Front Row (L-R): Gabriel Richard (USF); Nebu Kolenchery (SLU); Matt
Shea (USF); Christopher Lamelas (USF); Casey Conneely (USF)
Second Row (L-R): Sally Morton (USF); Carla Gibbs (SLU); Charles
Parker-Alofs (USF); Daniel Setiady (SCU); Willie McDonald (USF)
Third Row (L-R): Nina Ragonese (USF); Katharine Borah (BC); Michael
Lank (BC); Moriah Bauman (BC); Alexandra Barrett (BC)
Hi, I'm Alex! I'm a junior from Boston College studying Communications as well as Business Management and Faith, Peace, and Justice studies. I'm from Topsfield, Massachusetts, a small New England town just north of Boston, and traveling to the Philippines is most definitely the furthest I've ever been from home! I am so excited to begin our semester here with Casa Bayanihan and spend time learning about the culture of the Philippines through the communities we live with, accompany, and visit. Throughout the semester, my Praxis site is L'Arche Punla, an integrated community for the intellectually disabled, and after my first couple of visits, I'm truly looking forward to sharing time with them and learning from their stories and many talents. I cannot wait for the rest of this semester and the relationships, knowledge, and adventure it brings!
Greetings from Manila! I'm Carla Gibbs. I'm 20 years old and from Omaha, NE, studying Social Work at Saint Louis University. I enjoy taking long walks on the beach. Casa Bayanihan has been an incredible experience thus far. The food, the people, the places, the culture, and so much more. I am so excited for the rest of the semester! Peace and love po!
Hello. My name is Casey Conneely. I am a sophomore at the University of San Francisco, majoring in Music but also considering International Relations. I was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia but now reside in California. I joined the CASA Bayanihan program because I wanted to start my own journey of exploration, different from the legacy of travel prevalent in my large family of eight. I was really drawn in by the Praxis aspect of self-immersion and community building because I love finding the beauty in the universal similarities that make us all human. I'm really excited to experience the things to come and meet the people I'll meet and hopefully keep in my life long after this journey is over.
Hey! My name is Chaz Parker-Alofs. I'm a sophomore studying Environmental Studies at the University of San Francisco. I'm originally from Long Beach, California. I decided to join the Casa program because I was interested in gaining a new perspective with which to view the world. While I have been here, I have realized that Casa is so much more than that. Not only am I learning new things every day, but making new friends that already feel like family.
Hello! My name is Christopher Lamelas and I am a sophomore studying business at the University of San Francisco. So far I love my stay in the Philippines because of the great food, great people, and endless sea of smiles. You can't help but be happy. Anyway, my praxis site is Kapit Bisig and the community is filled with tons of excited people who want to make new friends. I can't wait to explore more of the culture and see what else the Philippines has to offer.
Hello, my name is Daniel Setiady. I am currently a senior at Santa Clara University majoring in psychology with a minor in urban education. Thus far, I have really enjoyed creating a new community with the other Casa students as well as experiencing the people and culture of the Philippines. I am looking forward to becoming more involved at my praxis site and learning more about this beautiful country.
Hello, my name is Gabriel Richard and I am a third-year Economics and Philosophy student at the University of San Francisco. I was born and raised in San Francisco as well. I decided to join the Casa program since it was a model of education that was different from the norm, which seemed to aim at more than just the transportation of knowledge but the development of people. Knowing my own need of development, joining Casa was only the next logical step. I look forward to seeing where this model of education will take me in my near and far future.
Hi! My name is Katharine Borah, and I'm from the Chicago area. I'm currently a junior at Boston College studying nursing. I decided to become part of Casa Bayanihan because I'd heard such wonderful things about it and also wanted a unique kind of study abroad experience that really focused on cultural immersion. I was especially drawn to the praxis site aspect of the program- mine is Tahanan Walang Hagdanan. I have truly loved my experiences here so far, especially getting to know the warm, hospitable Filipino people, and I cannot wait for all this is to come.
Hi! My name is Matt and I'm a sophomore studying graphic design at the University of San Francisco. I came to the Philippines with Casa Bayanihan so I could experience what it's like to be immersed another culture completely different from my own. I also wanted to gain a wider and more encompassing perspective of the world around me. The people here are incredibly friendly and welcoming, and the food is great too! If you're looking for an amazing, unique, once-in-a-lifetime study abroad opportunity, you should definitely look into Casa Bayanihan.
Hi, I'm Mike Lank. I am a junior at Boston College studying abroad at Casa Bayanihan and am originally from Massachusetts. I am majoring in Management and Leadership, as well as Theology. I have really loved the community that we have created here and the experiences that we have had the opportunity to share together, even those as simple as riding a jeepney together.
Greetings from Metro Manila! My name is Moriah, and I am a junior at Boston College, originally hailing from Maplewood, New Jersey. At BC, I am an International Studies major, with a special focus in Ethics and International Social Justice. I am SO excited to be spending my semester with Casa Bayanihan this fall. Throughout these four months, I'm especially looking forward to learning more Tagalog, sharing friendship and laughter with both our Casa and praxis communities alike, and just enjoying the beautifully vibrant colors, sounds, and culture of the Philippines!
Hello! I'm Nebu and I'm a junior studying Public Health and International Studies at Saint Louis University. I was born in Muscat, Oman and my family moved to a suburb of Chicago when I was thirteen. I love to go running, play drums, rock music, playing ping-pong and meeting new people! My praxis site is the San Damian Center in Bagong Silang. Two weeks into Casa Bayanihan and I cannot remember being this happy and full of life! I look forward to what the rest of this experience is going to be and am excited to see more and more of this beautiful country.
My name is Nina Ragonese. I'm a junior studying Finance at the University of San Francisco. The Philippines has the most beautiful culture I've ever experienced and Casa Bayanihan is a once in a lifetime opportunity to begin to fully understand it in ways unimaginable.
My name is Sally Morton! I'm 19, originally from Wyoming, but I go to school at the University of San Francisco. I'm studying Theology and Philosophy. Casa has been an incredible experience thus far, a feast to every sense. This country and its culture is simply beautiful. I'm looking forward to all that I will learn and experience here. I'm so grateful and thankful to be a part of Casa Bayanihan Batch 4!
My name is Willie McDonald Jr. I am from Sacramento, CA and I am a second year theology and religious studies student at The University of San Francisco. I chose to join Casa Bayanihan with the intention of enhancing my worldview with a study abroad experience that would allow me to experience a new culture through intense immersion. With the time that I have left, I look forward to deepening the relationships I have begun to form at my praxis site Lingap (community 155), with the hope that I will leave with a more intimate understanding of life in the Philippines.