The Kapamilya actor was cited for his humanitarian efforts, one of the few well-known Pinoy personalities who put their celebrity to meaningful use.
After comedian Michael V. and boxing prizefighter Manny Pacquiao, dramatic leading man Diether Ocampo is the third Pinoy celebrity to land on the cover of Readers’ Digest Asia magazine. Diether is cover boy of the said magazine’s December 2009 issue.
For the uninformed, Reader’s Digest is a monthly general interest family magazine co-founded in 1922 by Lila Bell Wallace and DeWitt Wallace, and based in Chappaqua, New York. Global editions of Reader’s Digest reach an additional 40 million people in more than 70 countires, with 50 editions in 21 languages. It has a global circulation of 17 million, making it the largest circulated magazine in the world.
The Kapamilya actor was cited for his humanitarian efforts, one of the few well-known personalities who put their celebrity to meaningful use. Aside from being Founding President of K.I.D.S. (Kabataan Inyong Dapat Suportahan) Foundation, a non-government organization that champions the plight of underprivileged children, Diether also avidly supports PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
It is not puzzling why Diet has a soft spot for kids. “I haven’t forgotten that I come from a poor family,” he said in the magazine’s cover story. “This keeps me grounded and grateful for what I have today. Nalaman ko lang about the Reader’s Digest cover from Kuya Ricky Lo (entertainment editor of The Philippine Star),” excited na balita ni Diether sa www.abs-cbn.com.
How does gracing the cover of a reputable international publication compare to taking home an acting award? (Diether is the recipient of two Urian Best Actor nominations for Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin and La Vida Rosa and two TV Best Drama Actor wins for the ABS-CBN soaps Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas and Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin.) “Both contribute an overwhelming feeling,” begins Diet’s lengthy response. “An acting trophy gives a rewarding feeling knowing that what you’ve worked hard for has been recognized. But my passion to help the less privileged Filipino kids is something that I do without expecting any recognition for.”
The actor-philanthropist is out to help change the world for the better. Nakakahawa ang kanyang energy, drive, excitement at optimism even when he humbly acknowledges that his are mere baby steps towards the loftier goal of extending help to marginalized children all over the planet. Diether continues, “Landing on the cover of Reader’s Digest only made me realize how far I’ve gone when it comes to helping these kids. And it motivates me even more to make K.I.D.S. Foundation a globally recognized organization. If you can initiate positive change in your own country, this can definitely inspire positive change worldwide. Starting small can go a long way.”
When this writer ribbed him that a CNN Hero of the Year award is not such a far-fetched idea, eto ang sagot ng aktor sa amin. “Haha. Ikaw talaga!”