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
Kathy took her Masters in Business Administration at the Asian Institute of Management and her Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science in Miriam College; and is currently the Managing Director at MAGIS. She has had over 15 years of experience in managing transitions, setting up teams, and working in unstructured environments. After a long period of compassion fatigue and chronic stress, Kathy has found herself advocating for organizations to develop more caring cultures that fuel real engagement from people so they can deeply resonate and be inspired by their work. She is also involved as a 4th generation steward and corporation member of the University of Southern Philippines in Cebu, as well as its sister organization fostering personal growth and continuous learning: ABJ Foundation.
Kathy’s background in the arts began as a student of the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music for classical piano, violin, and voice. She is also a songwriter and a poet. She advocates for creative learning and involves herself in a diversity of pursuits to continuously find new ways of doing, working, and being that help people pursue the best of themselves. Kathy designs the structure of teams to start-up creative ventures, learn how to navigate through transition, re-design processes to be more inclusive to those experiencing mental health concerns, and create coaching relationships especially for those who struggle with finding their work and life rhythm. 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 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. Her own personal history dealing with life transitions and defining belonging as a third culture kid has influenced her approach to facilitating the artmaking process. She specializes in tactile language and learning, photography and creative documentation, and processing everyday experiences through art. 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.
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.
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.
Franchie Lagmay, MA, ATR
Franchie is an Art Therapist registered with ANZACATA, and a professional Multidisciplinary Visual Artist. She graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communication, and obtained her Master of Arts Degree in Art Therapy in LASALLE College of Arts, Singapore. Her work as a Creatives Associate at MAGIS allows her to collaborate to advocate mental health and reducing the stigma behind mental conditions and therapy.
With LASALLE’s program partnered and certified with Goldsmiths, University of London, Franchie is trained in Psychodynamic Art Psychotherapy, with a variety of clinical placements allowing her to work with clients and patients of all ages from different walks of life. In addition, with her continuing practice as a Multidisciplinary Visual Artist, she is also able to bring a holistic approach not only to her design work, but also to her therapeutic processes.
Kat is a digital illustrator and voice over artist who utilizes her talents in these fields to forward her passions in promoting art-making and artistic expression in the various creative communities she is involved with. She works with MAGIS as a social-media assistant and co-facilitator for workshops, programs, and support groups, while maintaining a freelance career through creating visual artwork, independent podcasts, and audio plays. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley University in Boston, Massachusetts.