Fostering a culture of ‘katapatan’
9 citizens from different backgrounds are recognized in the Tapat Summit, which celebrates the values of honesty and integrity

TAPAT NINE. In a mistrustful, jaded world, these nine individuals inspire hope through their exemplary actions, honesty to their fellowmen, and dedication to the greater good. From left to right: pro-poor education advocate Councilor Nestor Archival of Cebu, one-armed patriot and dedicated volunteer Gerry Gamez of Manila, calesa driver Jaime Cabilo Mayor of Manila, rural educator Lilia Diaz of Palawan, young trash collector Gustin Laude of Bulacan, public health champion Dr. Roel Cagape of General Santos, Red Cross volunteer Randy Mendoza of Pangasinan, airport janitress Jennifer Doroga of Parañaque, and taxi driver-turned-lawyer Atty. Roy Torrentira of Bohol. Photo courtesy of TBWA.

MANILA, Philippines – Now and then, stories of heroism emerge from our mundane lives: a poor boy returns a bag loaded with cash, a doctor gives away free medicine, a city councilor gives his salary to schoolchildren. 

It’s surprising that nowadays these stories make it in the TV news and hit the front pages of newspapers. Yet their treatment is regarded as novelty, like a nice and welcome curiosity given widespread reportage on crime, tragedy, corruption and scandals.  

Aimed at upholding the values of honesty and integrity and fostering appreciation for them, the Tapat Summit gathered 9 ambassadors last May 26 to recognize and pay tribute to them. 

The boy who returned the cash-filled bag is only 10 years old. This ambassador of goodwill was joined by his peers: a kalesa driver, a janitress, an engineer, a lawyer who sent himself through school by driving taxis, a teacher who remains dedicated to her vocation despite her age, a volunteer who built classrooms despite his disability, a Red Cross volunteer from the professional world, and a city councilor who budgets his pay to accommodate the less fortunate.

For these 9 souls who exceeded expectations and went beyond the call of duty, the Tapat Summit serves not as an awards ceremony, but as a way of building hope for the nation.  

This start at nation-building took place in a small, intimate gathering where the Tapat ambassadors got to know and inspire each other. They were met by veteran actress and social good advocate Susan Roces, who was filled with admiration for the 9.

“It was out of the goodness of their heart that they did what they did,” she said.

INSPIRING INTEGRITY. Movie actress and advocate Susan Roces sits down with the Tapat Nine, inspired by their stories and acts of integrity. Photo courtesy of TBWA. 

Katapatan is precious. No matter one’s age, no matter one’s background, it serves as a foundation and inspiration. I hope this will inspire our people to do good deeds, to follow in their footsteps,” Roces added.

It is through honoring simple acts of katapatan that many others may rise to the challenge of upholding honesty in a nation bombarded with corruption and injustice.

“Everybody must have the ability to follow what they think is true and right for them. The people honored here have done that. Despite being told to conform, to do otherwise, they still followed their heart,” said one of the organizers, Jasper Tiu, marketing vice president of Peerless Products, makers of Champion.

Simply put, katapatan is being true to one’s self and being true to what one does — katapatan sa kapwa tao, katapatan sa serbisyo, katapatan sa pamumuhay, katapatan sa sarili

CELEBRATING COMPASSION. All 9 individuals live by the 'pay it forward' principle. Photo courtesy of TBWA

The Summit sought to uphold the virtue of katapatan in everyday life, to create a world where each individual is a Tapat ambassador. This movement hopes for a future where katapatan shines through even in the simplest of actions. –


Watch out for more inspiring stories from the Tapat Ambassadors this coming week.

Join us for a Social Media Conversation on being Tapat on July 10. Use #TapatAko and share with us the stories that inspire you most.

See the heartwarming story of the lawyer who drove taxis to put himself through law school on July 12.

Be inspired by the dedication of a 71-year old teacher from Culion, Palawan on July 26.

We’ll be posting quotable quotes from these exemplary individuals on Instagram starting July 26. Follow @rappler on Instagram.

To find out more information about the Tapat Summit awardees visit



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