UE CEduc Student-“Street Teacher” is Bayaning Pilipino Awards Finalist

The image shows Ms. Tuazon during the awarding of the Regional Winners.

The image shows Ms. Tuazon during the awarding of the Regional Winners.

UE College of Education student and acclaimed “street teacher” Dara Mae H. Tuazon was recognized recently as one of five Youth Category finalists of the 15th Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards. The finals night/awarding ceremony was held on July 3, 2019, at the Dolphy Theater of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation in Quezon City.

Ms. Tuazon first made waves through social media after a photo of her teaching street children along Gastambide Street near UE Manila went viral. It led to her and her advocacy—of sharing her knowledge and imparting wisdom to the less fortunate—landing in mainstream media outlets, including on television.

In May 2017, Ms. Tuazon and some UE student-volunteers, with the help of the UE Office of Extension and Community Outreach (OECO), organized “Bangketa Eskwela.” The program provided a classroom-like setting to Ms. Tuazon’s Gastambide-based students as she leads UE students as well as students from other schools and universities within the area taught the children during the summer months, all in cooperation with the UE College of Education (CEduc), the UE OECO, the UE College of Dentistry (CDent), the UE Guidance, Counseling and Career Services Office and the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).

In May 2018, Ms. Tuazon became the first-ever Grand Champion of The One Philippines (TOP) Humanitarian Award. As the winner of TOP, she also represented the Philippines as an automatic semi-finalist in The One International Humanitarian Award, held last May 2019 in Hong Kong.

Ms. Tuazon currently teaches indigent youth in various barangays in Metro Manila and indigenous communities. She also spearheads outreach efforts through her Bangketa Eskwela Foundation, such as feeding programs, dental missions, distribution of school supplies and hygiene kits, and parenting seminars.

Ms. Tuazon, a fourth-year Bachelor of Elementary Education student at the UE CEduc, is the daughter and eldest child of UE Manila junior high school teacher Amparo H. Tuazon.

Organized in 1995 by the late former ABS-CBN Chairman Eugenio Lopez Jr., with the assistance of Ugat Foundation Inc., the Bayaning Pilipino Awards aims to give recognition to ordinary Filipinos doing extraordinary deeds. The search for nominees takes place nationwide and in Filipino communities around the world for individuals who display the Filipino values of humanitarianism, industry, determination and dedication to public service.

Nominations were screened by the Ugat Foundation by conducting visits, interviews, video documentation and testimonials to ensure the integrity of the nomination. Based on the gathered materials, the screening committee selects the regional winners. Regional winners like Ms. Tuazon, who was the regional winner for Central Luzon, were given a trophy and a cash prize.

From the regional winners, the five finalists are selected, which is then forwarded to the board of judges for the final deliberation of the national winners.

This year’s board of judges is headed by ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. Managing Director Susan Bautista-Afan. With her in this year’s Bayaning Pilipino Awards board of judges are ABS-CBN Project Management Office Head Eugenio Lopez IV, multimedia artist and Bayaning Pilipino Awards 2016 finalist Frederick Epistola, ABS-CBN News reporter Kim Atienza, and Bayaning Pilipino Awards Planning and Screening Committee Member Timothy Gabuna.

The image shows Ms. Tuazon during the awarding of the Regional Winners.

Congratulations, Dara Mae H. Tuazon! Continue inspiring others with your dedication to your cause, Warrior Hero!


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