Meet the passionate people coming from different backgrounds who contribute their skills, talents, time and effort in the continuing work in the Filipino Community Centre.
Media and Web Aministrator
With skills and expertise in information technology, Oddie, as she is known to most people, is currently the trust’s Media & Web Administrator, principally managing and editing the contents of the websites and facebook pages of both the trust and the Filipino Community Centre. She has been actively involved with the trust since its inception and has contributed in planning, organising and implementing various activities. Previously, she served as secretary-general of the Trust.
Oddie holds a BSc in Applied Mathematics with Computer Applications from De La Salle University. She has experience working in the financial and banking sector both in Manila and Wellington, then as a registered financial advisor for a mortgage and insurance company and most recently as an events coordinator for an events management company.
Oddie is married to Rowel Madrisa, an artist. They are actively involved in the Filipino community, mostly doing videography, photography and assistance in the background during events, especially those sponsored by the Trust.
John Kevin Gutierrez
John deals in making beauty out of ideas – currently he is the resident graphic designer and promoter of the Trust’s activities and associated initiatives with particular focus in social media.
Spending half his life in the Philippines and the other in New Zealand, he feels like he is a child of both countries. Being exposed to a vast array of cultures gave him a penchant for relating with others and a knowledge of several languages – with a proficiency of some. With a Degree in Marketing Communications and a Diploma in Graphic Design, he soon realised that communicating to others and helping others do the same was a calling he could not ignore.
If he is not in his duties with the Trust, he is seen appreciating art and culture, singing in the Wellington Filipino Community Choir, collaborating in Filipino events, or brushing up on his etiquette. His civic involvement extends to working with small organisations and businesses – helping form and hone their brand identities and create ways for these organisations to creatively reach their audiences. He hopes to eventually make this a career.
An activist, a blogger, and a self-confessed social media junkie, Geo currently serves as the Trust’s content writer, creating and curating the text content for the Trust’s website and newsletter. He has also written articles for some organisations and publications, most notably with the Kabayan Magazine.
Geo is currently pursuing a conjoint Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (major in International Relations) degree at Victoria University Wellington; he previously obtained a BSc in Statistics and Economics from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and a Postgraduate Diploma degree in Development Studies from Victoria University Wellington. He has experience working with several youth movements not only in the Philippines and in New Zealand, but also in Europe, where he went on a cultural exchange with a university-based youth group in 2015. He also serves as the lead convenor of the Victoria University Wellington Filipino Students Association.
A passionate music lover, Geo is a member of two Wellington-based choirs, the Wellington Filipino Community Choir and the Wellington Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy Choir, where he is the choir coordinator. He is currently the presenter for "Daytime Edge" at Victoria University's SalientFM 88.3.
A person of wanderlust, Geo loves travelling, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. He also loves communicating with people, currently speaks eight languages (with varying levels of proficiency), and is active in several online polyglot communities.
Judith actively helps the Trust fundraise for the centre. With a background in Accountancy and Real Estate, Judith was involved with Bulwagan since its inception. She passionately believes the growing Filipino Community in greater Wellington need a place to call their own.
Outside of her voluntary work with Bulwagan, Judith runs a motor services and advice franchise, a property management and investment company based in Lower Hutt.
She enjoys being part of Wellington Filipino Choir, a group that helps the Trust in raising funds.
Judith is married, has two boys, 2 pugs and a cat. She loves watching professional tennis tournaments, dining out, and overseas travel.
Sound System Producer
Mon actively helps the Trust by providing and operating the sound system during events planned and organised by the Trust.
Mon has a career in IT using ORACLE for nearly 30 years. Outside work, he is a member of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) and Porirua Pistol Club. Obviously, he loves shooting but not only by using handguns but by using the camera as well. He is a photography enthusiast.
Flora is an Interior Designer well known and respected in the commercial sector in Wellington. She immigrated to NZ in 1984 and has lived in Wellington ever since. Flora is married to Bert Nogoy and they have an adult daughter who now lives in London. Flora’s mother was a Philippine diplomat and her family lived in many countries while growing up. Through this experience she was exposed to the importance of learning about her family’s heritage and culture.Aside from design.
Flora is also passionate about Christian ministry and music. She co-founded the Filipino Christian Fellowship and is a member of the Wellington Filipino Community Choir that supports Bulwagan Foundation in its endeavour.
Flora worked in the building industry for over 36 years and completed many key projects in New Zealand and internationally. She brings her knowledge and experience to Bulwagan Foundation. Her husband Bert is an Architect and is a keen supporter. She is passionate about the work of Bulwagan and believes one day the community will have a place they can call their own.