Project Bayani Finalists

It is our great pleasure to announce the winners of the Project Bayani Photography Contest! With the help of professional photographers Jilson Tiu and JC Gellidon, we present the best works that stood out from over 500 entries across the country.

Thank you to everyone who took part in Project Bayani by sharing their personal heroes. And for the unsung heroes, we are beyond grateful for your hard work and dedication in everything you do.

May we continue to encourage and inspire the people around us.

 

FIRST PLACE

Mark Luceño, shot on iPhone Xs Max

Prize
iPhone 11 Pro Max, Premium Accessories worth P27,500, and a trip to Bohol for two at Amorita Resort worth P70,000

“This is Rogelio, A.K.A. JR. He is 18 years old, a construction worker. He is one of eight siblings. He chose to work instead of continuing his education in order to send his two younger brothers to school.

He previously worked as a fish delivery boy, chicken feeder and fisherman. He sacrificed his right to education in order to give his siblings an education. He stopped at grade 10 and when I asked him if given a chance would he like to resume his schooling? He said he would love to but honestly he might

just look for another job rather than go back to school because for him it was the most practical decision.

This is not just JR’s story. This is a story of a lot of filipinos, working hard and pushing through life’s struggles to give their siblings or their children an education. I admire his selfless love for his family but this is not ideal. Education is a right not a privilege. And seeing him make this sacrifice alone makes me respect him even more.

I encourage everyone that has access to education, not waste their chance and take full advantage of it. Learning about JR’s story opened my mind to another aspect of life. I would help him get back on track and give him an education while still retaining his current job so he could get through life as an educated, self-respecting and kind-hearted individual.”

 

SECOND PLACE

Geremias Agpay, shot on iPhone XR

Prize
iPhone 11, Premium Accessories worth P21,700, and a trip to Bohol for two at Amorita Resort worth P52,600

“A hero can be anyone who gives influence to your life, and I consider my father as one. Everyday is a challenge to endure for my father who planted crops that can be sold to the market just to support us. Everything is a risk for a farmer like my father. In a remote place of Malungon Sarangani, he plow the fields, raises livestock and do his farming all by faith. It’s even more challenging because the harvested products can only be transported to the nearest town through horse-carriage or by lifting it on your back. All of these under the heat of the sun to the threatening rain, he teaches us to be resilient.

My father is a testimony that chivalry is not dead. His job is not just about providing for the family, but it’s also for the community. He is an epitome of a good Filipino citizen, he represents every valiant farmers, and he embodies every father who chooses this career selflessly. If becoming humane means doing his ways, I will forever be grateful to follow his path.

He is a man of action. A proud of his ethnicity. And an honored indigenous farmer.

He is my hero, our hero. He is my father!”

 

THIRD PLACE

Nicole Solomon, shot on iPhone 6 Plus

Prize
iPad 7th Gen, Premium Accessories worth P18,600, and a trip to Bohol for two at Amorita Resort worth P44,000

“Maagang gumigising para mag handa at mag trabaho at kasabay nito ang maagang pagsalubong sa kanya ng panganib. Hindi nila alam kung kailan aatake at anong klaseng magiging galaw ng kanilang kalaban. Ang kalaban nila ay kalmado at masarap pagmasdan ngunit may taglay din itong kalakasan na mahirap kalabanin at kapag ito’y umatake ay pwedeng humantong sa masaklap na trahedya, ang kalaban nila ay ang alon at ang hangin.

Ang bawat araw ay panibagong buhay at ang bawat layag nila ay nakasalalay sa kanila. Tinitiyak nila na maihahatid nila ang kanilang mga pasahero sa kanilang mga destinasyon na walang nangyayaring masama. At tinitiyak din nila na makakabalik sila sa kanilang mga pinanghuhugutan ng lakas, at sa kanilang mga inspirasyon, ang kanilang pamilya. Ang kanilang pamilya ang nagsisilbing instrumento para magpalakas ng kanilang loob na lumaban sa agos at alon ng buhay.

