Make Your Nanay Proud Foundation Inc.’s (MYNPFI) presents the Best Nanay Awardees (BNA) 2017 and the FIRST MYNP LICERNA ABUNDA Award on October 14 at Astoria Plaza. The event was hosted by Journalist Ms. Karen Davila and Travel host Mr. Drew Arellano.
The Best Nanay Awarding ceremony was graced by The King of Talk, Mr Boy Abunda, Mr. RK Villacorta (Press/Entertainment Writer), Mr. Albert Fontanilla (Fashion Designer), Ms. Daine Cartas (Unit Head, Couples For Christ), Ms. Tinay Palabay (KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights), Ms. Len Javier (Senior Writer, Rated K), Mr. Neil Maristela (Marketing Director, Fluid Media), and Ms. Almed Garcia (PR Head, Asian Artists Agency, Inc.). The diverse backgrounds and fields of the initial panel made for a diverse selection as well of what it is to be a Best Nanay Awardee.
Conceptualized as a way to honor ordinary mothers with extraordinary stories, the Best Nanay Awards has been inspirational. The roster of awardees include very ordinary mothers, government workers, teachers, businesswomen, single mothers and many other mothers of all sizes and shapes and from all walks of life. They only have one thing in common – their extraordinary tales of motherhood, which is near heroic.
This year, the growing interest of honoring mothers is evidenced by the flood of nominations received by the foundation. From 285 when it was first launched in 2014, it has now almost breached the thousand mark, with 904 nominations received and screened from all over the country. From that number, a total of 123 entries were shortlisted by the team of seven personalities who clocked in a grueling 8 hours to review and pass merit upon the initial crop.
A separate panel of judges then deliberated to come up with the list of the final awardees. Their scores and results were tabulated by an independent professional accounting staff from M.E. Sicat Construction. The final judges were Atty. Virginia Suarez (Secretary General at KILUSAN para sa Pambansang Demokrasya), Ms. Joby Linsangan Moreno (Founder, Orange Blush), Mr. Romy Dailan, Head, Prefect of Pupils, De La Salle Greenhills, Architect Michelle Glyn Honoridez, Ms. Jessica Moralde, Accountant, Engr. Vicente Ruales, Mr. Stanley Go (Writer, GMA 7), Chef Anton Amoncio and Atty Jabeth Dacanay.
After long grueling hours of discussion, deliberations and scoring on merit of each of the 123 finalist, a list of 10 Best Nanays was decided upon by the panel.
This year, aside from the usual 10 Awardees, the Best Nanay Awards introduces for the first time a special award- the Licerna R. Abunda Award, named after the chairman and founder Dr. Boy R. Abunda’s own mother.
The 10 Best Nanay Awardees for 2017 are the following:
1. Mary Cu Ang, 80yo, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte – Red Cross Lady. At 80 years old, she still completes 2k and 3k Fun runs. Her name is synonymous to Red Cross in Ilocos. She is also a member of civic groups such as the Zonta Club of Ilocos, Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and many other socio-civic organizations. After her husband left her for a woman he met in a club, and taking away all her money and jewelry, she singlehandedly raised her children, alongside running a business and doing socio-civic works. All her efforts were rewarded as all her 3 children finished school, and she has gained the respect of her community.
2. Gaudencia Sucgang Tecson, 57yo, Duljo, Fatima, Cebu City
Mama Gaudencia is a polio victim. Her husband, like her, was also a polio victim. She is now widowed and has two children. She had to fight through discrimination in school, and even after graduating, in the workplace because of her disability. While working at the Social Security System, she braved the odds, continued to improve herself, took up her Master’s Degree, devoted herself to public service, while at the same time, providing for her children. Her perseverance and hard work earned her a nomination for the Civil Service Dangal ng Bayan Award. Despite the odds, her disability was not a hindrance, but served as an inspiration to others who are more able bodied than her. She is truly inspirational.
3. Priscilla Datu Cordova, 68yo, Barangay Calaylayan, Abucay, Bataan
Nanay Priscilla is a Barangay Kagawad. Her motherhood role started early when she took care of her siblings, while taking care of her own children, and to being a mother for her constituents. Though she married at the young age of 17, she strived to support her family and siblings. She worked as a canteen assistant in a school. Together with her husband, she strived to give her children a good future. However, her maternal nurturing continued on as a grandmother as she also helped send her 10 grandchildren to school. While her husband recently passed away, her mothering care extends to those in her community as she is active in the livelihood and education program not only in her barangay, but in Bataan as a whole.
4. Clarita Fallore Valenzuela, 78yo, San Nicolas, Bay, Laguna
She did not finish her elementary education, but she worked hard to make sure all her 8 children are in school. All these, she did singlehandedly, when her husband passed on. She did everything from selling pandesal, fish, to accepting laundry jobs to earn money. Her sterling example earned her the trust and admiration of her community, and she extended her role as a mother to the community by founding the Kapit-Bisig of Bay, Laguna for the elderly. She is a tireless servant being a Brgy. Health Worker. She negotiated with the local government officials for the monthly allowance of the members and requested uniforms of its members to the provincial governor. And amidst all that, she still finds time to enjoy life in her old age as she is also called the “Nanay” of the Samahan ng mga Ballroomista sa Laguna.
