Six Sigma Green Belt.
None of her past lives are as taxing or as confusing as being a military spouse to her Corpsman husband, though. In this current role, she is also the family’s nutritionist, cook, coach, financial manager, cleaner, librarian, logistics specialist, and manager. She is devoted to introducing the American East Coast to Philippine coffee through Kapé (a social venture based in Vancouver) while learning how to homeschool her daughter Aria.
Ailene is currently based in Connecticut.
Eldrick Yuji Los Baños (Class: “Un Beau Tas, Là!”)
Eldrick is a cultural worker based in the United Arab Emirates. He graduated magna cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University with a BFA in Art Management. He has worked in arts administration and research for Ayala Museum, Ateneo Art Gallery, UP Vargas Museum and the Philippine Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. He has also been involved as an actor and assistant director for Tanghalang Ateneo, Ateneo Blue Repertory and Dubai Drama Group. Eldrick studied French for more than a decade under the GCSE, International Baccalaurate and Alliance Française programs at the CEFR B2 Level. Having lived in Dubai, Montreal, and Quezon City, he also speaks English, Tagalog, Arabic and a smattering of others. Besides learning languages, he enjoys Shakespeare, hip-hop and cat accounts on Instagram
Robert Gueco Tan (Class: How to Get Away with a Short Film)
Robert Gueco Tan is a twenty-three-year-old storyteller who freelances in both film and theater. Since 2019, he has been working as an associate producer for the independent film company Daluyong Studios, where he is involved in a number of local and international projects. As a writer-director, he most recently helmed Ateneo Blue Repertory’s Party Worth Crashing (2021), an online musical shot remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also made his first short film: Roommates in early 2021. Other credits include being the co-director of Triple Threat Workshops: I Am (2019) and the director-producer of Joe Cool: Aplikante (2019). Besides movies and plays, he is also an avid fan of video games and comic books.
Ica Trinidad (Class: Love in the Time of Climate Change: Marine Ethics and the Human-Ocean Relationship)
Ica Trinidad developed an early interest in environmentalism and philosophy. She graduated from Ateneo de Manila University under the AB Philosophy program. While in the university, she discovered skin diving and this fostered her love for nature and the ocean. She is currently a 3rd year law student from Ateneo Law School and while she has had much less time to be in nature, her love for it remains. In the free time that she has, she takes every opportunity to be out in the sun. She enjoys long walks and bike rides as they give her the space to contemplate and daydream about things like the human-ocean relationship.
Ica is currently based in Cagayan de Oro.
Kevin Evangelista (Debate Club Mentor)
Kevin is a Literature graduate with a minor in Japanese Studies. Like his choices, his loves include reading everything from books to video games, and learning about new cultures and perspectives. Don’t let the high-minded pursuits fool you though. He’s as comfortable talking about anime, fail videos, and Persona 5 as about patristic theology, Homer, and mono no aware’s connection to Buddhist philosophy. Where else then would he pour this random library of facts and interests than into finding ways to argue about it via debate? When Kevin isn’t reading, you can find him watching video essays or maybe eating. Or eating.
As the founder of wellness tech company In Silence, Jean marries ancient philosophies and big technology into a learning platform that helps people build a holistic wellness practice to live the life they love. She’s a speaker, mentor, and consultant for ivy league universities, global organizations, university students, and business leaders on AI, Data Science, Holistic Wellness, and Leadership. She is the creator of holistic wellness store, The JaiMala Shop. She is also an independent organizer of rescue missions and volunteer work for homeless animals and humans. As Head of AI Operations for Google award-winning fintech startup Starbutter AI, Jean is also a pioneering Filipina in the AI space. She weaves all of these worlds to give voice to the underrepresented by incorporating spirituality, veganism, and animal welfare in all her talks.
Marthy has been writing and designing from home for the better part of the last decade and he’s made an adventure out of it, spanning across the globe. From stage-directing a show in Malta to show-running an anime with the Qatari Culture Ministry, from winning an international award for hawking cup noodles to co-founding Gunship Revolution — one of Southeast Asia’s most prolific digital arts providers — Marthy loves helping people establish their identities both as brands and as individuals. Marthy has been engaged in helping build up the local Freelancing Culture alongside his company and believes that innovative models of learning, like Abot Tala, will be key in preparing young creatives for their own adventures ahead.
Kathleen Modina-Angue, MD, FPCEM
Dr. Kay is a board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician as well as an American Heart Association Instructor, teaching both Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Fluent in Japanese, she also serves the local Japanese community as the Medical Coordinator of a prominent Japanese Clinic. Aside from the rush she feels from defibrillating patients in the ER, she has a passion for manga, gemstones, quantum physics, and youtube cookery. She believes that a little more Science Literacy can go a long way in enriching everyone’s lives — especially when dealing with the messy details of growing up and keeping healthy.
