Not long after the victory of Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas, another prestige comes to the Philippines: a CNN Heroes winner, Efren Penaflorida. GMANews.TV reports that Penaflorida bested nine other nominees, seven of whom were American. Penaflorida put up a “pushcart classroom” (Kariton classrooms) for the urban poor youth. In the CNN article "Pushcart Educator Named CNN Hero of the Year" , Penaflorida explains that these mobile classrooms bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership. He pledges his $100,000 to his group, The Dynamic Teen company that is behind these Kariton classrooms.
Penaflorida’s Acceptance Speech In his inspiring acceptance speech, Penaflorida said: "Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry. Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need. So to each and every person inside in this theater and for those who are watching at home, the hero in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell to my co-volunteers ... you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be."
The Challenge To Parents One can only imagine the tremendous pride that Penaflorida’s parents have in him. He must have learned to be strong and to be generous from his parents and his family. Parents have the privilege and responsibility of raising kids like Efren Penaflorida. To them goes the joy of seeing their children laugh and play; grow and develop. Most especially in trying times, as we saw from the story of Penaflorida and the gang of bullies who terrorized him when he was a child, parents have the opportunity to teach their children and help them develop an unshakeable character. They can only do this by understanding their children very well and giving them a good example to look up to. So here’s to more Pinoy parents taking on the challenge of raising heroes in their children.