Ten youthful Filipino achievers plus a world-renowned pop group of four sisters have been unveiled as the newest batch of Yumbassadors by the country’s number one family fast food chain, Jollibee.
Composed of talented artists and reel/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 Ninura, outstanding student and aspiring doctor Christopher Valentin, international race car driver Marlon Stockinger and world-renowned all-girl group 4m Impact, these young individuals are the epitome of excellence, continuing to blaze a trail in their respective fields and serving as role models for today’s Generation Y.
“This year’s batch of Yumbassadors… are impressive individuals and each of them are out to change the world,” says 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,” Flores adds. “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,” Flores shares.
JAMES REID, 22
Popularly known as the other half of “JaDine,” Filipino-Australian actor-singer James was propelled into the limelight after he was declared the Big Winner of Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash in 2010, opening up many opportunities for James. His breakthrough role as Clark Media in the hit show On the Wings of Love captured the hearts of this generation, while his latest film with on- and off-screen sweetheart Nadine Lustre opened to an impressive P15 million at the box office.
NADINE LUSTRE, 22
Nadine found performing as an opportunity to make other people happy, with her string of top-grossing movies and the hit TV romcom On the Wings of Love bringing smiles, laughter, and a lot of kilig to Pinoy viewers here and abroad. Aside from being one of the country’s hottest and busiest young stars, Nadine is also into producing, directing and editing her own short films.
Kelsey Merritt, 19
Kelsey Merritt didn’t originally intend to become a model, but her photos caught the eye of prestigious international talent agency Wilhelmina Models, flying to New York in 2015 to start her career as an international model and gracing 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.
RACHEL DE VILLA, 23
The founder of Cropital, a social enterprise that aims to provide local farmers access to scalable and sustainable financing, Rachel – who was in Forbes’ 2016 “30 Under 30 Asia” list – has always wanted to make the world a better place even as a young girl. She took up Computer Science and focused on the integration of technology and design to improve crucial aspects of Filipino life including education, agriculture and health services, envisioning a world where farmers are debt-free, dignified and empowered.
ANGELO CASIMIRO, 17
Inspired by those with limited access to electricity, young inventor Angelo developed shoes that generate electricity by converting foot pressure into energy.
Angelo’s in-sole power generator gives new meaning to the term “power walk” – where a deceptively simple device slipped under the sole can turn an ordinary speaker into a power bank to light up LED lamps and charge mobile devices. The La Salle Physics major has since gained international attention, the latest one generated by his life-sized replica of lovable droid BB-8 made completely of household materials.
JUAN MIGUEL SEVERO, 27
Initially known for his intense spoken word performance titled “Ang huling Tula na Isusulat ko Para Sa’yo” that went viral online and got millions of views and shares, and inspired many not only to appreciate the overlooked art of the spoken word, but the Filipino language, Juan Miguel soon rose to mainstream fame through his recurring role in the hit teleserye On the Wings of Love. His emotionally charged spoken word performances reach thousands of young Pinoys going through the pains and joys of modern love and life through his popular social media accounts.
JAIRUS FERRER, 25
Young agricultural entrepreneur Jairus used the confusing teenage years to discover himself, signing up for a four-month agricultural course in his native Bukidnon that convinced him he wanted to be a farmer. He is the founder of Pronic Foods, an enterprise that channels the logistics and distribution of niche products such as Cenyu Probiotic Chicken. 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.
MEA GEY NINURA, 16
When this student-athlete from Davao del Sur crossed the finish line of the 2016 Palarong Pambansa girls’ 3000-meter run, she won more than just the gold medal, surpassing the 36-year record set by Rosalinda Catulong in the 1980 National Open by 5.6 solid seconds. The road to success wasn’t always easy but the young woman used every defeat as a motivation to train harder and run faster. The future looks bright for the 16-year-old sprinter, who wishes to clinch an athletic scholarship from a prominent university.
CHRISTOPHER VALENTIN, 20
This young man dreams of becoming a doctor to help fellow Filipinos and not even poverty can stop him, as he received a full scholarship from the Far Eastern University to study Psychology as his pre-med course. To make ends meet, he sold customized t-shirts to classmates, tutored fellow students, transcribed data for a drug company – and graduated summa cum laude which became his ticket to a tuition-free medicine degree. Christopher aims to make quality health care services more accessible to the urban poor.
MARLON STOCKINGER, 25
The first Filipino to win a European formula race, F1 race car driver 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 Biancplain GT Series and is gunning for faster track times to share his victory with every Pinoy who aspires to live their dreams.
Getting thousands of poker-faced Britons to rise from their seats and dance along to a pop tune, is no mean feat, but this is exactly what 4th Impact – a pop ensemble of four sisters from Santiago City, Isabela – accomplished when they auditioned for the British X Factor, conquering London’s Wembley Stadium in the process.
Sisters 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. While their pop dream remains 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 but they are not giving up, determined to conquer the world with their amazing talent, and determination.
To know more about Jollibee’s new Yumbassadors, check cut Jollibee Philippines’ official YouTube channel by typing in Jollibee Philippines in the keyword search.