Tiago is an editor, producer, and multimedia journalist by training. He is an M.S. graduate of the Columbia Journalism School, specializing in emerging tech, business, and feature reporting. At Columbia, he focused on social issues and human rights reporting, with coursework in breaking news coverage, digital verification, and visual storytelling. Over the last three years, Santiago has worked at BusinessWorld, helping shape the publication’s business and editorial strategy as it transitioned into the digital age. He currently serves as an innovation and business narrative consultant for small businesses and global entrepreneur networks.
Nathania (Tanya) is an artist, entrepreneur, and social justice advocate. She has over thirteen years of experience in innovation and entrepreneurship; serving vulnerable groups such as children at risk, families living with chronic or terminal illnesses, survivors of trafficking and trauma, and migrant workers. She is the founder of TAYO International, a venture that builds simple and rewarding tools that help migrant domestic workers build confidence and competence in their personal finance management.
Tanya is also a leadership, wellbeing, and creativity coach. As a coach and facilitator, she creates space for participants to learn and discover. As a painter, she works primarily with oil paint, pen, charcoal, and digital ink — on canvas, wood, and paper. Her work is full of movement, texture and story. She sews her poetry into her visual work.
Tanya has studied in Costa Rica, the United States, and the UK. She has an MBA from the University of Oxford and currently lives in London.
Mar graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a major in BS Psychology, and a minor in Theatrical Performance. Throughout her stay at the institution, she was a valuable member of different organizations (Ateneo Blue Repertory, Department of Student Welfare and Services, Loyola Film Circle, and Ateneo Orientation Seminar) and a consistent academic scholar of the university. She also represented the Ateneo Psychology Department as a finalist at the 2019 and 2020 Psychological Association of the Philippines-Junior Affiliates (PAPJA) National Quiz Bee. Currently, she is a Jr. Talent Acquisition Manager at Emma – The Sleep Company, a tech startup that specializes in sleep. She has always been a big fan of horror and true crime, hence, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in Forensics once the pandemic subsides. Mar also dreams of establishing a sanctuary for stray animals in the Philippines. If it helps, she is a Taurus sun, a Gemini rising, and a Leo moon.
Camyl is the design principal of Gal at Home Design Studio. She has been in the home and interiors industry since 2015, after almost a decade in communications and publishing. She took up a few terms at the Philippine School of Interior Design, and finished with a certificate in Interior Design from the New York Institute of Art and Design. She is currently working on getting her Residential Interior Design Qualifying Certification (RIDQC) with the Design Society of America. You may find some of Camyl’s work on her Instragram: @galathome
James is a creative entrepreneur who is passionate about good design, art, music, agribusiness and future tech innovations. He’s a guy who went against the flow, with 8 years of experience in design and fabricating installations for small and large corporate events and helping design products for local SMEs.
He is the inventor of the adaptive crutches, a project under DOST-TAPI and DOSTMIRDC, an innovation that he hopes someday will help differently-abled persons using crutches reach their potential by giving them an assistive device which has smart features that can adapt to their physical mobility needs.
He is also involved in teaching the youth during weekly sessions on life skills and leadership training in their community. He believes that true change for a better society starts with the little things.
Maqui is a multifaceted visual creative with skills in photography, videography and graphic design. He finished a degree in AB Communication at the Ateneo de Manila University with a focus on TV & Film Production, Public Relations and Advertising. While initially entering the media industry as a talent, he has since co-founded and co-owns a local production house called Limitless Production pursuing a career behind the lens. As a creative, he is guided by his respect for the craft and for his desire to tell meaningful stories.
A visual artist by profession, Monica hopes to spark curiosity and passion in people through drawing, painting and everything else in between. She draws her inspiration mostly from organic forms like plants and animals to convey her feelings and world-view. She has showcased her work globally, having participated in the Folkestone Triennial in the UK and held group shows in Japan. Locally, she held her first solo show in Galerie Astra, Makati and joined the Tagaytay Art Beat at Museo Orlina, Tagaytay. She has an MFA from Global Art Practice Department of Tokyo University of the Arts, Graduate School of Fine Arts and an undergraduate degree in Animation from De La Salle College of Saint Benilde.
Ginger de Guia
Ginger de Guia is a freelance visual artist and teacher. She enjoys combining her skills in teaching and in art when conducting classes or workshops. In 2016, she released a publication, Color with Purpose with OMF Lit. and has done collaborations with brands like Certified Positive and GetFiled! Her mural works can be spotted in art spaces, homes, and establishments such as Ayala Malls the 30th, Novotel Hotel, and SM North.
Hanna Guison Fernandez
Hanna is currently the Chief of Staff and Corporate Strategy and Planning lead at one of the biggest FinTech firms in the country. Prior to this, she was a Regional Senior Manager at Uber for almost 3 years and was former Senior Strategic Specialist at International Justice Mission where she worked for 7 years. Her experience and expertise is on managing cross-functional projects that change the way the world moves, works and thrives. She is an advocate for children’s rights and has a passion for learning and problem-solving which is why working in tech excites her.
Equally important, she is a homeschooling mom of two strong boys and a supportive partner to her husband, Micah. They love to travel as a family and experience new cultures together.
