Mission Statement

The Philippine Studies Group at York University seeks to create a hub to support and expand the work of scholars, artists, activists, and communities who are addressing the cultural, material and socio-political needs of Filipino communities in Canada and the Philippines, through community-informed/led research and research-creation. 


We apply the following principles to the work that we undertake and support:

  • A commitment to anti-racism, decolonization, deep diversity, social justice and equity.
  • Pakikipagkapwa – our work will be conducted with respect for others and through participatory approaches to research, creation and organizing.
  • We seek to create positive impacts in the Filipinx communities in Canada and in the Philippines through action research, including through contributions to curricular changes and policy reform.
  • We seek to strengthen transnational exchanges and solidarities between Canada and the Philippines.
  • We seek to support activities that will propel and sustain programming in Philippine Studies at York into the future.

Who We Are

The PSG includes faculty members and students at York University exploring the Philippines or its Diasporas in their research.



  • Myla Chawla, Doctoral candidate in Political Science, York University
  • Ria Jhoanna Ducusin, Doctoral student in Geography, York University
  • Dani Magsumbol, Doctoral candidate in Political Science, York University
  • Kad Mariano, Doctoral student in Political Science, York University
  • Geneviève Minville, Doctoral student in Geography, York University
  • Nikki Mary Pagaling, Master’s candidate in Geography, York University
  • Romeo Joe Quintero, Doctoral student in Geography, York University
  • Antoniel Roca, Doctoral candidate in Ethnomusicology, York University

Advisory Board

The PSG and its activities draw on the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Advisory Board (alphabetically):

  • Mila Astorga-Garcia is co-publisher and managing editor of The Philippine Reporter
  • Luz Del Rosario is Chair, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
  • Eirene Cloma (they/she) is Executive Director of Kapisanan and keyboardist, bassist and vocalist for Pantayo, the all-women kulintang ensemble
  • Gretchen Mangahas is a Communications Specialist/Documentation, Training and Support Officer, Toronto Catholic District School Board
  • Jesson Reyes is Managing Director of Migrants Resource Centre in York, Ontario
  • Aileen Santiago (she/they) is a teacher in Toronto, Ontario
  • Mauriene Tolentino (they/them) is community activist and a researcher at the Wellesley Institute

Reach us at philippinestudiesgroup@yorku.ca

Statement from the Philippine Studies Group at the York Centre for Asian Research, York University (December 2022)

The Philippine Studies Group at York University is delighted to announce the commencement of a year of Philippines-focused activities in 2023, supported by a grant from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

On 21 November 2022, York University President Rhonda Lenton signed a donation agreement with Consul General Orontes Castro of the Philippine Consulate in Toronto. The donation, amounting to just over C$118,000, is part of a Philippine congressional initiative to support Philippine Study around the world through a grant program administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.

The Philippine Studies Group at the York Centre for Asian Research is especially honoured to receive funding through this program which has, since its inception in 2017, supported the development of Philippine Study at major universities on three continents. Other recipients include: the University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies), UK; Ruhr and Humboldt universities, Germany; Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain; the University of Michigan, USA; the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore; and Busan University of Foreign Studies, South Korea.

The donation, which provides our Philippine Studies Group at York with full academic freedom and discretion over the content and outcome of the activities, will support a variety of initiatives over the coming year. These will include visits from scholars, artists, activists and journalists from the Philippines, who will engage with both researchers and community organizations in Canada. The funds will also support faculty and student research in the Philippines, the expansion of Philippines-focused research materials in the York libraries, and the strengthening of academic linkages between Canada and the Philippines.

The Philippine Studies Group at York includes one of the largest groups of faculty and graduate researchers in Canada who are focused on the Philippines and its diaspora. The group is known for social science research and arts-based creation that reflect critically and thoughtfully on Philippine society and the experiences of the Filipino/a/x diaspora. Members of the group work closely with diaspora community organizations, advocates and activists in the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada. We look forward to engaging with community partners in planning the activities to be supported by this grant.

As a collective undertaking of the Philippine Studies Group at York, this initiative is also part of a longer-term vision for the development of research and teaching about the Philippines and its diaspora. Our goal is to move towards a full array of undergraduate and graduate courses, language instruction, field excursions, summer institutes, community collaborations, and cultural and artistic productions so that the Philippines and its diaspora are fully represented in our academic programming at York.

Click here to download a copy of the above statement.