Our People

Governing Board


Photo of Anna GuevarraAnna Guevarra, PhD
Anna Guevarra is Director and Associate Professor in the Global Asian Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is author of the book Marketing Dreams, Manufacturing Heroes: The Transnational Labor Brokering of Filipino Workers as well as of numerous scholarly publications on labor, migration, and gender studies. Her current projects explore the impact of robotics on carework labor, the Indian Ocean connection between the Philippines and India through colonial foodways, and a community history mapping of Chicago’s Global Asian communities.

Photo of Gemma EsmallaGemma Esmalla
Gemma is a resident of Aurora, Illinois and is married to Venu Kosanam, a software architect for AT&T. Gemma and Venu are blessed with one daughter, a third-grader named Shyla. A leader in her own right, Gemma was an active youth member in her community, has a well- rounded personality and has a great passion for the arts. She has directed stage shows in her college years and has directed and choreographed music videos as her way of motivating people into action at her workplace. She graduated college as a recipient of the Jose Maria Gepuela Scholarship Foundation. Being a scholar inspired her to keep on giving and make a difference. To this day she continues to serve her hometown with philanthropic work through various scholarship programs. She is currently the immediate past president and adviser of the Chicago Nightingales. Gemma is connected with Presence Saint Mary and Saint Elizabeth Medical Center as the hospital’s Medical Stabilization Manager, House Manger and Performance Improvement Coordinator.

Photo of Divine CaloDivine Calo
Divine is long time volunteer since the early formation years of Pintig Cultural Group. She has performed both off stage and on stage production work for the last 23 years. She works for MB Financial Corporation as a Customer Relations Officer.


Photo of Rey BelenRey Belen
Rey is a founding member of Pintig. He was a student activist during the period of the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines in 1980s. He migrated to the US in 1984 and became actively involved in community organizing as part of the Alliance for Philippines Concerns and the League of Filipino Students (LFS)-Chicago chapter. In 2016, he started a discussion group called “Balitaang Pilipinas” to talk about Philippine issues such as extra-judicial killings, human rights violations against farmers, indigenous communities, etc. Rey is happy to return to the CP board in 2018 after being gone for years raising a family.

Photo of AEAbbey Eusebio
Abbey serves as a Constituent Advocate for U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky and directly assists constituents of the Ninth Congressional District with the issues they have at various federal agencies. In this position, she also is one of the Congresswoman’s Asian Liaisons representing the Congresswoman at events in the Asian American community. Abbey serves as the Midwest Region Chair of the Illinois Chapter of The National Federation of Filipino American Associations and is a member of the board of directors for the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE). She is also a member of the board for the nonprofit organization, Childcare Network of Evanston (CNE), which is a community resource group that builds strong foundations for young children through access to high quality early education and family support, especially to single parents. She received her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she majored in English and minored in Spanish.

Photo of Faye CabreraFaye Cabrera
Faye is currently serving as an Administrator for Family Physicians Inc. She also serves as one of the Board of Directors for Asian and Human Services Family Health Center Inc. Faye has supervised and managed US Government Programs as Project Coordinator under the auspices of the Department of Public Health, Women & Children’s Health Division and designed training programs for the Philippine Government, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Navy Headquarters (HPN). She was the Chief, Civilian Training Officer of Naval Personnel, Civilian Section (N1) in the Philippines where she supervised the whole country’s Civilian Training for the Philippine Navy Civilian Personnel. Her primary interests are acting, singing, culinary arts and charity work. She is a loving mother of four accomplished children.

Photo of Greg TarucGreg Taruc, DPT, Co-chair CP- Advisory Council
Greg Taruc is a long-time member of Circa-Pintig (CP). While volunteering at CP, he worked as an actor, stage manager, light and sound technician, production manager, a producer and eventually became the organizations’ Executive Director in the fiscal year 1998-1999. He started his theater acting in the early ’80s and is an active honorary board member of Teatro Tomasino in the Philippines. Greg Taruc is a Doctor of Physical Therapy by profession.

Photo of Connie C. TriggianoConnie C. Triggiano, CP Board Member – Membership Committee Chair
Connie comes to Circa Pintig with a full compendium of communications and marketing management credentials which she merged with healthcare engagement when she immigrated to the US in 2005. Connie was editor of a travel trade publication in Singapore in the 80s and shifted to advertising when she went back to Manila. Following a successful career in the Philippines where she was vice-president of Chicago-based Leo Burnett Advertising Co., she immigrated to the US where her first job was as executive director of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Chicago.

Connie graduated from the University of San Francisco in California, B.A. Major in English. She took up M.S. communications coursework while teaching college freshmen at Polytechnic University of the Philippines Open University. At the same time, she was VP of the Pasig Chamber of Commerce & Industry and volunteer business mentor of the Philippines Business for Social Progress’ Corporate Volunteers for Enterprise Development. She was credited for helping turn business around for a couple of small and medium businesses in Central Luzon.

Merging communications with health care and community involvement in the US, Connie trained as an LPN and phlebotomist, worked as website content writer at a CNA school, and did volunteer work with AFIRE Chicago where she later became coordinator of the Immigrant Family Resources Program. While with AFIRE, Connie completed the Basic Immigration Law Course of the National Immigration Paralegal Institute. She also volunteered with Upwardly Global which helps executive-level immigrants find equal work in the US. At present, Connie tutors international students in English and US naturalization interviews and civics exams. Her interests lie in humanities, classical literature, and theater. She enjoys re-visiting required college readings now that there are no tests that follow.