Ang buhay ay parang isang agos, minsan ito’y magulo at maalon, at minsan naman ay payapa pero pagkatapos itong malampasan ay tiyak may bahaghari kang makikita sa dulo. Maaring maliit ang nakukuha nila at hindi sapat pero hindi ito hadlang sa kanila kung gaano kahirap ang kanilang trabaho para lang maitaguyod ang kanilang pang araw – araw. At hindi rin hadlang ang kahirapan sa pag abot ng pangarap. Ang kahirapan ay dapat gawin inspirasyon para umunlad at maabot ang mga pangarap mo sa buhay.”

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Prize
Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000 mAh Power Bank and Wall Charger worth P1,995 Adam Elements Omnia Q1 Wireless Charging Pad worth P3,250

 

Don Flores, shot on iPhone 7

“Heroes are everyday people. From a jeepney driver working his ass off just to put his child to school, to a firefighter risking his life to spare another one’s. Maybe even a grandmother, who is willing to throw her beliefs down the drain just to support his grandchild. My Lola Mae raised me and my brothers when my parents decided to work abroad. Lola was born and raised in Ilo-Ilo, making her family and religion ties tough as concrete. She also has an intimidating persona, earning her the nickname ‘Bruha’ at our place.

But inside her tough, impenetrable shell is a selfless, loving grandmother who’s willing to move mountains for her grandchildren. And she proved all that when I decided to come out of the closet. Most grandmothers went to extreme lengths just to explain to a child the consequences of being gay. But mine didn’t. She went the extra mile, breaking the norms that once shackled the society. Coming out as gay in the Filipino setting mostly ended in heartbreaks. But my coming out story ended with my Lola Bruha sitting beside me on the couch all while watching Rupaul’s Drag Race.

And that’s how a hero should be. Set aside everything, even your precious beliefs, for the sake of your loved ones.”

 

Melizza Frani, shot on iPhone X

“A man of steel he has never been,
Steering his trike, yet he proved so keen.
His petite body frame appeared like frail
But from it huge strength would never fail.

Day and night, he tirelessly worked,
Roads rough and dirt, he always traversed, Fetching, dropping here and there,
Wherever waiting, a passenger.

Pillar of home, he stood so sturdy
When many times, our mother fell sickly.
His three children — we would often see,
Life had been far from easy.

A girl I was, at such a young age,
Grew up to see how my father managed,
To send us to school up till college,
Through various hardships, with just pure courage.

As eldest I grew up in the form of his teaching,
That in spite of where life’s shortcoming,
In parental love, we were never lacking,
His words of wisdom, cut deep into my being.

And so his hard work and determination,
In my heart it flourished as my inspiration.
The roads he would drive, the turns he would take, Laid down each foundation of a future I would make.
Now, I have turned the woman of his molding,

Living the profession I have loved pursuing, Yet, never failing to look back on one thing, To always appreciate your humble beginning.

A man of steel, he may have never been, A plain tricycle driver, everyone has seen, No cape, nor suit nor special power,
But a real hero, and that is my father. ”

 

Christian Sumagang, shot on iPhone 11

“ ‘To save lives and protect properties’ — the words engraved in the hearts of each firefighter. There is no other sacrifice that can be compared to their commitment of saving others’ lives in expense of their own — a true meaning of heroism.

She is FO2 Jackielyn Caranguian, a native of Cagayan Valley. She has been in service for five years, and is currently assigned in Tanduay Fire Station in Quiapo. She is a Mass Communication graduate. Although being a firewoman is unrelated to her studies and it is a profession dominated by men, her heart still chose to pursue service for others and the general public. Seems like she is a superhero who answered her own calling. She has already saved a number of human lives amidst of mountainous fires, but there are still some who underestimates her and doubts her capabilities. Although the government fails to provide adequate equipment and facilities, it is not a hindrance for her to perform her willingness to serve and save lives.

Now that we are celebrating the Women’s Month, FO2 Jackielyn is a perfect example embodying the image of an “Empowered Woman” — she is a living proof that there is no correlation between gender and one’s capacity to perform a certain duty. She is a true inspiration and a real hero along with her co- firefighters who have already risked lives and still continuously risking lives to save people in danger, and who are continuously doing their promised duty of “MAMAMAYAN MUNA, HINDI MAMAYA NA.”

 

Reginald Lorico, shot on iPhone 8 Plus

“Tourism as a driver of social and economic growth is still largely a foreign concept in our hometown of Borongan in Eastern Samar despite the overwhelming natural beauty and culture within its immediate surroundings. My hero is among those seeking to change that and is one of the staunchest believers that our city has what it takes to be a premier adventure destination in the country. His name is Zar Labtic, a cave and rappel master, tour guide, and professional rescuer all rolled into one.

