Philippine Homeschool Conference 2017 Speakers

Keynote Speaker

From his time as a student activist to being a senator of the Republic of the Philippines and an eventual cabinet member in the Aquino administration, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has had no qualms about being independent-minded, proving time and again that progressive ideas and principles have a place in Philippine politics.

His career in public service began over 20 years ago, when the young Kiko began his fight against human rights violations, corruption, and other social ills as Chairman of the UP Diliman Student Council. Eventually becoming a human rights lawyer, he later on became the youngest-ever Councilor of the 4th district of Quezon City and, in 1998, graduated with a Master of Public Administration as an Edward S. Mason Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.

Aside from being a champion of the plight of the farmers in the country, Kiko is a staunch supporter of homeschooling and is the author behind the Senate Resolution declaring March 3 as National Homeschool Day in the Philippines.


Keynote Speaker

The middle child of a tricycle driver and a housewife, Efren Geronimo Peñaflorida Jr. completed his elementary and high school education through the hold of scholarships and financial assistance, and received several class awards and honors. In 2000, he graduated from San Sebastian College–Recoletos de Cavite with a degree in computer technology, receiving highest honors. He pursued a second course at Cavite State University Cavite City campus, graduating cum laude in 2006 with a degree in Secondary Education.

At 16 years old,  Peñaflorida, joined by other classmates, formed “Dynamic Teen Company”. They eventually pioneered the idea of the “pushcart classroom”, wherein pushcarts were stocked with school materials such as books, pens, tables, and chairs, and then used on Saturdays to recreate school settings in unconventional locations such as the cemetery or trash dump.

In March 2009, Peñaflorida was featured as a CNN Hero as part of the news network’s program to honor individuals who make extraordinary contributions to help others. On November 22, 2009, he was named CNN Hero of the Year for 2009.



Keynote Speaker

After suffering 3 miscarriages while being a morning news anchor in the a morning show, Marissa Leinart decided to stay home with her two children and candidly admits she often dreamt of the big, yellow school bus visiting her front door. Ironically, God had other plans. Like Abraham’s wife Sarah, Marissa laughed and thought she was hearing voices when God called her to what would absolutely, positively, surely NOT have been an option… homeschool. Now, Marissa says it’s her greatest lifetime achievement and beyond the 2 Emmys she won as a TV broadcaster.

Marissa’s recent role has been more of an encourager to her children, Will and Linzey, both of home are reaping the benefits of being homeschooled by their parents.

Marissa wants to share with parents how she used non-traditional homeschool education methods, including online learning, blended learning, enrichment programs, homeschooling, and early college to educate her two children successfully.

Marissa has been a workshop speaker at several Great Homeschool Conventions in the U.S. on “How To Homeschool for Free!” She was also the audiobook narrator for award winning Apologia Curriculum.  You may have heard her narrating these books: Chemistry, Marine Biology I, Marine Biology II, Who Is God, Who Is My Neighbor and Who Am I.

Marissa started to connect, serve and lead homeschool families in the U.S. and the Philippines to a stress free and debt free journey to homeschool success.

Guest Speaker

Ms. Sheryl See is the Executive Vice-President of Treston International College, the International College for Tourism and Hospitality Management. A Keynote & Motivational Speaker, she serves as a Lecturer of Professional Ethics and Values, Leadership, Event Management and Integrated Marketing Communications in Treston.

She has experience in Education, Food Service, Rural Area Development through Energy, Agro-Industry & Tourism for over 15 years. She specializes in Strategic Planning, Operations Strategies & Solutions, Business Administration, Marketing Communications and Event Management. As a member of the Women’s Business Council, she was awarded the “Dove Bukod Tanging Filipina for Business & Entrepreneurship” in 2004 for her Gift of Good Work and Goodwill in the search for the Top 10 Outstanding Filipinas of the Year. She is an Educator, a Social Entrepreneur and an Advocate of Excellence & Ethical Leadership in business and the workplace.

Breakout Session Speakers

Dr. Ina R. Balani

Dr. Balani has always wanted to be a criminal lawyer or a broadcast journalist but the calling to be an Educator was stronger than any of the other callings. Right after graduating in the masters program, she has immersed herself in the academe and has never left.

She was a substitute professor at the Singapore Institute of Management for 4 years;the Program Manager for Education and Training of an International Baccalaureatte school, Mahatma Gandhi International; and Assistant School Directress of Early Achievers’ International Academy and Director for Academics Development of International Business and  Management Center in Singapore.

She has been invited to several speaking engagements on various topics: Entrepreneurship in the Food Industry, Passion for Excellence in Effective Communication, Measurement, Assessment and Evaluation, Authentic Leadership, Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences.

She is currently writing her first book on Authentic and Transformational Leadership.

Married for 10 years, she is now a mother of a 1 -year old Toddler, Uriel Deus, who she named after her guardian angel, Uriel and her patron Saint, St. Jude Thaddeus.

In her spare time, she plays the violin and has started with acrylic painting.