Photo of Ging MascarenasAngela Mascarenas, PhD, Executive Director
Angela is one of the founders of Pintig Cultural Group (1991) and CIRCA (2001). She received her doctorate degree in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her scholarly work focused on social movements, race & ethnic relations, and cultural organizing. Her article entitled “Marching in March: Early Participation in Chicago’s Immigrant Mobilizations”, co-written with Prof Cedric Herring, appears in the book “Reinventing Race, Reinventing Racism” from Brill Press. Angela served as a Board member of the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE) Email Angela

Photo of Ginger LeopoldoGinger Leopoldo, Artistic Director
Ginger Leopoldo is an educator, actor, director, and community organizer. She is a proud founding member of Pintig Cultural Group celebrating it’s 27th Anniversary Season and the founding Artistic Director of the Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts (CIRCA). Her work includes performing, directing, producing, and facilitating theatre productions and workshops with all ages Ginger has helped to create a youth heritage curriculum with techniques that utilize a basic integrated theatre arts workshop methodology as well as facilitator of Activism & Art workshops for college students. She received her B.A. and M.A. in theater from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has over 15 years experience as an educator and literacy coach for public school teachers through a nonprofit that engages at-risk youth with arts-based literacy programs, in addition, she has been the Program Director for America’s Children’s Museum on Wheels: StoryBus, delivering an interactive hands-on literacy experience for young learners throughout Chicago. Ginger has also collaborated with other theatre organizations around Chicago.

Photo of Luis PascasioLouie Pascasio, Co-ED
Louie is a long-time member of Circa-Pintig and has directed many of its productions. He was also a member of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and has served as musical director of several PETA productions. He is currently finishing his doctoral dissertation on media and community activism.


Past Governing Board Members

Photo of Levi AliposaLevi Aliposa, Board President
Levi started his theater acting in the Philippines in the late 80’s during his student activism years. He believes that through theater arts a social transformation could be reached to a broader audience. He is one of the founding members of Pintig Cultural in 1991. He is a mental health counselor by profession.



Photo of Christy AliposaChristy Aliposa, Secretary
Christy has been an active volunteer for CIRCA Pintig since 2005. She is nurse by profession and works at Rush Hospital.



Ted Kirpach, Treasurer

Photo of Jerry ClaritoJerry Clarito, Finance
Jerry is a founding member of AFIRE and currently serves as its Executive Director. He has been involved in community organizing in the Philippines and in the US for decades. He has helped co-found other community organizations and has served in numerous nonprofit boards such as the Crossroads Fund. He was one of the key organizers of the campaign for the historic passage of the Veterans Equity Bill for Filipino WWII veterans. He also currently serves as a Commissioner of the Skokie Park District.


Photo of Daisy CastroDaisy Castro Training, Production Management
Daisy is long time artist-teacher for CIRCAPInitg. She was an resident theater artist of the comedy sketch group Stir Friday Night.




Photo of Flor ClaritoFlor Clarito, Finance
Flor is a founding member of AFIRE. She has been active in community organizing for many years. She currently works as an accountant in a nonprofit organization. Flor has been an active member of the Skokie Festival of Culture Planning Committee.



Photo of Ruth EzraPhoto of Heman EzraRuth & Heman Ezra, Community Outreach
Heman & Ruth Ezra have served Circa-Pintig as board members since 2001. Heman is a Home Health Physical Therapist. Ruth works as a Service Operations Specialist in an Insurance company.




Photo of Emraida KiramEmraida Kiram, PhD, Community Outreach
Emraida is a Muslim Princess from Mindanao, Philippines. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is the chair of the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations, and serves as president of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Filipino-American National Historical Society.


Former Working Board Members

Riza Belen, Executive Director
Cesar Conde, Executive Director
Allan Sargan, Executive Director
Louie Sison, Managing Director
Greg Taruc, Executive Director
Giau Truong, Artistic Director
Louie Sison, Managing Director
Joanah Torre, Community Outreach

Former Interns


Photo of RJ Silva

RJ Silva, Website / Graphics Design
RJ Silva, a Metro Manila native, and a theatre and sociology graduate of Loyola University Chicago. He has performed for many theatres in Chicago such as Emerald City Theatre Company, A-Squared Theatre, Project 891 Theatre, and productions in Loyola. performance throughout the city.



Photo of Albert AlbaAlbert Aba
Born and raised in San Jose, California, Albert Aba grew up with a tenacious eye for aesthetics. He is now a senior at Loyola University Chicago majoring in Anthropology. Albert joined the CIRCA-Pintig family with interests in understanding the way art can be used to tell the narratives of immigrant experiences. He has hopes in servicing the Philippines through youth and community development and plans to continue his education in graduate school.


Lauren Bohonsua
Lauren is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of CIRCA PINTIG! Lauren has always had an incredible appreciation for the arts. For her high school, she has also done ballroom dancing and Tari Saman (an Indonesian hand dance). Lauren also performs Filipino traditional dances for her church’s Simbang Gabi every year. She loves being able to experience the performing arts’ stage in a whole different light. She was sound operator for Migrant Diaries.

Paul Hay

Miya Hurley

Joan Zuño