Board of Directors


         Alfredo Pacis


Alfredo Pacis is CEO of AC Tristar Marketing Corp. in Toronto. The successful marketing firm, the primary distributor of Saladmaster products, was founded by Pacis in 1999. Pacis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, major in Accounting and Business Management. He is passionate in helping the  poor and has worked hard towards building the thriving GK Saladmaster Village in Pototan, Iloilo also known as GK777.


         Jose L. Querubin

         Vice Chairman 



Jose has been a banker for 27 years.  His career started in 1981 with Citibank Philippines as an executive trainee and later became Vice-President in 1987.  In 1993, he moved to Solidbank Corporation (Philippines), an affiliate of Scotiabank, to become its Executive Vice-President.  In 1998, he became  the country manager for Bank of America which then assigned him in Singapore in 2001 as its Senior Vice President & Asia Regional Sales Director for  Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, HongKong, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, India, Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.  In 2003, he went back to the  Philippines to become the President & CEO of the United Coconut & Planters Bank until September 2007 when he and his wife decided to move to Toronto, Canada to be closer to their 2 daughters. 

While in the Philippines, he was active in professional organizations. He was secretary of the Bankers Association of the Philippines and President and Chairman of Megalink, Inc., one of the three ATM networks in the country.  He was also active in civic organizations like the Philippine National Red Cross as Governor, Operation Smile Philippines as Chairman and Rotary Club of Makati West as President. 

Currently he sits in the boards of the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto and First Homes Society where he is the Treasurer/Chair and member, respectively, of the Finance Committee.

Jose has completed two undergraduate degrees: a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics (Cum Laude) and Mechanical Engineering at the De La Salle University.  He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree at the Wharton Business School at the University of PennsylvaniaHe believes that building homes for the poor not only put roofs over their heads, but more importantly gives them the dignity they deserve.  He believes in the GK Philippine mission of ending poverty for 5 million families in 2024 and is looking into GK Canada to help fulfill this mission.

        Alice Herrera 



Alice is an energy professional working at the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) as a Senior Specialist managing the evaluation, measurement and verification of energy conservation programs in Ontario.  She is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) and a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA).  Before immigrating to Canada in September 2007, Alice worked as a Research Specialist leading and implementing both local and foreign assisted projects on renewable energy and energy efficiency.  At the same time, Alice worked as an independent energy consultant delivering energy projects for international development organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme, United States Agency for International Development, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, World Wildlife Fund, Japan International Development Cooperation Agency and the Asian Development Bank.

In the Philippines, Alice was actively involved in different professional organizations.  She served for many years as President of the Energy Efficiency Practitioners Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers - Department of Science and Technology chapter.  She has a Ph. D. degree in energy engineering and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of the Philippines, Diliman and a Masteral degree in energy engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand.

In Canada, she is actively involved with the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Toronto and has served as its Treasurer from 2011 to 2013.  As well, during her university days, she was the President of U.P. College Y, an affiliate of YMCA, from 1979-1980 with activities focused on community development and helping the poor.  By joining Gawad Kalinga, Alice would have the opportunity of helping Filipinos rise up from poverty.


           Lyra Zagala


Lyra Zagala is a senior finance leader with financial management expertise in the fields of information technology (IT), healthcare and manufacturing. 

She has held senior positions with industry leaders such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, and Magna International.  Prior to her present engagement, her two most recent roles were Controller of IT Business for North America (Agfa Healthcare) and Senior Finance Manager (Microsoft Canada).  Currently, she holds the position of Finance Manager at Hewlett-Packard Canada. 

Lyra obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Math for Commerce from York University in Toronto.  She is a designated CPA, CMA.  She is an active member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. 

She attended De La Salle Zobel school in the Philippines.  Her early civic involvement revolved around RotarAct, a leadership development organization within Rotary International.  Lyra was a Rotary Exchange scholar. 

Lyra strongly believes that many have the capability of helping our fellow Filipinos alleviate poverty and restore personal dignity through various organizations including GK.


          Rafeal Fabregas



Rafael is a lawyer at Egan LLP’s Canada and North American Free Trade Agreement (CaNAFTA) practice. He represents clients on all aspects of Canadian citizenship and immigration law, with a particular focus on temporary and permanent entries of business personnel into Canada. 

He was the recipient of the Prize in Immigration Law during convocation rites at Osgoode Hall Law School in 2002. In 2008, the Federation of Asian-Canadian Lawyers presented Rafael with its inaugural “Lawyer of Distinction” award for his legal efforts in the community. In 2009, he was chosen as one ofCanadian Immigrant magazine’s “Top 25 Canadians” for his work in improving the plight of foreign live-in caregivers.  He  has also been recognized for his contributions to the community by the Filipino Centre – Toronto, the Markham Federation of Filipino-Canadians, for his voluntary work by the Ontario Ministry of Immigration and Support Enhance Access Service (S.E.A.S.) Toronto . 

