The Search for the Happiest Pinoy 2012 is over and the winner has been announced!
Over 13,000 nominations were received all over the country, the Happiest Pinoy 2012 has been given to polio-stricken Rommel Arellano, 35 y/o an inspirational speaker from Limay, Bataan. He bested 9 other finalists to take home the title plus a cash prize of PhP250,000, tax-free.
Mr. Arellano was stricken with poliomyelitis when he was just a year old. Since then, his only way of mobility is by walking with his bare hands using his “tsinelas” (slippers). His disability did not hinder him from becoming successful as he went on to become an insurance agent, disc jockey, musician, call center agent, and guidance counselor. Currently, he’s the president of the Organization of Persons with Disability in his community. Truly, he’s a jack of all trades!
“I am overwhelmed with this unique recognition. By receiving this award, I hope to encourage more Filipinos to stay positive and remain optimistic despite life’s problems. I may not be able to walk, but getting up is never an issue. I will continue my journey, even if I have to crawl.” said Arellano.
With its origins in 2009, the Search for the Happiest Pinoy is a flagship campaign of the Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS). It seeks to find the most optimistic and resilient Filipino despite life’s challenges in the hopes of inspiring other people to do the same.
Present during the awarding ceremony at the Makati Shang-ri La Hotel were P.J. Lhuillier Inc. (PJLI) chairman and ambassador to Portugal Philippe Jones Lhuillier, PJLI president and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, and first Happiest Pinoy awardee Winston Maxino.
The Search for the Happiest Pinoy honorees included student leader Arnel Alipao, family counselor Gilda Fortunata Altez, peace coordinator Connie Emborong, teachers Marcelo Otinguey and Concepcion Tababa, college instructor John Gabriel Pelias, entrepreneurs Gerald Raymundo and Rebecca Tiu Conco and utility worker Leonardo Villanueva.
The Happiest Pinoy 2012 panel of judges included Ramon Magsaysay Foundation president and CEO Ma. Carmencita Abella, Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, PJLI chief administrative officer Jose Miguel Jimenez, 2010 Happiest Pinoy awardee Winston Maxino, 2009 CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida, Brahma Kumaris Foundation Philippines president Dr. Leticia Ramon-Shahani, University of the Asia and Pacific senior vice president Dr. Bernardo Villegas and Philippine National Red Cross governor Miguel Zubiri.
Congratulations Mr. Rommel Arellano for being the 2012 Happiest Pinoy.
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