Posted: November 29, 2009 in Favourites
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by Earlie Doriman

Efren Penaflorida as he gave his acceptance speech at the awarding ceremonies in Kodak Theatre Hollywood

Truly inspirational is the man who chose to be good rather than giving in to the gangsters in the streets, who was bullied but fought for what is right, who was humbled by his cause but have conquered the world. That’s what the Philippines can offer to the world in the person of EFREN PEňAFLORIDA. The 2009 CNN HERO of the Year.

From amongst a crowd of 9000 aspirants, he was nominated for the TOP 10, and finally grabbed the plum prize at the recent awarding ceremonies in the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.  A young Filipino standing proudly before a multitude of clapping hands, sharing to the whole world how an ordinary being could become a hero in his own little and humble ways – his pushcart education. Indeed a personification of a true Filipino volunteer, he made a difference to the lives of so many poor children by initiating an alternative means of education. Using pushcart classrooms, with co-volunteers around, he made his way into the slum areas of Cavite and nearby provinces to educate numbers of the out of school youth and gang members too. Tough mission of a 28-year old man whose vision for his fellowmen is to lead them to a directed life and persuade others to carry on the dream and bring out the hero within.

In his speech at the full-packed venue in Hollywood, Kuya F as he is fondly called inspired not only the Filipino youth but as well as advocates around the world when he said; “Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell my co-volunteers… you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be.” His achievement is his nation’s triumph, enough to tell the world that in spite of poverty, a sincere heart to serve will definitely make a difference to others.

  1. Edgar Obello says:

    Efren,in behalf of my family Congratulations,we are very proud of you,once again you made us all Filipinos around the world “taas noo”,you beat our fellow Texan from Hurst who happen to be our City mate.

    • earlied says:

      Hi Edgar,

      Like you I am so proud as well here in the UK that a kababayan brought pride and joy to our country…He is truly inspirational and will truly be for our children..?Mabuhay ang mga Pinoy..thanks Edgar for dropping a message..God bless you and your family in Texas.