Gina Alfonso, PhD, ATR-BC, LCPAT
Founder and Clinical Director
Gina is an educator and mental health clinician with a combined experience of 30 years in educational and clinical settings. As an educator she is focused on bridging the divide between learning and mental health in classrooms. She was the former lead global trainer for the Healing and Education through the Arts Program at Save the Children USA, where she trained teachers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean.
As a clinician in private practice, she is a certified trauma specialist and board certified art therapist focused on working with individuals, couples, and families dealing with a range of issues: stress, depression, suicidality, and other personality, mood, behavioral and developmental concerns. She received her Masters in Education from Fordham University, her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a focus on Art Therapy from Lesley University, and finished her doctorate in Expressive Arts: Therapy, Coaching, Consulting & Education, Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding from the European Graduate School. Gina is also the lead Convenor of Expressive Arts Philippines Network, Founder of Cartwheel Foundation, and lead author of the AHA Book Series.
Kathy Ponce, MBA
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Kathy is a strategic planner and HROD practitioner with over 15 years of experience in managing transitions, setting up teams, and managing programs, projects and systems for working to navigate unstructured environments with more ease. Having firsthand experience of compassion fatigue and chronic stress, Kathy advocates for organizations to develop caring cultures that fuel engagement that allows people within it to deeply resonate with and be inspired by their work. She is passionate about creating coaching relationships in the workplace to help those that struggle with productivity, performance, work life balance, and mental health concerns; and is guided by systems-based and creative learning approaches to organizational change.
Aside from an MBA at the Asian Institute of Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science, Kathy most recently completed a certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution Education at Miriam College, which adds a new dimension to her combined past experience in the corporate setting, and her current roles that are focused on social impact. These roles include being Co-Founder and Managing Director of MAGIS Creative Spaces, a 4th generation steward and member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern Philippines, and executive committee member of ABJ Foundation which fosters personal growth and continuous learning.
Kathy is also a songwriter and poet. Her background in the arts began as a student of the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music for classical piano, violin, and voice. With her distinct capabilities in the arts and business, Kathy intends to use her experience to influence and create meaningful and thriving workplaces that also give back to the community and society.
Assistant Director for Programs
Miah graduated AB Psychology from Ateneo de Manila University and had a year of service with Jesuit Volunteers Philippines Foundation, Inc. Since then she has had 18 years of work experience in the different areas of Human Resources and independent projects specializing in organizational development and teambuilding programs. She is known for her communication and interpersonal skills which have served well in employee relations and employee engagement programs.
Miah came to be an advocate for mental health self-care, character development, and social development as a result of her experiences at work and through addressing depression and anxiety. She started at MAGIS when she began to pursue work aligned to her advocacy, and has gone through introductory workshops for art therapy and expressive arts psychosocial programs. She has since organized as well as hosted MAGIS’ Head On Talks, a talk series on mental and neurodevelopmental health, run psychosocial and organizational support groups in the social work setting, and continues to innovate in the area of engagement in the workplace.
Assistant Creatives Director for Marketing and Communications
Adi is a general creative and ceramicist trained in the University of Brighton and University of the Arts London in United Kingdom, driven by opportunities to make an impact on individuals, communities, and environments with creativity, through education and the applied and expressive arts. Adi’s work in communications, programs management, and service design applies her interests in the intersection of creativity and life: through designing for holistic development, personal and spiritual growth, emotional wellness.
As a designer, she is part of the team behind communication campaigns of MAGIS Creative Spaces and the Expressive Arts Philippines Network, to raise awareness for and engage communities in learning about the expressive arts as a practice, philosophy, and a lifestyle of healing through the arts. As an artist-researcher, Adi studies how individuals and groups are shaped by learning experiences, personal and communal histories, the sense of belonging, and design and material culture. She specializes in tactile language and learning, photography and creative documentation, and processing everyday experiences through art.
Josefa Angelica L. Atayde, M.S., R-DMT
Assistant Clinical Director for Expressive Arts
Joey is a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist with the American Dance Therapy Association. After practicing as a ballerina for 15 years, she pursued graduate studies at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where she finished her Master of Science in dance/movement therapy.
