Hero-families in our midst
Michaela Tangan (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2018 - 12:00am

Beyond lip service, we yearn for heroes without capes whose actions are stirred by love and passion.

MANILA, Philippines — Current events would tell us that, indeed, the world needs love. Beyond lip service, we yearn for heroes without capes whose actions are stirred by love and passion.

During the 8th Jollibee Family Values Awards, 10 families stood out and were recognized for their inspiring stories in bringing about change in their respective communities.

Among those honored were the Sibug and Delos Reyes families who, in their own ways, have planted seeds of hope and are now producing bountiful fruit.

We are the heroes we need

A proud member of the Manobo tribe, the Sibug family has been empowering indigenous peoples (IPs) all over the country. The family’s patriarch, Jason, had spearheaded the Tuklas Katutubo organization for over a decade before marrying Cherry, who is from Nueva Ecija’s Gaddang tribe.

Both believing in building strong IP communities and preserving katutubo culture and traditions, the couple inspired their children to embrace as well as pass on their advocacy to the next generation.

“Indigenous communities are said to be among the poorest sectors of the country because of our distance to opportunities. Basic services and other opportunities that every Filipino deserves must also reach indigenous people,” he told The STAR.

Through the efforts of the Sibug family, they have built and operated 14 IP schools and trained IP volunteer teachers, as well as “barefoot doctors” who compensate the lack of professional doctors.

They also conduct capacity-building projects for IP communities’ educational, livelihood, health, tourism, and ancestral domain development and protection capabilities.

“We will not stop our advocacy as long as we see our fellows experiencing poverty and inequality,” the couple said.

Standing up for PWDs

No stranger to challenges in the lives of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), the Delos Reyes family has taken up the cudgels for PWDs in Caloocan.

The family’s head, Nilo, was involved in two vehicular accidents, which impaired his hips and hindered him from driving and walking normally.

“Driving was my family’s main source of income. But after two accidents, I had to stop and look for other jobs. Unfortunately, companies refused to hire me because of my disability,” he shared.

His son Raymond was also born with cerebral palsy.

Their struggles motivated the family to put up the Caloocan Person with Disability Zone Association Inc. (CPWD).

Through the families’ teamwork and collaboration with various entities, CPWD has provided prosthetic legs, wheelchairs, strollers, canes, crutches and other mobility devices to about 1,500 PWDs. The organization also recently secured allowances for SPED students in their area.

The team also holds free medical and dental services and weddings. They also assist in acquiring PWD IDs while orienting them of their rights and privileges.

Nilo’s wife Menilia also proudly shared how their efforts unveiled the PWD’s confidence.

“At first, PWDs in our community thought that they were a burden and a responsibility. When we launched projects and reached out to them, they were inspired to step out of their comfort zones and showcase their own talents,” Menila said.

Jollibee Family Values Awards

This year, veteran JFVA judge and parenting and relationship consultant Maribel Dionisio headed the selection committee.

“The awarding is continuously becoming more amazing. Whether they have funds or not, they are able to really help other families. The families with teenagers, I’m sure their relationship are good to very good because it is difficult to involve the teens in these kinds of projects if their relationship is not okay,” she said.

“Since Jollibee has a thousand stores, I hope we can educate more families and loyal customers in their stores so that there will be more happy families. And these families, in return, can help other Filipino families,” she shared.

HERO FAMILIES JOLLIBEE
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