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“It is a privilege to be a teacher of diverse population and a mentor who shares research as synergistic activities to her colleagues; a researcher who contributes to the generation of new knowledge; and a public servant who uses reading as a weapon.”

Perhaps there is no greater quality strongly linked to the Filipino identity than resilience. It is no surprise then that this is the trait that best characterizes Dr. Dorothy S. Tarol’s story as a teacher and a mother. Having a “principle-based resilience,” says Dr. Tarol, kept her driven amidst personal ordeals. Most importantly, it pushed her to empower diverse, marginalized communities whose resilience, like hers, do not easily falter.

Dr. Tarol aspires for instruction without barriers. Her solid stance on inclusive education comes from a personal source. Progressively losing her hearing at 35, Dr. Tarol has shifted her teaching career to cater to students with disabilities at the Special Education-Integrated School for Exceptional Children (SPED-ISEC) in Iloilo City.

Dr. Tarol has since devoted her life’s work onto shaping an environment conducive for learners of all kinds. She is best recognized for writing and implementing in 2011 an action research entitled “Buddy-Mediated Instruction (BMI): Pivotal Strategy for Spelling and Social Skills for Students with Hearing Impairment” which aims to develop a student’s basic literacy skills.

BMI addresses the top two learning gaps of persons with hearing impairment: spelling and social engagement. Since language skills are auditory-based or learned through constant hearing, those with any degree of hearing loss have difficulty in absorbing its dynamics.

In a nutshell, the program pairs two students—a quick learner and another who learns at a slower pace—who study together through peer counseling. Deviating from a “tutor-tutee” relationship, the term “buddy” is used so as to not discriminate against their fast-slow difference. Buddies engage with each other through learner-initiated activities such as recreations, bonds and conversations supported by flip charts with illustrations and finger spellings or letters and numbers represented by hand signs.

Dr. Tarol, originally adapting a foreign strategy, also promotes mother tongue-based teaching in BMI.

BMI became the inspiration for the production of a workbook called “Pinanid nga Hilikuton sa mga Kasampaton sa Hiligaynon” (Workbook in Hiligaynon for Kindergarten), a mother tongue-based book which provides exercises in reading, writing, counting, and finger spelling to kindergarten students with hearing impairment. To date, the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Learning Resources Management and Development Portal, a digital library of downloadable teaching and learning materials, registered around 900 downloads of the workbook. BMI, as an instructional strategy, also became a benchmark model in the DepEd Divisions of Iloilo and Iloilo City and was already replicated by around 178 schools.

For Dr. Tarol, a teacher’s work does not stop when she steps out of the classroom. Beyond the school premises, she introduced her instructional approach to indigenous learners and Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) through an offshoot of BMI called “Ang Pagbasa ay may Pag-asa Program.”

This extension initiative ensures that Dr. Tarol’s contextualized and localized learning materials also benefit multi-grade Ati Tribe Learners in Andres Drapiza Extension, Camangahan Elementary School, Guimbal, Iloilo and non-literate PDLs in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Ungka Jaro, Iloilo CIty.

During weekends, Dr. Tarol, accompanied by her family, travel by at most two hours to reach the indigent schools. Apart from conducting lessons using her trademark materials, she also distributes food, hygiene kits and learning supplies to her students.

Dr. Tarol also advocates for equal career opportunities for persons with disabilities. In 2007, an organization registered as the Association of Late-deafened, Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, for Education, Advocacy, Research and Support (ALDHEARS) was co-founded by Dr. Tarol. ALDHEARS currently serves 40 active members and non-members aged 25 to 39, majority of which are also alumni of SPED-ISEC.

In the hopes of raising awareness on issues faced by people with disabilities in the workplace that include discrimination and prejudice, Dr. Tarol, through ALDHEARS, actively lobbied among employers equal opportunities for their members. To date, 36 have permanent jobs and are still monitored and counseled by her.

With all these advocacies in-action and for her exemplary service, Dr. Tarol received several recognitions throughout her profession including the “Pambansang Ulirang Guro” title in 2018, the Learners for Educators Excellence Award in 2017 and Harvest of Excellence Awards, also in 2017.

