“Our country does not lack the heroes it needs. We only need to empower them.” @jayjaboneta

Speech of Jay Jaboneta during the first Yahoo! Philippines’ Pitong Pinoy Awards.

Making Heroes of Our People
by Jay Jaboneta

First of all, I would like to thank the donors who all made this possible (some of them are here with us today, Doc Anton Lim and Sir Manny Wong & Lerma Advincula; Doc Ofelia Sy and Josiah couldn’t come), and of course, to my parents and to God for molding me into who I am today.

I would also like to thank the man who started it all, Atty. Alex Lacson, the author of the book, 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country. When he wrote his book, he did not proposed ground-breaking ideas to solve our country’s problems but instead what he proposed was 12 little things we can do each day that can build our nation.

I stand before you today not as Jay Jaboneta but the face of the brave kids in the country who struggle to go to school every day.

Ninoy Aquino, whose death anniversary we recently commemorated, said in 1977 – “In this age of darkness, there are two ways of spreading light. You may either be a candle, or the mirror that reflects it’s light.”

And I believe that’s what we have started, we have lighted a candle. We have two projects, the ones in Layag-Layag, Zamboanga City and another in Mababoy Island, Masbate. We have built almost 30 little yellow boats combined with 3 of them motorized.

I would like to share a quote with you that I received two weeks ago which I believe clearly reflects what we are doing:

“The great thing a little lamp can do which the big sun cannot do is to give light at night. It shows no one is superior by size but by purpose. If we cannot do great things, we can do small things in a great way. Little things make a big difference to God.”

I have seen how the community in both Layag-Layag and Mababoy has changed.

I could see we are bringing not only hope to these communities but we are also inspiring them to help themselves. We have brought back dignity, respect and the bayanihan-spirit in them and I have seen first-hand how the ‘support’ we have extended has given them the courage to plan for a better future. I am happy to note that we now have 12 college scholars in Zamboanga, who I hope one day can pay it forward.

It is for this reason that I decided to focus my life’s mission on this, what we now call the Philippine Funds for Little Kids. Just two Fridays ago, I had dinner with the owner of a school here in Manila who volunteered their office and her staff to be our first Secretariat team. Donations have been pouring in since last year and we need an organization that can handle all this from Manila. This is also the same person who when I shared my own personal struggles with said, “When God sends you on a mission, he sends provision.”

We, at the Philippine Funds for Little Kids, have a dream, that one day all our children will be in school (all the way up to college).

I hope our story inspires you to help us help these kids and their families. I hope our story inspires you to take action. I hope you join us in this dream.

?”It is my belief our country does not lack the heroes it needs. We only need to empower them.”

And with organizations such as Yahoo! Philippines who bring our work to the attention of our countrymen and the world, I believe more Filipinos can become heroes for the country.

Let us build Our Dream Philippines. God bless the Philippines! God bless the Filipino!