Board of Trustees


James Patrick G. Matti

James Matti holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce, major in Marketing Management from De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines.

He presently serves as Managing Consultant of Willis Towers Watson (WTW), the Philippines’ leading people and financial services consultancy. At WTW, he is in charge of strategic leadership and general management whereby he is able to provide proper counsel and effective solutions to their vast array of clients’ senior management consisting of the Philippines’ respected “blue-chip” companies, Global 500s and venerable institutions in their human capital and benefits requirements.

Prior to joining then-Watson Wyatt in late 2006, James served as the Chief Executive Officer of Aon Philippines, the Philippines’ leading insurance brokerage, risk management and employee benefits consultancy where he served for over 9 years. His role was to enhance new business development, senior client relationship management and strategic direction. Under James’s leadership, Aon Philippines became the country’s largest and most respected insurance brokerage and risk management consultancy in 2006.

James also serves on the board of directors of ATR-Kim Eng Insurance Brokers, Inc.

James is an avid environmentalist having led his two firms’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) thrust in the reforestation of the Ipo Watershed in Norzagaray, Bulacan Philippines


Lalaine V. Abonal

Lalaine Villafuerte- Abonal received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Her big heart for the small Filipino farmers and grower groups inspired her to establish the Organic Farmers and Processors Association of the Philippines (OFPAP), a non-stock, non-profit association duly registered with the SEC in 2009. Under her umbrella organization, well represented throughout the country, she was able to help each farm group earn international organic certifications which served as stepping stones to successfully exporting quality products worldwide.

Lalaine was instrumental in helping GreenEarth Heritage Foundation, one of the members of OFPAP, earn its US FDA, Kosher and Fair Trade certifications from Ecocert France.

Lalaine is the founder and president of eAsia Outsourcing & Marketing Services, a brokerage boutique firm that serves select international top wholesalers and retailers in the global market. Her stellar service is backed by more than 20 years of experience as a buying agent. She became the youngest member of the Board of Directors of the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP). She served as Treasurer and for a time, also its Public Relations Officer.

She is the founder of Coconut Republic, the country’s leading exporter-provider of coconut -based products marketed by prominent international brands in the U.S., Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and key cities in Asia.

Lalaine is an accomplished publisher and author of 5 books:
Abaca Philippines, Coconut Philippines, Moringa Philippines, IT Outsourcing Opportunities in the Philippines, and 101 Lessons Learned by a Buying Agent.


Raquel V. Ragragio

Raquel Ragragio’s career with the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) has spanned 32 years. During this period, she has lived in New York, the African continent and travelled to over 100 countries. She has held senior executive positions within the UNDP in post-conflict countries such as Mozambique, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Angola, and the Republic of Guinea Bissau. Prior to her recent retirement from the UNDP, she served as director of the UNDP in Macedonia.

Raquel Ragragio has extensive experience in addressing problems in the areas of environment and poverty alleviation in conflict regions around the world. She is now retired in the Philippines where she is active in organic gardening, gourmet cooking and numerous personally- funded livelihood projects within her community.


Mercedes A. Favis, M.D.

Mercedes Favis enjoyed over 2 decades of successful medical practice in Obstetrics-Gynecology in California prior to retiring in the Philippines in 1991 . She obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines.

A natural cook who took after her maternal grandmother, Dr. Favis loves to create and re-create Filipino comfort food.  What started as a post-retirement avocation  to feed her family and frequent guests has blossomed into a thriving retail business centered on a Filipino delicacy –VIGAN-style sausages!  Her homemade garlicky sausages  are being served in fine establishments as well as being sold in upscale artisanal stores.  Gardening is one of her passions too.


Hilario F. Abonal, M.D.

Larry  is a medical doctor-turned entrepreneur. Together with his wife Lalaine, he has developed in short of a decade,  a highly successful enterprise, COCONUT REPUBLIC based in Pasadena, CA where he presently serves as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Prior to Coconut Republic , Larry served as administrator of a Home Health Agency in Glendale, CA.    Larry is a natural gardener and green thumb.