Dr. Tarol, 50, holds a Master Teacher II position at SPED-ISEC since 2015, and is a registered guidance counselor. She earned her Doctorate degree in Educational Management at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City and two master’s degrees in Guidance Counseling and Special Education at the University of the Philippines Visayas and West Visayas State University, Iloilo City, respectively.

Dr. Tarol is married and a mother of four.

“I would like to be remembered as the students’ Philippine history teacher who had opened their eyes about our country’s history; a teacher who made them love and enjoy history. History should not be seen as a collection of facts to memorize, but a subject that connects present issues with past events. My goal is for students to understand better our society, to make them more aware and involved with the pressing issues and problems of today—trademarks of good and participative citizenship.”

For Dr. Cristina B. Cristobal, history unfolds quite differently to those who only commit information to memory than those who learn it by heart. This belief served as her drive to inspire changes, at the very least, to Philippine Science High School (PSHS) students’ perspective towards learning history. And true enough, PSHS System’s Social Science curriculum saw a series of transformations leading to its present, progressive status.

Dr. Cristobal thus introduced a teaching strategy that requires Grade 7 learners to use primary sources in studying history. She believes that exposing students to primary sources provides an evidence-based approach to learning. This develops students’ skills in history and deepens their understanding of past events.

An offshoot from her Doctor of Philosophy dissertation which focuses on the historical thinking skills of high school students in select schools, the approach provides opportunities for students to analyze documents, review data and construct historical narratives firsthand—a deviation from the traditional learning through textbooks and memorization.

Students, therefore, engage in the construction of knowledge—making the learning of history more meaningful. The use of textbooks has become secondary, being supplemented by study of documents, records, pictures of artifacts and the like. In one student project for example, students chronicle family, institutional or local narratives juxtaposed with the country’s national or local history. Students must personally interview sources or look into personal journals, manuscripts and audio recordings for their requirements. Over time, stories of families whose ancestors experienced the war, among others, were discovered, documented and archived. For Dr. Cristobal, this activity connects students with the past; hence history for them becomes alive and relevant.

Given the good reviews she has received from her students and colleagues, Dr. Cristobal proposed this pedagogical approach during PSHS-System’s curriculum review in 2004 and 2011, resulting to its integration in all regional campuses’ curriculum guide in teaching Social Science I.

In more recent affairs, Dr. Cristobal has successfully pushed to retain teaching Philippine History to Grade 7 PSHS students—considering that this subject was dropped by the Department of Education in high school due to the K-12 program.

As a Social Science teacher for four decades now, sustaining the course in high school is important to reinforce and deepen students’ knowledge and understanding of Philippine History from what they have learned in elementary. It also resonates with the idea that the teaching and learning of Philippine History plays a very significant role in developing love for country and service to our people.

Accordingly, Dr. Cristobal also propounded the inclusion of teaching Philippine Government, Philippine Politics and the 1987 Constitution in the PSHS System’s Social Science curriculum for Grade 10 students.

Outside the classroom, Dr. Cristobal actively spearheads teacher-training courses that introduce best teaching practices of PSHS.

Dubbed as “Pisay Teach,” Dr. Cristobal’s first program is anchored on the belief that graduating education majors need to be inspired to really pursue teaching as a career and vocation, and to present to them how quality education can be done. PSHS-Main Campus’ (MC) seasoned teachers are pooled to conduct lectures on various teaching strategies, classroom management, trends in subject content, and micro-teaching.

Pisay Teach, which ran from 2010 to 2015, now takes a different form as a teacher-training program focusing on Islamic teachers across Mindanao called “Buklod Guro.” The program branched from Ateneo de Davao University and PSHS-MC’s “Madaris Volunteer Program” where volunteer teachers are sent to privately managed madaris or Islamic schools to provide training for teachers and administrators. Dr. Cristobal heads the organization of the trainings which consist of three parts: teaching strategies, mentoring, and demo teaching. Since 2017, Buklod Guro succeeded in providing training programs to madrasa educators based in Davao, Cotabato, Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Sur, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.

