‘Life Changers’ inspire Filipinos to make an impact

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FILIPINOS are considered one of the most caring and passionate citizens of the world that is why demands for health providers continue to grow abroad.

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PHOTO-1-CHEF-ROB-PENGSONCulinary educator Rob Pengson, social entrepreneur Reese Fernandez-Ruiz and sports advocate Peter “Futkalero Pedro” Amores are three living proof of just how naturally caring Filipinos are.

Named as “Life Changers” by Pharmaton, the three shared how they conquered their limitations in order to pursue their own personal missions. In effect, they all made life-changing impacts to others and to the world.

They officially became the ambassadors for Pharmaton’s Life Changers Challenge: Success in Numbers campaign with a launch held at Seda Hotel, BGC.

Culinary educator
Fresh from his most-acclaimed Madrid Fusion 2015 in Manila stint as one of the speakers, culinary educator Rob Pengson believes in making a difference especially when it comes to cooking.

His restaurant, regarded as the first tasting menu-focused establishment in the metro, is known for his inventive, thought-provoking even groundbreaking cuisine that challenges traditional fares.

PHOTO-2-REESE-FERNANDEZ-RUIZAfter completing his two-year Associate Degree course in the California Culinary Academy at the age of 19, he came back in Manila and taught cooking until he became the co-founder and CEO of Global Academy where he pioneered the Epicurean Lab, the school’s culinary science department promoting modern gastronomy to the local restaurant industry.

World-class social entrepreneur
Chosen as one of the Forbes’ 2015 list of social entrepreneurs under 30, Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, 29, co-founded Rags2Riches, a social enterprise that gives opportunities for women in Payatas, one of the biggest garbage dump sites in the country.

Since 2007, Rags2Riches has revolutionized the women of Payatas’ business practices by
arranging for them to sell their products direct to retailers. Ruiz and her team of young professionals collaborated with designers who demonstrated how the rugs could be transformed into fashion handbags, eyeglass cases and wine bottle holders.

Now, these products are being sold not only to popular boutiques in the country but also exported in different parts of the world.

“I don’t want to just create livelihoods and income. I want to create sustainable, eco-ethical products. It can be a win-win situation for everybody,” Reese said.

Sports advocate
The founder of Futkal Inc., a program aimed on youth development using football as a tool for social change, Peter Amores believes that Futkal (futbol sa kalye) can help poor teenagers to make their dream to study and change their lives be a reality.

“With Futkal, the kids have an opportunity to get scholarships and a chance to be employed in the future,” Amores explained.

PHOTO-3-PETER---FUTKALERO-PEDRO---AMORESSince 2006, “Futkalero Pedro,” dedicated his time and even financial resources to Futkal. For him “it is not only playing football, but character formation, discipline and education.”

According to Amores, almost all Futkaleros are now enrolled in school. Some of their students are now part of the National Team that played in Vietnam.

One of their students, Dennis Balbin was awarded best football freestyler in the Philippines. Another Futkalero Roberto Orlandrez, one of the Philippine Team participated in the Streetchild World Cup in South Africa.

From Tondo, Manila, Futkal have expanded around the country through locations in in Cagayan de Oro and Aklan.

Life changers’ challenge
These three Pharmaton ambassadors are challenging Filipino social entrepreneurs, advocates, and other related organizations or individuals to make their vision come true through Life Changers: Success in Numbers, a nationwide, online video-driven competition.

P1-million grant awaits the chosen winner to fund their initiatives, whose implementation will then be documented as a life changers’ journey.

Visit the campaign’s microsite at www.life-changers.phl for more details and submit a proposal video from May 12 to June 12, 2015, explaining the concept behind your proposed projects. The top 10 participants with the best video entries based from a set of criteria will present their pitches to a panel of judges on June 30.

“The core of the Life Changers campaign is really about bringing that energy on a positive level, how you’re going to use that energy for others and not just for yourself,” ended Pharmaton Senior Brand Manager Bernice Jalgalado.

For more details, visit Pharmaton’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PharmatonPH.

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