Zaldy Bueno, a 37-year old teacher from Gumaca, Quezon was halled as the 4" Happlest Pinoy, winning Cebuana Lhullier's Search for the Happlest Pinoy which honors and celebrates the Filipinos' innate "optimism, resillence, and hope amidst dlifferent life crises.
Zaldy bested nine other finalists from different categories, winning one million cash and a
The board of judges composed of Usec. Zenaida Maglaya, Gang Badoy Capati, James Deakin, RJ Ledesma Love Añover-Llanko, Jonathan Yabut, Winston Maxino, Rommel Arellano, and Richardson Navor chose Bueno unanimously by virtue of his advocacy to see more children's
lves change through education. Zaldy volunteered as an ALS teacher and taught on weekends, he even had his mother as his student at one point and helped her finish her secondarye education Zaldy also co-founded project PADYAK in 2017, PADYAK stands for Pidal Apakan Dunong Yayaman, Asenso'y Kakamtan, which aims to provide bicycle units for students whoo Couldnot afford to travel to school.
The project turned out huge with so many people donating new and used bicycle units from all over the Philippines even getting donations from OFWs abroad. This project drastically reede for students at sehool for which their school recelved a perfect attendance award.
I am very happy with the results of this year's search .. with over 800,000 entries receivedt throughour branches, online, SMS, and walk-in entries. It's been amazing to read the entries oft the10 finalists and Zaldy proves to be a worthy winner as his tale will definitely inspire countless people to push on despite life's difficulties, Zaldy
exemplifies the commendable Filipino spirit of rising up from your current predicament and using that as fuel to make a diference in the lives of others'said cobuana Lhuller President and CEO, Jean Henri Lhuilier.
Currently, Bueno serves as the head teacher of the English department at the Gumaca National
High School. As a kid, their family would often encounter financial difficulties, Zaldy would help
his mom wash clothes for their neighbours and would get his daily allowance from selling
vegetables he planted to augment the family income. Zaldy vowed to work hard and study hard
in order to improve their life.
A turning point in Zaldy's life was when typhoon Rosing hit in 1995 which completely
obliterated their house, and they were forced to stay at the barangay health center. During
clinic days, Zaldy and his family had to move their things on the street to accommodate the
influx of patients.
After graduating secondary school, Zaldy tried to get a college education but had to stop
schooling due to financial constraints. In order to get back to school, he had to work two jobs,
including stints at a tile store and as a sales agent for a local radio station. He finished colege a
would be 4-year course in 6 years.
Bueno is the fourth winner of the biennial search following Richardson Navor (2015), Rommel
Arellano (2012), and Winston Maxino (2009).
When asked what Bueno will do with the prize money, he shared that he will use it to further
improve Project PADYAK by acquiring more bike units which more students can use to get to
school He also shared that he will use a part of it to bring his parents to Singapore for a well.
Breaking its own record, the Cebuana Lhuillier search received over 800,000 nominations this
year, the most entries it has received in its ten-year history.