Other than these activities, Dr. Cristobal, as a former adviser of the school’s Student Council, had engaged in outreach work—initiating assistance efforts to survivors of natural and man-made calamities in various provinces like typhoons Ondoy, Sendong, Yolanda, Bohol earthquake, and Zamboanga City siege.

Dr. Cristobals’ efforts yielded her recognitions from the institution where she has focused most of her life’s work. This includes the Natatanging Guro Award in 2010 and Dangal ng Bayan Award in the Main Campus resulting in her nomination to the Dangal ng Bayan National Award by the PSHS System in 2017.

Dr. Cristobal, 61, is currently a Special Science Teacher 5 at the country’s premier state science high school. She wore her Sablay thrice as a graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman where she earned her Ph.D., Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Social Science Education.

She is married to a social science teacher, a mother to four and a grandmother to two.

“I have learned that there is so much we can be proud of—but are either we are unaware or oblivious to. Awareness of this past would build a sense of pride and hopefully, unity.”

For acclaimed historian like Dr. Ricardo T. Jose, he remains to be a student on his own accord—a scholar whose passion for history has not waned, and who keeps on learning as there is much to discover, still.

Dr. Jose has spent 40 years filling the gaps in the country’s past, more profoundly on the subjects of Philippine diplomatic history, Philippine military history, the Philippines under United States of America’s (USA) colonial rule, and the tie between the Philippines and Japan. But his trademark expertise, to which he is most cited for, is on World War II.

Tagged as the country’s foremost scholar on World War II in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific, Dr. Jose has been involved in producing majority of materials on this topic, whether as a direct collaborator or as a key resource person. His vast expertise is undeniably a result of his tireless efforts to study in different libraries and sift through a number of archives across the Philippines, Japan, and the USA, as well as to personally interview war veterans of diverse nationalities.

As a result, Dr. Jose has produced a body of work that serves as the foundational literature on the study of the Second World War. Two of which he considers seminal works: “The Philippine Army” and “The Philippines Under Japan,” the first Japanese scholarly research on the Japanese occupation of the Philippines made available in book form. For the latter, Dr. Jose was the only Filipino in the team.

The breadth and depth of Dr. Jose’s works indeed serve not only as his legacies in his own institution but preserving the memory and shedding light on the country’s historical narrative.

Sharing to his students his extensive portfolio proves to be the most rewarding for him. Upon earning his bachelor’s degree in 1978, he was immediately invited to join the UP Diliman History Department under the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Since then, Dr. Jose has seen himself as a “conduit” in making the past alive again in the present for his students and fellow scholars.

To many of Dr. Jose’s generations of students, he is often remembered as someone who would bring historical artifacts such as helmets, air raid sirens, and yellowing photographs during class discussions. These artifacts are part of his rich and distinct private collection, acquired throughout his years of research.

Yet unlike other collections, his do not stay inside glass boxes as a display, but are brought inside the class and shared with his students—bringing history in the palms of their hands. Beyond his exhibits, his mastery of the subject combined with the lighthearted delivery of lectures often leaves his class in awe.

Relative to this, Dr. Jose also channels his energies into strengthening the history courses offered in the university. He restructured several undergraduate and graduate courses in UP Diliman’s History Department which includes the “Japanese Occupation of the Philippines” (Kasaysayan 230), “History of the Commonwealth of the Philippines” (Kasaysayan 205), “Diplomatic History of the Philippines” (Kasaysayan 115) and “Special Topics on Philippine Military History” (Kasaysayan 128). Since 1996, he is the only faculty member who teaches these courses.

Further, his stature in the academe reinforced his reputation as a sought-after resource person by historical documentaries and television programs produced in the local and international scenes such as BBC, NHK, and the National Geographic.

He delivers lectures and conference papers in leading universities in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the USA. He also shares his expertise in military and diplomatic history to several government institutions such as the Foreign Service Institute, National Defense College of the Philippines and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

During his free time, he helps put up exhibits or vestiges of the war in far off localities. An example of which is his involvement as a historical consultant and speaker in the long-running multi-awarded travelling exhibition, called “War of our Fathers: A Tribute to the Filipino Freedom Fighters,” organized and funded by the Philippine Veterans Bank.