5. Dr. Thelma Lasmarias Benemerito, 68yo, Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte
Although she was born to a life of privilege, and married to a lawyer, Dr. Thelma always had a heart for the poor and marginalized, and dedicated her life and profession to the service of the less fortunate in her town. She is the female ‘doctor of the barrios’ to her town mates. Her husband passed away early. At that time their eldest of 7 children just graduated from college. She singlehandedly sent all their children to school. She taught her children how to live within their means, and to always have an open heart in serving the poor and marginalized. She not only made sure that every citizen in her municipality receives proper medical attention, but she also goes beyond the line of duty, going out to far flung barangays to deliver medical services. With a life dedicated to service, her children and the community, she still finds a lullaby in her heart that she sang to her children, and now, passed on by them, sung to her grandchildren.
6. Apolonia Nazareno Miranda, 60yo, Businesswoman (Xerox Machines), Gen. Trias Cavite
She is the soldier mother. She served in the Women Auxiliary Corps of the Philippine Navy, her husband, being a military man himself, was always assigned to far places, and as such, she was left between juggling her career in the Navy and raising her children – all 5 of them. Despite being in the strict regimented discipline of the military, she has love and tenderness for her children, and raised them to be good citizens of the country.
7. Florencia Paras Caringal, 65yo, Pasong Tamo, Quezon City
Mama Baby is an ambulant vendor. She sells everything from vegetables to fruits to fish, and peddles her wares house to house. She has 8 children and a total of 26 grandchildren. Widowed at the age of 40, she sent all her children to school, and helped raise all her grandchildren as well. Though her income is not stable, she did not waver in working hard to provide for her family. She also cooks and sells rellenong bangus and embutido to augment her income. Despite all the hardships and poverty, she remains strong, positive and lively. She believes that there is nothing that cannot be asked in prayer. She still finds time to keep her body fit by joining regular Zumba sessions at the QC Memorial Circle, where she also sells her dishes.
8. Dolores Barretto Dangani, 77yo, Barangay Putatan, Muntinlupa City
Nanay Dolores is a teacher. She has served as an elementary grade school teacher for 21 years in Putatan Muntinlupa City. She earned her Master’s Degree and now serves as a City College Instructor at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa. She sent all her 4 children to college and now helps with her 5 grandchildren. She has been active in socio-civic projects such as the Unang Hakbang Project Aral by Tagabundok Mountaineers. Her dedication to her family and her profession earned her respect from the community and in 2012, she was given the Outstanding Senior Citizen Award of Muntinlupa City. She was given the Guro Certificate Award and was also nominated for the Gawad Ulirang Ina ng Muntinlupa this year. Her selfless and tireless dedication to education made her a mother, not only to her children, but to her students.
9. Joam Merano Morales, 47yo, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque
Nanay Joam is a public servant. She is a municipal councilor of Sta. Cruz Marinduque. She was not only a mother to her 3 children, but also their tutor, nurse, security guard, and even their yaya. Despite having her own family, she never forgot her own widowed mother. She helped her siblings as well. She became an army reservist in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. As a public servant, she helped with training her constituents in the barangay making them prepared and ready for disasters, floods, landslides and other calamities. In 2009, she headed the rescue and retrieval operations for drowning incidents in Marinduque, and even went beyond by helping the evacuation operations in Marikina City during Typhoon Ondoy. Her mothering care not only focused on her own children, but being a mother of their municipality as well.
10. Estrelita Santos Calacala, 59yo, Bulacan
Nanay Estrellita is better known as Mommy FB. Despite a traumatic experience when her husband left her and her only daughter in the streets to escape his obligations, she fought hard not only for herself but also for her daughter. Her family was subjected to humiliation and she was sent to the hospital and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her amazing story was featured in Maalaala Mo Kaya on Channel 2.
She crossed the age divide by being active in her social media account on Facebook earning her the moniker #TheViralMom because of her funny Facebook posts. She became a hit and spread to the OFW community as an inspiration that despite distances and difference in generations, she will stop at nothing to show her love and dedication to her only daughter, and despite her challenging mental condition, a mother will always love despite the odds.
Special Award: Licerna R. Abunda Award
➢ Florita Brioso Santos, 46yo, South Triangle, Quezon City
Occupation: Businesswoman / Accountant
Nanay Florita is the epitome of selflessness. Her husband died leaving her singlehandedly taking care of her children. She was able to send all of them to school, and despite the demands of her job and her profession, she not only finds the time for her own family, but also has time for charitable activities. She is involved in organizations that help send poor children to school, and she also helps with a foundation taking care of cancer stricken patients. She is also an entrepreneur, and a mother to her friends and her employees.
This year’s awardees was feted with a grand awarding ceremonies last October 14, 2017 at Astoria Plaza, Ortigas Pasig City.
Hand sculptured trophies from Ifugao and polished by furniture designer Ms. Rica Dela Merced and cash prizes were given to the awardees. Special performances were rendered by LA Santos, Mark Mabasa and Ariel Rivera.
This year’s Best Nanay Awards is made possible by partners and sponsors, Astoria Plaza, Mr. Mike Sicat of M.E. Sicat Construction, Ms. Rhodora "Tita Doray" Morales. This is also made possible in part by Alcatel, Hanabishi, Anytime Fitness, Blow Dry Bar, Cakes By Myx, ChemWorld, Denta Care, Donjar, DreamCakes, Light Skin, Lightwater, Mama Green PH, Urban Smiles, The Good Choice, Chemworld Fragrance Factory, Hukad Restaurant by Golden Cowrie, Great Image, GoodAh!!, Orange Blush Salon, Efficascent Oil, Hotel Sogo, Puregold, McDonald’s and Jollibee.