The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced the five finalists of the National Search for Pantawid Pamilya Exemplary Children, one of the activities of the Department in celebration of the National Children’s Month this November.
The finalists bested 12 other candidates from different parts of the Philippines. They are Kristine Nicole S. Bumadilla of Balungao, Pangasinan; Adeli Tan of Rizal, Occidental Mindoro; Ma. Kaitlinn Lubrico of Santa Barbara, Iloilo; Jay Mark Gac-ang of Poblacion Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte; and Justin Dale dela Cruz of Malabon City, Metro Manila.
Since 2012, the search has been recognizing Pantawid Pamilya children beneficiaries who are role models in their home, community, and school. They are also advocates of the program’s health and education goals and children’s rights.
Kristine wants to be a teacher someday. Despite being diagnosed with weak lungs and having the need to go through medication for months, her passion for knowledge and pursuing her dreams did not cool down.
“Bata pa lang ako gusto ko nang maging teacher. Bilib po ako sa kanila. Kung hindi dahil sa mga teacher wala namang maisisilang na bagong propesyon. Saka naniniwala po ako na teaching is the noblest profession (I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was small. I salute teachers. Without them, there would be no other professions),” she shared.
Adeli, on the other hand, believes that the smallest act of kindness can do great amount of good to others.
“Hindi mo kailangan magkaroon ng yaman para ikaw ay makatulong sa iba. Bata ka man o matanda, ang maliit na bagay na itutulong mo sa iba ay malaki ang magiging epekto sa kanila (You don’t need to be rich to be able to help others. Young or old, a little help you give to others will have an impact on their lives),” said Adeli who also wants to be an educator.
Ma. Kaitlinn wants to promote the protection of the environment. As the President of the Supreme Student Council in their school, she led other students to pass the “Basura ko, ibubulsa ko” policy on proper waste disposal and maintaining their school’s cleanliness. She also helps in the reforestation drive in their community.
A future lawyer, Jay Mark hopes to help the poor and the oppressed who seek justice.
“Apart from helping them to have good future, I want to give justice and voice to the poor, and help the victims of injustices,” shared Jay Mark, adding that the assistance they get from Pantawid Pamilya gives them the opportunity to improve their lives.
Justine remains positive about life despite his mother’s passing in 2014 and other problems that he encounters, which he uses as his motivation to work hard for his dreams. Someday, he wants to become a policeman or fireman.
“Nakita ko kung paano mamatay ang nanay ko, pero wala ako magawa dahil wala naman kaming pera. Hindi ko alam kung kanino kami tatakbo o lalapit. Kaya naging motivation ko yan na sana balang araw maging pulis ako or fireman para makapagligtas ng buhay (I saw my mother died, but there was nothing I could do because we did not have money. I did not know who to turn to for help. That incident made me want to become a policeman or fireman and save lives),” said Justine.
The judges of the national search were Dr. Marison R. Dy, associate professor and early childhood educator from UPLB; Dr. Erick Vernon Y. Dy, guidance services specialist of UPLB Office of the Student Affairs; Ms. Mary Grace Simbulan-Esteban, Advocacy and Capacity Building Chief of Stairway Foundation, Inc.; and, the children delegates of the Pantawid Pamilya National Children’s Congress.
Awarding will be held on December 1, 2018 at the SM North Skydome during the celebration of the Araw ng Kabataan.