We met when I was still beginning to fall in love with the art of photography. He took me to one undiscovered spot to another which we did over a spread of several years since I lived in Manila. This built a strong desire in me to move back to our hometown and elevated my purpose of doing the craft that led me to create my lifelong commitment to photograph the island of Samar and its people.

Beyond showing tourists our raw and rugged landscapes, Zar looks out to the wider horizon. He is aware of the social responsibility that goes with tourism and has inculcated that in me throughout the years. I have recently moved back to Borongan to help out in developing its tourism sector. The reason my hero and I met has never been clearer and that is to ensure that as our city embraces tourism, we will do it in a sustainable and an inclusive manner.”

 

John Torremonia, shot on iPhone X

“ ‘A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.’
Joseph Campbell’s quotation mentioned above closely describes my remarkable father. Bonifacio Torremonia, Jr. is a full-time father, a husband, and a farmer. He, too, was once just like me— full of dreams and hopes for the future. And education is a ticket to that promising future, but this was not granted to him. Because life was tough, my grandparents made him embrace farming rather than studying. He sacrificed his dreams but it made him even better— a hero.

He is my hero. His unfulfilled ambitions for himself did not stop him from supporting his children’s own aspirations. Every day he wakes up at four in the morning to start farming. His meager income combined with significant sacrifices was enough to produce professionals. What seemed impossible to some was made possible by my hero. I am now a medical technologist and my sisters are a nurse and a teacher.

My father is also one of the world’s unacknowledged heroes. Farmers work strenuously from daybreak to sunset. They do laborious job but are underpaid. They feed people even those who are ungrateful to them. Surely, farmers are heroes whom we should give high regard to. Indeed, heroes are not just those people whom we can find in books or in movies; some are just simple people who have the heart to constantly try to make our lives a little better day by day.”

 

Rey Carinungan, shot on iPhone 8

“I see Prof Eds as a hero as he teaches with passion and compassion. Prior to his teaching career, he was already in a senior position in the corporate world but decided to go in the academe, full time. He went back to entry level as he started as an instructor in this public university where he is teaching. There was a struggle as there was a big difference in the working environment and compensation in the career path he took, but he managed.

I had a chance to work with his past students, they did great at work and I also heard positive feedback of him from them. One of them said that he’s willing to listen to students and their problems, and he really reach out to the struggling students. I also had a chance to visit our Alma mater where now he is now teaching, I had an opportunity to see his class. I felt his passion and captured the interests of his students as these future health professionals are willing to learn and they actively participate in class.

After his class I randomly asked him, “What makes a hero?” He answered “Heroes are not born, they are made. Students are destined to be heroes of the future, it takes a teacher to lead them to that direction.” And what could be more heroic than making heroes?”

 

Ryan Tolentino, shot on iPhone 11 Pro

“ ‘Anak, halika. Pwede mo bang hilutin ang likod ko?” “Aray!’ ang ‘yong bukambibig “Bakit po Ama? Masakit ba?” Tanong ko. Ngingiti ka lang at sasabihin, “Awan. Ay-ayaten dakayu launay.” Ang bawat aray mo sa buhay ay katumbas pala ng katagang ay-ayaten dakayu launay.
Ang kantang “Magtanim ay ‘di biro, maghapong nakayuko” ay napakasarap palang pakinggan dahil ito ang ‘yong paraan upang sabihin na handa kang ibigay ang lahat para sa aming mga pangarap. Nilalakbay mo ang higit kumulang limang kilometro papuntang palayan. Maghapong babad sa arawan. Uuwi ng hapon, masakit ang katawan.

Ngunit, hanga ako sa’yo, Ama Dahil wala akong nakitang pagod, kundi pagmamahal lamang. Hanga ako sa’yo Ama. Dahil wala akong nakitang pagtanggi, kundi tanging magandang buhay na iyong minimithi. Sa tuwing uuwi ka, ibababa ang ‘yong sombrero, gapas, at pamunas. Lalapit ka sa akin at sasabihin, “Anak, high school lamang ang natapos ko. Ngunit, kailanman ay ‘di ako sumuko. Dahil alam ko ang kapalit ay ang makapagtapos kayo. Kami ng ‘yong ina, gusto namin na mabigyan kayo ng magandang buhay. Dahil ‘yon lamang ang aming maipapamana.”