Recognitions for his dedication as a historian and scholar were not short in coming. In 1997, Dr. Jose was the first and one of the only two recipients of the Outstanding Young Scientist Award in the field of History from the National Academy of Science and Technology. He also scored a rare feat in winning the UP Diliman’s Gawad Tsanselor thrice and in different categories: in 1998 as an outstanding researcher and in 2011 and 2018 as an outstanding teacher.

But with all these, he said the “Natatanging Guro” award given by the UP Diliman College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council twice, is his most prized. For him, the measure of a mentor rests in the high regard given by his students.

Dr. Jose, 61, currently a Professor 12, previously chaired the Department of History and the Third World Studies Center, also in UP Diliman. He majored in history both for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in UP Diliman. In 1995, he became the first graduate of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies’ Ph.D. program in history/ area studies.

“Genetics is not a well-known subspecialty in medicine. A dire need for more geneticists in the country has to be addressed. I have chosen to embrace this challenge. Being in the teaching profession has given me an excellent opportunity to teach this new emerging subspecialty of clinical genetics and genomic medicine in the Philippines that seeks to answer the special needs of patients and families not met by any other existing specialties of medicine.”

Being outstanding seems to run in university professor and physician Dr. Eva Maria C. Cutiongco-de la Paz’ genes whose mother, Dr. Elena C. Cutiongco, was also conferred the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teacher title back in 1985. Her mother specializes in English instruction while Dr. Cutiongco-de la Paz has dedicated her 22 years in the teaching profession to genomics, a branch of biology concerned with the study of genes.

For Dr. Cutiongco-de la Paz, teaching genomics has given her an opportunity to dig deeply into this emerging subspecialty of clinical genetics and genome medicine in the Philippines. It is the discipline that seeks to answer the needs of patients and families not met by any other existing specialties of medicine.

Recognizing the dire need for more geneticists in the country, she, along with her colleague Dr. Carmencita Padilla, established a Clinical Genetics Fellowship Program, the first and only one of its kind teaching and training program in the subspecialty of Genetics in the country. The program aims to teach and train young physicians in the evaluation, diagnosis, management, and counseling of patients with common genetic conditions, as well as the rare ones.

Dr. Cutiongco-de la Paz, as the first training officer, was able to lay the groundwork in equipping Filipino clinicians and researchers about the role of genetics in health and disease. Back in 1998, she was only one of two geneticists serving the needs of 75 million Filipinos. Today, the program has trained Clinical Geneticists who have stayed in the academe such as the University of the Philippines (UP) and other universities, while others moved back to their home provinces to be instruments in improving the access of clinical genetic services throughout the country. There are now 16 geneticists serving 106 million Filipinos.

She has successfully led a special research project under the Commission on Higher Education – Philippine California Advanced Research Institutes (CHED-PCARI) that aims to enhance instruction, and teaching and training innovations in genomics research. The newly inaugurated CHED-PCARI Shared Genomics Core Laboratory at the Philippine Genome Center in UP Diliman, where she serves as Director for the Health Program, houses state-of-the-art genomic sequencing equipment that can significantly accelerate and expand discoveries run by Filipinos for their fellow Filipinos.

It is a valuable resource for higher educational institutions in their pursuit of higher learning and discovery, especially in the emerging fields of genomics to advance genomic medicine, to harness genomic information for food security and to better understand the genetic make-up of Filipinos. Having the laboratory provides a competitive advantage for the country to achieve a leading position in the Asia Pacific region for innovative genomic research.

As for Dr. Cutiongco-de la Paz’s extension work, she makes sure all her efforts in advancing genomic medicine and research in the country reach the underserved population. Apart from taking care of patients with birth defects and other genetic conditions, she is currently part of an international team of experts with an extraordinary mission to advance the understanding and ability to treat X-Linked Dystonia Parkinsonism or XDP.

