A lot of Filipinos consider those who are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as bagong bayani or modern-day heroes. Indeed, they are viewed as heroes because they have to sacrifice being away from their families to provide them a better life. Moreover, these OFWs are also helping the country in terms of increasing the dollar reserve, thanks to their regular remittances.
But there are also those who go above and beyond their call of duty, and are truly deserving to be awarded as dakilang bayani or noble heroes.
The Filipino community in the United Arab Emirates recently honored five Filipinos as ‘Dakilang Bayani’ for the exemplary contributions to society. They were awarded during the Bayanihan Festival, a special celebration of the Filipino culture.
Since 2016, the Bayanihan Festival awards five Filipinos as ‘Dakilang Bayani’, with the awardees chosen for their advocacies and service to the community.
This year’s awardees are the following:
- Dr Sharon Mendoza-Dreisbach, Assistant Professor
- Jose Reynante Papel, Shopper and Customer Marketing Specialist Manager
- Jenifer Ocampo-Gonzales, Teacher
- Romeo III Tumayao Puncia, Emergency Medical Technician
- Sheryll Bacay-Agbing, HR Business partner
Mendoza-Dreisbach is an environmental advocate who wants people to care for Mother Nature. As an academic, she uses the platform to share her advocacy to others and encourage young minds to also care for the Earth.
Papel advocates “sustainability, social entrepreneurship and community development.” This means doing business without hurting the environment. Alongside other members of the Philippine Consulate Financial Literacy task force, he helps Filipinos take better control of their money through Financial Literacy lessons.
As a teacher, Ocampo-Gonzales uses education to help promote the Philippine heritage and culture. She also helps provide counseling for underserved and underprivileged Kabayans in the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Dubai.
Meanwhile, Puncia who is an avid racer represents the country in triathlon races across the world. But aside from bringing honor to the country in this manner, he also raises funds for less fortunate people in the Philippines. Through #RACEwithaPurpose, he uses his talent to provide feeding and healthcare programs in the Philipines.
Bacay-Agbing is an advocate of change and is also a social entrepreneur as well as a servant leader. She is part of a non-profit organization that helps people “excel through career development opportunities and to encourage leadership development”. Through a social enterprise, she helps fellow OFWs get involved in social entrepreneurship.
Congratulations to you all!
Image credits: Supplied / Gulf News