Arah, National Exemplary Child 2017, together with DSWD Turalde, Pantawid Dir. Reynoso, and CWC Exec Dir. Luna

MALATE, Manila – The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program-MIMAROPA child grantee from Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro was selected as this year’s grand winner of the National Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children 2017.

Grade 8 student Jecille Arah M. Costales of Calintaan National High School won P30,000.00 and received a plaque awarded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Malou Jarabe-Turalde, Pantawid Pamilya National Program Manager Dir. Leonardo Reynoso, and CWC Executive Director Patricia Luna on November 18, 2017 at the SM North EDSA Skydome.

From the 16 children representatives from different regions, Arah bested the panel interview, talent portion, and question and answer portion. The consistent honor student captured the hearts of her audience when she performed her talent as she delivered a monologue dedicated for the Batangan-Mangyan.

Other top 5 finalists include Erickson Bersamira from CAR, who was the competition’s 1st Runner-up, while Jopay Pelayo from Region VI served as the 2nd Runner-up. Kenneth Bardinas from Region XI was awarded as the 3rd Runner-up, followed by Cienna Charris Igano of NCR.

The Search was the highlight of the National Children’s Congress a gathering of regional winners of the Search, organized by the DSWD.

Arah was chosen among the nominees of the Search for his excellent leadership skills and talent. During the congress, she was one of the most active participants, giving her voice on various issues of the community.

The 6th among the seven children of Leonardo and Jonjiema Costales, Arah shared that her dream is to become a successful Certified Public Accountant someday. According to her, once she graduates, she will not stop there. She wants to help other poor people like her in pursuing their dreams.

“Gusto ko pong makatulong sa mga kapwa ko mahihirap. Gusto ko pong mainsipire sila sa journey ko sa buhay para hindi po sila tumigil sa paglaban sa hirap ng buhay,” Arah said.

For a child with big dreams, Arah vows to do everything to make it big one day.

The Search for Exemplary Pantawid Pamilya Children is an annual event organized by the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. It recognizes 10-14 year-old program beneficiaries who have set excellent examples at home, in school, and in the community.  ###

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