Monday, May 30, 2016


MANILA, Philippines – Last Friday May 20, 2016 The country’s number one family fast food chain, Jollibee, has proudly unveiled the newest batch of Generation Y "Yumbassadors". This talented and bright young Filipino achievers who have excelled and continuously give recognition to our country. And for me they deserve to be part of this and to be a role models for today’s Generation.

The world-class roster is composed of talented artists and reel-and-real life couple James Reid and Nadine Lustre; international model Kelsey Merritt; social entrepreneur Rachel de Villa; young inventor Angelo Casimiro; spoken word artist and performer Juan Miguel Severo; model and agricultural entrepreneur Jairus Ferrer; record-breaking runner Mea Gey Niñura; outstanding student and aspiring doctor Christopher Valentin; international race car driver Marlon Stockinger; and world-renowned all-girl group 4th Impact.

International Model Kesley Merritt

Kelsey Merritt didn’t originally intend to become a model, but photos of her caught the eye of scouts from the prestigious international talent agency Wilhelmina Models. In 2015, Kelsey flew to New York to start her career as an international model. She has appeared on covers and editorials for Nylon and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as global fashion and beauty campaigns for Uniqlo, Steve Madden, Shiseido, Missguided, and Vera Wang. Locally, she has graced numerous covers and editorials, amongst endorsements from some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Jollibee.
Kelsey maintains a professional approach to modeling and refuses to be blinded by the glitz and glamor of the industry. She always goes for her full 100 percent and beyond and doesn’t stop from trying and trying until she delivers the perfect shot.

Cropital Founder Rachel de Villa

Even as a young girl, Rachel de Villa has already began envisioning how to make the world a better place. She decided to take up Computer Science as a course in college, and put focus on the integration of technology and design to improve crucial aspects of Filipino life including education, agriculture, and health services. The 23-year-old social entrepreneur envisioned a world where farmers are debt-free, dignified, and empowered, which led her to establish Cropital. Cropital is a global organization supported by institutions in the United States, Netherlands, Malaysia, and the Philippines. A social enterprise that aims to provide local farmers access to scalable and sustainable financing, Cropital will also yield profits for its investors, ranging from three to 30 percent in the span of six months. Her innovative solution to a decades-long national issue earned Rachel awards and recognition from the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop-Manila and the Young Entrepreneurs Society Philippines. She was also included in Forbes’ 2016 30 Under 30 Asia as one of today’s most impressive youth.

Outstanding Student Christopher Valentin
Nothing can stop 20-year-old Christopher Valentin from pursuing his dream of becoming a doctor to help his fellow Filipinos not even poverty. Christopher received a full scholarship from the Far Eastern University (FEU) to study Psychology as his pre-med course. However, a full ride is not enough to pay for the day-to-day expenses of a college student. To make ends meet, Christopher sold customized t-shirts to his classmates and peers, tutored fellow students, and transcribed data for a drug company. He graduated Summa cum Laude from FEU, which became his ticket to a tuition-free medicine degree. Aside from doing well in his studies, he was also part of the FEU Tamaraw Volunteers and the Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardees Students Society, which strengthened his affinity for those in need of opportunities for a better future.The soon-to-be doctor believes that good health should not be a privilege and that every Filipino has a right to it. In the future, Christopher dreams of making quality health care services more accessible to the urban poor.

Record Breaking Runner Meagey Ninura
As Meagey Niñura, a student-athlete from Davao del Sur’s Capatagan National High School, crossed the finish line of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa girls’ 3000-meter run, she won more than just the gold medal. Meagey surpassed the 36-year record set by Rosalinda Catulong in the 1980 National Open by 5.6 solid seconds. Considered to be one of the fastest women in the country, Meagey posted a record-breaking time of 10 minutes, 3.4 seconds for a 3000-meter stretch. Shattering Meagey’s record could, once again, take decades. The lass from Davao wasn’t always a winner; in fact, she spent many important track meets lagging behind faster competitors and failing to secure a medal. Instead of being demoralized by her losses, Meagey used every defeat as her motivation to train harder and run faster. The future indeed looks bright for the 16-year-old sprinter, who wishes to clinch an athletic scholarship from a prominent university. 

