Jollibee continues to champion the unparalleled kinship and generosity of the Filipino family as it celebrated the achievements of this year’s Jollibee Family Values Awards (JFVA).
This year’s JFVA received a record 1,732 entries worldwide, the highest since the campaign started in 2011. From this pool of entries, the top 15 families were shortlisted and deliberated upon by the 2014 JFVA Board of Judges.
Eight families coming from different parts of Luzon, and other countries such as Singapore and the United States, were recognized by Jollibee for their advocacies that have made a positive impact in their communities.
Read on for their inspiring stories of heroism.
The Gonzales Family
Cubao, Quezon City
Special Citation for Persons with Disability (PWDs)
•Octavio, 70 – Father
•Felicite Jean, 67 – Mother
•Dakila, 41 – Son
•Magiting, 36 – Son
•Marangal, 35 – Son
•Mayumi, 33 – Daughter
For many Filipinos, love for family goes beyond one’s kin, extending to their fellowmen who are in need. Among these kind-hearted souls is the Gonzales family, who has made it their advocacy to raise awareness about autism and offer support to other families who has a loved one with this same condition.
After their second son Magiting was diagnosed with autism in 1982, Octavio and Jean became active in various organizations that provide support to people with autism. Realizing that there was a lack of knowledge and understanding on how to handle this condition in the Philippines, they used their own savings and sought help from their relatives so that Jean can undergo training in the US and share what she had learned with others back home.
In 1999, the Gonzales couple established the Philippine Association for Citizens with Developmental and Learning Disabilities, Inc. (PACDLD), which provides counseling and livelihood programs for parents of children with autism, as well as art workshops for kids. In partnership with the Department of Health, the organization also holds seminars on helping identify children with disabilities, providing training to daycare teachers, rural health units, and barangay health workers.
The PACDLD also put up Parent Resource Centers in different areas across the country, where parents from poor communities can bring their children to get checked up and diagnosed for free. At present, they have helped construct four Parent Resource Centers nationwide: National Children’s Hospital and Marikina City Health Office (both in 2008), Baguio General Hospital (2009), and Zamboanga General Hospital (2010).
The family’s efforts through the years have benefited about 10,000 families nationwide, from Metro Manila, Baguio, and even as far as Zamboanga. Dakila, the eldest who is based in Europe, helps fund the family’s projects and seeks assistance from like-minded donors abroad, while Mayumi, a teacher who specializes in autism, acts as a consultant for regular schools with special kids. Octavio and his son Marangal also provide sports trainings for persons with special needs, including boccia, a ball sport for those with cerebral palsy, and bocce, a game for people with intellectual disabilities.