Who are the 2018 Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya finalists?

The National Search for Huwarang Pantawid Pamilya has been one of the venues of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in communicating the positive changes in the lives of the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. Since 2012, the search has been recognizing family-beneficiaries who maintain strong family ties, demonstrate positive Filipino values, and create a positive impact in their respective communities.

This year, the search carries the theme “Pamilyang Pilipino: Nagsusumikap. Nagtutulungan. Nagtatagumpay.” This highlights the message that the hard work of the family-beneficiaries, complemented by the assistance from Pantawid Pamilya and DSWD, produces positive results that are manifested in the stories of the huwaran families.

How the huwaran families are chosen

All the DSWD regional offices are required to conduct a regional search. The regional winners then compete to the national level of the search, which has two phases: desk validation and field validation.

During the desk validation, the judges rate the regional winners based on the documentations submitted by the DSWD regional offices. The five families who get the highest rating are the finalists of the national search.

The second phase of the national search is the field validation wherein the judges visit the finalists in their house to interview them and their neighbors, community leaders, co-beneficiaries and partner implementers of the program, like teachers and health workers. The interview and interaction with the families and their community members help the judges validate the information in the documentations submitted by the regional offices. The judges then convene to rate the finalists and identify the grand winner of the search.

The awarding of the families is conducted on the Pantawid Pamilya National Family Day celebration. They are given cash prizes, plaques, and gift packs from the program’s partners. The huwaran families serve as ambassadors of the program and resource persons in Family Development Session and Pantawid Pamilya-led activities where the families can share their knowledge and experience on their advocacies.

Here’s a video of how the huwaran families have been doing since they won the search:

Get to know the top five finalists of the search whose stories are filled with values, lessons, family togetherness, and determination to improve their lives:

Bonite family (Capiz, Roxas City) – 4th runner-up

Ang pamilya nga upod mangamuyo, amo ang pamilya nga nagapabilin asta sa katubtuban (The family that prays together, stays forever).”

This is the motto that family Bonite lives by. Sherlyn, Eugene, and their nine children believe that family is the greatest gift from God. Despite the challenges brought about by having a big family, the Bonite family of Capiz, Roxas City manages to work together to improve their living condition. The older children were sent to school amid problems in their education expenses. They now help their parents send their younger siblings to school and meet their daily needs.

The family also serves as a role model, a motivator, and an inspiration in their barangay. Sherlyn is very active in community activities and Eugene is a dependable father and neighbor who is always willing to lend a helping hand. Together, they shared their knowledge on catfish culture to their neighbors so they could get a seed capital from the DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program.

Sherlyn has heard stereotypes about big families, like neglecting the education of the children. But for her family, their love and respect for each other have helped them solve problems that had come their way.

She said, “Kahit mahirap lamang kami sama-sama naming nireresolba ang bawat problema na dumating sa buhay namin lalo na sa pinasyal na aspeto.”


Ramos family (Urbiztondo, Pangasinan) – 3rd runner-up and Most Innovative Family awardee

From Urbiztondo, Pangasinan, the Ramos family is known in their community for their active participation in various barangay projects and their own feeding program. They may not be well-off but they are able to feed poor children in their barangay to combat malnutrition. They collect and sell recyclable materials to earn money that they can use in sustaining their twice-a-month feeding program.

Adhikain po kasi namin na makatulong sa aming barangay na bawasan ang kaso ng malnutrisyon. Tag-hirap po kasi ngayon sa amin. Isang-kahig, isang-tuka ang karamahin dito,” said Chris, father to three daughters.

The family is also an advocate of caring for children with special needs as one of their daughters has Down syndrome.

Hindi po namin siya ikinahihiya at hindi naming itinuturing na pabigat. Ipinagmamalaki po namin siya,”said Jhing. She also shared that the lessons in Family Development Sessions taught them to care for special children and promote their rights.

Campugan family (Cordova, Cebu) – 2nd runner-up

The can-do attitude and willingness to share their talent have made the Campugan family quite famous in their community. The Campugan siblings have been joining contests such as quiz bowls, declamations, song and dance, beauty pageants, and sports competitions since they were kids.  Their mother Ofelia is very good at singing and is always invited to perform in different gatherings in their barangay.

