Rhonda Ramiro, Chairperson
Rhonda has been an activist in the ND movement since the 1990s. She was a founding member of Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines-San Francisco in 1999, for which she was the chair until 2003. After taking a short break to have her first child in 2003, she went on to serve as the Secretary of the National Organizing Committee of BAYAN-USA in 2004-5 and then to be a founding member of AnakBayan East Bay in 2007. In 2008, Rhonda was elected to be the BAYAN-USA Regional Coordinator for Northern California, helped re-start efforts to build the International League of Peoples’ Struggle in Northern California, and helped coordinate the Northern California delegation to the ILPS Third International Assembly. Rhonda served as Secretary General of BAYAN-USA from 2009-2012, Vice Chair 2012-2018, and now the Chairperson elected in BAYAN USA’s 6th Congress in 2018.
Rhonda’s favorite activities are writing sound bites and hit pieces that expose the evils of US imperialism, making presentations on the shared history and struggles of third world people, doing media interviews about the Philippines and the ND movement, listening to her partner play the guitar, and cooking up new recipes and science projects with her kids.
Berndette Herrera, Vice Chair
Bernadette Herrera was a student leader activist in the Philippines during her college years. To provide a better future for her family, she immigrated to the United States in 2000. She was undocumented for 4 years while working as a domestic worker in San Francisco. She was an active volunteer and then became a staff member at the Filipino Community Center (FCC) in 2007 where she currently organizes locally for immigrant and workers rights. From 2011 to 2014, she served as the Vice President of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON). She also served in the Council of Leaders of Migrante Northern California, an alliance of Filipino immigrants and migrants workers groups in the Bay Area. In September 2018, Bernadette was elected Chairperson of Migrante USA, an alliance of 16 Filipino worker organizations throughout the U.S. and Vice Chair of BAYAN USA.
Nikole Cababa, Secretary General
Nikole Cababa was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of BAYAN USA at the 5th National Congress in 2015 as the Deputy Secretary General. Nikole now serves as the BAYAN USA Secretary General as of the BAYAN USA 6th Congress in 2018.
In 2008, Nikole served as the Belmont Site Coordinator of Samahang Pilipino Advancing Community Empowerment (SPACE) leading the advocacy and youth empowerment programming in LA for high school students in Historic Filipinotown. In 2009, she joined local campaign efforts in her hometown of Long Beach, CA and led coalition building efforts to pass the city’s first Living Wage measure to raise wages and paid sick days for over 2,000 hotel workers, many of which are Filipino and Latino workers. Since 2010, Nikole has been involved with BAYAN USA because of her exposure trips to the Philippines providing typhoon relief to urban poor communities in Luzon. She joined Anakbayan Los Angeles in 2010 after volunteering for a typhoon relief project with BAYAN & BALSA post Typhoon Sendong. She realized long-term relief and genuine change could only be achieved through organizing and building power amongst the most marginalized communities. In 2013-2014, she served on the Executive Committee of Anakbayan LA as the organization’s first Solidarity Officer. She enjoys developing cultural work for the people, watching live music shows, cooking with friends, hosting potlucks, and jamming on the drums.
Nina Macapinlac, Deputy Secretary General
Nina is based in New Jersey and started her journey in the ND movement as an immigrant youth activist fighting for the right of undocumented students to higher education. Having migrated to the United States from the Philippines at a young age, Nina only fully understood and contextualized her family’s migration story after being exposed to the anti-imperialist analysis of forced migration. When a statewide youth and student coalition successfully pushed the passage of the NJ Tuition Equity Act in 2013, Nina was convinced of the righteousness and effectiveness of collective action and international solidarity. She joined Anakbayan NJ in 2013 and served as Vice Chairperson until the end of 2014. Starting in 2015, Nina served as the Northeast regional coordinator for BAYAN USA until March 2018. In that time, she went back home to the Philippines for two separate exposure trips and solidarity programs which impressed upon her the full extent and significance of the National Democratic movement, as well as the urgency of advancing the movement overseas and contributing to the global struggle against imperialism. Nina is also a Northeast regional co-coordinator and steering committee member for the US chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle. Nina enjoys writing poetry, seeing live music, and spending time with her loved ones.
Jill Mangaliman, Finance Officer
Jill is a queer Filam from Seattle WA. Their parents left the Philippines in the 1970s to get away from the repression and economic depression caused by the US-backed Marcos dictatorship. Jill joined GABRIELA Seattle in 2011, serving as their Solidarity Officer from 2015-2017. They have attended on 3 exposure trips/international solidarity missions and contributed to various campaign and direct action efforts. Jill works for Got Green, an environmental justice organization, as their executive director, and hosts karaoke at the Bush Garden Restaurant in Seattle’s International District/Chinatown. Their hobbies include baking, cooking, and reading.
Jessica Antonio, Propaganda Officer
Jessica was first elected as the National Secretary General of BAYAN USA at the 4th National Congress held in Chicago, 2012 and re-elected in 2015. She was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the chapter, coordination and implementation of national campaigns with the national council, regional coordinators and member organizations, writing press statements and propagating to the media, as well as communicating with BAYAN Philippines. She is now the newly appointed Propaganda Officer of BAYAN USA, a new EC position as of the BAYAN USA 6th Congress in 2018.
She was first introduced to the National Democratic movement in Seattle, 2004 during a youth conference hosted by Anakbayan Seattle, among others. She joined the League of Filipino Students(LFS) at San Francisco State University once she moved to the Bay Area in 2007 to pursue her Masters Degree in Ethnic Studies. Jessica became chairperson of LFS from 2009-2010 where she initiated the formation of an on campus alliance of organizations known as the People of Color Alliance (PoCA) formed with Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán(MeCHA), General Union of Palestinian Students(GUPS), and Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE). She was then elected to be the Regional Coordinator of BAYAN USA Northern California in November 2010-December 2012. During this time, she was able to coordinate the Northern California delegation to the Fourth International Assembly of the International league of People’s Struggles in 2011 and the local report back with ally organizations.
Jessica loves to travel to the Philippines to engage in the strong National Democratic movement with BAYAN Philippines and feel how alive and full it is anywhere you go! She also enjoys playing music with her kasamas in the D-beat punk band Digma, nerding out to almost anything nerdy, and hiking and exploring nature.
Bernadette Ellorin, Spokesperson
Bernadette has been a grassroots community organizer, human rights activist and campaign strategist-writer for over 15 years. She credits the explosive peak in the international mass movement against imperialist globalization in 1999– particularly the presence of BAYAN leaders from the Philippines at the Battle of Seattle against the WTO and the protests in Washington DC against the IMF-WB meeting—as her baptism by fire into the global anti-imperialist struggle. She was integral to the development of several grassroots Filipino community organizations and alliances in NYC and in the US. She also spent time in the Philippines as a full-time campaign staff writer for Migrante International, the largest alliance of overseas Filipino organizations with an anti-imperialist orientation, where she worked on the successful national campaign to save Angelo de la Cruz, the overseas Filipino truck driver in Iraq who was kidnapped and held hostage in Fallujah, that eventually led to his release and withdrawal of Philippine troops from Iraq in 2004. Bernadette was a founding member of BAYAN USA in 2005, serving as the Northeast regional coordinator. She served as Secretary-General in 2007-2009, and then as Chairperson in 2009-2018. Bernadette is currently a spokesperson for BAYAN USA.