XDP is a brain condition causing involuntary movements of the body (dystonia) combined with parkinsonism, primarily afflicting some Filipino males born to mothers who come from the Panay Group of Islands. Dr. Cutiongco-de la Paz’s advocacy is to provide genetic education, testing, and counseling. She teaches patients and their family members about the genetic basis of XDP, counseling them on how it is being passed from one generation to another, and finding support mechanisms for them to cope up better. At present, genetic education and counseling have been integrated in the clinical care of patients and families with XDP.

Given Dr. Cutiongco-de la Paz’s extensive work as a professor, physician, researcher, and community educator and advocate, she has earned laureates throughout her entire career. The list for her professional recognitions given by UP, to name a few, includes the Gawad Sentenaryo Professional Chair Award for Teaching and Research in Pediatrics and Genetics (2011), Gawad Tsanselor-Outstanding Researcher Award (2011) and the UP Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award for Health Research in Genomics to Advocacy (2017). The civilian awards she received, on the other hand, include the Dangal ng Bayan, Outstanding Public Officials and Employees Award (2018), Dr. Jose Rizal Memorial Award (2012), The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (2007) and The Outstanding Young Men for Genetic Medicine (2002).

Dr. Cutiongco-de la Paz, 56, a Professor 10 of the College of Medicine and Executive Director of the National Institutes of Health both in UP Manila, finished her BS Biology degree cum laude at UP Diliman, earned her medical degree at the UP College of Medicine and pursued residency training in Pediatrics at the Philippine General Hospital. She completed a fellowship in Molecular Genetics at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan and a fellowship in Clinical Genetics at The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Cutiongco-de la Paz is married to an ophthalmologist and a mother of two.

The Metrobank Foundation has released a total amount of PhP 2 million to reach out to survivors of the recent 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the province of Batanes, at the same time assist in the immediate needs of patients in select cities in the Visayan region suffering from the dengue outbreak.

One (1) million pesos will be coursed through TV5 Alagang Kapatid Foundation needed to put together relief packs containing mats, blankets, mosquito nets, and water, sanitation, and hygiene kits to benefit displaced Ivatans living in temporary shelters.

On the other hand, following the Department of Health (DOH)’s declaration of National Dengue Alert, another PhP 1 million was allocated to support the logistical needs of public hospitals in administering dengue stricken patients such as IV fluids, lancets, folding beds, IV perfusion pumps, tents, and NSI RDT kits. These hospitals include Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital in Roxas City, Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City, and Samar Provincial Hospital in Catbalogan City.

THE 2019 METROBANK FOUNDATION OUTSTANDING FILIPINOS (top row L-R): Dorothy S. Tarol, Ph.D; Ricardo T. Jose, Ph.D.; Eva Maria C. Cutiongco-dela Paz, M.D.; Cristina B. Cristobal, Ph.D.; (bottom row L-R); MSgt. Ramil A. Caporas PA; Major Romulo G. Dimayuga II PN (M); Lt. Col. John Paul D. Baldomar PA; PCol. Edwin A. Quilates; PMaj. Robert A. Reyes, and PCMS. Marsha T. Agustin, RSW

This year’s Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos have been presented during a press conference held on August 8 in Taguig City. As a career-service award for Filipino exemplars in the academe, military, and police sectors—ten (10) Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos were presented, composed of 4 teachers, 3 soldiers, and 3 police officers to the members of the media. Each awardee will be awarded with a cash prize of PhP 1 million each (net of tax), a golden medallion, and “The Flame” trophy during the formal conferment ceremonies on September 4 at the Metrobank Plaza in Makati City as part of Metrobank’s 57th anniversary celebration.

A Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino is steered by the value of “Beyond Excellence”, raising the bar of excellence in their respective fields. Their contributions speak of service beyond one’s self—but to their sectors and in the larger community, inspiring their peers. Their service and community involvements have helped shape better communities and created a lasting positive impact upon the people.

Recipients of the 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Teachers are : (1) Dorothy S. Tarol, Ph.D., Master Teacher II, Special Education-Integrated School for Exceptional Children (SPED-ISEC) (Iloilo City); (2) Cristina B. Cristobal, Ph.D., Special Science Teacher 5, Philippine Science High School Main Campus (Quezon City); (3) Ricardo T. Jose, Ph.D. Professor 12, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman (Quezon City); (4) Eva Maria C. Cutiongco-Dela Paz, M.D., Professor 10, College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila (City of Manila).

