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Earl Pascua Filipino-American Heritage Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Mar 30, 2024
Winners Announced
Apr 30, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate or Graduate
STEM or History

Ramon Magsaysay, born 1907 in the Philippine Islands, is best known for serving as the 7th President of the Philippines from 1953-1957.

Earlier, however, he started as an automobile mechanic, a Captain in the US Army Forces in the Far East / Philippine Commonwealth Army during WWII, a Philippine Congressman, and the Secretary of National Defense. Known as a leader of great humility and dignity for all people, he employed creative solutions that garnered American support, gained trust with his countrymen, and brought an end to the Hukbalahap Rebellion (1942-1954). 

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, an average of only 10% of Filipino-Americans complete a postgraduate degree compared to 24% of general Asian descent and 13% of all U.S. citizens. The Earl Pascua Filipino-American Heritage Scholarship will help encourage and support Filipino-Americans to continue pursuing citizenship and excellence through a postgraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or History program. 

Filipino-American undergraduate or graduate students are eligible to apply if they are pursuing a STEM or History degree and plan to pay it forward to other Filipino-American brothers or sisters in the future.

To apply, answer the prompt below.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published December 14, 2023
Essay Topic

On August 21, 1937, the President of the Republic of the Philippines signed Proclamation No. 173 stating that, “I do hereby enjoin all branches, subdivisions, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Commonwealth Government and every inhabitant of the Philippines to cooperate in extending whatever aid may be necessary for the safety and care of these refugees and in the enforcement of the provisions of this proclamation.”

Signed, Manuel L. Quezon (President of the Republic of the Philippines)

As a result, the Filipino people welcomed over 1200 Jewish refugees to the Philippines to escape the devastation of World War II. 

Describe a moment where there was a problem bigger than you, but you still decided to take action because you thought it was consequentially right, regardless of the cost?

