6 Fascinating Modern Filipino Heroes


Tony Meloto

Photo credits: wvsu.edu.ph
Photo credits: wvsu.edu.ph
"When Antonio “Tito Tony” founded Gawad Kalinga in 1995, nobody really expected this community-development foundation to become this big, with now a grand mission to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024. Today, Tito Tony has introduced the GK model to alleviate poverty to other developing countries like India and Columbia."

Kesz Valdez

Photo Credit: feedthehungryphil.org
Photo Credit: feedthehungryphil.org
"At age seven, Kesz was able to start his Caring Children organization that provides the basic needs of 10,000 street children, having been from a poor and depressed background himself. Now at 13-years-old, the Cavite-born is one of three nominated for the 2012 International Children’s Peace Prize, to be awarded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu on September 19th."

Efren Penaflorida

2009 CNN Hero Efren Penaflorida. AFP file photo
2009 CNN Hero Efren Penaflorida. AFP file photo
"Currently known for the “pushcart classroom” program, Efren and his friends started the Dynamic Teen Company youth group in 1997 to promote education in the slum areas of Cavite. Graduating from college with honors, Efren pursued with his advocacy, (taking Kesz Valdez under his wings in the process) which eventually earned him the prestigious CNN Hero of the Year award in 2009."

Manny Pacquiao

Photo credits: www.toprank.com
Photo credits: www.toprank.com
"A true epitome of a Cinderella story, Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao’s started with a poor background that led him to boxing at a very young age. The achievements of the Gen. Santos-native in pro-boxing (and beyond) have had the Filipino masses look up to his rousing feat to success. Regarded as the World’s Best Pound-for-Pound Fighter by several prestigious international sports bodies, Manny looks to remain as the country’s national sports icon even if decades after his career has ended."

Gerry Ortega


"The late environmental activist, journalist, and politician Gerry Ortega DVM was assassinated on January 24, 2011 reportedly due to his anti-mining advocacy in Palawan. The vocal veterinarian, who campaigned for crocodile farming in 1988 for Puerto Princesa, became the project director for ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Kalikasan-Palawan that launched at least five eco-tourism projects. In January of last year, Doc Gerry spearheaded the Ten Million Signatures campaign after the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) approved of the large-scale mining in his province. He was shot in the back of his head later the same month. 

(Visit no2mininginpalawan.com for more info.)"

Jose Robredo

Phot credits: ederic.net
Phot credits: ederic.net
"Here we go. Everyone knows who Jesse Robredo was: The caring mayor who personally swept the streets of Naga City in the wake of a Typhoon’s destruction. The innovative multi-awarded public official who showed that yes, the people can trust its elected politicians to do the right things. The hardworking DILG secretary who pushed through reform even in the face of underwhelming political support. Yet Robredo won hearts through his down-to-earth demeanor, which saw him playing pickup basketball right outside his Naga home, and join crowds of trabahadors and simple farmers during the annual Peñafrancia fiesta."