Didi’s initial passion was to share, promote and preserve the Filipino culture and heritage when she first came to Madison, WI then to Atlanta, GA, in the Filipino community serving as a Filipino Folk Dance Director/Instructor, Culture Chair, and Debutantes Ball Program Director/Choreographer in Fil-Am.
A University of the Philippines graduate, Didi comes from Zamboanga City, Philippines. She is married to Dr. Ralph O’Connor, a Returned US Peace Corps volunteer (1966-1969) , a retired scientist at CDC, and also a retired Captain in the US Public Health Service (USPHS). Together they successfully raised three wonderful children and have two grandchildren, instilling in all of them to know and appreciate their beautiful Filipino and American cultural heritage and to be proud of their cultural identity. Retired from Emory University where she worked for 20 years, she enjoys the free time she has to pursue her new passion. Community work.
“I love working in the Filipino community here in Georgia and elsewhere, making a difference, inspiring, motivating and empowering through the avenues provided by Makabayan Georgia, Inc. (MGI) a Georgia Filipino-American foundation. “
Chairman of the Board
Marianne Pedrezuela Bayani, Mayette for short is a Senior Corporate Tax Accountant for Heidelberg USA Inc. She graduated from UST with honors and once was the youngest professor at the same university. An alumna of Indiana University Institute of Professionals in Taxation and UCLA Masters in Accounting. She worked public accounting in Los Angeles before moving to Georgia in 1993 to join AT&T as a Tax Accountant. Mayette is also the manager and the lead vocals for the JAMMRS Band. She helped several charitable organizations obtained their 501C3 status. She is also a licensed Notary Public. Mayette is married to Art with two sons Avery and Jason.
Doddy Ward is a well-traveled entrepreneur who truly understands “world affairs” both on the business and political perspective. She graduated from Misamis University, Ozamis City, Philippines with a degree in Accounting and an M.B.A. She also worked at the same university as an Internal Auditor. Doddy moved to Hong Kong to work as a personal accountant for the British Trade Commissioner. She was once an accountant and Logistics Executive Coordinator for the British Ambassadors to Brazil, Nigeria, Mozambique, Pakistan, Canada and France. After 13 years of crossing the continents, she got a job as a Staff Accountant for Ernst and Young in the Bahamas for 7 years. Doddy has a passion for helping people in need. This led to her new- found career in Home Health Care, which she finds very fulfilling despite the long hours, but satisfies her desire to help others. Working with people is her forte, so in Atlanta she got involved in the Fil-Am community and sharing a similar passion to help others, she and 4 past Fil-Am presidents established in 2008 Makabayan Georgia, Inc.
Eleanor Mae Pascual is a native of the Philippines and has been a Georgia resident since 1979. A familiar face in the Asian American community, Eleanor shares much of her time, talent, and resources in promoting awareness, understanding and appreciation of the Filipino culture. She relishes the role of “bridge-builder” between the Fil-Am community and the larger Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Georgia and is an active and tireless volunteer for AAPI causes. Eleanor recently retired as a litigation paralegal with the Corporate Law Department of State Farm, after 22 years. A musician by avocation, Eleanor also served in music ministry for many years – as soloist, choir member, organist/pianist, and music director. She currently serves as church pianist at Clarkston International Bible Church and enjoys traveling and spending quality time with family and friends. Eleanor is married to Alex Pascual, a structural engineer, and they are blessed with three children (Andy, Jonathan and Eileen) and eleven beautiful grandchildren.
ELEANOR MAE PASCUAL
Community Affairs Director
Willy Blanco is married to Edwina Hilario, and father to Nicole and Kevin. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia from the Chicago area, in October of 1991 when he was promoted to Regional Sales Manager for Beckart Environmental, Inc. for the Southeast territory, USA. Willy has been with the same company since 1988.
· 1995 – PRO of Filipino-American Association of Greater Atlanta
· 1995 – Founding Director and PRO of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia
· 1997 to 2009– Founder and partner of Yakiniku Japanese Steakhouse
· 2008 – President, Filipino-American Association of Greater Atlanta
· 2008 – Founding Director of Makabayan Georgia, Inc.
· 2009 – President, Asian Pacific American Council of Georgia
· 2008 & 2009 – Recognized by Georgia Asian Times as one of the 25 Most Influential Asian Americans in Georgia
· 2011 – President, Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia
· July 26, 2011 – Created Atlanta Pinoy group on Facebook
· 2018 – 2019 – President, Philippine American Women’s Association of Georgia.
· 2008 to Present – Information Director of Makabayan Georgia, Inc.
Born and raised in Olongapo City. Married to Erlinda, with 2 sons & 2 grandchildren.
• 2003 Fil-Am President
• APAC 2003- Member Asian American Commission for a New Georgia under Governor Roy Barnes
• 2004 President Fil Am of Greater Atlanta.
• Retired in 2018, and enjoying to travel the world with his wife and conducting philanthropic work in the Philippines by helping keeping young kids off the streets through organized sports (baseball).