When in Manila…or anywhere else in the Philippines, you will find the Filipino tradition of “Utang na Loob (debt of inside or debt of gratitude)” alive. It’s a concept wherein a favour from somebody will be paid back by you and several generations of your family to come. Filipinos take gratitude a bit on an extreme level so you can imagine why it was a shock when in 2006, Manila was named one of the least courteous cities in the world b Reader’s Digest, failing at simple courtesies like saying “thank you.”
Proving them wrong, Toblerone and Manila revived our cultural trait of being grateful by establishing the first-ever National Thank You Day in 2007. And to keep this truly Filipino tradition that is Utang na Loob alive, Toblerone, the “Thank You Chocolate”, and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, made it a mission to recognize the wonderful feats that several outstanding individuals of the 11 million Filipinos abroad have accomplished. Thus, The Thank You Global Pinoy Awards was born.
“Inspired by the “pasalubong” homecoming tradition associated with Toblerone and in continuing its goal to revive the art of saying “thank you” among Filipinos, the brand is focusing its lens to the millions of Filipinos overseas who deserved to be thanked,” says Jaya Singh, Region Director, Middle East and Asia Pacific, Kraft Foods World Travel Retail.
Many Pinoys abroad who wowed us not only with their skills and career achievements, but also with their golden hearts have been nominated for the Global Pinoy Awards. The online nominations ran from October 2011 to February 2012. After the votes were cast and counted, here are the top ten Global Pinoy Hero Awardees and why people deem they deserve our biggest Thank Yous:
Reynaldo Lachica- Mr. Reynaldo Lachica Sponsors the Ulirang Kabataan Awards (M.A. Roxas High School and Bagong Barangay Elementary School) in Paco and Pandacan, Manila. He values education and recognizes hardworking students. In fact, when he won the 2010 Search for Toughest Jobs Philippines Grand Prize, half of the prize money was donates to the M.A. Roxas High School Science department for their student research program.
Dennis Laforteza- He brought pride to our country by cooking for not only one, but two presidents of the United States, Pres. Oabama, and his predecessor, Pres. George Bush.
Willy Carpio– He was involved with many projects under Filipino Club-Bahrain, Gawad Kalinga, Knights of Rizal, Legion of Mary, International Toastmasters Club. These projects benefited not only Pinoys in Bahrain, but also Pinoys at home.
Francis Padua Papica– He started out as a young achiever from Bicol, grew up to be a practicing lawyer in San Francisco. He has his own foundation helping his fellow Bicolanos be educated. He also gives out seminars for leadership.
Wilfredo Garing– His magical hands repairs vehicles of all kind. From ordinary to luxury, every little detail is taken care of. His dedication to produce great results made him a winner for the Auto denter competition in Japan, making us and the family he supports in the Philippines proud.
Julie Ann Ting – She was an outstanding student of their batch and got a Nightingale award. Staying in Singapore for the past three year, she does not only work for herself and her family; she also was able to support a number of NGO nursing homes through her service and kind-hearted donations.
William Catanghal– He inspires people to be of service to others by helping others himself. HE teaches children that helping out is the most important thing one can do.
Ryan Tamayo– Here is a man who will do everything to provide for his family. Workin in areas deemed unsafe due to the constant threats of bombings is all worth the comfort he provides for his loved ones.
Levi San Pedro– Another Filipino father who will beat the odds of working abroad in order to provide for his family. His hardwdork is rewarded well as his wife now owns a nursing facility, and his kids receive several awards both in academics and extra-curricular activities.
These ten outstanding Filipinos were recognized on March 15, 2012 at 7th High, Bonifacio High Street. The awardees who couldn’t be present because of their jobs were represented by their loving (and definitely proud) family. All the winners were given a plaque, a big ol’ bar of Toblerone, a very cute stuffed puppy, and cash prize. They may not be enough to convey our gratitude for them trying to make our world a better place, but it’s the best, and sweetest, thing we can do to recognize their efforts and achievements.
Again, thank you for making us proud. So When in Manila…or anywhere for that matter, do not forget to express your gratitude to our modern-day cape-less heroes. They may not be able to fly, look through walls, or blow an entire building to smithereens with one kick, but they change the lives they touch and they inspire us all to do more.
Thank You Global Pinoy