Poet, Spoken Word Artist Juan Miguel Severo
In an time of hugot or stories of love and heartbreak, an intense spoken word performance titled “Ang Huling Tula na Isusulat ko Para Sayo” by Juan Miguel Severo went viral online, amassing millions of views and shares and inspiring many not only to appreciate the overlooked art of spoken word, but of the Tagalog language. Juan Miguel soon rose to mainstream fame through his recurring role in the hit teleserye On the Wings of Love. Initially cast as a background character, the job proved Juan Miguel’s initial fears wrong—that he was too ordinary to be noticed from a sea of aspiring actors. Juan Miguel loves telling stories, which encouraged him to become a better writer, performer, and actor. Crafting rhymes and connecting to metaphors enabled him to explore the emotions behind his own experiences, but also to empathize to the people surrounding him. Storytelling made him more compassionate, understanding, and accepting of other people and the world at large. Aside from delivering emotionally charged spoken word performances to jam-packed cafés and bars, Juan Miguel’s words reach thousands of young Pinoys going through the pains and joys of modern love and life through his popular social media accounts.

Scholar & Inventor Angelo Casimiro
Inspired by those who have limited access to electricity, 17-year old Angelo Casimiro developed an innovation that converts foot pressure into energy. Angelo’s in-sole power generator gives new meaning to the term “power walk” slipping the deceptively simple device under a shoe sole can turn an ordinary speaker into a power bank to light up LED lamps and charge mobile devices. This invention was accepted into Google’s 2014 Science Fair, a gathering of the world’s brightest young minds. Last year, he has also received buzz from international tech magazines for his latest project, the life-sized replica of Star Wars: The Force Awakens lovable droid BB-8 made completely out of household materials. Now a Physics major at De La Salle University, Angelo continues to tinker and explore to find solutions to pressing social problems. Like any teenager, he’s also using his passion for the sciences for fun, and as a way to encourage his peers to embrace curiosity and ingenuity in their daily lives.

Model & Agricultural Entrepreneur Jairus Ferrer
The period between high school and college is a confusing yet critical time for any teenager, even for young agricultural entrepreneur Jairus Ferrer. Unsure of what field to study in college, Jairus took a gap year to find himself. He signed up for a four-month agricultural course in his native Bukidnon and discovered what he really wanted to do: farming. The young entrepreneur co-founded Pronic Foods, an enterprise that channels the logistics and distribution of niche products, such as Cenyu Probiotic Chicken. Together with his team, Jairus was instrumental in creating an urban market for Bukidnon’s premium coffee products. Jairus’ true fulfillment comes from knowing that consumers appreciate the devotion and detail that go into his livestock and crops. He hopes that tech innovations can connect the younger generation to agriculture and inspire more millennials like him to engage in farming and food production. He is also a prominent member of the reforestation group Hinelaban Foundation, which aims to restore the lush rainforests in Mindanao and create livelihood programs for locals and indigenous people through transformational business partnerships.

F1 Race Car Driver Marlon Stokinger
Most young boys dream of driving an expensive car in a high-speed track, but only a select few get to live that dream. Marlon Stockinger is one of the talented few living the ultimate racer dream. The first Filipino to win a European formula race, Marlon sped through the circuits of Formula BMW Europe, Formula Renault UK, the GP3 Series, and until 2015, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The 25-year-old Filipino-Swiss racer also won titles from the Asian Karting Championship, the Philippine Shell Super Karting Series, and the Senior Rotax Max World Finals, among others. Marlon is currently racing with the Team ISR for the 2016 MS Blancplain GT Series and is gunning for faster track times to share his victory with every Pinoy who aspires to live their dreams.  

World Famous Filipina Group 4th Impact
It’s not easy to get thousands of poker-faced Britons rise from their seats and dance along to a pop tune, but when Fourth Impact—a pop ensemble of four sisters from Santiago City, Isabela—came on the audition stage of the British X Factor, they conquered London’s Wembley Stadium. Almira (28), Irene (26), Mylene (24), and Celina (20) Cercado are veterans of local singing contests and have represented the country in the World Championships of Performing Arts. However, their pop dream remained elusive in the Philippines, propelling them to join the popular South Korean talent show, Superstar K6. It’s an ongoing journey to success for the Cercado sisters and they are not giving up on the dream to conquer the world with their amazing talent, determination, and Filipino pride.


“This year’s batch of Yumbassadors are proof of how millennials are – passionate, driven and determined, and always going for the best. This generation, the Gen Y or #ProudGenYum, are impressive individuals and each of them are out to change the world,” shares Jollibee Philippines Head of Marketing and Global Brand Chief Marketing Officer Francis Flores.

“Jollibee puts utmost value on excellence and we always strive to recognize those who manifest it,” he said. “Our Yumbassadors were chosen because of their passion for langhap-sarap ng buhay. They do not settle for mediocrity, and welcome challenges as opportunities to grow and become better people. I am confident that their individual journeys and success stories will inspire many young people.”

To know more about Jollibee’s new Yumbassadors, check out this video.

#ProudGenYum: Meet Jollibee’s 2016 Yumbassadors

Young and inspiring Filipino achievers who embody the passion for
‘langhapsarap ng buhay’ and being 100%