Palayan. Simbolo ito na dapat natin ipagmalaki ang lahat ng magsasaka dahil ipinapakita nila ang tunay na pag-asa.Pawis. Ipinapakita nito na kailanman, sa anumang pagsubok, ay hindi dapat tayo sumuko.At Pangarap. Salamat Ama. Dahil sa ‘yong sakripisyo, kami’y nakapagtapos. Unti-unting inaabot ang mga pangarap sa patuloy mong paglingap.

“Ay-ayaten dakayu launay” Ay katumbas ng pagmamahal mong pang-habambuhay. “Ay-ayaten dakayu launay” Ay katumbas ng sakripisyong walang sawa mong iniaalay. ”

 

Jovilyn Paloma, shot on iPhone 7 Plus

“Sa totoo lang laking inggit ko sa mga nakakapagaral… kaya gusto ko sana mapagtapos ang mga anak ko” those are some of the words that he uttered when i visited him in Bulacan.

Pablito was born to a father who does farming and carpentry for a living, and a mother who passed away shortly after he was born. Although being the youngest out of 7 children, he was never spared from poverty. When he was 3 years through secondary level, his father disclosed that he could no longer fund his education. He was forced to put his dreams aside and started working at a young age in order to help provide for his family.

Now that he has a family of his own, he starts his day by waking up even before the sun rises. Fueled with nothing but a cup of coffee, he heads off to work after driving his kids to school at the neighboring town. He juggles from one work to another in order to sustain their daily means. From trading junks, construction, carrying delivery goods, to farming, he undauntedly accomplishes everything. He doesn’t only provide for his own family, he’s also one of those heroes who are responsible for feeding the mouths of people across the country.

Not everyone might be aware of his story, but to me they will never remain unappreciated. A chevalier equipped with calluses, blood and sweat; a luminary that embodies selflessness, integrity, bravery, and determination. He truly is an inspiration.”

 

Noe Lopez, shot on iPhone 7 Plus

“My dad started farming when he was still 10, his grandpa trained him young. He trained him how to make dry piece of land into fertile land. Although my father did not finish his higher studies, he always motivates and inspires us by saying, “Through hard work you can achieve anything you want; keep pressing and persevere.”

Being a farmer definitely is not for everyone. It really is a pressing hard life, and now he’s 56, I can say that working in the farm made my dad’s faith stronger and firmer. His sweat and blood from sowing the seeds up until harvest doesn’t guarantee yielding crops. Despite feeling defeated countless times due to unfavorable harvests, he still persisted because his heart belongs to the field, under the scorching sun.

When the local climate changed and nothing seems going right, they hope that the end crop will still be worth the effort and struggle. Whenever they feel like giving up, they just remind themselves of how they started and the family that depends on them.

I will forever carry with me a part of who I am today, and the motivation to raise my children as close to the way I was raised. Every crops harvested that turns into pride that I see in my father’s eyes after a job well done, will be my favorite moment and forever will be engraved in my heart.”

 

Lianne Torres, shot on iPhone 7 Plus

“ ‘Ang alaga ko ang laki laki na!!’, she’d always say loudly with smile and sheer excitement whenever she visits our family in Cavite. Yaya Myrna came from an indigenous family in Surigao Del Norte. She took care of me and my two siblings for more than a decade. She went from a stranger to our nanny and eventually a part of our family.” (1/3)

Yaya Myrna is now working for another family to support her only child. She used to have very fluffy curly hair. She calls me bunso and she taught me how to pose in photos. She loves watching teleseryes and laughs at the smallest things. I grew up with her guidance, through her rose-colored view of life, and joyful personality. She proved to me that family isn’t always bound by blood; as long as there’s respect, happiness, and love between people, anyone can be your family.

She’s been through life’s ups and downs – she had her first child at an early age, found love at 23 with someone whom she lost early, lost her house in a fire, and spent most of her life away from her family to earn money— but Yaya Myrna’s optimism is a gift that I hope I had embodied and inherited from her. It’s been years since she left our family to create her own path in life but she still visits us occasionally. For me, Yaya Myrna is a hero of her own, to our family, and to her son.”

