Hecky was honored on December 6, 2010 during the Gawad Kalinga Builders Night at Club Filipino in Greenhills for his efforts in alleviating poverty and for being a role model and a “kalinga hero”, a caring hero which is one of the values that GK promotes to fight poverty. Tammy, Hecky’s wife, Hecky’s family and friends were all present that night. GK’s founder Mr. Tony Meloto was also there and talked about Hecky being his hero. Below is Mr. Tony Meloto’s tribute to Hecky as published on GK’s website.
Hecky: The Genius is my Hero
In my amazing journey I am blessed to walk with heroes every day.
Their company keeps me happy, sustains my energy and lights my way.
Daily I am inspired by the constancy of this caring and doing army
of countless country-lovers, hope-weavers and dream-builders in GK,
ordinary citizens without claim to immense power, vast property or money,
armed only with the audacity not to accept poverty as their shameful legacy
and the integrity not to embrace corruption as the way to scandalous prosperity.
One stands out among many –
Hector Villanueva or simply Hecky to me.
Husband to Tammy, father to his twins, son-in-law to my friend Danny.
Hecky is the good-looking face of the new Filipino patriot and the pride of my race,
the man with an honest mind, an intelligent heart and a spirit that is at peace.
At par with the best in the west and at home with the least in the east,
with a doctorate in his vest, the world was his yet chose his country as the best.
It is hard to understand the heart of a hero or the genius of a true Filipino,
who loves country beyond self and even sacrifice family to create abundance for many,
who sees country as gift and opportunity and countrymen as wealth and family.
He inspired generous family and friends in all ’85 to be all- caring and all-sharing,
to shelter the homeless, to teach the idle to work and the hungry to feed themselves.
I was speaking at Harvard when I heard the news that my quiet hero took a rest.
It was the perfect setting to remember a patriot who knew what true genius meant.
He went peacefully as the dawn – softly and silently as his nature not to fuss or bother.
Dearest Hecky, thank you for the gift of your presence and the power of your example.
Your life is our template for faith in action and our fuel in transforming our nation.
Your book is our guide in our spirituality to be a people who honor our Creator.
You will be in every village that will rise, in every step towards our victory in 2024.
You live because you give.
Hecky with GK ALL85
Hecky with wife, Tammy
|Gawad Kalinga (c) 2010|