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Banana Leaves

About Us

TAYO

Our Story

The Filipino Food Movement (FFM) was established in 2014 to create broad awareness, appreciation, and enhanced investment in Filipino Culinary Arts. FFM created the first Filipino American food community through events, mainstream media advocacy, and social digital platforms. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, FFM launched the weekly digital show KULINARYA LIVE!, producing over 100 episodes where world-renowned Filipino chefs taught people to make home-cooked meals. It organized the SUPPORT FILIPINO TAKEOUT campaign and produced two SAVOR FILIPINO SUMMITS online. It raised funds and participated in the FEEDING FRONTLINERS, SENIORS, AND THE ECONOMICALLY DISPLACED WORKERS projects. These initiatives assisted Filipino restaurants and food entrepreneurs around the globe, bringing Filipino food digitally to an audience of upwards of 1.5M monthly on social media during the global lockdown. 

In a few short years, FFM gathered national attention in the press, with millions of worldwide impressions on social media, engaging scores of passionate and talented individuals who believe Filipino cuisine deserves its rightful place on the global menu.

We believe that the story of Filipino culture is programmed into the DNA of each ingredient, no matter where it is grown; each dish, no matter how it has evolved; and each cook, no matter where they may come from. Through an inclusive & collaborative spirit, we aim to shine the brightest light on our cuisine and its purveyors. We aim to build a better stage upon which to celebrate and elevate the Filipino food experience. We aim to gather those that are working tirelessly to do the same. Together, we can influence the rising tide that will lift all vessels, with the hopes of leaving a trail of crumbs in our wake that will inspire, gather, and feed generations to come.

It is through food that we find our commonalities in an increasingly multi- and inter-cultural world. We identify as Filipino not only by birth but also by choice, and pledge ourselves to the promotion of our heritage through our culinary arts.

Our Board of Directors

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PJ Quesada, Founder

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PJ Quesada is the Founder and Chairperson Emeritus of the Filipino Food Movement who led and incorporated the nonprofit in 2012.

 

PJ is a 3rd generation leader at Ramar Foods - the most trusted Filipino food company in the US, operating out of Pittsburg, CA. As Ramar's Vice President, he works to contribute to the growth of the family-owend food manufacturing enterprise into a world-class operation, that serves millions of customers around the world.

 

His hope and dream is for Filipino cuisine to take its rightful place at America's culinary table. Through his leadership, FFM works to support the cultural discovery of global Filipinos by way of the wonderful flavors of the Philippines.

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Keesa Ocampo, Vice President

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Keesa Ocampo is the CEO & Founder of brand and marketing agency, WeSparq and home and lifestyle retail brand Hara. She is a two-time Emmy Award-winning writer, director, and producer for television.  An advocate for women and girls, she was appointed Commissioner on the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women from 2011-2014. In 2016, she worked with the legislative team of then Assemblymember Rob Bonta on the foundation for legislation that would seek to remove the statute of limitation for cases of sexual molestation and rape of minors in California. She was recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the US and received a Presidential Citation for humanitarian work from former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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Nicole Ponseca

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Nicole Ponseca is a Filipino culinary trailblazer, catapulted to prominence as the visionary founder of Maharlika and Jeepney in NYC in 2011. Her groundbreaking initiatives earned her restaurants multiple Michelin Guide recommendations and a coveted 2-star rating from The New York Times. Recognized as "an empire in the making" by The New York Times and for her "immeasurable" influence on Filipino-American restaurants by The Washington Post, her impact is undeniable. Leveraging over 20 years of culinary research, her book I Am a Filipino became a James Beard Award Finalist and received critical acclaim, going into a third printing after only 3 months.  She currently splits time between Miami and Manhattan. 

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Jennifer Fergesen

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Jennifer Fergesen is senior editor for Comstock’s magazine. She's an award-winning writer and editor with a focus on food and the stories behind it. She is the author of The Global Carinderia, an exploration of the Filipino diaspora through its restaurants, which has received awards from the Philippine government, the Food Writers Association of the Philippines and the Philippine American Press Club. She also writes fiction for small presses and literary magazines and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, among others. Born in New Jersey, she is based in California and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis.

 

To learn more about Jennifer's project to explore the Filipino diaspora through its restaurants, visit globalcarinderia.com.