Recipients of the 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Soldiers are: (5) Master Sergeant Ramil A. Caporas PA, Team Supervisor, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, Army Support Command, Philippine Army, Camp Servillano Aquino (Tarlac City); (6) Major Romulo G. Dimayuga II PN (M), Former Operations and Training Officer, Force Reconnaissance Group (formerly Marine Special Operations Group), Headquarters Philippine Marine Corps, Fort Bonifacio (Taguig City); (7) Lieutenant Colonel John Paul D. Baldomar PA, Chief, Current Operations Branch, Internal Security Operations Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp Aguinaldo (Quezon City).

Recipients of the 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Police Officers are: (8) Police Chief Master Sergeant Marsha T. Agustin, RSW, Investigator, Women and Children Protection Center, Philippine National Police Headquarters, Camp Crame (Quezon City); (9) Police Major Robert A. Reyes, Technical Support Officer, Counter Intelligence Task Force, Philippine National Police Headquarters, Camp Brigadier General Rafael T. Crame, Quezon City; (10) Police Colonel Edwin A. Quilates, Provincial Director, Batangas Police Provincial Office, Camp Miguel C. Malvar (Batangas City).

“We believe that the call to recognize excellence resonates truer than ever as we celebrate Metrobank Foundation’s 40th year founding anniversary this year. We sustain our commitment to honor exemplary servants from the academe, military, and police sectors whose stories inspire action and whose contributions to society represent the best in our people,” said Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña.

The awardees underwent a rigorous selection process and were chosen from hundreds of nominations. A Board of Assessors, composed of members from the government, academe, military, and NGO sectors, identified semi-finalists through a review of documents submitted. Eighteen (18) finalists were chosen whose accomplishments in service and community underwent the field validation process spearheaded by third-party organizations—the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC) and the Career Executive Service Board (CESB). This process verified the significant contributions of the finalists to their respective fields and communities of influence.

The 18 finalists were interviewed by a multi-sectoral Final Board of Judges chaired by Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian and co-chaired by Supreme Court of the Philippines associate justice Alexander Gesmundo. The members include: Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development secretary and Task Force Bangon Marawi chairman Eduardo Del Rosario; University of Asia & the Pacific president Dr. Winston Conrad Padojinog; Military Ordinariate of the Philippines bishop Most Reverend Oscar Jaime Florencio, D.D; PHINMA Corporation president and vice chairman and Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) chairman Ramon Del Rosario, Jr.; Tan Yan Kee Foundation, Inc. treasurer Jaime Bautista; Management Association of the Philippines president and Sun Life Financial Philippine Holding Company chairman Rizalina Mantaring; and GMA Network, Inc. vice president for professional development and broadcast journalist Horacio “Howie” Severino.

Dr. Tarol is cited for championing inclusive education especially through her action research designed to enhance basic literacy skills of learners with hearing impairment. Dr. Cristobal is honored for promoting Philippine history among her students through an approach that encourages hands-on experience with the use of primary sources. Dr. Jose is acclaimed for being the country’s foremost scholar on the World War II in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific. Dr. Cutiongco-Dela Paz is cited for her prolific work on clinical genetics and shedding light on genetic disorders.

Meanwhile, MSgt. Caporas is lauded for developing an improvised explosive instrumental to the successful operations during the Marawi siege. Maj. Dimayuga is feted for his role in the successful counter-communist insurgency efforts in areas formerly associated with high insurgency rate. Lt. Col. Baldomar is recognized for his leadership in his organization’s transformation journey.

PCMS. Agustin integrated social work in her profession and co-authored the manual widely used by the country’s police forces when handling human trafficking cases. PMaj. Reyes is credited for his expertise in cybercrime investigation and his efforts to equip his peers with the knowledge on trafficking in person intelligence and investigation. PCol. Quilates initiated a strategy that effectively mobilizes local forces, leading to the successful arrests of notorious criminals and resulting to lower crime rate in his province.

