We Filipinos are known for our cheerful and positive outlook in life. Even if we have problems big or small, we tend to always look at the brighter side of it and still feel happy, hopeful and always show resiliency to whatever crisis that comes our way.
This is why Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS) came up with the idea, a project conducting a nationwide campaign search called “The Happiest Pinoy” .
The search aims to find the happiest Pinoy who has:
1. an optimistic outlook in life
2. a cheerful disposition
3. a proven ability to rise above life’s challenges
4. a positive impact in the lives of others
It was Feb 17, 2010 when Winston Maxino won the 1st Happiest Pinoy title.
Due to the campaign’s success, Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS) once again conducted the Search from 2011-2012. Out of 13,000 nominees, It is all narrowed down to 10 and only one will take home the 250,000 cash prize (tax-free) and the title “The Happiest Pinoy 2012”.
Meet the Top 10 Finalists…
Happiest Pinoy 2012 Top 10 Honorees
ARNEL B. ALIPAO
19, Student Leader/Environmentalist, Surigao del Norte
- Graduated Valedictorian in both elementary and secondary level despite family’s financial difficulties.
- Keeps his passion to serve despite having lost and being ridiculed when he ran for SK Chair position.
- Youth Leader, Surigao People’s Initiative Development Association (SNPDIDA), an assisted project of the World Vision Philippines.
- Philippine Representative, United Nations General Assembly on the Thematic Debate on Disaster Risk Reduction in New York, USA.
- Listed as one of the Ten (10) Inspiring People in 2011 by Manila Bulletin
GILDA FORTUNATA G. ALTEZ
52, Marriage and Family Counselor, Manila
- Had to make both ends meet for her five (5) children as a single parent.
- Strived hard to start her own on-line free counseling.
- Advocates for the restoration of broken marriages, families and homes and for improving relationships.
- Initiated and supported various outreach projects for indigents and victims of calamities.
- President / CEO, World Letters Assurance Society Inc., Founder and Manager Director, A Voice in the Storm Counseling Advocacy.
ROMMEL E. ARELLANO
35, Employee, Bataan
- Afflicted with polio affecting his lower extremities at childhood and walked with “tsinelas” on his hands.
- Experienced various discrimination during his school days and in getting employment.
- His condition is his personal crusade to inspire and counsel people who are losing hope in life.
- Speaker/resource person/lecturer on leadership, values education, team building, stress management, etc.
- President of Persons with Disability (PWD) Organization in his community.
CONNIE A. EMBORONG
33, Peace Coordinator, Lanao del Norte
- Consistent student leader in college and a practicing meditator.
- Peace Education Coordinator promoting the happy co-existence between Muslims and Christians in Lanao.
- Recipient of various national and international grants on peace building.
- Philippine delegate to international fora on promoting culture of peace and on non-violent communication.
- Resource speaker and curriculum writer on peace education, gender development and children’s rights
MARCELO T. OTINGUEY
40, Teacher, Benguet
- Worked as a bakery helper to support his school needs at age 12.
- Initiated literacy and cultural campaigns, organized donation drives for indigent communities.
- TESDA and DOLE Skills community- based training coordinator and facilitator.
- 2000 Regional Representative to the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program.
- Recipient, 2005 Lingkod Bayan/ Presidential Award from the Civil Service Commission.
JOHN GABRIEL P. PELIAS
20, College Instructor, Quezon City
- Raised by his Lola Sandra, he is a living proof that poverty is not an obstacle to achieve and excel.
- Graduated Valedictorian in High School and Summa cum laude with the degree BS Mathematics from University of the Phillipines in Diliman (UP-Diliman).
- Highest General Weighted Average (GWA) in the history of UP Diliman after the World War II – 1.016 GWA.
- Chose to stay as an instructor in UP Diliman despite lucrative job offers from various companies.
- Listed as one of the Ten (10) Inspiring People in 2011 by Manila Bulletin.
GERALD D. RAYMUNDO
45, Entrepreneur, Pasig City
- Had spinal cord injury which left him permanently disabled, has renal failure and Steven Johnson Syndrome.
- Motivational speaker and lecturer on livelihood and leadership for the physically-challenged.
- Featured in Bo Sanchez’s book, 40 Stories of Passion.
- Director, Leonard Chesire Disability- Philippine Foundation, Inc (a UK-funded organization).
- President/ CEO, Raymundo’s Trophies and Sculptures.
CONCEPCION T. TABABA
57, Teacher, Iloilo
- As Alternative Learning System (ALS) Coordinator, she travels to far-flung villages where many have not seen a book.
- Introduced the BAOL (Barangay Aid on Literacy) program or community mobile library.
- Institutionalized non- formal learning through nine (9) Community Learning Centers in Tubungan.
- Recipient, 2008 Most Outstanding District Alternative Learning School (ALS) Coordinator of the Philippines Award.
- Honoree, , 2011 Bato Balani Foundation and Diwa Learning’s “The Many Faces of the Teacher”.
REBECCA O. TIU SONCO
65, Entrepreneur, Eastern Samar
- Took care of her husband who was in coma for 14 years, espoused environmental causes, women empowerment and initiated support system projects for victims of calamities.
- President, Girls Scouts of the Philippines Local Board.
- President, Rotary Club of Borongan and Paul Harris Fellow, the Rotary Foundation.
- Recipient, 1999 Outstanding Rotarian President for Zone II-A.
- Recipient, 2007 National “Ulirang Ina” Award.
LEONARDO D. VILLANUEVA
40, Utility Worker, Malabon City
- Afflicted with asthma but always admired for his kindness, diligence and sunny disposition.
- Lost his mother after she gave birth to his sister at age 7.
- Didn’t finish high school because he had to help his father for their daily subsistence.
- Worked as a car wash boy and employed as janitor in Tinajeros Elementary School since 1988.
- Received various recognition for his service from Tinajeros Elementary School.
Note:(Above pictures and Information credited to www.happiestpinoy.com)
The awarding ceremony was held at Shangri-la Hotel Makati, Rizal Ballroom, last Sept 18,2012. Hosted by Drew Arellano. Also present in the event were PJ Lhuillier top executives…
Ambassador Philippe Lhuillier, PJLI Chairman
Jean Henri Lhuillier, PJLI President & CEO
The Happiest Pinoy 2012 panel of judges includes Ramon Magsaysay Foundation president and CEO Ma. Carmencita Abella, Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, PJLI chief administrative officer Jose Miguel Jimenez, 2010 Happiest Pinoy awardee Winston Maxino, 2009 CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida, Brahma Kumaris Foundation Philippines president Dr. Leticia Ramon-Shahani, University of the Asia and Pacific senior vice president Dr. Bernardo Villegas and Philippine National Red Cross governor Miguel Zubiri.
The Happiest Pinoy 2012 was named… Mr. Rommel E. Arellano.
“I am overwhelmed with this unique recognition. By receiving this award, I hope to encourage more Filipinos to stay positive and remain optimistic despite life’s problems. I may not be able to walk, but getting up is never an issue. I will continue my journey, even if I have to crawl.” said Arellano.
CONGRATULATIONS to the 2nd Happiest Pinoy awardee!!!
The former Happiest Pinoy(2010) Winston Maxino and the present Happiest Pinoy(2012) Rommel E. Arellano.
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