Showcasing Filipino talents Anne Yatco & Francis Te’s diverse journeys

Voice actor Anne Yatco | Designer and entrepreneur Francis Te

TWO Filipino Americans, each with a unique path and distinct expertise, are united by their pursuit of the American dream as they made their mark at the recent New York Comic Con. 

One, a talented voice actor, and the other, a skilled graphic designer, highlight the diverse journeys and talents that have brought them to this vibrant and creative stage. While one was born and raised in the United States, the other hails from the Philippines but embarked on a life-changing journey to the United States at the age of 12.

Their educational pursuits diverge as well, with one delving into the realm of graphic design, and the other immersing themselves in the field of biomedical engineering. Together, they embody the spirit of ambition and aspiration, each carving out their own version of the American dream.

Meet voice actor Anne Yatco and designer/entrepreneur Francis Te, both exemplifying the rich tapestry of the Filipino American experience.

Anne Yatco: From Midwestern Roots to Anime Stardom

Anne Yatco takes a break between signing autographs at the New York Comic Con and interacts with fans. It’s something that she loves doing because she gets to know them a little more too, she shared. AJPress photos by Momar G. Visaya

Anne Yatco, a small but mighty Midwesterner, grew up in a quiet Illinois town. She harbored dreams of performing, often showcasing her talents through spirited karaoke sessions.

Her journey took a surprising detour as she pursued a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Marquette University, but her heart was always in the Theatre Department. Later, armed with an M.F.A. in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts, Anne found herself working as a forensic scientist for several years. Yet, her true passion lay in acting and comedy, prompting her to make a bold career shift.

Her transition into the world of anime and video games has been nothing short of remarkable. Anne is best known for her roles in “Jujutsu Kaisen,” where she plays a lead character, and as a cast member of a game called “Genshin Impact.” These projects have catapulted her into the limelight, making her a beloved figure among fans. When asked about her experience at New York Comic Con, Anne said she is happy to interact with the fans, highlighting the non-stop autograph sessions, photo ops, and engaging interviews.

Her connection with fans is palpable, as she revels in the shared passion for the characters she brings to life. Anne believes that conventions provide a unique platform for this interaction, allowing fans to meet the actors behind the characters they hold dear. Her role in “Genshin Impact” has resonated particularly strongly with Filipino fans due to its anime-inspired art style and captivating gameplay.

Anne’s own journey as an anime enthusiast began with classics like “Sailor Moon” and “Dragonball Z.” These shows were a source of comfort during her formative years, and she delved deeper into anime after college, exploring iconic series like “Cowboy Bebop” and “Fullmetal Alchemist.” Her childhood dream of voicing a Disney Princess remains alive, a testament to her enduring passion for animation.

Transitioning from the world of forensics to voice acting was met with trepidation from her parents, but Anne’s determination and independence reassured them.

Her notable roles in “Jujutsu Kaisen” and “Genshin Impact” showcase her versatility and vocal range. She emphasizes that voice acting is a nuanced art form, requiring actors to convey emotions through their voices alone.

Anne’s advice to aspiring Filipino American voice actors is grounded in dedication to craft and community.

“Focus on the study, focus on the craft. And go, if you can afford to take classes, taking classes is what gives you the network, your community that you can lean on each other and help each other to rise,” she said. “They say a high tide raises all ships, and that’s one of the most important things that I had to learn, fostering that sense of community.”

In reflecting on her journey, Anne Yatco stands as an inspiring figure, demonstrating that with passion, persistence, and a supportive community, dreams can be realized.

Tee No Evil: Francis Te and his childhood passion for zombies

Francis Te, inspired by zombie stories, started a shirt line with his brother. He now attends Comic Cons and Anime Expos not just as a fan but as an exhibitor since he has amassed a loyal following.

In 2013, brothers Francis and Franco Te launched Tee No Evil, a shirt business centered around their shared childhood passion for zombies. Francis, the creative force behind the designs, recalls their origins.

“We watched horror movies and played video games together – we appreciated the creativity behind the scenes,” Francis told the Asian Journal. Their Kickstarter campaign garnered support from around the world, propelling their venture forward. “Our promise has always been to create shirts that our supporters can wear over and over,” he emphasized.

From the outset, the Te brothers focused on creating tees that resonated with their audience. This dedication to innovation has led to a range of distinctive horror-themed designs, with Francis as the driving artistic force. His design inspiration, as he puts it, comes from a diverse array of sources: “reading comics, watching shows that I love, and talking to my creative friends while following other creatives in the industry.”

The duo’s dedication to quality and craftsmanship is evident in their choice of materials. All Tee No Evil shirts are meticulously screenprinted in Los Angeles, ensuring vibrant colors and long-lasting wear. The brand’s core philosophy revolves around creating shirts that evoke cherished memories and offer a unique, enjoyable wearing experience.

The success of Tee No Evil allowed Francis to make a pivotal career shift. Four years ago, he decided to leave his full-time job as a graphic designer. “I figured there was an opportunity to grow… There’s still a lot to learn and we’re still learning every day,” he said. This leap of faith enabled the brothers to fully devote themselves to their burgeoning business.

Despite their growth, Francis remains the primary designer, with Franco contributing multiple concepts and ideas. Their collaborative approach ensures a diverse range of designs that resonate with their passionate fanbase.

Franco extends his heartfelt gratitude to their fans and supporters, describing them as “hardcore” and highlighting their unwavering support, particularly during the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “During Covid, these hardcore fans kept us going and buying through Amazon,” he shared.

Born in Cebu and raised in Iligan, Francis’ journey from the Philippines to the United States ultimately led him to the realm of entrepreneurship. His background in graphic design, coupled with his innate creativity, culminated in the formation of Tee No Evil.

Tee No Evil’s remarkable trajectory is proof that the power of passion, creativity, and the unwavering support of a dedicated fanbase can propel a business to succeed. From their Kickstarter origins to their current status as a thriving business, the Te brothers have crafted a brand synonymous with quality, artistry, and a shared love for horror.

Through their commitment to innovation, high-quality materials, and a constant pursuit of creative excellence, the brothers hope to continue providing supporters with shirts that not only captivate visually but also endure in both style and substance.


Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at [email protected].

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