Milona Barraca
A teacher and a learner by heart, Mommy Milona is passionate  about homeschooling, learning, mentoring and coaching parents. She loves being a wife to Bensie and mom to Meg (17), Maddie (14), Josh (10), and David (7). She finished her MBA and Business Management Degree at the University of the Philippines.  She  worked for 17 years with  Selecta Ice Cream, Reckitt Benckiser and Abbott International.  She loves to travel and go on adventures – and her biggest of all was leaving the corporate world and deciding to homeschool her children 7 years ago. Milona is also a mompreneur advocating natural and organic healing. Her love and enthusiasm  for Math and calligraphy has led her to  conduct workshops  empowering  moms to become better teachers to their children and able to find time to care and nurture themselves thru calligraphy and art (calligratherapy). She believes strongly that homeschooling moms should carve time to nourish their selves whole (mind, body and spirit) so they can love on and serve their husband and children wholly.
Jen Wi-Bellosillo

Jen Bellosillo is a loving wife to Ronnel and mother to 4 beautiful children. They are now on their 9th year in homeschooling.

Jen is a Medical Technology board passer and a licensed teacher. A former preschool teacher at Assumption Antipolo, she was recipient of the 2004 Assumption Educator’s Award and has earned masteral units in Teaching in the Early Grades from the University of the Philippines.

This homeschooling mom who loves to sing nursery rhymes and finds joy in writing lesson plans, currently heads the Preschool and Grade School Department of the Catholic Filipino Academy. She hopes to one day write a book about her family’s journey with Joshua, her son with special needs.

Jen Mayuga-Cruz
Jen is wife to Ale and mother to Daniella, 3, and Mateo, 10, whom she has been homeschooling since he was in Nursery and is now in the 5th grade.

Jen is bracing herself for another experience of learning (and unlearning) with her youngest, but is relaxingly delaying this journey for another year or two. 

Apart from homeschooling, Jen is also a working mom. A graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Research, she is concurrently a qualitative consumer insights consultant.   She is also one of the managing partners of SESOU Nature Source, a chain of retail stores that encourages “everyday green living.”
Mariz Dearos
Fourteen years ago, Mariz met a family that introduced her to homeschooling. Drawn to the closeness of the family and the obedience of the children, she researched about this method of education, and thus began her homeschooling journey. She is currently homeschooling three of her four children, while her eldest – homeschooled all her life – is now in college and thriving in one of the prime universities of the country. Mariz considers homeschooling her way of showing gratitude for her children, by far the biggest blessings given to her.
Racquel Guevara
Together with Mike, her husband of 19 years, Racquel is a Catholic homeschooling mom to her 2 daughters, Arielle and Kayla. Arielle, now a freshman at the Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD) – Hongkong campus, was homeschooled from third grade to 4th year high school. Kayla, on the other hand, is improving on her swings in golf while on her 10th year of being homeschooled. Racquel blogs about her family’s homeschooling journey at
Marissa Leinart

Marissa was only eleven when she started co-hosting a radio show in Chicago. After graduating cum laude from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Telecommunication, Marissa landed her first TV job, anchoring the morning news in Anchorage, AK then Salinas, CA, Tucson and finally Phoenix, where her husband of 21 years proposed to her “live” on the news set.  

After suffering 3 miscarriages, Marissa decided to stay home with her two children – both now in college – and candidly admits she often dreamt of the big, yellow school bus visiting her front door.  Ironically, God had other plans.  Like Abraham’s wife Sarah, Marissa laughed and thought she was hearing voices when God called her to what would absolutely, positively, surely NOT have been an option…homeschool.  

Now, Marissa says it’s her greatest lifetime achievement and beyond the 2 Emmys she won as a TV broadcaster.  

Marissa has been a workshop speaker at several Great Homeschool Conventions in the U.S. on “How To Homeschool for Free!” She will also be presenting that same workshop here so don’t forget to sign up.

She was also the audiobook narrator for award winning Apologia Curriculum.  You may have heard her narrating these books: Chemistry, Marine Biology I, Marine Biology II, Who Is God, Who Is My Neighbor and Who Am I.

Marissa started to connect, serve and lead homeschool families in the U.S. and the Philippines to a stress free and debt free journey to homeschool success.

Michelle Padrelanan
Michelle spends the majority of her time taking care of her husband and four children. In between homeschooling, she runs her event organizing business and serves their local Rotary Club. Their family’s homeschool journey began almost 15 years ago when her eldest started in Grade 1. While teaching her eldest, unbeknownst to her, their second child listened and learned from her big sister’s lessons. She homeschooled both until they entered college and both are now thriving. By God’s grace, she plans to keep on homeschooling until she and her husband can send their youngest son to college nine years from now.
Denise Pena

Denise Pena is a homeschooling mom of three, going on four, children ages 0 to 9. She works full-time as an IT consultant, and is currently in her last year of taking up her Masters Degree in Family Life and Child Development at UP Diliman.

