College of Mount Saint Vincent (CMSV) Faculty, CMSV-SAMAHAN, Diskubre Tour participants and Consul Khrystina Corpuz Popov celebrate the Filipino heritage during Diskubre at the Mount on Nov. 14, 2018.  (PCGNY photo)

The Philippine Consulate General in New York, College of Mount St. Vincent (CMSV) and SAMAHAN — the Filipino student group of CMSV — jointly hosted Diskubre at the Mount at the Founders Hall, College of Mount St. Vincent at the Bronx on Nov. 14, 2018.

Diskubre Tour, the heritage tour founded by the Philippine Consulate General in New York in partnership with the Department of Tourism, had its pilot batch travel for 11 days in the Cordilleras last July.

ABS-CBN covered the tour and produced a web series about the tour in its program Discovering Routes Travels with Diskubre.

In her opening remarks, Consul Khrystina Corpuz Popov thanked the hosts for helping promote the Consulate’s programs for the youth, specially Diskubre.

She added that she finds “inspiration in the energy of the young Filipino-Americans and [I am] excited about what you can do with the lessons that Diskubre will teach you.”

Representing the College were Dean Lynne Bongiovanni, Professor Teresita Ramirez and Professor Noel Pangilinan, who all expressed their appreciation for the Consulate’s continued outreach to the CMSV community.

The students and guests were given a screening of an episode of Discovering Routes Travels with Diskubre, “Immigrant Story of a Filipino Mom,” where one of the travelers, Alex Brown, relates to her Filipino mother the adventures she did and the women she met during the trip which made a great impact on her experience.

Three of the travelers were on hand to provide their insights to the guests: Elaine Ficarra from Philadelphia, Feih Hidalgo and her father Derick from New York.

Elaine shared that she has always been active in the Filipino community in Philadelphia, but she has learned much more when she went on Diskubre and encouraged everyone to try to go on a similar trip, or start watching the web series to join them in their journey.

Feih revealed that as an artist, she related most to the visit to National Artist for Cinema Kidlat Tahimik’s life project Ili-Likha Artist Village, who built an art complex from recycled supplies and materials from nature.

“It made me realize that as long as I am creative, I can use anything without harming nature to create magnificent art.”

Feih’s father Derick expressed that “Because of the tour, Feih has seen how I grew up, and she understands now why I push her to do greater things because of the opportunities she has that were not available to me as a child in the rural areas of the Philippines.”

SAMAHAN Secretary Ana Camille Mendoza, who moderated the talkback, noted that “the experiences of the travelers inspired me to take my own Diskubre tour sometime in the future to explore my Filipino identity more and learn more about myself.”

Professor Teresita Ramirez urged the students, especially the Filipinos in the audience, to find ways to join the Diskubre tour, because the lessons and wisdom they can learn from the tour will be valuable assets in building their character.

The next Diskubre Tour is already being developed for summer 2019.

More information will be available on www.discoveringroutes.com/travel.


From left, Derick Hidalgo confides that he is so proud of how his daughter Feih has matured because of Diskubre. Elaine Ficarra and Consul Khrystina Corpuz Popov complete the panel.  (PCGNY photo)