As a dance/movement therapist, Joey has worked with numerous individuals ranging from children to seniors. Her clinical practice includes children with autism and developmental delays, adults with various mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, dementia, among others. Upon arriving in the Philippines in 2017, Joey has given talks and workshops about integrating dance/movement therapy into Filipino culture at the Ateneo de Manila School of Medicine, UP Philippine General Hospital, Brain Wellness Center at Asian Hospital & Medical Center, and at The Learning Child School.
Joey is a practicing clinician doing therapy with children and adults, runs various support groups and an expressive arts summer camp, and designs and facilitates training programs for various organizations including the East Asian Pastoral Institute, the Social Work Department of the University of Southern Philippines.
Imee has worked in administration, operations, and client care in a diverse range of contexts: education, customer service, human resources, and medical services.
Her heart for service has also seen her through several volunteer positions in various NGOs. Imee likes to play the ukulele and piano.
Research and Planning Associate
TJ is a counselor and spiritual director trained in Asian Theological Seminary where she took her Masters in Pastoral Counseling. Her expertise has been applied in psychospiritual support, communications, and learning management.
As a published and exhibiting artist, her creative practice involves writing poetry and making visual art as inspired by the created world. She uses art for nurturing more empathic and compassionate communities by combining its playfulness and capacities for exploration together with the therapeutic qualities of counseling and spiritual direction.
Fabrienne Calipara, MA, RPsy
Associate Clinical Psychologist
Fab is a licensed psychologist with a diverse range of experience with individuals, groups, and communities across all ages. She completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Santo Tomas in 2009, and has been in practice since then. Her work with children and adolescents revolves around dealing with trauma, abuse, emotional and behavioral issues, and working closely with schools to offer and co-develop educational programs and professional development to enhance psychosocial support for the community. She has also been a resource speaker and facilitator since 2006, specializing in topics of psychological well-being in children, women, and in the workplace; addressing sexual abuse and psycho trauma management; and skills training for psychologists and counselors.
Fab’s work includes treatment and therapy with the Kanlungan Sa Erma Ministry Foundation, case reviews and analysis for adoption with the RCWSG Committee of DSWD IV-B, and private practice primarily at MAGIS Creative Spaces. She has also worked as a training and workshop facilitator for the Employee Assistance Program at Human Dynamic, as a counselor and training specialist that spearheaded Stairway Foundation Inc – Manila’s Counseling Program, and as a crisis intervention worker at the Women’s Crisis Center.
Senior Expressive Arts Facilitator
Bambi is an expressive arts practitioner, resource speaker, workshop facilitator and retreat director, completing her Master’s degree in Theology at the Divine Word School of Theology in Tagaytay City. She has facilitated values camps for elementary students and has conducted retreats and team-building workshops for both children and adults for various organizations. Bambi has been trained directly by expressive arts pioneers Paolo and Margo Knill, and in expressive arts trauma integration as part of MAGIS’ professional training of trainers. Bambi has been closely mentored as a trainer by board certified clinicians and has co-facilitated numerous workshops on self-care and psychosocial integration through arts-based approaches serving organizations such as the East Asian Pastoral Institute, the Asian Hospital Brain Wellness Center, the Philippine Heart Center, Cartwheel Foundation and the University of Southern Philippines.
Senior Expressive Arts Facilitator
Rainey is passionate about lifelong learning and delights in the joys of storytelling. She first taught Reading in English and Filipino to children of varying ages immediately after college. She then spent a year with the indigenous Tagbanua communities of Palawan, Philippines as a Jesuit Volunteer and has since dedicated her service to program development and resource development at Cartwheel Foundation, Inc., a local non-profit working towards culturally relevant education for Indigenous Peoples. Currently, she is on the Manila Steering Committee of the Jesuit Volunteers Philippines Foundation. She is also a lead Expressive Arts Facilitator and Trainer at MAGIS Creative Spaces focusing on support groups for teachers and staff development. She is a founding member of AHA Books and has authored several resilience-focused books for school-aged children. Among her involvements, her most exciting undertaking yet is being mother to her young sons, Ulap and Sinag.