Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Making of a Modern-Day Pinoy Hero

7 Pinoy Modern-day Heroes
[Updated] Yahoo! Philippines came up with the "Pitong Pinoy" project to select seven Filipinos as identified by fellow Filipinos, the Yahoo! community, and then culled by the Yahoo! Philippines jury.

This project aims to inspire with an initiative that will recognize seven modern-day Filipino heroes in line with the commemoration of Philippine Independence, last June 12, 2011.

The nomination mechanics for these modern-day heroes include a brief explanation (not more than 200 words) of his or her accomplishments and the reason why he or she is nominated. The nominations were emailed to to until June 9, 2011 8:00 in the morning.

The nominated Pinoy should have made a significant and continuing impact on the Philippine society, serving as a local role model to their own communities. They should also be influential—even if their efforts have not gotten any publicity.

It's tough job for YP's to gather such numerous number of nominations—from loving parents, courageous law enforcers,  devoted health workers, brilliant artists, magnanimous celebrities, exemplary athletes, astute youth leaders, inspirational public servants, to simple folk who have touched others with their kindness.

Now, the seven modern-day Filipino heroes are as follows (in alphabetical order):

1. Alexis Belonio, an engineer and a prizewinning Filipino inventor who invented a environment-friendly rice-husk stove which has a fan in its base. It provides air used in the conversion of rice hulls into gas—helping poor families cook without needing expensive fuel. It's patent-free so the technology would be free for everyone to use. He works as a researcher at the International Rice Research Institute and as an associate professor of agricultural engineering at Central Philippine University.

2. Jean Enriquez is the head of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific, which vigorously fights sex tourism, the mail-order bride trade, pornography, and sexual exploitation. She fought for the welfare of Pinays. Her steadfast efforts to empower Filipino women was admirable.

3. Jay Jaboneta has used one Facebook status message to change the lives of dozens of children in a far-flung village in Zamboanga. He was able to raise funds—as much as P70,000—on the first week of his call for donations. A Facebook group "Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids" was later established, expanding his advocacy's reach. Now, the kids of Layag-layag go to school in their bright new yellow boats, each aptly dubbed as "Pag-asa" (New Hope).

4. Tomas Leonor has organized "StepJuan", a walking expedition where he travels along the various provinces in the Philippines on foot to raise funds for cancer-stricken children at the Philippine Children's Medical Center. His expedition started on April 4, 11 at Allen, Samar.  To date, StepJuan's Leonor has walked a total of 1,241.5 kilometers and taken 2,887,208 steps in seven islands, ten provinces, 86 municipalities, and 20 cities. "We are all volunteers believing in one cause which is to save children from cancer," he said.Last year, they were able to raise 1.5 million pesos by walking along Luzon. For this year, they have already raised 500,000 pesos for the cancer patients.

5. Heidi Mendoza, former Commission on Audit employer, who has made headlines and risked her life to expose supposed corruption in the military, allegedly led by ex-Armed Forces of the Philippines comptroller Carlos Garcia. She braved Senate hearings and bared details of suspicious military transactions, strengthening the multimillion plunder case against the former general. "We only fight corruption if it hits our interest. Some businesses would only want to talk about corruption when the economy is bad and it's hitting their business," she said.

6. Anna Oposa, the director of the Law of Nature Foundation, has proven her love for Mother Earth by vigorously working on protecting marine life. She initiated "Save the Philippine Seas," spurred by recent reports of massive coral reef destruction in several parts of the country. Her initiatives made quite a huge social network ripple and united Filipinos through a national blog day to save the Philippine seas. "I feel the need to fight for the environment because I'm Filipino," she says.

7. Tzarina Saniel is a teacher, nothing beats a real book—the feel of the old manuscript, the smell of the paper and the idea that it has cultivated the minds of many. As a book lover Saniel has collected and preserved old Filipino books, even original manuscripts from Jose Rizal. Because of her inspiring advocacy, she is definitely noteworthy for keeping Pinoy literature alive. "Unless we learn from history we will never be able to move on," Saniel said.

Who will be the next seven Pinoy heroes? Who knows? You might be one of them in the future.

The awarding of Pitong Pinoy :

Pitong Pinoy Awarding (part 1) - YouTube

Source : Yahoo! Philippines The Inbox
Photos  : Screengrab Yahoo! Southeast Asia Video


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