Executive Staff & Board of Directors


Founder - Lolita D. Carter, Ph.D.


Executive Director - Dina B. Ellorin
Artistic Director - Ruby Pearl B. Chiong
Music Coordinator - Juanita F. Caccam, Ph.D.
Rondalla Director - Frederick Embalsado
Pakaraguian Kulintang Director - Bernard Ellorin, PhD

Ruby Chiong

Artistic Director/Choreographer
Ruby Pearl Bersamin Chiong joined Samahan as a choreographer, teacher and dancer in 1975. A Business Administration graduate from Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines, she brought with her an exten- sive background of performances with various dance companies in the Philippines, including the Manileña Dance Company, the Mabuhay Dance Company, Bell Aloha Dancers and the ABS-CBN Dance Troupe. She has taught master classes for the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the San Diego State Multicultural Program, and the San Diego Area Dance Alliance. She also con- ducted Philippine dance workshops for the San Diego City Schools and the Sweetwater School District. Since 1994, she and Dr. Lolita Carter have been associated with the San Diego Young Audiences in the presentation of Philippine Dance Programs in schools in San Diego County. She has choreographed numerous dances in cooperation with Danongan Sibay Kalanduyan, Master Artist/Guru of Kulintang.

Frederick Embalsado

Rondalla Music Director
Frederick Embalsado has been the Director of the Samahan Rondalla for more than two decades. With the assistance of Dr. Juanita Caccam as the music coordinator, he has led the Samahan Rondalla to its full po- tential as an outstanding string ensemble. Indeed, his arrival in the county has enriched Samahan, as he pos- sesses a rich Rondalla music background and experience. He has taken music courses in Rondalla at the Uni- versity of the Philippines, from Dr. Francisco F. Feliciano at the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music, choir conducting at Santa Isabel College and attended a music camp at the Mt. Makiling School of Arts and Sci- ences. He was a music and Rondalla teacher at Bagong Silang Elementary School, Saint Claire Montessori School and Holy Rosary College in Manila. He has a degree in Business Administration and is currently
employed with the County of San Diego.

Michelle Camaya

Contributing Choreographer
Michelle joined Samahan when she was 8 years old. She gives thanks to Dr. Lolita Diñoso Carter for con- ceiving Samahan and Ruby Chiong for continually sharing her talent and expertise. Michelle graduated from SDSCPA, earned a BA in dance from UC Irvine and performed in the musicals Fame, Swing, Kismet, The Lion King (Broadway), Sinatra - Dance with Me and most recently, Come Fly Away (Twyla Tharp choreogra- pher). She is certified in Bikram & Modo yoga and is a member and associate choreographer for Mark Stu- art Dance Theatre in New York City. Michelle holds the company of dancers, musicians and families of Samahan very close to her heart and is grateful to be a part of the annual gala concert as contributing choreographer, assistant director dance teacher and principal dancer.

Bernard Ellorin, PhD

Gangsa & Kulintang Director
Bernard Ellorin had his primary Philippine music training with Samahan’s Rondalla and Kulintang ensem- bles. At the age of ten, after learning in a month how to play the banduria with Dr. Caccam, he started play- ing with the Rondalla in providing live music accompaniment for the Samahan Gala Dance Concert. Since then he has been the principal banduria player of the Samahan Rondalla. Training with the Kulintang Mas- ter, Danongan Kalanduyan, and mastering several authentic Maguindanao and Maranao Kulintang music, Bernard became the principal Kulintang player and the Director of the Samahan Pakaraguian Kulintang En- semble in 1996, leading the ensemble in providing the musical accompaniment for Samahan’s repertoire of Southern Philippine dances. Consequently developing a keen interest in Philippine music, Bernard decided
to pursue a career in Ethnomusicology, obtaining his Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, then graduate degrees at the University of Hawaii. To enhance his knowledge in the country’s indigenous music and dances, he participated repeatedly in the KulArts Tribal Tours, which involved “immersion sessions” in various tribal rituals and traditions in Southern Philippines. He attended a semester of Kalinga music, Rondalla and Kulintang classes at the College of Music at the University of the Philippines. He stayed for two months in 2008 in Tawi-tawi researching on the Kulintangan of the Sama and Tausog tribes for his Master’s thesis. The Ensemble has been invited to conduct workshops in colleges and universities in California.

Jhenice Villanueva


Elly Aguilar

Public Relations Officer

Daisy Amos Laag

Chris Feraro

Michelle Camaya

Vice President

Nico Delmundo

Assistant Public Relations Officer

Juanita Caccam, PhD

Music Coordinator

Patrick Ambrosio

Irene Almoite


Roselyn Muñoz


Bernard Ellorin, PhD

Rolando Muñoz