Here are the 11 winning families from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and the United States honored for their noteworthy advocacies that made a significant impact in the lives of their fellowmen. The 5th Jollibee Family Values Awards (JFVA) Gabi ng Parangal para sa Pamilyang Pilipino held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) last September 24.
· Carlito, 57 – Father
· Iril, 56 – Mother
· Christopher, 34 – Son
· Carol, 27 – Daughter
· Noel, 25 – Son
· Karen, 24 – Daughter
· Catherine, 23 – Daughter
· Carmen, 22 – Daughter
· Cora, 21 – Daughter
· Carlito Jr., 15 – Son
Uniting the Aetas and protecting their rights are the main advocacies of the Domulot family.
The Domulots are among the active members of Lubos ng Alyansa ng mga Katutubong Ayta sa Sambales (LAKAS), which was established in 1986 after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. As chieftain of their tribe, Carlito underwent literary seminars led by the missionaries that founded the organization, and he made sure to share what he has learned with his community. Carlito also served as the LAKAS chairperson from 1999 to early 2015, and now acts as an adviser of the group.
Carlito is also among those who led the unity of the four Aeta tribes in Zambales. Through his efforts, and with the help of various NGOs and concerned groups, the Aetas were able to acquire the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) in March 2010, protecting the ancestral domain of more than 50,000 Aeta families, to whom the land rightfully belongs.
The family also served as their community’s teachers, conducing literacy programs and literacy and livelihood trainings for their fellow Aetas. Through the years, they were able to make a difference in the lives of about 5,000 families. They were also instrumental in the construction of a school in their community, seeking the help of various organizations to provide school supplies to underprivileged students.
The Domulot siblings are also doing their share in serving their community, assisting in seminars and working hard to help fund the family’s projects. The eldest, Christopher, is in Japan studying organic farming, aiming to help his kababayans improve their livelihood, while Noel, a Political Science student, has set his sights on becoming a lawyer for Aetas. Daughters Carol and Karen are also active as teachers of the school’s daycare and high school students, respectively.
Opol, Misamis Oriental
· Nathaniel, 55 – Father
· Amina, 48 – Mother
· Lara Angelie, 25 – Daughter
· Sarah Adrianne, 24 – Daughter
· Farrah Asleigh, 20 – Daughter
The Mambuay family believes that differences in culture and religion are not obstacles to a peaceful and nurturing community.
The family started as volunteers of a peace program in their hometown of Misamis Oriental, conducting community training to promote mutual respect and understanding among Muslims and Christians in different barangays and municipalities. Using their own funds and through the help of a friend in Germany, the Mambuays expanded their advocacy and established Kalilintad Pilipinas, Inc. in 2013. The organization conducts trainings, workshops and seminars on peace and non-violent communication to different groups in Mindanao. In addition, the group extends educational support to less fortunate children, and holds values formation seminars for those in jail.
When their province was hit by Typhoon Sendong in 2011, the family also used their personal resources and volunteered their time to provide relief goods and basic medical assistance. They also sought the help of the Society of the Divine Word missionaries and volunteers from the University of San Carlos to deliver psychological and medical support to the victims.
Dasmariñas City, Cavite
· Alfredo, 52 – Father
· Ma. Janette, 52 – Mother
· Anthea Carmeli, 21 – Daughter
· Angelico Amir, 15 – Son
· Jan Amille, 9 – Son
The Peña family is united in their mission to raise awareness about autism, heading capacity-building programs that empower not only persons with disabilities (PWDs), but also their families.
Parents Alfredo and Janette were instrumental in the establishment of the Bacoor chapter of the Autism Society Philippines (ASP) in 2006. Through their efforts, they have helped establish 13 ASP chapters in their home province of Cavite, benefitting more than 10,000 PWDs and their loved ones.
Using their own resources, the family reaches out to other families who, like them, have loved ones with autism. They partnered with various organizations to put up Special Education (SPED) centers in public schools in the city and nearby areas, providing education to PWDs at no cost.
Janette also facilitates regular support group meetings, and heads free seminars for parents, teachers, daycare workers, students and cause-oriented groups based in their native Cavite, as well as in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The Peña siblings are also active in the family’s projects. Anthea Carmeli and Jan Emille act as facilitators of their annual Siblings Workshops, where young attendees learn the importance of having a nurturing relationship with their loved ones with special needs. Anthea also hopes to continue what her family has started and is now on her fifth year as an Occupational Therapy student at De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, where she is a scholar. Amir was diagnosed with autism at a young age, but that did not stop him from also helping others and volunteering at a summer camp for PDWs.
