Tatine Faylona: shining a spotlight on big issues

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Originally from Laguna, a province of the Philippines located on the main island of Luzon, south-east of the capital Manila, Tatine Faylona’s vitality and her concern about others are an asset in her work as a public diplomacy and strategic communications consultant. Portrait.

Growing up in Alaminos, a peaceful community in Laguna, Tatine Faylona dreamed of becoming a lawyer to make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable and minorities. She studied philosophy and then law at Atenao University in Manila in 1998, and subsequently obtained a master's degree in Health Law Litigation from Harvard in 2013. This, together with her experience of working for numerous embassies and the British Council, among others, has made her an outstanding consultant.
In keeping with her dreams, she is hailed by all for her ability to bring people together and unite them. She puts a smile on my face every time I see her, says Sam Chittick, the representative of the Philippines for The Asia Foundation NGO, and a former colleague of Tatine.

Employed by the CFI under the Media for One Health project, officially launched in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 20 May 2024, she is the national coordinator for the Philippines. This project ticks all the boxes of what I like doing and lets me use all my skills, Tatine tells us. As coordinator, she was involved in selecting the journalists to be supported by the project, the majority of whom are women, on account of their ability to pass on the ‘One Health’ approach* in a sustainable way.
She will support them throughout the project but, true to her proactive self, she is already looking over the horizon: I would like to meet with ministers from key government bodies to initiate a Philippines-wide 'One Health' action plan.

Recharging with positive energy

Since 2014, Tatine has produced and screened four editions of nationally televised conversations on the peace process with the Muslim Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, in the south of the Philippines. She has an extraordinary ability to lead coalitions and she has really made a difference, says Sam Chittick. She was already resolving conflicts when we were 16, adds Maita Salvador, one of Tatine's childhood friends.

© K Sheerin Go
You have to know when it is time to take a break and recharge yourself with positive energy, to savour the little things in life.

Her spirituality is the source of her inner strength, which she replenishes during stays with Catholic nuns or at retreats devoted to wellbeing. Walks in nature, reading or conversations with close friends are also part of what gives her this strength and hope that she brings to everything she does.
She concludes: You have to know when it is time to take a break and recharge yourself with positive energy, to savour the little things in life.

Portrait by Bérengère Merlot

*The ‘One Health’ approach invites us to think about health differently, by recognising the interdependence of the wellbeing of human populations with the wellbeing of animals and ecosystems. It uses the close and interdependent links between these fields to create new methods for monitoring and preventing diseases (source: World Health Organization).