 

Mark Alcaide, shot on iPhone

“Back when I used to go to the farm with Tatang Idong, he always wakes me up to accompany him at first light. We would get vegetables, fruits and at the same time check our rice field. My Nanang sells the excess that we brought back for a reasonable price to support my education. Sacrifices were made just to send me to school, and have a decent life while my parents are working away. And that makes them my heroes. My rock and anchor.

While I was riding a bus, I promised that one day all the hard work and sacrifices my beloved Grandparents made for me will pay off. I will repay them. They are my inspiration, my reason to finish college and have a stable job.

I paid a visit to them last February 15. Luckily, it’s a season where they get to harvest corn. I went to farm with my Tatang and lent a hand, he told me that patches of crops were infected by pests. Crops were eaten by worms, got spoiled and wasted, he said that the profit was not enough, because the importers buy the crops at a low price. I pity them. Sweat, exhaustion and time is needed for crops to grow and be taken care of.

I felt sad at that time, let’s support our fellow Filipino farmers. Let’s not cut off their only source of income to the point that they cannot buy their daily and essential needs for their families.”

 

Gladys Garcia, shot on iPhone 7 Plus

“Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear aprons. For me, a hero is a person who inspires you to dream big and is someone who empowers other people. He is Jeffrey Salon, a visual artist, my partner, my hero. His art is amazing. I admire it so much that it gives me the desire to create my own, through my love of photography. His enthusiasm to create has greatly influenced me rediscover my own passion.

Life wasn’t easy for him as an artist. To pursue his love for arts, he left his hometown at the age of 17. Each struggle he had in his journey shaped him to become the person that he is today. His art expresses his vision of the world. His goal is to create something which can contribute to a positive social change. He believes that art can be a powerful way to uplift humanity and to make changes to people’s lives. Salon’s exhibits like “Dream a Dream” and “Broken Boundaries” encourage everyone to strive for greatness and to unlock their fullest potential as human beings.

For him, our gifts are purposely given not only for our own sake but also for the sake of those around us. He is committed in bringing hope and healing, in building meaningful connections amongst individuals and in giving sense to one’s life making this world a much better place. For me, every artist, like Jeffrey Salon, is an unsung hero whose talent should be appreciated and celebrated.”

 

 

FINALISTS

Prize
OtterBox Symmetry Series iPhone Case worth P2,600

 

Limuel Linio, shot on iPhone Xs

“Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they wear a genuine smile and spark hope in their eyes which instantly create ripples of delight in your heart. This is Rizza Mae, a student in Sitio Paco Paco, who I met last March 1 when we did an outreach activity in their place. Despite of being part of the most remote community in Arakan, Cotabato where support doesn’t come often, Rizza Mae still strives to finish school. This dedication makes her a hero, not just to her family but also to her community where the little ones would look up to her as a role model.

This kind of stories inspired me and my brother, Wahlie, to build an organization which we named Project Larawan, an initiative ignited by our passion for photography which aims to help the indigenous people especially the children. Most of the funds that we use for our projects come from the photoshoots we do for different clients.

We may be the hero for Rizza Mae, but for us, she, and the rest of children in their community, is our hero. Her aspirations to improve her life motivate me to create more significant changes not just within myself but for one community we are living in. Her optimistic view in life creates a huge impact in my life which encourages me more to keep photographing, not just to capture moments, but also to capture dreams.

Keep shining, Rizza Mae!”

 

Jovelyn Mateo, shot on iPhone 7 Plus

“We all have our own hero, one who has no cape or superpowers but is willing to protect us and do whatever it takes to save us. Mine is the one I call “Ma.” The one I can never live without, the strongest and most selfless person I know. A fighter, a lover, a mother and an aneurysm survivor who did not stop pushing herself to recover so that she could take care of us.

It took years of sleepless nights, physical therapy, hope and constant prayers before she recovered. It wasn’t an easy fight, but we managed to survive that storm because she showed us how brave and determined she was. She may no longer be able to speak properly, and not be able to move her right arm, but she still does her job as a parent. She never stops giving, and loving. There are days that I forget to check on her, yet when things don’t go my way, she’s there, and her arms are always ready to comfort me.

