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PIA Press Release

DOT urges Filipinos to vote for Peñaflorida as CNN hero

Manila (24 October) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) is calling on Filipinos all over the world to vote online for Efren Peñaflorida as CNN Hero of the Year.

Out of 9,000 nominees across the world, Peñaflorida made it to the elite list of top 10 finalists for this year's CNN Hero.

His Kariton Klasrum (pushcart classroom) has been bringing education to the impoverished children of the streets for the past 12 years.

Tourism Secretary Joseph 'Ace' Durano said, "The time to celebrate Philippine heroism has been long overdue. This is our chance to share to the world the Filipino sense of selflessness, and to honor the little acts of kindness that we, his kababayans, can very well take inspiration from."

Together with his team of volunteers of the Dynamic Teen Company, Peñaflorida turns everyday places into meaningful learning spaces for children who would otherwise be loitering around the streets and joining urban gangs.

Meanwhile, DOT Undersecretary for Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque Jr. said, "Just as how Efren is bringing hope to the children of slum areas, let us also bring inspiration to people within and beyond our geographical borders by supporting one of our real-life heroes."

Peñaflorida joins other three top 10 nominees under the ‘Championing Children' category of the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year.

A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the individuals for the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009. The Top 10 CNN Heroes who will get the most online votes will be named "CNN Heroes of the Year" and shall be recognized during the "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," at Thanksgiving in November.

Voters can join the poll until Nov. 18, 2009 through the web link

CNN Heroes is a search for "people driven to exceptional achievement in service to others."

This year's search has six categories, namely: Championing Children, Community Crusader, Defending the Planet, Medical Marvel, Protecting the Powerless, and Young Marvel. (PIA) [top]

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