Isa likes to divide her time between teaching and writing. By day she works as a full-time instructor in a small arts school in BGC. Otherwise, you’ll find her writing articles for print or planning her next book/passion project. She is the author of Found and Like Lines on a Map. She loves dogs, learning new things, and going to the beach.
Constanza Daniela González
Daniela is a Chilean registered psychologist with experience mentoring and counseling youth from diverse ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds. She is passionate about mental health, learning, and volunteering as a form of service and a means to community building. She enjoys supporting young people to thrive and is always up for a meaningful, potentially life-changing conversation over a cup of tea.
Niño is a painter, art teacher, and a professional musician dividing his time as a guitarist, percussionist, and flutist, who also happens to be a bamboo flute maker. He has performed with famous local artists in the Philippines such as Grace Nono, Pinikpikan, Joey Ayala, Julianne, Kitchie Nadal, and Cynthia Alexander. He is currently part of the band, Loquy and Art Director for Crane Lake Camp, a summer camp in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Niño Hernandez’s pieces are abstractions and, in some cases, exact representations of the surfaces of everyday objects such as leaks on walls, cracks on concrete, or corrosion on metal. To see his work, visit Niño Hernandez Art on Facebook.
Jennifer is a Computer Science Major who minored in Japanese studies at the Ateneo de Manila University. Her passion for the Japanese language and culture began when she was first introduced to anime at a young age. She was enamored by the medium and the way it presented mature themes and tackled issues that people face in their everyday lives. She was a member of the Ateneo Student Exchange Council and was frequently assigned to welcome and interact with Japanese exchange students. Through learning Japanese, she realized how fulfilling it is to be able to properly communicate with foreigners in their native language and how this leads to a fruitful exchange of cultures and ideas.
Leo is a Certified Design Thinking Strategist for On-Off Group based in Manila, Philippines. Together with his team, he helps businesses create innovative solutions for pain-points specific to their operations. He facilitates Design Thinking workshops that encourage business leaders to employ empathy to address their customer’s and stakeholder’s needs. Leo has delivered workshops to various private and public institutions including top Filipino universities, national government units, and multi-national conglomerates across a variety of industries.
Nikole Delene Lim
Nikole is a Psychology graduate from De La Salle University and is currently working as a theatre teacher and performer, as well as a social media manager. Her passion for the arts had led her to take various workshops in Manila and programs from Mountview Academy in London, and American Musical Theatre Academy in New York. When she is not doing work, you will find her songwriting or reading a book. Nikole believes that it is by integrating an understanding of people and their passion that they are able to be truly happy and successful.
Donna Patricia Manno
Donna is a trusted communications professional and lifestyle journalist with over a decade of international and local industry experience. As a PR professional, she has led initiatives for global brands in the academic, hospitality, and tech industries. She has also written speeches for C-level executives and ambassadors.
Donna is a proud alumna of the Ateneo de Manila Institute of Literary Arts and Practices National Writers’ Workshop and the Siliman University National Writers’ Workshop, two of the most prestigious writing fora in the country. Some of her creative writing and communications work have won awards and grants. She earned her master’s degree in Marketing Communications from De La Salle University, Manila.
Mil graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Management from Ateneo de Manila University and is currently taking up his MBA at the Asian Theological Seminary. He works as Marketing Officer for OMF Literature, the leading publisher and distributor of Christian books and Bibles in the Philippines. He is a stock and crypto market investor since 2017, and he is also engaged in play-to-earn MMORPG and crypto games.
Chep is the marketing manager of Los Angeles Fitness Inc., the company that holds both Gold’s Gym Philippines and UFC Gym Philippines. He oversees brand representation, be it on their social platforms or otherwise. His knowledge of graphic design comes from his bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts: Information Design from Ateneo. From digital arts, photography, to videography, he looks forward to sharing what he knows to help cultivate creativity.
In his first look at competitive chess, Gavin Ong led the Xavier School chess team to several championships in PAYA, PRADA, and ISSA as the team captain for his latter three years in high school. In addition to his successes in Xavier, he also represented the District of San Juan in the NCR Palarong Panrehiyon Secondary Boys Division from 2013 to 2016. He carried his successes to college where he played in the UAAP for the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles from Seasons 79 to 82, nabbing the Rookie of the Year award in his first year. He continued to lead the team as captain for the remainder of his career in the UAAP before graduating from the university in 2020 with a degree in Business Management. During the quarantine period, he participated in online FIDE-rated competitions and acquired the Arena International Master (AIM) title, which he eventually replaced by achieving the highest official online title offered by FIDE, Arena Grandmaster (AGM).
Alia studied Visual Arts at the Philippine High School for the Arts and finished college at the University of the Philippines Diliman with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts major in Visual Communication. She is currently a Junior Digital Artist at Optima Digital, Inc., a post-production company. Their projects include color grading, video editing and computer graphics for various TV commercials, films, and events. She was able to pursue the creative field because of her mom who is very supportive of her interests. Likewise, she hopes to inspire and encourage young learners interested in the arts to find their passion and create.