· Emerito, 57 – Father
· Voleta, 56 – Mother
· Elaine Rose, 30 – Daughter
· Erika Anne, 29 – Daughter
· Einstein, 24 – Son
· Edward, 21 – Son
A throat cancer survivor, Emer lost his voice and can only communicate with the use of an electronic larynx, a handheld electronic device that replaced the functions of his vocal cords. He and his family have made it their mission to give tobacco victims and persons with disabilities (PWDs) a voice, empowering them through education and support.
In 2007, Emer established the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP), addressing PWD issues and cancer awareness. It conducts monthly conferences that raises awareness on the health hazards of tobacco, and also provided free electronic larynx units and esophageal speech training to those afflicted with throat diseases.
Through the years, the NVAP grew into a tobacco control advocacy group. As leaders of the NVAP, Emer and his wife Volet spearheaded the passage of two major health laws, the sin tax law and the graphic health warning law, which aim to raise awareness on the health risks brought about by tobacco. Because of his efforts, Emer was named as one of the 87 Global Cancer Ambassador by the American Cancer Society.
The Rojas family also partnered with the local government and NGOs on livelihood initiatives that help PWDs gain economic independence. To date, they have provided high-speed sewing machines to five PWD organizations in different barangays in Quezon City. They also conduct capacity building seminars to underprivileged communities in various areas, including Bohol, Bacolod and Cebu.
· Dante, 61 – Father
· Elna, 56 – Mother
· Paul, 32 – Son
· Dianne, 31 – Daughter
Dante knows the challenges of being visually impaired as he lost his sight during his final semester in college. While his condition hindered his dreams of becoming a CPA lawyer from coming true, he realized that he can still bring his other goals to life and help blind people like him achieve theirs.
He became a trainer for blind masseurs under a government scheme, but realized that those he trained ended up unemployed as they did not have any means to promote their services. This inspired him to put up VIBES, which stands for “Visually Impaired Brotherhood for Excellent Services,” in 1992. Dante established this enterprise offering massage services with only P8,000 as capital, which their choral group, led by his wife, raised from singing carols during the Christmas season.
Through VIBES, the Tiosan family provided skills and social development training to the visually impaired at no cost, equipping them with the abilities they need to earn livelihood. The beneficiaries, especially those who are homeless, are also given free food and lodging. To date, VIBES employs about 650 visually impaired persons in various branches across the country, allowing them to provide for their families despite their condition.
VIBES also has a cooperative that allows members and even their relatives to loan money for their needs at a very low interest. The cooperative’s proceeds are allocated for the family’s outreach programs, which include provision of school supplies to the children of visually impaired members and feeding projects in squatters’ areas.
Elna supports her husband’s program by managing the financial records of some VIBES branches. Their son Paul also acts as the manager of the business, using his IT expertise in running the enterprise, while the daughter, Dianne, is the one in-charge of marketing materials.
Global Pinoy Family of the Year
San Jose, California
· George, 63 – Father
· Melinda, 62 – Mother
· Michael, 40 – Son
· George, Jr., 37 – Son
Rondalla music has played a big part in George’s life since he was a kid. He finished school as a scholar because of it, and it taught him values and life skills that became a great help in his life as he grew up.
George and his family have made it their advocacy to uplift the lives of the less fortunate through rondalla music, establishing the Pagyamanin Likas Musika (PLM in 2010). With the help of family and friends, the organization was able to purchase new instruments that were donated to a chosen community or school, helping underprivileged children improve their self-esteem, character and livelihood through music.
Through the years, PLM has benefitted about 70 schools and marginalized communities in Cavite, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Taguig, Muntinlupa and even as far as Davao Del Norte.
The Gange family also uses music as a means to help victims of various calamities, serenading and entertaining residents of a nursing facility in California to raise funds. Through their organization, they also worked with rondalla groups in the US and the Philippines to produce a music CD, aptly titled Pamanang Pinoy, to raise funds for its beneficiaries.
Because of the family’s efforts, they were able to provide assistance to survivors of the earthquake in Nepal and in Bohol, Typhoons Yolanda and Ondoy, as well as those affected the Zamboanga siege.
5th JOLLIBEE FAMILY VALUES AWARDS
Special Citation for Environment
Roxas City, Capiz
· Rommel, 48 – Father
· Analy, 44 – Mother
· Cyprian Jade, 19 – Son
· Zyque Faith, 17 – Daughter
The members of the Basa family are all active in different advocacies that educate and uplift the lives of their community. Among these is the “Sagip Kalikasan, Sagip Buhay” project, which aims to provide alternative life vests using recycled plastic bottles. They visit various barangays to teach residents about disaster preparedness and to distribute these life vests.
