"I am Grace Padaca. I share my story because I know there are many who are like me, not big people, not rich, not strong. I know there are many like me whose strength is inside."Above: Gracia Cielo "Grace" Magno Padaca, former Governor of Isabela Province in the Philippines, standing on a stage while a group of other people are seated in a row behind her. Padaca was elected governor in 2004, was reelected in 2007, and was defeated in another bid for reelection, earlier this year.
--from a campaign appearance by Grace Padaca
Padaca survived polio in her early childhood, and uses crutches (seen in the photograph above). Padaca was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated with highest honors from college. Before politics, she worked as a radio journalist. In 2008, she won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service. Today is her 47th birthday.