Rafael has spoken to audiences across Canada, and has authored articles and editorials for various Canadian media outlets. He has been contacted by media outlets for his opinion on a variety of immigration-related topics. 

Rafael has also testified before the Canadian Parliamentary Committee on Citizenship and Immigration in Ottawa on amendments to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the Live-in Caregiver Program. 

Prior to joining Egan, Rafael worked with Mamann, Sandaluk LLP more than 5 years, where he represented individual clients in temporary and permanent resident applications, assisting on issues ranging from eligibility to inadmissibility to citizenship applications. He has also appeared before the Immigration and Refugee Board and the Federal Court of Canada.  As a law student, Rafael participated in Osgoode Hall’s Poverty Law Intensive Clinic at Parkdale Community Legal Services. 

He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2006. He is a member of the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada. He holds his LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School and a BA from the University of Toronto.


          Agnes L. Manasan



Agnes manages the Settlement Workers in Schools Program of the Catholic Community Services of York Region where she helps newcomer students and their families in 300 schools in the region. She practiced as an EAP Affiliate Counsellor for Warren Shepell and Ceridian providing short-term counselling for individuals, couples and families in Toronto. She earned her BS in Social Work degree at the University of the Philippines, Diliman (1976), and completed her Master’s degree in Business and Government Administration (1981-1983) at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Before immigrating to Canada in 1994, Agnes worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs where she was posted to the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York City as an Attaché and Special Assistant from 1986 to 1993. As the Organization Development and Institution-Building Division Manager of NACIDA, Department of Trade and Industry (1983-1986), she was involved in formulating policies and programming for cottage industry producers nationwide.

Her passion and commitment for helping the poor can be traced to her student activism in the 1970s and exposure early in her career with the National Housing Authority as a community organizer and program coordinator of the World Bank-funded slum upgrading program (1975-1983). She made a significant contribution in helping the Vietnamese refugees as a member of the task force who formulated and established the Philippine Refugee Processing Centre in Morong, B


        Elvira P. Tan



Elvira earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education at the College of the Holy Spirit in the Philippines.  In Canada, she took Computer Programming and Website Design at Seneca College. Upon accreditation she then taught at Seneca College and at Centennial College-Continuing Education Department.

Elvira has served various non-profit and charitable organizations such as the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Dixon Hall and CCSYR. She developed and administered hands-on training to parish secretaries of the Toronto Archdiocese on the management of their database system.

She is very active in St. Luke’s Catholic Church. She took two-years Pastoral Formation Ministry given by the Archdiocese of Toronto.  She served for several years as a Eucharistic Minister. Elvira is one of the founding members of Bible Studies and has been a Bible Study facilitator for almost 10 years. Her most rewarding experience is being a member of the Capital Campaign Committee which was able to raise $2 million in pledges in a matter of six weeks.

Combining her passion for computer technology and social entrepreneurship, she is researching and trying out various internet based business. With this knowledge, she hopes to mentor young aspiring Social Entrepreneurs, and relieve them from poverty.  She adopts the philosophy of improving the lives of others before seeking own profit, and adopting the motto “less for self and more for others”.  

Being true to her vocation to alleviate poverty, led her to volunteer with Gawad Kalinga Canada.

          Eugenio A. Toribio




Eugenio Toribio is a retired Information Technology Consultant who specialized in managing large and complex IT projects for the insurance, banking, utilities, and retail industries over the span of 47 years.  Until recently, he was the Managing Partner and Senior Consultant of a Project Management Consulting company in Ontario.  His clientele included major corporations in Canada and the United States, such as the Bank of Canada, the Royal Bank of Canada, Enbridge Gas, Hudson’s Bay, and AT&T Canada.  Prior to this, Eugenio was an IT Manager for Domestic and International Systems at the Bank of Nova Scotia.  He also worked for San Miguel Corporation in the Philippines before immigrating to Canada.

Eugenio graduated from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños with a bachelors degree in Chemistry (cum laude).  His interest in organizational and civic leadership was formed there as he joined and led various campus organizations.  He also volunteered his services to the Federation of Free Farmers, which advocated for land reform and social justice in the rural areas of Philippines.

In Canada, he was a founding member and Past-President of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in Toronto (UPAAT).  He was also a founding Director of the Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians (MFFC).  From 2007 to 2014, Eugenio was a Board Member, Vice-President, and then President of the Catholic Community Services of York Region (CCSYR).  He also represented the Filipino community on the York Region Police - Community Action Committee in Markham.

Eugenio received recognition as an Outstanding Filipino-Canadian, and was given the 20-years community service award by the Government of Ontario.


Administrative volunteers

Amir Billiones - Quebec Coordinator

Cheryl Cantonjos - Event Coordinator

Brian Morales - Alberta Coordinator

Abe Tomas - Website Designer/Technical Support 

Ester Toribio - Bookkeeper / Website Administrator