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Search inspires hope in adversity

2012 Happiest Pinoy winner Rommel Arellano: ‘Each time I talk to people about my life’s struggles and victory and I see them smile, I know that I have somehow eased their burden and given them hope.”

MANILA, Philippines - Rommel Arellano is not your average person. Stricken with poliomyelitis when he was one, he grew up having only his arms and hands to walk and move about.

In spite of his handicap, he brushed off discrimination and determined to accomplish feats even able-bodied people find challenging. He became successful taking on various jobs – as insurance agent, disc jockey, emcee, singer and musician, to being a call center agent, resource speaker and school guidance counselor.

Even better, Arellano did not keep his positive spirit to himself and became an influencer in sharing the power of positivism as a key to happiness when he worked as a counselor at the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, providing guidance and advice to the abused, neglected, battered and disabled.

He also serves as president of the Organization of Persons with Disability in his community.

The feat won for him the Search for the Happiest Pinoy award in 2012 and the grand prize of P250,000 cash.

A flasgship campaign of Cebuana Lhuillier, the Search for the Happiest Pinoy aims to recognize the country’s most positive and resilient individuals and thereby inspire optimism in more Filipinos.

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Arellano believes there will never be a shortage of nominees to the country’s happiest competition.

“Filipinos are known to be survivors. We also have an unwavering faith in God that lets us move mountains. These are enough inspiration to make us happy,” he said.


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