About Us


How We Started

Language Acquisition and Immersion for the New Generation (LAING) Hawai`i is an iteration of the community language program, iLaing, that has been serving the Honolulu community since 2015. Originally founded by the former Consulate General of the Philippines in Hawai’i, Gina Jamoralin, iLaing graduated three cohorts of Ilokano language students and organized two immersion trips to the Ilocos region of the Philippines with a focus on youth and young professionals. Former students of the program, inspired by their experiences in iLaing, decided to join together to work towards establishing an official non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the perpetuation of heritage languages in Hawai’i – and so in 2018 LAING Hawai`i was born. Starting with the many languages of the Philippines, our goal is to expand to include classes in languages of the Pacific.

Our Board of Directors

We recently revamped our Board to do away with a hierarchical structure for a more collaborative model. To mirror our co-learning classroom space our board is also structured as a co-decision space. Our responsibilities are not defined by prescribed titles but rather based on skills and interests. Because our board is small, consisting of only 5 Directors, our governance and decision making process is therefore made through consensus.

Anthony Jacob Arce

Anthony grew up in Nanakuli and Ewa Beach. He traces his ancestry to Cagayan, Bulacan, and Carcar City. Anthony has worked in education for over 20 years from teaching to curriculum development and training. He started in early childhood education as a preschool teacher and is currently the Learning Events Coordinator at HANO (Hawaiʻi Alliance of Nonprofits) helping to support training, technical assistance, and convening for adult learning opportunities. As a founding member of LAING Hawaiʻi, Anthony is passionate about using education through language and culture reclamation as a means for liberation and dreams of radical futures.


Catherine Tagalicud Taylan

Catherine Tagalicud Taylan, born and raised on the island of Kaua’i, grew up speaking Ilokano. Her parents, father from Dingras and mom from Sarrat, were very militant with speaking Ilokano and learning the language and culture. The household rules were- if someone speaks to you in Ilokano, you must answer back in Ilokano or say nothing. Which became very unfortunate for this “sao a sao a bao”. Like any home in Hawai’i, her parents worked 2 jobs each and was babysat by her Ilokano grandparents- who also had full time jobs. Her maternal grandmother, Carmen Tagalicud, worked at McDonalds and one of the first few Ilokano sentences she had to learn was over the routine phone calls- “Grandma, kayatko ti McNuggets no agawidka.” Translated- Grandma, I want McNuggets when you leave. Almost everyday of the week, each meal was something Ilokano/Filipino- her favorite dish, Dad’s freshly butchered and gathered Chicken Paria. Bonus points if the chicken was a hen and a few of the internal eggs popped and seeped into the meat. After graduating High School Catherine moved to O’ahu to attend the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. That’s when she saw the need in her community for Heritage Language and Culture Learning amongst the new generation. On a mission, she graduated with a BA in Ilokano Language and Literature. That’s also when LAING Hawai’i happened. Simply put- it’s just a group of individuals who came together and loved our cultures so much to where we want to teach it and make spaces for it and grow in community building and knowledge.


Janine Lapitan Mariano

Janine was born in the Philippines but was brought to Ewa Beach, Hawai’i at three months old. Both her parents are of Ilokano descent with her mom from La Union and her dad from Ilocos Norte. She currently has a BSBA with a concentration in finance from Hawai’i Pacific University and works in the Wealth Management division at one of the major local banks but is looking to pivot into a different industry. Janine loves Laing’s mission to perpetuate indigenous languages which has helped many people to discover or rediscover their roots.


Rebecca Carino-Agustin

Rebecca joined LAING Hawai‘i after being part of its fourth cohort of Ilokano language courses (iLAING 4). She grew up in Kalihi and Waipahu to first-generation immigrant parents from Pilipinas, and now currently resides in Ewa. She received her BA – English (University of Hawai’i-West O’ahu), and MA in Communication (University of Hawai’i at Mānoa). She is a current doctoral student in Learning Design and Technology (LTEC) at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa aiming to use this knowledge to foster a sense of belonging and addressing equity and access in online settings. She currently serves as a College Success Advisor and First Year Experience Coordinator at the University of Hawai‘i-West O’ahu with over six years of experience in higher education dedicated towards supporting and serving students in different capacities.


Rebecca Maria Goldschmidt

Rebecca was born on O’odham land in Arizona and grew up on the unceded homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations, also known as Chicago. Her maternal family is Ilokano and Pangasinense from San Carlos and Rosales, Pangasinan; her paternal family is German-Jewish. Rebecca is an artist and is currently pursuing her PhD in Sculpture at Hiroshima City University in Japan exploring her family genealogy, traditional relationships with plants and how people in diaspora relate to land. She has a Master in Fine Arts from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa where she also studied Ilokano. She loves Laing because she believes our languages hold one of the keys to help us reconnect us with our ancestors and their ways of being in the world.


Yvette G. Cudal

Yvette was born in O’ahu and grew up in Ewa Beach. Her family is from Anao, Tarlac, also known as the ylang-ylang capital of the Philippines. She currently works in government.

For Yvette, it’s very moving to be a part of a journey of unlearning, learning, and rediscovering one’s roots. She understands how this can be both difficult and freeing. To see the roots of the community taking shape is priceless to her.

Our Partners

Agyamanak unay, Daghang Salamat & Mahalo to all of our wonderful partners helping us bring language education to the community.