For years, we’ve all been familiarized with a plethora of award ceremonies dedicated to the film and music industry. From the Awit Awards to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Awards Night, these ceremonies all give recognition to actors, filmmakers, and artists who’ve contributed to the improvement and growth of the entertainment industry.
This year, the public is introduced to another kind of award – one that gives credit back to the efforts of the “everyday man.” Introducing Ginebra San Miguel Inc.’s (GSMI) “Ginebra Ako” Awards, an award dedicated to bringing together, inspiring, and motivating the Filipino people into becoming the heroes they can be.
Held last December 18, 2018, awardees from different parts of the country gathered at the CCP Little Theater to receive their Ginebra Ako Awards. On its first-ever awards night, Ginebra San Miguel Inc. recognized Mark Espesor, Joseph Anicoche, Marques Sangiao, and Teodoro Canda for their extraordinary service in their respective communities.
This first set of Ginebra Ako Awardees hopes to inspire people from the masses to continue doing what they’re doing to help their community and their country. Whether it be through charity or through the efforts of their respective non-profit organizations, these winners will pave the way for more heroes to emerge.
“What we hope this award to do is to encourage people to realize that there are companies or entities outside of their own field that are eager to recognize their efforts. And we want these individuals and the communities they are a part of, to be inspired and to continue what they’re doing so that they affect people who are doing the same thing,” GSMI Marketing Director Ron Molina explains.
Moreover, GSMI realizes that their brand can be a catalyst for change among the masses in our country.
“Ginebra is such a mass brand – a brand that a lot of Filipinos relate to. Whether they’re regular drinkers or not, male or female, everyone knows Ginebra. And I think that’s a special leverage in terms of being relatable. So when we say there’s a Ginebra Ako Awards, it automatically means this is the awards that recognizes individuals who are part of the masses,” Molina adds.
Before GSMI continues on to produce the second Ginebra Ako Awards, here’s a rundown of the 2018 Ginebra Ako winners:
“Para sa Edukasyon” Award: Mark Espesor
Mark Espesor was acknowledged for his efforts in educating and helping persons with disabilities (PWDs) live out the best versions of themselves. He makes it h2is mission to uplift PWDs by providing them with services that will surely help them in the long run.
Espesor says, “ My mission is to make them happy and give them the kind of comfort [they need]. [Because] having a disability is just a way of life.”
He further adds that it may not be easy, but it’s better than simply giving up.
“Bilang may kapansanan, dumadating talaga ‘yon. Part talaga ‘yon ng life namin pero [kung] may pagpipiliin ka, [dalawa lang ‘yon] mag move forward ka or matatakot ka. ‘Pag natatakot ka, mamatay ka. Pero pag magmove forward ka, baka bukas ma-overcome mo ‘yan – parang ganun.”
(As someone with disabilities, difficulties often come and go – that’s a part of life. And in life you’re only given two choices, to either move forward with your life or to stay scared. If you’re scared, you’ll die easily. But if you choose to move forward, maybe tomorrow, you’ll overcome the situation.)
“Para sa Entablado” Award: Joseph Anicoche
With a background in theater, Joseph Anicoche uses his talents in two projects, namely the ‘Government Project’ and the ‘Community Project.’ These two initiatives make use of the performing arts to allow people in the community to express their thoughts and opinions using theater.
“Sa performing arts, dito natin natutunan maging mahusay at maging mahusay para sa iba,” Anicoche explains.
(It’s only through the performing arts that we are able to be excel for ourselves and for others)
Receiving the award on his behalf was Noreen Parafina, who had this to say about using theater as a medium for change, “As Picasso or some other artist said, lahat ng bata ay artists, it’s just the way we raise them na nawawala ang free and creative [spirit nila]. Pero everything that you see and everything you reflect on is something you can learn from. My message to parents [who discourage their children’s love for the arts] is huwag patayin ang creativity ng bata.”
(As Picasso or some other artist said, every child is an artist, it’s just because of how we raise them that they lose their free and creative spirit. But everything you see and everything you reflect on is something that you can learn from. My message to parents, who discourage their children’s love for the arts, is not to kill their creativity.)
“Parangal ng Palakasan” Award: Marques Sangiao
As a former boxer himself, Marques Sangiao believes sports will teach the youth the necessary skills and attitudes that will enable them to get through life’s toughest challenges. Through his “Team Lakay” initiative, he educates and trains the younger generation in the different sports fields.
“Win or lose, meron tayo natutunan,” Sangiao advises. “Sundin lang niyo lang ang binigay ng Panginoon – na gift at skill. And gawin niyo [everything] with excellence para ma-reach niyo yung pinaka-top na level ng gift niyo.”
(We all learn something – whether we win or lose. My advice is to utilize the gifts and skills God has given you. And do everything with excellence, so you can one day reach the highest level of your talent.)
“Para sa Kalikasan” Award: Teodoro Canda
Knowing that the environment is a resource worth protecting, fisherman Teodoro Canda created “Namati” – a small organization of local fishermen to help protect and educate people about the importance of marine life. Through his efforts in his community, he was able to let residents better understand the dangers of dynamite fishing.
“Ito po ang tunay na nakakapag-educate ng kababayan natin dahil po dati, ang aming kailogan, walang mahuhuli na yaman dito. Ngayon ay nabubuhay na ito. At mahirapan sila (fishermen) na makakuha ng 1-2 kilos. Pero ngayon po, bawat gabi at araw, yung pinkababa ay 5-10 kilos na ngayon. At saka mga anak nila, di na namromroblema sa pinangangailangan,” Canda narrates.
(Our small organization helped us to really educate our fellow countrymen on proper fishing practices. Before, our local fishermen were only able to harvest 1-2 kilos of fish. However, now – whether it be day or night – they are able to yield a minimum of 5-10 kilos of fish a day. Because of this, their children no longer have to worry about the everyday necessities)
He later plans to expand his efforts to create more projects that will help positively impact the environment.
These winners are just some of the unsung heroes the nation has yet to recognize. And thanks to GSMI’s Ginebra Ako campaign, these everyday trailblazers are rewarded for their impact on the community and the nation.
This message of commitment and passion for service is exemplified through Quest’s song for the Ginebra Ako campaign – which relays the message, “Sa Ginebra San Miguel, Ito ang tagay ng mga Ganado sa Buhay.”