Wait for your time to bloom; you are growing wiser with every changing of season.

Our Founder & Chief Changemaker

Anna Velas-Suarin

Anna’s story is, somehow, a part of your beautiful tapestry of hopes and dreams for the future.

Anna is the driving force behind Anna’s Trees & Innovations, especially, our core initiative, Integrity Institute.

Why are we in this path? It begins with believing in the importance of education in shaping our shared future. At some point in our lives, we will witness obstacles in the pursuit of truth–and while those who encounter them will often want to do what is right, oftentimes this will entail facing insurmountable difficulties. Should courage become one’s downfall or is it a form of liberation?

Fortunately, in the end, it becomes a passage toward a personal transformation, even a soul awakening. For many seekers, it becomes a place for union with one’s ‘higher’ purpose. As we have always been taught—the pains and challenges are truly stepping stones for growth and expansion.

Integrity Institute was born from this empowering place.

Anna, our founder, believes in the power of education in transforming lives and in the building of a high-integrity future. “If we want to do more good in this world, we need to nurture our children to be more excited about their potential. We want them to pursue their dreams while embodying values such as honesty, compassion, and kindness,” she will often say. And that’s where we are right now—taking stock of what we have within us and working from there, no matter the imperfections. We hope we can inspire you to always do your best in finding the hero within. That’s how we can change the world and make a difference, little by little. Like you and me, Anna is still evolving and finding her answers (of course, not forgetting to have fun, too).

May our story also inspire you, allowing you to embrace who you truly are, empowering you to serve  others as you also fulfill your highest potential–and be the rock star that you really are!

To know more about the path we are taking through transformative education, please visit Integrity Institute. To know more about Anna’s work and aspirations, please visit her personal website.

Anna’s work and interests

Anna, an advocate of green growth and sustainable and resilient cities, graduated from BA Development Studies from the University of the Philippines. She completed Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management, ranking 3rd out of 25 graduates. She completed a master’s thesis, which looked at the possibility of building Sky Bike Lanes in Metro Manila. The preliminary study measured the likely impacts of the infrastructure in terms of traffic and carbon emissions reduction.

She has extensive program management, knowledge, and capacity development experience and currently supports the work of a regional multilateral bank. In the past, she served as In-country Project Manager of Private Markets for Climate Resilience (PMCR), a project funded by Inter-American Development Bank and Nordic Development Fund and hosted in the Philippines by the OML Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation.

Anna was also assigned as Project Coordinator of Integrated Environmental Strategies Philippines—a USAID-supported project—which involved comprehensive analysis of different policy scenarios in the transportation sector (with focus on Metro Manila). The different levels of analysis included modeling, cost-benefit analysis, and health and economic impact valuation. Meanwhile, in 2005, she was trained in and assigned to conduct the field works (including collection of air samples) for a one-year air quality monitoring project using USEPA’s Compendium Method TO-15 (through Summa® Canister sampling system).

Anna was among the specialists involved in the Asian Development Bank TA 7257 PHI: PPP in Health from 2011 to 2013. She has authored and co-authored numerous publications, among them are guidebooks on public-private partnerships in health (published by ADB in 2013) and guidebooks on sustainable sanitation (published by the Department of Health and World Bank in 2010). Recently, she has written two chapters for the Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (published by Springer). Some of her published works are in her Google Scholar page.

Anna has strong policy development and advocacy experience. On an on-call and interim basis, she supports the work of a legislator. In the past, she provided technical support to Philippine Senators and cabinet members, including the Secretaries of Health and the Environment and Natural Resources.

In pursuing a mindful existence, Anna enjoys painting, writing, photography, and rendering volunteer work. Believing in natural/energy healing modalities, she has trained in Reiki Master level, Basic Pranic Healing, and Swedish massage therapy.


Great inventions and transformations had to go through a lot of challenges, in many cases, repeated cycles of failures. Even birds need to grow their wings before learning to fly. Imagine the fears of a young bird, just learning how to do it on its own. It will sometimes fall or be blown fiercely by the winds. Yet, it bravely carries on and grows wiser and braver.

Be that bird that simply soars, never doubting its wings.

— Anna Velas-Suarin