WATCH: 8 inspiring stories of successful Filipinos

Iñigo De Paula
WATCH: 8 inspiring stories of successful Filipinos
Up Dharma Down, Pepe Diokno, and more – here are stories behind how these individuals were driven by their hunger for success

For the Yellow Cab Pizza Company, hunger is that driving force, that fire, that pushes people to pursue greatness. Yellow Cab is famous for satisfying our literal hunger, but with the launch of its “No Stopping the Hungry” campaign, the pizza restaurant will fuel creative hunger as well.

No Stopping the Hungry tells the stories of 8 personalities in sports, music, fashion, film, and art. By harnessing their hunger, these people have developed an unstoppable drive for greatness. “We’ve always believed that real greatness starts with being hungry,” says Mark De Joya, brand development director of Yellow Cab. “So through this campaign, we hope to ignite and fuel your personal hunger and find that something which drives you to be where or who you want to be.”

One of the most significant elements of the campaign is the Pitch Your Hunger Contest, which will endow deserving groups or individuals with a P20,000 “Hunger Grant.” While it would be tempting to splurge the entire amount on pizza, the grant is meant to jumpstart the recipient’s personal projects. “Whether it’s finally recording your music, funding your startup business, or finally pursuing a passion project, we at Yellow Cab want to literally fuel that hunger,” says senior marketing manager, Elise Veloso.

Meet the Hungry

If the grant is a springboard, the 8 short films show what happens when someone lays it all on the line and follows their hunger. The videos tell the stories of the band Up Dharma Down, FlipTop founder Anygma, filmmaker Pepe Diokno, tattoo artist Ron Poe, clothing design duo Don’t Blame the Kids, musician Skymarines, pro wrestler Jake de Leon, and footballer Eric Giganto.  

Check out the videos below!

Up Dharma Down is one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed bands in the country. Not bad for these 4 self-proclaimed introverts. “We started out as opening acts [at] comedy bars and we were paid in peanuts, no joke,” they share. “We took it all in because it was the first step for our music to be heard.” Today, we hear them loud and clear.


Anygma founded the FlipTop Movement to give local hip hop heads a platform to show their talent through the age-old art of battle rhyming. “My intention for building this industry is to show people that FlipTop is all about creativity. I started FlipTop by borrowing money from a friend and I didn’t realize that so many people would be on board for it,” Anygma says.  

From this seed money sprung a YouTube channel with over 980 million views and more than two million subscribers, making it the most viewed battle league in the world.


In a scene full of iconoclasts, internationally-awarded filmmaker Pepe Diokno stands tall. He has built a reputation by creating works that challenge society and creative boundaries. “Some people obviously don’t like it – I get raised eyebrows – and that’s okay,” he says. “That’s what makes me hungrier [and] keep on making films that people will talk and debate about.”


For tattoo artist Ron Poe, being the son of the late, great Fernando Poe, Jr. has both advantages and disadvantages. Ron admits that comparisons to his father drive him to make a name for himself. This drive led him to co-establish P&P Tattoo. “I am aware that others will always compare me to my father and that’s okay,” he says. “I just tell them that like my late father, I am an artist, too, [but] who uses a different medium.”


Brothers Vince and Emil love streetwear,  but found it difficult to find local brands that fit their style. And so they decided to design their own gear. Fresh out of college and lacking any knowledge about the fashion business, they founded DBTK. They relied on their passion and instinct to make the label a success. “We came to this business with zero knowledge, with nothing, with only trust in each other that we will be able to pull through everything,” they say. “We started creating our first t-shirts at home and we had no idea who would buy them.”

Today, DBTK consigns its gear to select clothing stores, and is looking to expand into the international market.  


With her shy and withdrawn personality, electro-pop musician Skymarines is the unlikeliest pop artist. Discovered by Up Dharma Down, Skymarines never craved the limelight. “I kept writing, I kept singing because I wanted to battle my low self-esteem issues,” she reveals. “Let them say ‘she’s fat’ or ‘she’s cheesy,’ my music is my own and I will live my life the way I see fit.”


Under Jake de Leon’s leadership, the Philippine Wrestling Revolution has become the most popular pro wrestling promotion company in the country. A lifelong wrestling fan, Jake always dreamed of entering the squared circle himself. “Nobody took wrestling seriously; it was a joke for most people I knew and it was disheartening at first,” he says. “My hunger to change the notion that wrestling is useless drove me to find people who had the same love and passion for the sport.”


Eric Giganto grew up in an impoverished town in Compostela Valley. He fostered his irresistible drive to succeed, and at age 12, left for Manila on a football scholarship. After finishing his schooling, Eric continued playing the sport and is now a key player for KAYA FC. “I was thankful for the many people who believed in me and my hunger for the sport,” he says. “I knew how to play, but these people who supported me made me a better player.”


Are you hungry yet? –

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