THE Center for Philippine Studies (CPS), University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, will soon launch two Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (FH-GPA) programs. The first one will be implemented in July-August, 2022 at the University of San Carlos, Cebu City, the second in summer 2023 in Iligan City, Mindanao.

Both grants were awarded to Dr. Federico Magdalena, Associate Specialist and Project Investigator (PI) at CPS. Dr. Pia Arboleda, the Center Director, is co-PI of these two FH-GPA programs.

The FH-GPA programs will train and immerse a dozen American K-12 teachers, university faculty, and students into a Philippine language (Cebuano or Filipino), and the sociocultural contexts on which this language is embedded. They are aimed at improving not only their competencies, but also introduce in their school curricula aspects of Filipino culture, including minorities in Mindanao.

The first to kick off the ground (titled “Mapping Language and Culture in the Philippine South,” aka Project Magsayod 2022) was approved in 2020, but was postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The University of San Carlos Cebuano Studies Center in Cebu City will collaborate with UH Mānoa, serving as host during project implementation. The program will be conducted as a hybrid seminar, with competent language instructors and speakers drawn from USC, University of the Philippines, and Mindanao State University, among others. The Cebuano language trainers are Lilia Ibo and Clyde Inso Chan.

Two Philippine coordinators will work with Magdalena and Arboleda: Dr. Cecilia Noble, herself a UH graduate in Sociology, and Dr. Hope Sabanpan-Yu, director of the USC Cebuano Studies Center. Ten participants from Hawaii and California will be in attendance to this training.

All but one of the 10 participants who will train in Cebu are Americans of Filipino descent. In the original list, there were six non- Filams (four Asians, two Caucasians) who dropped out for a reason, Covid-19 being the foremost. They were replaced.

The participants are: Mikail Alejandro (student, University of San Francisco), Fedelina Carlos (K-12 teacher, Hawai’i), Dr. Nenita Pambid Domingo (faculty, University of California at Los Angeles), Imelda Gasmen (faculty, UH Mānoa), Christine Liboon (graduate student, UCLA), Jason Maligmat (K-12 teacher, Los Angeles), Dr, Mark T. Miller (faculty, University of San Francisco), Amy Peria (faculty, UH Mānoa), Hollie Rader (student, UH Mānoa), and Bianca Rajan (K-12 teacher in Maui, Hawai’i).

The second FH-GPA (titled “Filipino Language and Indigenous Cultural Heritage”) will be hosted by Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, UH Mānoa partner institution in summer 2023. Applications will soon be announced to interested parties.

The project has enlisted two coordinators, Dr. Cecilia Noble and Professor Jed Otano of MSU Iligan. It will focus on the teaching of basic Filipino language. MSU Iligan is the only institution in the Visayas and Mindanao that offers a complete Bachelor’s and graduate programs in Filipino. Additionally, its Department of Filipino has earned the distinction as a Center of Excellence from the Commission on Higher Education in the country.

For more information, please contact Dr. Federico Magdalena through his email at