Glyn Jhan Narca – April 4, 2018,  Toronto, Canada

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Oahu, Hawai’i to take part in the amazing Sariling Gawa Youth Council Conference. I signed up hoping to learn from this Filipino youth led conference, one that has been going strong for 38 years. I went to this trip blind, believing that my goal is to learn from these youth leaders and bring back that knowledge to Toronto in hopes of establishing our own – but it was more than that.

In Hawai’i, I lost and found myself. I lost the girl that had doubted herself, the one that constantly questioned if she had the potential to achieve her goals. I lost the girl that felt so alone in her problems being young Filipina immigrant in Canada. There was always that feeling of isolation from other people my age because I didn’t believe they would understand the battles.

Before Hawai’i, I was never able to fully articulate my struggles. I never gave myself the chance to reflect because living in Toronto feels like being in the middle of a hurricane – move rapidly or you won’t survive. The big city has always made me feel like my voice was and is never going to be heard, but Hawai’i changed that.

Instead, I found a woman that now believes in herself and the vision she has for the Filipino community and for herself. Being surrounded by so many incredible successful Filipinos have ignited a once dwindling fire in me. In Hawai’i, I found my experiences are reflected, not only in the experiences of my fellow Toronto delegates, but also in the Filipino youth in the island. For the first time, I found myself truly believing that I am not alone in my struggles and goals.

I don’t think I can sufficiently express how much the trip means to me. My time in Hawai’i has allowed me to reconnect with my Filipino roots and has given me the affirmation that I am doing important work. The Filipino community in Hawai’i has inspired me to push through whatever barriers I come across, with strength and resilience. It made me sincerely believe in myself and in my passion.

So, I’d like to thank everyone who supported me in this journey, either through monetary donations or emotional support. I feel so blessed to experience such support from my community. It is honestly such a wonderful feeling knowing that I have people that believe in my work and in my visions.

From the bottom of my heart,

Thank you
Maraming Salamat
Daghang Salamat




Noreen Madela – April 2, 2018, Oahu, Hawaii

“SG has continued to bless my children with leadership and priceless life experiences. Heartfelt thanks to all SG founders and leaders for vision and passion.”



Deseree Pablo – March 28, 2018, Oahu, Hawaii

“The first year I attended a Sariling Gawa Conference was back in 2013 when I was a middle schooler. Now, 5 years later, and 4 years of being a delegate (yes I missed one year), I have finally stepped up to the plate to become a leader. I have learned so much this year, about myself, those around me, and the organization. This organization has helped me to grow as an Individual, and I’ve come a long way from where I began. I’d just like to thank everyone who’s been involved with the organization and has helped to keep it going. After being a leader this year, I now understand that there is a lot of work that goes in to making this conference so successful, and I am forever grateful for all the time and effort that has gone into this conference. This organization has helped me so much and I don’t know who I would be without it. I’ve gained a lot of new friends and a second family. I have learned that I’m not alone and there are so many other individuals that are just like me who have had similar struggles. I’ve also learned that being a Manang is a lot harder than being an ading, because all my life I’ve been the ading and with this role, you really have to set the example because they look up to you.

“I’m super happy that I decided to become a leader this year, because this has been a great learning experience for me. I still have a lot more work to do with improving my leadership skills, but its a work in progress. Shout out to my coleaders, Kurt and Raymart because you guys made leading a lot more enjoyable. It was great to see our delegates grow and become more connected with one another and I feel like we did a great job. I am especially proud of our delegates because we went from hearing cricket chirps to filling the room with laughter. This past weekend was filled with lots of laughs and many emotions, and its the type of experience that keeps me coming back. My first year was BOMB and I can’t wait to come back again next year.”



Tiffany Kasoga – March 27, 2018, Oahu, Hawaii

“This weekend was definitely one for the books. 68 delegates from all over the state of Hawaii and from Canada stayed over 3 days and 2 nights at Camp Erdman to attend the 38th Annual Sariling Gawa Youth Leadership Conference. This years theme was R.I.S.E. – Recognize. Involve. Strengthen. Empower. We left camp with the understanding that we are not alone in the struggles that we face in this world. We challenged these delegates to recognize problems in our community or within ourselves that need attention. Encouraged them to find ways to getting involved in the changes that need to happen, whether it be seeking an organization, volunteering in the community, being a voice for others, or seeking help. Realizing that getting involved strengthens our community to do what is right, even for ourselves. And to use that strength to empower others to do the same in what we believe is good and right. This is our future and we are stronger together.

“Overall, it was a great year of planning the conference with my fellow program members. This is the biggest team I’ve worked with so far and we each pulled through to make this conference a memorable one. So, thank you for all the countless hours spent on planning since October! You guys are awesome, and I’m grateful to have such great friends to laugh and cry with lol. Also, it was great to watch the leaders grow and perform so confidently in their barangays. They’re the ones that make this vision of R.I.S.E. happen, and I’m so proud of you all.

“Until next year…together we RISE.”


September 19, 2010 – 30th Anniversary Reunion & Recognition Luncheon

At Sariling Gawa’s 30th anniversary reunion in 2010, we gathered testimonials from active and alumni participants. Click these links to read their stories that were published in the souvenir booklet.

Aaron Domingo

Michael Javines, Alma Trinidad, Lira Legaspi