The year 2023 is only a little over halfway through but it has already been such an eventful time for entrepreneur-turned-congressman Sam Verzosa (SV). In April, he was seen crossing the finish line with the Philippine flag on his back during the London Marathon.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would finish running 42.195 kilometers,” he said in a video posted on his Instagram account. He was elated as he showed off his finisher medal. He triumphed despite feeling sick and despite the cold and rainy weather on race day. “Running is one of my weaknesses. I’m used to short strength training. This journey is more than fitness. It’s about personal growth, transformation and mental toughness.”
SV ran the marathon for a cause – to help raise funds for the operation of more than 100 children with cleft lip and palate in partnership with Smile Train Foundation. He accomplished this mission and raised over P1 million pesos.
This August, SV concluded yet another memorable life event – his public service TV program “Dear SV”, which premiered last February, finishes its second season on CNN Philippines. For SV, the past year has been full of transformations, and the biggest of them all, SV transformed from the co-host of veteran TV host Willie Revillame in Wowowin – Tutok To Win into a full-fledged TV host on CNN Philippines with his own program.
“Dear SV” features inspiring stories of everyday Filipinos, who never lost hope and remained resilient despite the challenges and struggles they face. In the show, SV spreads hope and joy to individuals and communities nationwide by giving them a way to sustainable livelihood, educational scholarships and providing employment and financial assistance.
And like in the marathon where he immediately thanked his family, friends and supporters for believing in him, he likewise wrapped up his second season of “Dear SV” with a grateful heart. In a recent thanksgiving event he hosted dubbed “Sharing the Value of Caring” at Sala Bistro in Greenbelt 3, Makati City, the CEO, philanthropist and public servant shared with the media the valuable lessons he has learned from the program, his marathon race and his legislative work, particularly on poverty alleviation, health and education in Congress. He also highlighted the message of a healthy lifestyle and the importance of sports in empowering the youth during his one-on-one with the media.
In one of the interviews, SV was asked how it feels being a host and anchor for CNN Philippines. “Being a host for CNN Philippines brought out the best in me.” SV responded. “I’ve experienced being a co-host of Kuya Wil before but being the main host is different. There were challenges but I’m glad that we were able to pull through every episode. I am grateful for the opportunity and trust that was given to me by CNN Philippines. This experience and the stories of those featured in Dear SV will forever be in my heart.”
SV also announced new beginnings he intends to start regarding his philanthropic activities for the rest of 2023 which includes the Dear SV Run, a fun run event for a cause, that he plans to launch by the end of November. The event targets 5,000 runners and would offer race kits for 3K, 5K and 10K distances and according to SV, more registration details will be announced some time soon.
During the interviews with SV, one also cannot escape the fact that he always talked about his late father, Sam Verzosa Sr. who passed away in February. He is the inspiration behind the inspirational young lawmaker. SV said his dad’s words will remain his guide as he moves forward in life.
“‘Dear SV’ served as my tribute to my father for raising me to where and what I am now.” The program host shared that his father was so happy when he first heard the news about the program. The senior Verzosa wholeheartedly supported his eldest son in all his endeavors. His dad always gave him words of encouragement but also oftentimes, words aimed to challenge him and his siblings. “Ay mahina! ‘Yan lagi sinasabi ng Papa ko sakin pag china-challenge nya kaming magkakapatid to achieve our goals. Eto ang nagpapaalala sakin na lalo pang galingan at kunin mga goals ko kasi baka sabihin ng Papa ko mahina ako.”
It always seemed to work. These words echoed in his mind every kilometer he ran during the marathon until he reached the end. SV applies these same words in everything he does. From his student days, to his professional career, to his philanthropic activities and to his work in the House of Representatives.
From a top student, to a highly successful and multi-awarded CEO, to being a president of a luxury brand, to being the director for charity for Miss Universe, to being a multi-awarded philanthropist, to being a hardworking legislator crafting 135 bills to date and being a member in 9 committees including serving as vice-chairperson in 4 of them (Poverty Alleviation, Disaster Resilience, Social Services and Welfare of Children), and a public service TV program host on CNN Philippines, it is truly hard to find another person as driven and inspirational as SV is.
However, in the “Dear SV” program, he featured other inspirational Filipinos. By sharing the stories of an 86-year-old lola pedicab driver, 12-year old twins selling lumpia in jeepneys, a devoted father teaching his children under a lamp post, a cyclist with clubfoot, a former snatcher turned honest worker, residents of Taguig Tenement, a paralyzed plastic vendor, a deaf and mute basketball player, a fish vendor supporting his daughter with cerebral palsy, a person who is sight-challenged but nevertheless determined to make it in life, hard-working farmers in Palawan, a girls’ basketball team and a struggling single mom supporting her son diagnosed with hydrocephalus, and many more, SV was able to use his platform to inspire others never to lose hope.
So what’s next for the high-performing kid from Sampaloc?
At this point in his journey, one can say that SV proves to be a competent TV host with his program, “Dear SV”, already being the top public service show on CNN Philippines. We can rest assured that this is not the end, what has ended is simply the starting point of another beginning.
“Every day is a chance to make changes to create the life we want. Everything begins when you shift your mind to a new direction. Part of the reason why I ran the London Marathon was I wanted to inspire people that change is possible in every aspect of life. Now there are more marathons and races to conquer.”
Similarly, SV’s philanthropic work does not end with the second season of “Dear SV.” He will continue focusing his energy on building and growing what he has started – finding better ways to help the helpless. After all, learning from experience and making something better are what SV does best.