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15 March 2012

The Philippine Star's My Icon, My Hero 2010 Entry

Below is my essay entry to the 2010 contest of The Philippine Star's My Icon, My Hero. And it did not win. Haha. But that's okay. I would like to share it to you anyhow.


I have never met my icon personally. But that did not prevent me from looking up to him. He is not someone that you would see dancing on the stage, or waving at people, or even doing talks on television and newspapers. He is someone whom I haven’t heard of; until I received his gift of knowledge.

My icon died long before I knew him. Yet, his legacy and advocacy to improve the life of every Filipino continues. He helped the youth realize their dream of a better future. He was trying to erase the notion that poverty is forever and further education is impossible for people who are undergoing financial difficulties.

His name is Francisco M. Bautista. The founder St. Peter Group of Companies, and to which the Francisco M. Bautista Foundation, Inc. was established to give rightful honor to his desire to give every Filipino high school students their very much aimed college diploma. He, himself, was an “undergraduate,” reaching only 4th grade due to financial challenges. Yet, he never gave up. He worked hard to attain the life that he wanted for himself and his family and he was successful in doing so. He prospered and he left the world with so much comfort and security.

That was the idea and belief that he wanted to instill to the minds of every “poor” students that he is helping. He started it early without bragging about it on the media. His death did not hamper the continuity of his dream. His family felt the same passion to give a helping hand to the students and founded a foundation after his name, funds of which will be used to finance the college education of the underprivileged, yet, deserving students. The foundation is strict in helping only those who can’t really afford going to college. It started on 1996, after the death of Mr. Bautista, and it goes on until today, until they could make every student’s dream to receive higher knowledge.

I was lucky to receive his gift of a better future and I worked hard to nurture the opportunity that was given to me. I share the same vision with Mr. Francisco M. Bautista that education is a weapon that you can utilize to deal with life’s never ending battle. His absence of education is one thing that he doesn’t want to happen to the youth of today. He had so many difficulties because of it, but he never gave up. His life is an in inspiration, so as his advocacy. I was moved by his insight towards life. His poverty did not ignite hatred and vengeance in his heart but rather empathy towards those who undergo the same situation.

I would love to follow his footsteps of changing a part of this world, no matter how small or big it may be. I may not be able to do it now. But I know I could.

Mr. Francisco M. Bautista a.k.a TATAY
as he is fondly called by his family, close friends, and scholars.
Photo courtesy of

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