Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Western Union salutes the 25 Filipino Migrant Workers as Heroes For Better

As a geek, I am very much aware of the reality that superheroes does not exist outside the pages of my comic book collection. But there are people despite the absence of any superpower, are able to accomplish great deeds in real life. We see them in newspapers and TV news clips.
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In today's context, everyday heroes are the migrant workers. They left the country to work abroad and done unthankful jobs just to bring money back home and they pay taxes. Western Union made a website ( ) dedicated to them so their stories will have a voice in the internet.

I got to meet three of the twenty-five heroes during the media launch last August 24 at Nielsen Tower, Makati. I discovered that there is something special about them. Maybe because of their aura but what they did is really extraordinary. Despite the hardship working in their respective country that is not their own, they still manage to help people around them especially fellow Filipinos.

Mr. Leonilo Beltran finished a degree in Electrical Engineering and went to many countries whenever there are openings available. Nilo's enthusiasm with his technical skills enables him to teach out-of-school youths and inmates as well. His mission is to teach inmates so they will never commit any crime and for the youth to get off the streets.

For Mr. Nestor Puno, working in Japan is not easy. Although there are working opportunities there but getting a working permit is not easy. Filipino migrant workers there end up marrying a Japanese citizen to maintain their visa but that doesn't mean they are off the hook. For the Japanese, bloodline is important to them. A gaijin(foreigner) spouse and their offspring is not the same class as a full-blooded Japanese. The OFWs just endured this just for the visa. Their child is not privileged for having the same proper education unlike a Japanese child. Nestor organized a school for Filipino children so they can have the same education as any child.

Mr. Edmond Corpuz is a photographer. He was just going to take photos of the Ifugao region and the rice terraces. What he didn't expect that he will go there regularly for another reason. The mountains of the Northern region is so elevated that schools and the communities there are not equipped with school supplies. He noticed that one pencil is cut in three so that each student may can use a pencil as much as possible. This prompt to bring new pencils every time he goes to the region and he asked his friends, relatives, contacts to donate to his cause. Then Edmond was nicknamed the Pencil Crusader.

Besides the three Heroes present, there's another one whom I got to meet about a year ago. Among the 25, Armand and Bing Serrano are the only couple. Based in U.S., Armand works as an animator and made many animated movie projects and TV series. Armand and Bing set up a foundation called ICON to help people hone their animation skills and at the same time, do humanitarian work. I met Armand Serrano in person when the first ICON Manila was held.

This just proves that despite the lack of superpowers, these 25 made a difference in the community and to the people. But the list does not end there. There are still heroes that are not yet documented but needed to be heard and perhaps it may be you.For more acts of modern-day heroism, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

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