2019 Finalists



At a very young age, Khaye Celine has fought her way through life. She has been constantly bullied by other kids due to her disfigured hands and feet caused by a hereditary disease. Living on a day to day basis, Khaye would scavenge used nails and scrap metals on the streets to help her parents provide food for the family. Determined to rise above life’s challenges, she believes that life has something good to offer. Today, she is a scholar taking up Bachelor of Science degree in Management Accounting at University of Makati while serving as the youngest pastor in their ministry.


Francisca is married with 3 children (2 sons and 1 daughter), of which, the eldest is born with special needs. Francisca didn’t give up on raising her son, this required a lot of patience and hard work -- she would often multi-task: she would take care of the needs of her son while aspiring to become a great teacher. As a seasoned teacher in Koronadal, South Cotabato, Francisca has organized literacy programs for our Muslim brothers and sisters in the region and continues to serve the community as head of the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs handling 27 barangay chapters. Through her efforts, Francisca was able to provide opportunities to senior citizens through various livelihood programs.


Born to an impoverished family in Negros Occidental with no access to public healthcare and free vaccinations, Jayson Dela Fuente was afflicted with polio during infancy. Determined to rise above poverty, Jayson pursued his education taking on odd jobs, while supporting his family and nine other siblings. After years of hard work, Jayson is now a teacher with a master’s degree in Education major in General Science and will pursue his doctoral degree in Education.


Hercules story has been featured in an MMK episode entitled “Alkansya” that made him known as Tatay Hercules. He has three children wherein the second child named Huggy, undergone three heart surgeries due to Congenital Heart disease while the youngest one died because of pulmonary stenosis. Despite these challenges, he focuses on the positive side of the situation by appreciating those people who helped him in fulfilling his role as a father. Because of this, he becomes someone who doesn’t forget to give back to the community. He became a volunteer in Tacloban for Typhoon Yolanda victims, a volunteer in relief operations in Bohol, and a volunteer Reservist to the Philippine Airforce participating in disaster relief and recovery efforts.


Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it, this adage perfectly describe the story of Zaldy Bueno of Gumaca, Quezon Province. He even stopped his schooling to work as his school’s waiter, became a working student, and served as his mother’s teacher in DepEd’s Alternative Learning System Class. His undying dream to provide a better life for his family propelled him to greater heights. Zaldy got the most sought after award in the teaching field and is the founder of PADYAK, providing bicycle units to less fortunate students who struggle to stay in school.


Rodrigo struggled most of his life, coming from a poor family with barely enough to eat. In spite of this, he chose to become a Social Worker as his way to help those that are less fortunate. His exceptional projects are, (1) the development of “Donation Drive ng Tubig” during the war in Marawi where he collected almost 8,000 liters of water equivalent to Php 140,000.00 with the help of Philippine Army, (2) organized “Pamaskong Handog para sa Kabataan”, where they share some toys, food, and a surprise magic show for indigent children, and (3) the development of ‘SW Spotted’ page where he shares social workers’ success stories, encouragement, and positivity.


Similar to millions of Filipinos who believe that life abroad is for the better, Fortunato left home and braved the deserts of Iraq in 2003 to provide for his family’s financial need. Because of the ongoing war, he—along with other workers from the Philippines — entered Iraq and traveled 24 hours via land from Kuwait, risking their lives in the process. Despite the fear and uncertainty brought by the war, he worked diligently as an administrative staff for a construction company for three (3) years before finally coming home to the Philippines in 2006.


Mark David is known as the Philippines ‘Rubberman’ who founded "Pinoy Malikhain" - an organization that gathers volunteers who are willing to serve street and abandoned children by transforming scrap rubber into toys, sculptures, puppets, and other forms of art. Undeniably, this organization has become an advocacy more than a business that will continue to bring smiles and inspiration to children through the art that they do.


Alfred has come a long way from being the son of poor farmers in San Miguel, Bulacan to now the provincial and regional TESDA Idol. Currently, he is a marketing officer at OLM Institute, a liaison officer in an assessment center and an OJT coordinator of the senior high school division of TESDA courses. Indeed, his persistency has become his greatest strength towards achieving a good and successful life.


Leovy John knew about his sexual orientation at an early age, but he ignored this fact as he was the only son and the eldest in the family. At 15, he finished a vocational course on food and beverage and worked at a bar where he stayed for three years before finally resigning, as he desires to continue his studies. Currently, he serves as the family’s breadwinner by helping his sister on getting her college degree and also exploring work opportunities in order to lift his family from poverty.