Denise loves talking with other parents about homeschooling the early years, educational philosophies, child development, and balancing work and homeschooling. She blogs about her homeschooling journey at

Sigrid Perez

Sigrid Perez is a wife and mother to 8 children. She graduated from the University of Asia and the Pacific with a degree in Humanities with field of specialization in Communication. But, after realizing that her passion lies in teaching, she decided to pursue post graduate
studies in Early Childhood Education from the University of the Philippines. She was a preschool teacher, a curriculum coordinator and an Associate Director of preschools here in Manila and in Cebu.

After her son was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2005, she and her husband Paul were thrust into a life-changing experience. Having personally experiencing the challenges of families with children fighting cancer, they decided to form Project Brave Kids, Inc., an organization dedicated to supporting families with children fighting cancer. She also helps her husband run businesses in food (Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream) and advertising and marketing (David IMC).

She and her husband Paul are also certified playworkers, play advocates and run another movement called Play Pilipinas where they push for more awareness on the importance of play in children’s lives through building low cost playgrounds, giving talks and holding

Sigrid homeschools 5 of her 8 children, supports the schoolwork of her 3 other children in regular school and shares about her homeschooling life and managing a large family in her blog,

Gina Guerrero-Roldan

Gina Guerrero – Roldan is a homeschooling mother of 4. She began by reading on different methods and approaches to homeschooling, and reviewed different types of curricula even before she got pregnant with her first born. From the many options she came across, Charlotte Mason was what caught her attention most, and she felt that it was the method that would best fit how homeschooling should be for her family. Since then, she has not looked back, and has been blogging her thoughts about her homeschooling journey at

Besides leading her four children ages 9, 7, 5, and 3 in what Charlotte Mason would call a “Feast of Learning,” Gina also founded Living Learning Children where she shares her CM knowledge and experience through talks and workshops.  Living Learning Children also offers resources, support, and opportunities to experience *Living* activities – an important element in Charlotte Mason’s philosophy which aims to capture a child’s need for Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donna Pangilinan-Simpao

Donna is a wife to Gilbert Simpao of 22 years and mother of Vince, Marco , Raya and Gino. She is a doctor by training and graduated from UP College of Medicine and trained in PGH for internship. She also attended a certificate course on Early Childhood: Care and Education in Richmond Community College in London,

However Motherhood and Family life became a stronger calling and Donna embraced the call to home life and homeschooling.

She homeschooled her children and is now on her 15th year. 3 older children have been released to mainstream high schools and she is now homeschooling their youngest son.
In 2014, she set up a Homeschooling Community in Facebook called the Homeschoolers of the Philippines. From a handful of friends, it has grown to 8200 members and continues to grow.

Donna is now a regular speaker in homeschool conferences and seminars. She loves to go around and encourage and empower homeschoolers.  She is also now a core member of the first ever SEC registered Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands (HAPi)

Alongside with that, Donna sits as one of the board of directions of Visions of Hope Foundation a Christian NGO focusing on reaching the marginalized Filipino families though the gospel, education and empowerment. Healthwise, Donna’s passions are Preventive Medicine, the breakthroughs of natural approaches of nutritional healing, use of medicinal herbs/plants and the use of essential oils.  Donna has learned through the years to bring in some fun and movement in life, so she loves to play tennis, travel,dabble with all forms of arts and crafts and blog about homeschooling and family life through

Joey Tayaban

Joey Tayaban is a local and international speaker on Stock Investment and Insurance topics. She holds Bachelor Degrees in both Law (St. Louis University) and Business Administration (St. Paul College).

She trained to be a licensed US Stock Broker under ETrade Financial and is now a full time Concierge Director of Bo Sanchez’ Truly Rich Club where she is in charge of guiding its members to invest in the Stock Market.  She regularly conducts the TRC Quick Start Plus Implementation Seminars every 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at the PICC.

She is also one of the Incorporators of Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy, a non-stock, non-profit financial advocacy organization.

She is a licensed, multi-awarded Financial Advisor and Unit Manager of Sunlife of Canada (Phils.), Inc., and belongs to the prestigious Certified Wealth Planner, Certified Estate Planner Philippines.

As part of her advocacy to educate Filipinos about financial freedom, she created the blogs ‘’, ‘’, among others, and she regularly conducts Wealth Planning seminars around the country and across the world.

Leny Ojano-Yusay

Leny Ojano-Yusay is an entrepreneur, an Airbnb Superhost, and a homeschooling mom. She is a true Bicolana, an adopted Cebuana, and mistaken to be an Ilongga. She studied Business Management and graduated cum laude at the University of the Philippines Cebu. She is the co-founder and managing director of their real estate company. Before devoting her work full-time to their business, she worked for various multinational corporations for 15 years. Her experience includes executive management, consulting, training, and facilitating seminars and workshops in diverse topics such as sales, marketing, financial planning, marriage, and parenting. Leny is happily married with three kids, with her eldest going to university soon. In her free time, she volunteers as a speaker/facilitator for Discovery Weekend for engaged and married couples. She runs her own blog and is the co-administrator for Teens and Tweens Homeschoolers of the Philippines.