Ignite Awards Board of Judges

SEASONS 3 & 4 (2023 – 2026)

Dr. Rolando Tolentino is faculty of University of the Philippines Film Institute and former dean of the UP College of Mass Communication. He has taught at the Osaka University, National University of Singapore, and University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include Philippine literature, popular culture, cinema and media, interfacing national and transnational issues. He writes fiction and creative non-fiction, and is a fellow and former director of the Likhaan: UP Institute of Creative Writing.

He was head of the National Committee on Cinema and Commissioner for the Subcommission on the Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and board member of the Film Development Council of the Philippines. He is a member of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP), Pinoy Media Center (PMC), Center for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG), and Philippine Solidarity and Education Tours (PSET).

Jasmin nario-Galace

Dr. Jasmin Nario-Galace is Senior Associate at the Center for Peace Education, and outgoing Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Miriam College. She is Professor in the same institution. She is the President of Pax Christi-Pilipinas, a member of the Facilitation Team of Pax Christi-Asia Pacific, and in the Board of Pax Christi International. She is Co-convener of Women Peacekeepers-Philippines, and is in the Leadership Team of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). She co-led the formulation, adoption, and implementation of the first Philippine National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security and was co-convener of the Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325). She is also on the Board of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) and a consultant of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) for the Philippine Catholic Schools Standards (PCSS) of Excellence for Higher Education. As CPE Associate, she actively engages the Institutional Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

Joe Wong

Joe Wong is the Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) where he oversees the institution and programme development of the organization; resource mobilization, communications and media, establishing partnerships and collaborations with international, regional and national partners, and policy development. He has prior experience in working with NGOs, CBOs and UN agencies and was previously a board member of APTN.

Ezra Acayan

Ezra Acayan is a photojournalist based in the Philippines with a decade of experience covering politics, climate change, and social injustice. Since 2019, he has regularly worked on assignment for Getty Images. In 2017, together with a team of Reuters journalists, he was awarded a special merit at the Human Rights Press Awards for multimedia reporting on the Philippine government’s ‘war on drugs’.

In 2021, he was awarded a World Press Photo Award in the Nature Stories category for his work on Taal volcano’s eruption, and — together with a team of Getty Images photojournalists covering the global outbreak of COVID-19 — was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography for his work. In the same year he was also named Photographer of the Year at the inaugural Pictures of the Year Asia, and received several more awards from Picture of the Year International (POYi), National Press Photographers Association, and the Society of Publishers Asia.

jerry bernas

Jerry Bernas is Deputy Regional Director for Operations and Movement Building at Amnesty International’s East and Southeast Asia and Pacific Regional Office (ESEAPRO). In this role, he oversees the operational needs of the international secretariat’s staff across the region, including in offices in Bangkok and Seoul, and supports 11 Amnesty national entities on organizational development, governance and capacity building.

Prior to joining Amnesty in 2016, Jerry worked for over a decade in various non-profits in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, including the ASEAN CSR Network, League of Corporate Foundations (Philippines), Haribon Foundation and the Jesuit Volunteers of the Philippines. He holds a Management degree from Ateneo de Manila University and an MBA from the National University of Singapore.

seasons 1 & 2 (2017 – 2020)

Atty. Chel Diokno is the founding dean of the De La Salle University (DLSU) College of Law, and the Chairperson of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), the oldest and largest association of Filipino human rights lawyers. He was the General Counsel of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in the 12th Congress, and is one of the Philippines’ foremost human rights lawyers. 


Dr. Khoo Ying Hooi is Deputy Head and Senior Lecturer at the Department of International and Strategic Studies, University of Malaya. Currently a columnist in a local Chinese newspaper, Sin Chew Jit Poh, Ying Hooi is the Editor-in-Chief of Malaysian Journal of International Relations (MJIR), and she sits in the Board of Editors with the Indonesian Law Review (ILREV). Ying Hooi is Malaysia’s national focal point for the thematic study on the right to education under the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). She holds several other positions including, Assistant Secretary-General in the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (PROHAM), Vice Chair in the Courage Fund Cambodia, Advisory Panel in the World Alliance for Citizen Participation (CIVICUS) Monitor. Prior to her academic career, Ying Hooi worked at several corporate sectors and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) as the Head of International Issues and Cooperation. 


Dr. Parong served as a board member of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board. She served as board member of the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board, a quasi-judicial body which recognized and provided reparation to victims of human rights violations during martial law under the Marcos regime. 

She was formerly the Section Director of Amnesty International Philippines, and Executive Director of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) and the Medical Action Group (MAG). As a medical doctor, she helped many individuals during martial law in the 70s. She was later detained and became a political prisoner. She is a staunch advocate of human rights.

Bayang Barrios

Bayang Barrios is a musician and singer who hails from Bunawan, Agusan del Sur and is known for her use of indigenous instruments and styles. She is multi-awarded and has written songs on women’s rights and the indigenous peoples struggle. She is also a stage actor, a peace advocate, environmental activist and a social worker.