Joseph "Erap" Estrada, born Joseph Marcelo Ejercito in Manila, Philippines, has worn many different hats during his lifetime, including that of actor, film producer, politician and now humanitarian. However, even with such a varied career graph, he has managed to consistently enjoy success.
Estrada has played the lead role in over 80 films and has won five Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Science , or FAMAS awards. This accomplishment earned him a spot in the FAMAS Hall of Fame twice, in 1981 and again in 1984. He has also produced over 70 films.
He followed a glittering film career with a long stint in politics, successfully running for the mayoralty of San Juan, a suburb of Manila in the late 1960s. He held this position for almost two decades, focusing on health care and education reform. The transition from mayor of Manila to president of Philippines took him barely a decade, and he won the election by a historic landslide. Among the achievements of his truncated tenure were reforms to the country’s tax system, and demilitarization of the Philippine government.
A six-year stint in prison on corruption charges tainted an otherwise long and flourishing political career. However, true to form, Estrada has managed to turn around adversity and has now turned his attention to humanitarian matters, focusing on hunger alleviation and disaster relief programs.