From that experience, what main message would you share with the next generation?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Ylleana Goduco
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis ObispoUnion City, CA
At the age of three, I boarded a plane with my mom, and suddenly, we were headed to California. Being raised in Mandaluyong and Nueva Ecija, my parents were Filipinos funneled into Western society. Hence, my upbringing was frequently imbued with Filipino values, which emphasized kindness, ingenuity, and strength. When high school rolled around, my friends and I joined a speech-and-debate program, where we became invested in current events and social justice. Due to that investment, I was glued to news articles and our local news station. That influx of information made me aware of two realities: 1) the homeless population in the San Francisco Bay Area was steadily increasing, which was associated with a decrease in community safety, and 2) some homeless people who’ve reached rock bottom want to be given the chance to work and contribute. Those understandings became my “Why?”: To spread kindness and positivity by giving a little boost to those who want to prosper. While brainstorming ways I could help make the Bay Area a safer and cleaner place, a random Facebook reel popped up, interviewing a woman who got laid off and lost her home. In the interview, she shared her experience job hunting. She explained many employers don’t want to hire those who don’t keep up with their personal hygiene, and unfortunately, the majority of unhoused people can’t afford to take care of their hygiene. Her message became my “What?”: To gift hygiene resources to a community with an impacted homeless population. Mission People Project (MPP) was thus born out of the “Why” and the “What”. With a day’s worth of Google research, I noticed the general consensus being Oakland as the most unsafe city in the Bay Area, and they also happened to have a sizeable homeless population. From that, I found my “Where?”: Oakland. All those factors brought me to the trickiest question to answer, the “How”. MPP was a program so much larger than one 16-year-old, and I knew more unhoused people could be helped if our program had some support. That was where Operation Dignity, Inc. came in. They already had reach into Oakland’s unhoused population, so donating hygiene packages for them to distribute would be infinitely more efficient than walking through the streets of Oakland, passing out care packages. Now, we had a means of distribution, but we were still without the care packages. We needed funding, but I didn’t know anyone with marketing or fundraising experience. At this point, I started to question whether this goal was too big. Not allowing myself too much time for second-guessing, the only solution was to tap into that Filipino ingenuity – it was time to get creative. With no graphic design experience, I created fundraising flyers, asked my teachers for editing suggestions, then started hanging them up around school and posting them on social media. After two weeks, we were able to raise enough money for 110 care packages. Assembling the care packages was gratifying, and delivering them to Oakland was even more fulfilling. Through weeks of planning and collaborating, the strength to push through doubts resulted in over 100 people getting resources to improve their lives. To the next generation of aspiring change-makers, here are words derived from my parents’ teachings: Let kindness be your purpose, let ingenuity make your purpose a reality, and let strength carry you to the finish line.
Jacqueline Loyola
University of California-BerkeleySan Diego, CA
After World War II, the Philippines emerged as the most powerful nation in the greater Asian region. Upon earning its independence from Japanese occupation and American hegemony, the Third Philippine Republic rapidly transitioned from recovery from war and national identity turmoil to rapid growth and regional leadership under Ramon Magsaysay. The Seventh President of the Philippines’ policies are characterized by both boldness and compassion by judiciously moving forward with a vision while tempering with understanding the complexities of dynamic change in a world of stable chaos. In 1956, President Magsaysay worked with Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama to finally resolve the issue of Japanese reparations to the Philippines for eight hundred million dollars. With the eleven-year issue’s final chapter finally written, history credits President writing the first chapter in rebuilding the new relationship between the Philippines and Japan into what is now one of the strongest economic and political cooperative relationships in the 21st century. As Filipino-Americans today, we must honor the diligence of our generational ancestors by understanding our relationship with our grandparents and taking on the flame of the torch they lit with the descendants of not just Americans and Japanese, but the world. Filipino-Americans of today must carry that torch and discover the next great partnership or relationship to become the quintessential models of growth through resolve. In 1950, As Secretary of National Defense, Secretary Magsaysay (as a former guerilla rebel resisting against the Imperial Japanese occupying force) utilized tactical empathy as a form of effectively subduing the growing communist threat in the Philippines. Rather than solve the issue in a heavy-handed way, his strategy acknowledged the economic motivations of the impoverished and rural countrymen and identified that the solution would not be found militarily or politically, but with humanity. Under his direction, the Philippine Army distributed humanitarian aid and economic relief packages to these more impoverished and distant populations. By turning to compassion and empathy instead of munitions and armament, Ramon Magsaysay transformed the perception of the military from oppressors no different than their previous Japanese occupiers to honorable and admirable protectors of Filipino excellence. As Filipino-Americans today, we must remember to take on this example and utilize our nature to be studious and diligent toward also learning about and truly understanding the people that we disagree with. In doing so, the Filipino-American community will be the brokers of peace between formerly-intransigent parties, all while discovering that what ties our community with others is our humanity. The Philippines under Ramon Magsaysay has been written about as “The Philippines’ Golden Years” for a good reason: When you lead with boldness and compassion, you find that not only do they find each other in perfect balance with one another, but also, they represent the stable chaos of humanity. Where there is despair and turmoil, there is character and resolve. Where there is disagreement, there is empathy. Where there is unity, there is strength.
Timothy Retirado
Touro University WorldwideBrooklyn, NY
As a cultural icon of the Filipino community, then-President Ramon Magsaysay was substantial in the restoration of the Philippines following the aftermath of World War II. Despite his short tenure, his policies in regards to agriculture, the economy, law, peace, and stability became the tenets of future policies in the nation - and led to the many advancements in the country existent today. Despite their institution over 60 years ago, much of Magsaysay's legislative actions remain relevant today in regards to the nation's advancement and sustainability, and it is these actions that can be further employed to ensure the broadening success of the Filipino-American community. One notability that is most beneficial from Magsaysay was his focus on agrarian reform. During his tenure as President, Magsaysay was most noteworthy for his provisions of land to thousands of Filipino families - which had in turn revitalized the agricultural sector in the nation. As Filipinos were most notable for their "agrarian roots," this knowledge - including the knowledge regarding crop distribution, land resettlement, and tenant-government relationship - would be most beneficial towards improving this industry within the United States. As creating a sustainable agricultural sector requires planning and organization, many Filipino-Americans who have adopted this intuition can help the nation benefit greatly in replicating these systems, as derived from the Philippines. Alongside sustainability, Magsaysay was also honored for his democratic values and anti-corrupt enactments - ideals of which comprise the foundation of democracy. These ideals were derived subsequently from the nation that propagate the spread of democracy across the world - the United States. For Filipino-American communities residing in America, it is even more crucial that this openness of communication be exercise - and that Filipinos be "in touch" with their respectful brethren. As Magsaysay remained considerate of the rights of his people, so too should these values be what sustains the Filipino community in America. These democratic ideals may be exemplified by the Filipino community in various ways (ex. establishing regional associations, forming labor unions, enrolling in government office, etc.). Essentially, the values of the rule of assembly, free speech, and the rule of law are what can be practiced amongst the next generations of Filipino-Americans - who reside in a nation built on these values. In many ways, numerous Filipino-Americans have found ways of implementing change inspired from Magsaysay's approach. To reiterate, many Filipinos have instituted various organizations in America to cater to a multitude of professions, including accountancy, education, the sciences, and so on (ex. the NaFFAA). In addition, many members of the Filipino populace have become major contributors amongst a plethora of agricultural corporations - both as the employees and as the employers. There have also been many instances of Filipinos engaging in assemblies, courts, demonstrations, unions, and other democratic engagements in the United States on many issues - and who continue to do so in the means of protecting civil liberty. These efforts not only provided a voice for the Filipino-American community, but also allowed the many Filipino enclaves in the United States to have distinction and unification. Although President Magsaysay had many predecessors and numerous successors, his initiatives have been epitomized by an ever-growing Filipino-American populace. His employment of his agenda had revitalized the Philippines - from a nation ravaged by conflict, to an economic and legislative symbol of democracy - and have since been noted even by the United States. His efforts had changed the state of the Philippine nation - and have continued to be practiced by the ever-expanding Filipino-American community.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 30, 2024. Winners will be announced on Apr 30, 2024.

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