Cebuana Lhuillier has been hosting the annual “Search for the Happiest Pinoy“, and this 2019, it just keeps getting bigger, more exciting, and more colorful!
The bi-annual Search for the Happiest Pinoy is an advocacy program of Cebuana Lhuillier, the country’s largest microfinancial services company. The vision behind the search is to celebrate the Filipino values of resilience, hope and tenacity.
“Filipinos are one of the most resilient people in the world, facing life’s challenges with optimism, faith and a can-do attitude. At Cebuana Lhuillier, we believe that this should be recognized and encouraged at all times,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier president & CEO.
Top 20 Finalists of the Search for the Happiest Pinoy 2019
After months of search and getting around 800,000 submissions online and offline, the organizers has carefully trimmed down the entries based on criteria that goes beyond and digs deeper into the true meaning of being the “Happiest Pinoy”.
After all, the 1 Million prize is no joke! 🙂
And after filtering the entries into a few hundred, the Top 50, and then the Top 20, now meet the Top 10 Finalists / Category Winners.
The Top 10 represents the youth, senior citizens, overseas Filipino workers, lingkod bayan, professionals, manggagawang Pinoy, entrepreneurs, employees, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.
They are the following:
Khaye Celine Maggay – Happiest Pinoy Youth
- Khaye Celine is a 2nd year College Student from the University of Makati, she is taking up Bachelor of Science in Management Accounting. She was born with “Complex Syndactyly”, a condition of having incomplete fingers while the remaining fingers are joined together. Both of Khaye’s fingers have this condition and thus suffered bullying from her peers and classmates growing up.
Francisca Tumampil – Happiest Pinoy Senior Citizen
- Francisca is married with 3 children (2 sons and 1 daughter), of which, the eldest is mentally disabled. Francisca didn’t give up on raising her son, this required a lot of patience and hardwork — she would often multi-task: she would take care of the needs of her son, as well as be a great teacher. Francisca retired after 29 years of active service in the Department of Education Culture & Sports in 1996. As a service oriented person, Francisca continued to dabble in public service. She continued to work for the Senior Citizens in her community.
Jayson dela Fuente – Happiest Pinoy PWD
- Jayson got polio very young because he was not vaccinated and his parents did not have enough knowledge about vaccines. Jayson graduated as the valedictorian of his high school beyond all their financial constraints added on top of his disability. He graduated last 2018 from his masteral degree at La Consolacion College in Bacolod with Cum Laude distinction. He is now pursuing his doctoral degree in Education.
Hercules Soringa – Happiest Pinoy Manggagawang Pinoy
- Hercules is a father of two boys and one girl. His eldest daughter, Dhoanne Alyssa Soringa, 14 years old, is studying in Mandaue City Science High School. His second son, Hercules “Huggy” Hugred Soringa, was born with Congenital Heart disease and underwent three surgeries. His third son died because of Pulmonary Stenosis. Hercules’ story was featured in an MMK episode entitled “Alkansya”.
Zaldy Bueno – Happiest Pinoy Professional
- At first, Zaldy wanted to be a broadcaster and not a teacher. He stopped his schooling and became the waiter of his school while his classmates continued their studies. He did sideline jobs, became a working student and her mother became his student in DepEd’s Alternative Learning System. Zaldy was able to buy a car, a tricycle, and a motorcycle form his hard-earned money. Zaldy got the most sought after award in the teaching field in his region.
Rodrigo Roble Jr. – Happiest Pinoy Lingkod Bayan
- Rodrigo was born poor and experienced life’s struggles growing up, his ultimate goal was to finish college. 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) development of ‘SW Spotted’ page where he shares social workers’ success stories, encouragement, and positivity.
Fortunato Januto – Happiest Pinoy OFW
- Fortunato was given the opportunity to work as a camp boss in a construction site inside a military camp in Tikrit, Iraq. Because of the ongoing war, he—along with other workers from the Philippines —entered Iraq via Kuwait and traveled 24 hours via land from Kuwait, risking their lives in the process. In 2006, he was finally able to go home in the Philippines following a long stay in Iraq.
Mark David Cerezo – Happiest Pinoy Entrepreneur
- Mark David founded the group called “Pinoy Malikhain” — an organization that gathers volunteers who are willing to serve street and abandoned children through arts, entertainment such as free puppet shows, adaptations of Batibot, etc. Pinoy Malikhain has continued to bring smiles and inspiration to children through the art that they do. Mark is also well-known for sharing his talent with others and Mark has already trained prodigies who will continue the legacy of Rubberman and Pinoy Malikhain in the future.
Alfred Santos – Happiest Pinoy Employee
- Alfred grew up poor, having to gather fruits and scraps to make a living. He would then peddle his products in his neighborhood, walking as far as 15 km at one time. He is now a marketing officer at OLM Institute and Skills Training Center for Allied Courses, Inc. He is also the company’s liaison officer for assessment center. Also, an OJT coordinator of the senior high school division of TESDA courses. Alfred was recently awarded as the Provincial and Regional TESDA Idol last August 2018 and received the Gintong Kabataan award from the Province of Bulacan.
Leovy John Terrado – Happiest Pinoy LGBTQ
- Leovy John knew he was different – but he chose to ignore it, , since he was the eldest in the family and the only son. He finished vocational Food & Beverage course, and immediately found employment at 15 years old at a bar where he stayed for three years before finally resigning – buoyed by his desire to continue schooling. Currently serves as the family’s breadwinner after he returned home.
The 10 Category Winners each receives P50,000 in cash prizes. They will then go through a panel interview to determine this year’s Happiest Pinoy grand winner who will take home P1,000,000 tax free!
The panel of judges includes:
- Zenaida Maglaya – DTI Undersecretary
- Gang Badoy Capati – founder of Rock Education Project, Inc.
- RJ Ledesma – EnterPH co-founder and motivational speaker
- James Deakin – TV host, journalist and online influencer
- Love Anover-Lianko – TV host
- Jonathan Yabut – The Apprentice Asia winner
- Rommel Arellano – 2012 Happiest Pinoy grand winner
- Richardson Navor – 2015 Happiest Pinoy grand winner
- Winston Maxino – previous Happiest Pinoy winners
“It is only fitting that we reach the final stages of the search this month – to coincide with the International Day of Happiness on March 20, as declared by the United Nations to recognize happiness as a “fundamental human goal.” Similarly, we at Cebuana Lhuillier believe that an inclusive and well-balanced approach to economic growth is a means to promote the happiness and well-being of every person,” adds Jean Henri Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier president & CEO.