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Pearl Parmelee

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Pearl Parmelee is the legend to first bring Filipino condiments to the USA through Mama Sita. She is a founding member of FFM, actively mainstreaming Filipino food and products through her consulting company. Tita Pearl attended Feati University as the first female to enroll in BS Aeronautical Engineering. She is a Commissioner for Contra Costa Arts & Culture and Business Development Director for Latino Food Industry. She has worked with numerous organizations, earning her nicknames like Tita Pearl the Apple Lady and Festival Queen, learning that conflicts are best resolved with FOOD - her way of sharing our culture.

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Al Perez

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Al Perez is principal and founder of Creative i Studio, which specializes in impactful graphic design solutions and onsite project management for corporate events, as well as a proud founding board member of the Filipino Food Moment. Al serves as president of the Filipino American Arts Exposition (FAAE). For the last 22 years, Al has led community partners and an energetic team of 200+ volunteers to produce the annual Pistahan Parade and Festival, the largest celebration of Filipino community, culture and cuisine in the country. Al is an appointed Commissioner in the San Francisco Entertainment Commission and serves as Board Member on the Cow Palace Arena and Event Center, SF Hep B Free, and SFPD Community Police Advisory Board.

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Sonia Delen, President

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Nicole Ponseca is a Filipino culinary trailblazer, catapulted to prominence as the visionary founder of Maharlika and Jeepney in NYC in 2011. Her groundbreaking initiatives earned her restaurants multiple Michelin Guide recommendations and a coveted 2-star rating from The New York Times. Recognized as "an empire in the making" by The New York Times and for her "immeasurable" influence on Filipino-American restaurants by The Washington Post, her impact is undeniable. Leveraging over 20 years of culinary research, her book I Am a Filipino became a James Beard Award Finalist and received critical acclaim, going into a third printing after only 3 months.  She currently splits time between Miami and Manhattan and continues to raise awareness for Filipino culture.  

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Wennie Conedy, Secretary

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Wennie Conedy works at a Fortune 500 company's Learning & Skill Development organization. Born and raised in Manila, she had a successful career as a television producer with KBS TV 9 in the Philippines.

Wennie is a Board Member of the UP Alumni Association of San Francisco and a member of the SF Kalayaan Festival Planning Committee and Philippine International Aid. As a Board Secretary of the Filipino Food Movement, she actively promotes and preserves the rich culinary heritage of the Filipino community.

In her spare time, Wennie indulges in hobbies such as reading, knitting, and crocheting. She also enjoys spending quality time with her fur baby, Baxter, and exploring the diverse food and cuisines the SF Bay Area offers with her husband, Robert.

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Mike Ang

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Mike Ang is an international sales, lifestyle, and entertainment entrepreneur. Born in the Philippines to a Chinese-Filipino family and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is an unwavering advocate for the Filipino culture and community, both domestically and abroad. He is a true dot connector and his unique career path and life experiences allow him to bring together diverse networks across a wide variety of industries. As a proud girl dad, he works tirelessly to advance opportunities for women and minorities in the creative industries. Mike is a Managing Partner of Planet X, a multimedia production studio and product marketing agency in Brooklyn, as well as the award-winning screenwriter and co-producer of the romantic comedy, Asian Persuasion.

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Raf Ignacio

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Nicole Ponseca is a Filipino culinary trailblazer, catapulted to prominence as the visionary founder of Maharlika and Jeepney in NYC in 2011. Her groundbreaking initiatives earned her restaurants multiple Michelin Guide recommendations and a coveted 2-star rating from The New York Times. Recognized as "an empire in the making" by The New York Times and for her "immeasurable" influence on Filipino-American restaurants by The Washington Post, her impact is undeniable. Leveraging over 20 years of culinary research, her book I Am a Filipino became a James Beard Award Finalist and received critical acclaim, going into a third printing after only 3 months.  She currently splits time between Miami and Manhattan and continues to raise awareness for Filipino culture.  

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Cheryl Tiu

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Cheryl Tiu is a culinary consultant, lifestyle journalist, and content creator. She was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, and is now based in Miami, Florida.

 

She founded Cross Cultures, an events and consultancy platform that promotes the exchange of cultures through food and beverage. She is a Tastehunter for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and World’s 50 Best Bars, as well as a consultant at the James Beard Foundation.

 

Her bylines have been published in Financial Times, Forbes, CNN Travel, Wine Enthusiast, The Infatuation, and the like. 

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