At a young age, the Basa siblings have exemplified leadership and compassion for their fellowmen. In 2011, eldest son Cyprian Jade pioneered the “Farmers Project,” educating and training more than 500 farmers about making alternative organic pesticides. This program received various awards, including a recognition from the Department of Agriculture in their hometown. Cup was also named as one of the Ten Outstanding Boy Scouts of the Philippines for his community services and being a good role model to his fellow youth.
Younger daughter Zyque Faith initiated the program “Adlaw sa Balay Dalayunan,” mobilizing her schoolmates to volunteer in a home for PWDs in their native Roxas City. As the president of their school’s Values Education department, she also leads gift-giving efforts to the PWDs living there.
Special Citation for Education
· Jelson, 32 – Father
· Hyacinth, 34 – Mother
· Anastacia, 6 – Daughter
· Alessandra, 5 – Daughter
· Amarissa, 1 month – Daughter
Driven by their passion for education, husband and wife Jelson and Hyacinth turned their business that does corporate trainings and seminars, into an advocacy program that benefitted public school teachers and their students.
In 2011, the couple established EducAid, which offers monthly seminars, trainings, and workshops to public school teachers for free. From presentation skills and time management, to financial literacy and positive parenting, the program empowers teachers to provide higher quality education to their students.
From helping 23 teachers on their first year, the Capilos couple was able to reach out to more than 5,000 teachers and students nationwide, through the help of clients and sponsors. Jelson also partnered with a local channel for a nationwide training program, joining its outreach programs in far-flung provinces to facilitate seminars for teachers.
Special Citation for Minority Groups
· Ernie, 43 – Father
· Rosalie, 44 – Mother
· Lorniel Cid, 21 – Son
· Francis Erl, 15 – Son
· Eanda Franciel, 14 – Daughter
The Catanghal family is united in caring for the Mangyan tribe in Mindoro. Since 1999, they had been conducting regular feeding programs and seminars on proper hygiene practices for the indigenous people. With the help of partner organizations, they also conduct medical missions in the community, soliciting medicine and medical supplies from pharmaceutical companies and other likeminded groups, and distributing them to those in need.
In 2007, the Catanghal family began their education program for Mangyan kids, providing them with scholarship grants. They also personally visit the parents who are wary of sending their children to formal school, to convince them to let their kids go to school. They also put up a mission center, a shelter where scholars can reside as they complete their education.
Special Citation for PWDs
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
· Matthew, 43 – Father
· Angeli Natasha, 43 – Mother
· Bea Angela, 15 – Daughter
· Kyla Natasha, 12 – Daughter
· Luke Matthew, 9 – Son
For the Mendoza family, love and compassion can empower one to make a difference in the lives of others. Matthew and Angeli, whose eldest daughter Bea was diagnosed with Down syndrome, know how hard it is to find doctors and medical professionals with an expertise in caring for children with special needs. They also realized that unlike them, other parents do not have the means to provide therapy and even basic check-ups for their own kids.
In 2003, the Mendoza couple sought the help of various therapists and specialists for a free clinic, bringing medical experts to their hometown of Puerto Princesa. Since then, the medical mission has grown and is now held twice a year, benefitting 100 kids per session.
The family also undertakes projects that raise awareness on children with special needs, conducting seminars for parents and teachers on the topics of acceptance and inclusion, education and therapy. To further empower PWDs and their families, the Mendoza family also spearheads the Special Olympics in Palawan.
Special Citation for Children
· Edsel, 42 – Father
· Jennifer Rose, 42 – Mother
· Jessica Anne Nicole, 21 – Daughter
· Justine Gabrielle, 13 – Daughter
The Ramirez family has a special spot in their hearts for underprivileged kids. In 2012, they launched the Philippine Toy Library (PTL), which aimed to give back to children the experience and joy of play.
The PTL transforms idle spaces in barangays, schools, parishes, and partner organizations into toy libraries, serving as fun and educational playrooms. Here, kids are free to read and play, activities that little ones in need may not have access to, but are critical to a child’s mental, emotional, social, and physical development.
Apart from PTL, the Ramirez family has been active in helping a community of Dumagats in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija, conducing medical missions, sustainable livelihood trainings, and gift-giving projects for the underprivileged Filipinos there.
Photos: Arts & Travel Magazine