During the hardest battle of our family, she showed us how to be tough. In those days when we were all in so much grief when my dad died, she managed to keep it all together. She has shown us that no matter what happens and no matter how hard or dark some days get, life goes on and things will get better as long as we have each other.”

 

Annalyn Villafuerte, shot on iPhone

“I consider my son with special needs as my own personal hero for a reason. I was battling anxiety and depression that has given me thoughts about insecurity and hopelessness. My son was the reason why I consistently wake up and continue to fulfil my purpose— to be his mother and his protector for as long as I can.

One day when I was alone, my mind was clouded up with negative thoughts and a sudden urge to end it all got into me. But then, my son whom with pure innocence had no clue with what’s going on, approached and hugged me so tight then told me that he needed me to tie his shoes. A simple task he can’t perform due to his intellectual disability that causes poor motor and cognitive skills. And by that moment, I realized how can I be so selfish in ending my own life when this little guy right here needs me for him to live a normal life?

Motherhood brings out absolute worst and best in each of us. But no matter what, we must know that we are our children’s pillar of strength and for them, we are perfect even if we aren’t. As of now I always find comfort in keeping a close connection with my son to keep me sane. I know each of us fights our own battles but we need to know that we are loved, we a have purpose and we are NEEDED. ”

 

Camille Millapre, shot on iPhone 11

“She gets old, but her beauty is timeless. Young at heart she always been; I am deeply in awe of her gracefulness. My mom is quirky and bubbly. She can be often loud, and has the tendency to keep on nagging about a lot of things. Sometimes it seems like it has no ending. It can be annoying at times but, for all I know, she only means well.

Unlike most moms, she is not really the best cook but what matters most is that I come home to my favorite fried meals that she made with love. These comparisons never made me doubt her worth. I feel blessed to have a mom who can’t do as many things as others but makes sure to do her best in her own unique way.

There were hardships and sacrifices that I know she chose to endure on her own. I can never truly repay everything she’s done for me. Everything that she is, all the things that she’s done— from the simplest to the grandest, helped me pave my life paths. Never think of it as a typical choice but our parents are definitely our real life heroes. They provide us the finest shields and the most powerful weapons to conquer our battles.

Being my mother’s daughter is something I am most grateful for each day, and something that keeps me looking forward to every tomorrow with her unconditional love. I will forever be proud of my wonderful mom.”

 

Sorelle Averia, shot on iPhone X

“Diosdado San Juan, or known locally as Dado, is 58 and has been surrounded by film cameras his entire life. He decided to open up his own repair shop in the hellish streets of Quiapo back in the 90s. Mang Dado does not aspire to be rich or famous, he cares about legacy—not his legacy, but the legacy of each individual he has helped. He doesn’t save lives, he saves dreamers. Dreamers who are ready to give up on their passion for something “practical”. Mang Dado helps create a community and inspires them that not everything has to be within societal “standard”.

There was a time when I was confused about a lot of things— trying out new things to figure out what I wanted. I came to Mang Dado with an old (unsure if it worked) camera from my grandfather, with not enough cash to pay for the repair he said, “first camera mo ito diba? Kung ilan lang kaya mo, matutuwa ka naman diyan sigurado”. I left that day with two things; a functioning camera, that has helped me create memories for me and others, and a lesson. A lesson that taught me to be true to myself, to be better, to be content. To this day I still go back to him, not for his services, but for the company, stories, and inspiration. Mang Dado isn’t your typical hero, but the one I needed during a time of turmoil and self-doubt.”

 

Jod Dalmacio, shot on iPhone 7 Plus

“Breaking the Barriers: One of my seniors in the force, a female pilot, is who I consider a hero in our time.

Captain Claire is from Zamboanga. She is a graduate of a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and also a licensed nurse. Because of her skills and determination, she got into the Philippine Air Force Flying School despite of not being able to qualify on a few physical criteria. Graduated in 2014, she started her career as an Air Force Pilot.

Our profession has always been dominated by men. Seeing a woman in the force, leading us, opens great opportunities to the future generations. She makes all these possible at the same time as being a wife and mother to her 8 year old daughter.

This women’s month, it is a reminder for us to celebrate and applaud on their achievements too. I hope this gives inspiration to all that anyone, female or male, can do anything in the best of their abilities no matter the barrier.

