I watch as he pause for a moment midway his speech. I was standing close on the side taking his photo and saw his face, suddenly overcame with shadow, I noticed he swallowed deep, trying to keep steady in front of a crowd of 30 plus people, trying to hide what he was feeling at that moment. For what looked like he was having a hard time reading his speech, little did people know he was grimacing in pain. In just a few seconds he got his composure back, smiling, while he deliver his speech as if nothing happened.
Such is the man named, Winston Maxino, a family man at his late forties, who is literally in constant pain after being diagnosed with a rare genetic disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). But despite his condition, he chose to show his sunny disposition and inspire others to be happy.
Winston narrated how as an asthmatic child, he was regularly an outcast but his persistence on trying to belong despite his condition still paid off. His scout master saw his other skills like excelling in knots or other non-physical aspects. Being diagnosed as an AS didn’t stop him from being happy, aside from wallowing in self-pity, he chose to accept his condition. But his trials didn’t end there, he received another blow in his life when his daughter was diagnosed with down syndrome. But his daughter’s frequent declaration of loving her life and the future made him realize that he has a lot to be grateful for no matter his life condition is. His body may be broken but that wouldn’t stop him from being happy as it is the choice he made. He enjoys making children laugh with his balloon knotting talents and tricks. He is also involved in helping the down syndrome society of the Philippines.
Winston’s resiliency was an inspiration to her family and friends. It didn’t go unnoticed as her sister nominated him for the Happiest Pinoy. An advocacy spearheaded by Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions, as they hope to promote positive values. Most of the pageants focus on the physical aspects, the most beautiful, the most sexy and more handsome. Why not look for the happiest?” says Jonathan Batangan, General Manager of Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Agency.
After screening more than 200 nominees and interviewing the top 7 finalist, Winston’s demeanor and personality stood out to the top. He was awarded the Happiest Pinoy in 2010. From what I heard, he donated majority of his P200,000 winnings and continue to share his life-story to inspire more people.
Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions is again in search for another “Happiest Pinoy” this 2012. The prizes are bigger, P250,000 for the Happiest Pinoy Awardee and the rest of the top 10 finalist would receive P25,000 each. Those who nominate will also be given a token if their nominee wins.
For more information please visit www.happiest-pinoy.com
Cebuana Lhuillier Pawnshop has been the leading pawnshop chain in the Philippines with over 1,500 branches across the country—from Aparri to Tawi-Tawi. For 25 years now, Cebuana has been true to its slogan “Walang Kapantay Magpahalaga” through the incomparable services that the company offers to its customers- this includes — pawning, local and international remittance, insurance, bills payment, e-load, collection, and foreign exchange. Founded in 1987 by the current Philippine envoy to Portugal, Ambassador Philippe Jones Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier is currently managed by its President and CEO, Jean Henri Lhuillier.