But aside from showing the talents and skills, the Campugan family of Cordova, Cebu is also known for their untiring community participation. Clodualdo, their father, is a member of the Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities and Ofelia is an active member of the Cordova Women’s Association, Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan and the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council and an assistant bookkeeper in their Kalahi-CIDSS sub-project implementation. The Campugan children participate in activities of Singles for Christ, Parish Youth Coordinating Council, Sangguniang Kabataan, and other community-building initiatives. The family also advocates against cyber pornography, which has been a problem in Cordova.

Amid Ofelia’s battle against breast cancer, the family’s neighbors and friends laud them from being steadfast, resilient, and ready to help anyone who calls on them.

“Helping is not all about money; it is about selflessly giving your time and listening to them as they share their problems,” Ofelia says in dialect.

Maraña family (Sta. Maria, Laguna) – 1st runner-up and Pamilyang AlaGAD ng Pagbabago awardee

The Maraña family of Sta. Maria, Laguna is labeled by their neighbors as a family who is always on-call. Even before Tatay Derek became a barangay councilor, the family has already been a go-to household in the barangay for seeking assistance, especially for driving patients to the hospital. Their heart to help the community is beyond Tatay Derek’s call as a public servant in the barangay.

“Minsan, kailangan ko ring dumiskarte ng pera kahit walang wala kami. Kasi kapag may magpapadala sa ospital, kailangang kahit papaano ay meron ako para kung sakaling wala silang pambili ng pagkain o pang-gas, kaya ko nang sagutin,” shared Tatay Derek Maraña.

Education is also one of the most important things for the Maraña family. The two youngest daughters of Tatay Derek excel academically, while the eldest Christine is now a teacher. The children appreciate all the hard work of their parents to be able to give what they need in school.

Christine said, “Habang lumalaki po kami, hindi nabibigay nina Inay at Itay ang lahat ng gusto namin. Hindi kami katulad ng ibang bata. Pero puwede kong ipagmalaki na pagdating sa pag-aaral, gumagawa at gumagawa sila ng paraan.”

Dionisio family (Labo, Camarines Norte) – Grand Winner

The Dionisio family of Labo, Camarines Norte has a mission of promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples. They are from the Kabihug tribe and have experienced different discriminations because IPs like them are deprived access to formal education.

Grabe po ang dinanas naming diskriminasyon. Napuwersa po kaming magpalipat-lipat ng munisipyo dahil maraming masasamang paratang sa amin. Magnanakaw raw kami, naninilip, mangkukulam. Binabato po ang bahay namin. Mababa po ang tingin nila sa amin,” said Marites Dionisio.

Marites and her family wanted to change the way people treat them that is why they strive to go to school. Despite the struggles they experience due to poverty, Marites took up BS education and her husband Wency attended college for three years. Their three children and nephew also do well in school and are active in extracurricular activities even though they also experience being bullied by their classmates.

“Kapag sinabing ‘kabihug’, walang alam. Kaya ang misyon po namin ay matulungan sila na mga ka-tribo namin at maeducate rin sila,” Marites explained.

Marites is an Alternative Learning System volunteer and Wency works as a tribal assistant for the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. Both of them work not only to provide for their children but also to change the way people look at Kabihugs like them.

The winners of the national search received: P30,000 (grand winner); P20,000 (1st runner-up); P15,000 (2nd runner-up); and P10,000 each (3rd runner-up and 4th runner-up).

Two special awards were also given away this year. The Most Innovative Family award recognizes the huwaran family who implements an activity or project that has been helpful in addressing a problem in their community. On the other hand, the Pamilyang AlaGAD ng Pagbabago Award was given to one of the top five families whose members are living out and championing better gender relations in their homes. AlaGAD stands for Affirmative and Laudable Advocacies on Gender and Development.

The awarding happened on October 14, 2018 at the SM North Skydome during the celebration of the Pantawid Pamilya National Family Day.