An inspiring story of Limuel Hayag Vilela, the country’s representative to Mr. Pacific World 2016
By Edwin Uy
His story is something that every Filipino can relate and we all recognize in him the same spirit of tenacity and drive that could propel us to greater heights in life.
Meet our representative to the Mr. Pacific World this year to be held in Peru, Limuel Hayag Vilela. He is a flight attendant for Westjet Airlines and based in Canada. He was also Mr. Philippines Alberta 2015 and Mister Philippines Canada 2015.
A man with multiple credentials, Limuel won multiple awards like the President Award and World Class Business Operator of the Year and The Filipino Champion of Canada Awardee as Story of the Year. He was previously connected with KFC-Hi Flyers Foods Inc. and worked as a Restaurant General Manager. He was awarded as Top 1 Restaurant General Manager during his time. He is also listed as One of the Notable and Famous Tara na sa Lalawigan ng Quezon. He is also named as Inspiring Filipino by the ABS-CBN News.com and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Recently, he was just awarded as the Most Beautiful Filipino in Canada.
His advocacy and life story made a social media buzz with a million hits and thousands of shares that inspired the world. Born in Pagbilao, Quezon, Limuel experienced a difficult struggle in life but inspite of all the hardships, he was able to attain success.
When he was six years old, his parents had to let go of him and his three other siblings. He was sent to different homes becoming a “katulong “or a houseboy. “My parents chose to live their own lives, so my brothers and sisters and I, we stayed at my grandfather’s house and took care of ourselves,” he explains, choosing his words so as not to paint a bad picture of his parents. But they weren’t exactly well-off and life in the Southern Luzon province wasn’t easy. “We only ate once a day. Sometimes, I’d find myself knocking on the neighbor’s door asking for food. That’s when I thought, abilidad na ang kailangan. We went our separate ways but remained in Pagbilao.”
He went to seek help from relatives who could sponsor his education in exchange for him working as their household help. Two people helped him in his quest for a better life: Azuncion “Mama Azon” Javier, an aunt who put him to college and became Limuel’s mother figure, and Colonel Sanders. After graduating magna cum laude from Southern Luzon State University, he quickly got a job as a management trainee in KFC. The chain would prove an important fixture in his career, as he would also work for the fastfood chain in UK and then in Canada.
Limuel has been a full-time flight attendant at West Jet Airlines, an international carrier based in Canada, plying the North America-Europe route. “I spend about four days a week away on the job, pero ang maganda sa work namin, we have benefits so I can pretty much travel the world for free.” He has also reconnected with his family, and says they’re closer than ever.
Limuel will be wearing my newly designed national costume for the Mister Pacific World 2016. He will be donnng a golden Philippine Eagle Warrior costume inspired from our national bird, the Philippine eagle. Good luck Limuel and make our country proud. As a young achiever, he truly shows us that no matter what happens, he will emerge as winner in the end.