Superman has always been the greatest superhero for young ones. With his undefinable strength, his eagerness to serve mankind and his bravery to face challenges for the sake of men, he is idolized by many. Yet as we grow older, we stop believing on the man of steel, and start to deny that such heroism does exist. However, through, Efren Penaflorida, the new CNN hero of the year, we have realized that truly, heroism does exist. In fact, He is more than ‘man of steel’. He is a man of spirit. Who has more than X-ray vision but a farsighted vision that can see farther the future of the youth.
He does not have the power to fly but he has the power to reach out despite his own inadequacy. He has more than just super strength. He has the strength to persist his acts despite difficulty. He is more than immortal, he possess an eternal concern and love for mankind mostly for the feeble youth. Holding in his left hand a symbol of Philippine pride(a jeepney with the Philippine flag), Penaflorida, embodied the nobility of Filipinos as he won over nine other nominated CNN heroes as the 2009 CNN Hero of the year. Penaflorida is a 28-year old social worker and educator from Cavite.
He has always showed his deep concerns for the youth and have proven thus since 1997 as he started the Dynamic Teen Company. Penaflorida, fondly called as kuya eF, started an astonishing form of mobile education, the pushcart classroom. He pushes this “Kariton Klassrooms”, where he puts school supplies and learning materials including a large blackboard, books, pens and a table he uses in teaching underprivileged children. He teaches these children how to read and write and impart them the value of education. He also aims to steer them clear of gang membership through this. Penaflorida received $100,000 from CNN.
Then again, he once more proved his altruism as he pledged to use the money not for himself, but for the benefit of his noble objective. He promised to spend the prize for the construction of a learning center and to donate the remaining money to the church. To serve was his purpose for his nobility. He was a cheerful servant for his fellowmen. He chose to serve not because of necessity or fame for himself but because of his want to serve. Moreover, he has done it with no holds barred. “Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need. “-Kuya eF