The Team



Maruja M.B. Asis, Ph.D.
Scalabrini Migration Center


Marla is the Director of Research and Publications at the Scalabrini Migration Center. She is a sociologist whose area of research focuses on various aspects of international migration in the Asian region. One of her long-running research interests is on migration and the family. She directed a nationwide study on the impact of international migration on Filipino families and children and has done work on youth employment and migration in the Philippines. Among her current projects is the follow-up study of the Philippine component of the Child Health and Migrant Parents in Southeast Asia (CHAMPSEA), a research project which probes the impact of parental migration on the health and well-being of children.


Karen Anne S. Liao, M.A.
Scalabrini Migration Center


Karen is a Research Associate at the Scalabrini Migration Center. She completed her MA in Sociology and AB in Communication from Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU). She was previously an adjunct lecturer at the AdMU and contributed editorial and research assistance to several of SMC’s past studies on labor migration. In 2013, she attended the Asia Research Institute Graduate Student Fellowship at the National University of Singapore. She was also a recipient of research grants from the Southeast Asian Studies Regional Exchange Program and the Ateneo Center for Asian Studies for her study on the transnational lifestyles of Filipino highly skilled and professional migrants in Singapore.


Ma. Cecilia Villanueva Guerrero
Scalabrini Migration Center


Cecille is the Finance Officer of the Enable Kids Project and Administrative Officer of the Scalabrini Migration Center. She is a resource specialist providing research assistance in the center’s projects and oversees library and logistics management. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the University of Santo Tomas in 1987.


Partners in the Philippines

Carmelita Gopez Nuqui
Development Action for Women Network


Mel is one of the founding members of the Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), and has been the Executive Director since 1996. DAWN is a non-government development organization assisting Filipino women migrant workers in Japan and the returnees and their Japanese-Filipino children in the promotion and protection of their human rights and welfare. In 2011, the organization expanded its work to include Filipino domestic worker returnees from different countries. In 2006, she joined Vital Voices’ Global Advisory Council and was featured in the book, Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World, published in 2012. Mel also serves as President of the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW), a registered civil society NGO network in which DAWN is an active member. Together with fourteen other member-organizations in the Philippines and other countries of destination, PMRW encourages the recognition, protection and fulfillment of Filipino migrants’ rights – both in the Philippines and abroad during the entire migration process.


Ivy Miravalles
Commission on Filipinos Overseas



Itaru Nagasaka, Ph.D.
Hiroshima University


Itaru has been conducting anthropological fieldwork on Filipino migration for the past 20 years. He started his first fieldwork in the rural areas of the Ilocos region as a student at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines, as a Rotary International Scholarship Student in 1992. Since then, he has worked on Filipino transnational migration and did fieldwork in Italy, France and Japan. From 2009 to 2015, he headed a research project funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science on the 1.5 generation Filipinos living in different countries. He is currently an Associate Professor at Hiroshima University, Japan. He is the author of Filipino Transnational Villagers: Anthropology of Transnationalism (in Japanese, 2009) and co-editor (with Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot) of Mobile Childhoods in Filipino Transnational Families: Migrant Children with Similar Roots in Different Routes (2015).


Sachi Takahata, Ph.D.
University of Shizuoka


Sachi has conducted studies in urban sociology and migration in Japan for more than 20 years. Her research on migration focuses on Filipino migrants in Japan. She was born in Osaka, Japan in 1969 and grew up in Akita Prefecture. She studied at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 1992 to 1993 as a Rotary Foundation Scholar. She finished her M.A. at Osaka University of Foreign Studies in 1994 and her Ph.D. at Osaka City University in 2006. Currently she is Associate Professor at the University of Shizuoka. Her recent and ongoing research are about the 1.5-generation Filipinos, migrant communities in Shizuoka Prefecture, Nikkei Filipino workers in seafood processing industry and their families in Yaizu City, Shizuoka, and Filipino caregivers who came to Japan under the Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and the Philippines. For details, see:


Edwin Corros, C.S.
Adviser in Japan


Edwin is a Scalabrinian missionary and is currently the Assistant Director of the Catholic Tokyo International Center in Tokyo, Japan. He obtained his master’s degree in Theological Studies at the Maryhill School of Theology in Manila, Philippines in 1993, after which he served multi-ethnic migrant communities in the Scalabrinian mission in Australia. He was assigned to Taipei, Taiwan between 1994 and 2004, where he opened a ministry with migrants. He was appointed parish priest of St. Christopher’s Church in 1997 until his return to the Philippines in 2004.  In his Philippine assignment, 2004-2013, he directed the programs and services of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and was Vice President of the Philippine Migrants Rights Watch. He was also Associate Professor at the Loyola School of Theology in Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines from 2009 to 2013, teaching the course, ‘Management of Pastoral Programs for the Migrant Ministry.’


Kim Yang Soon, Ph.D.
Jeju National University

Angela is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Psychotherapy of Jeju National University and founder of the Jeju Children’s Counseling Center. She is a child psychologist specializing in play therapy. Since 1997, she has worked as a counselor and play therapist for children with autism and ADHD, victims of domestic violence and families who have suffered from disasters and crises. In 2004, she established the Jeju Children’s Counseling Center, a non-profit providing psycho-social support for children of multicultural families and migrant workers, mostly from the Philippines, though play therapy, expressive art therapy and animal-assisted therapy, among others. Angela has written a book on expressive art therapy for autistic children and has translated into Korean three books on filial therapy, animal-assisted therapy and counseling for parent-child relationships. She also shares her expertise with church-based organizations and multicultural centers, particularly in developing interventions concerning multicultural families, especially children.


Seori Choi, Ph.D.
Adviser in Korea, IOM Migration Research and Training Centre


Seori is a research fellow at the Migration Research and Training Centre of the International Organization for Migration based in South Korea. Her research interest lies in policies concerning labor migration and irregular migration across the globe. Her recent work focuses on the mechanisms through which the Korean state manages labor migration and the impact of migration on Korean society. She has carried out research on the experiences of migrants employed in some sectors of the economy such as agriculture, construction and service and continues her work on the ways in which their presence transforms the lives of people in Korea. She has also done research to support civil society activism campaigning for the issuance of an official document to ‘undocumented migrant children’ in Korea through birth registration. In the near future, she hopes to study the experiences of the second generation immigrants in the Korean labor market.