My senior is a living proof of this. She is one of the contributors in our society who are breaking the barriers now that eventually, a female pilot won’t be recognized as a “female pilot” but a pilot.”

 

Carla Danielle Sismar, shot on iPhone 7 Plus

“He is Darylle M. Arsenal, 11 years old, a resident of Purok 1-A, Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte. Darylle is currently enrolled as a Grade 5 pupil of Palma Gil Integrated School.

He is a HERO for he is the living definition of a “perfectly imperfect” child. A child who has no arms and legs but has a wonderful outlook toward schooling. No legs for walking from home to school and from school going home, no arms to carry school things but he has enthusiasm in his studies. He is a goal- driven child and has a strong determination in achieving his dreams and ambitions regardless of his status in life.

Despite his imperfections he would never say NO to any task even outside his comfort zone. No arms but cutting using scissors, writing, drawing and coloring is just a piece of cake for Darylle, he would always give his teacher a wonderful and neat output. No legs but a performer in school and has no stage freight.

His positive outlook and eagerness despite his ability is a remarkable inspiration and motivation to all, that your disability and imperfections will not define you: Life has a lot to offer, always look at its positive side.

 

Marie Ailes, shot on iPhone 7 Plus

“If Marvel has the Avengers and DC has the Justice League composed with the best, robust and mightiest heroes whose names are well known well I’d like to introduce the person who I deem as my hero of all time. Meet my Tatay Arthur, a musician and a warm-hearted father who never ceases to amaze me.

When I was brought up into this world it was a rough road both for my parents. I was small and weak and I easily get sick. My nanay and tatay had to work double without enough rest to keep me safe and sound otherwise I could have not recovered. They’ve been through many rock bottoms in life yet my tatay stood still for he knows God will provide for us no matter what our circumstances is and he never took it for granted.

Growing up has never been so easy for me but I knew in his arms I am forever safe for he was always there to guide and protect me in the best way he could. I haven’t had a chance to say thank you yet so tay, I want you to know that I am super grateful for the way that you have built us up in love. Thank you for moulding me into a daughter that I am today.”

 

Val Bagalbaldo, shot on iPhone 6s

“This artist Herbert “Ebok” PinpiМ±o” never let his physical condition to served as a hindrance in achieving his goals in life which is to become well known in field of art and to give inspirations. His medium of expressing art is through painting & skin art tattoo.He was recognized as one of the top caliber artist and pride of his home town the art capital of the Philippines Angono, Rizal. His masterpiece won numerous awards here and abroad and some of it were sold to country’s top collectors.Due to his recognition, his inspirational work of art were featured in different t.v. stations globally.

He made use of his talents to live and through these, he has been able to raise his own family and give them the ideal kind of life, while being able to motivate other aspirant artists. His determination is truly admirable because people like him keeps everyone’s spirit high and reminds them that what is left is more important.

Everyone can play a vital role in creating progress in our country by using God’s given talents in a nice way. Being a hero is not just the typical thing that we knew from the past, but one can find it in the modern day. These people are just around us, and they are the one who makes a great impact in uplifting one’s life, gives motivation and a purpose to live.”

 

Ninna Cruz, shot on iPhone 11

“ ‘Mommy. Gising ka pa? Parang hindi ko kaya umuwi at matulog magisa.’ My Lola, Mommy Ching, has been taking care of me since I was born. When I was 20, I signed my first job and decided to live alone and be completely independent. It was a tough decision for me to make but we both knew that I needed to do that for me to grow.

It was a Friday, about 3 in the morning and I know I can’t go home alone. I haven’t been sleeping in weeks. My anxiety is disabling me to rest. The thoughts in my head are consistently dark and honestly, there’s only one person I know that could comfort whatever’s disturbing me. That night, I messaged my Lola. In 20 minutes, she was there at my doorstep.

To my lola, I may not be able to save myself that night but you did. I owe my entire life to you. You are always proud of my slightest accomplishments and make me feel like a superhero, even on my worst days. Little did you know that you are my hero. One day, you’ll age more, all your hair will turn to white, you may not be able to walk properly, you may not hear me clearly as you used to and you may not be able to remember me in time but know that even if we reach other universes, my love for you will remain the same. You’ll always be my safe haven.”

 

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