Since 1985, the Metrobank Foundation has honored a total of 665 Outstanding Filipinos. The program is held in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), PSBank, Rotary Club of Makati Metro, and the Rotary Club of New Manila East.

Good afternoon everyone! It is a privilege to be here to share with you something that has personally brought me much inspiration as a young professional. As a kid, I remember that for a time, I wanted to be a teacher. Perhaps most of us in this room wanted to be one – after all, teachers create other professions. We will not be here if it were not for the hard work and patience of teachers.

To give a brief background, the Metrobank Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of the Metrobank Group founded in 1979 by the late Dr. George S.K. Ty. The Foundation serves as the Secretariat for the National Teachers’ Month – and every year, I am in charge of coordinating the celebrations together with our partners like the Department of Education. Today I am given the opportunity to share with you this special advocacy that has personally moved me and inspired me to work even harder as a professional.

Teachers have always been at the heart of genuine reforms in education. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Agenda 4 also identified teachers and educators as one of the three (3) means of implementation in order to meet SDG 4’s seven (7) outcome targets. The Philippines currently has 880,000 public school teachers (Rappler, 2018) – the biggest sector in Philippine bureaucracy.

Teachers would always make the headlines – from teachers being recognized internationally to issues surrounding not just teachers but the Philippine education system. Teachers are often portrayed as the embodiment of perseverance, but what have we done to recognize their contribution to national development? Have we ever taken the time to express our gratitude to our teachers for their service to the nation?

Today, I’m here to present to you a multi-sectoral initiative that recognizes the hard work of our Filipino teachers, a movement that started with the simple idea of saying “Thank You” to our teachers.

The overall objective of National Teachers’ Month or NTM is to establish a culture of gratitude and appreciation for Filipino teachers and their contribution to nation-building.

We want to engage the public in expressing its appreciation for our teachers. We also want to provide the platform for stakeholders to address teacher needs as well as highlight the importance of public-private partnership in teacher support and development.

The heart of the NTM celebrations is gratitude as expressed in our tagline, “Thank You, Teacher”. We want to share with everyone that there is value in recognizing our teachers. Several management studies have already established the importance of recognition and positive reinforcement, but I will zero in on a 2011 study published in the Australian Journal of Teacher Education. The author, Hans Andrews, highlighted the value of recognition among teachers. He pointed out that recognition boosted morale among teachers. Recognition also became a motivation for teachers to become better in performing their duties.

An important feature of the NTM celebrations is its collaborative nature – we believe that multi-sectoral engagement is essential in the delivery of quality education; hence we work with all these sectors to activate the celebrations on all fronts – we want National Teachers’ Month (NTM) to be synonymous with how we celebrate Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day – after all, teachers are our second parents, the parents that we have in the classrooms.

In the last 10 years, we have worked with our partners to elevate the celebrations into a national one. In 2011, the Presidential Proclamation No. 242 was signed, designating the period from September 5 to October 5 as “National Teachers’ Month”. Later, in 2016, Republic Act No. 10743 formally declared October 5 as National Teachers’ Day. These are milestones for the movement – an affirmation that the State recognizes the important role of teachers in national development.

Another important accomplishment for is that we have managed to establish multi-sectoral participation in the NTM celebrations. Finally, we are also proud to share with you that aside from on-the-ground activities, the celebrations have also garnered significant digital engagement online. Since 2013, in order to complement the on-the-ground activities, the Secretariat used social media to engage the online public to be part of the celebrations.

Due to the scale of the celebrations as well as its volunteerism aspect, it has been a challenge for us to document all efforts made during NTM. The examples we presented to you are limited to submissions from our partners as well as posts monitored on social media.

Also, we have also learned that the celebration is also a double-edged sword. However in the Secretariat’s perspective, publicity – whether positive or negative – is still an opportunity to promote teacher welfare. In fact, the NTM is a platform of discussion among our stakeholders to see how we can best support our teachers not just during NTM but also beyond the celebrations.

The National Teachers’ Month (NTM) started as a small group which sought to earnestly express our collective gratitude for our teachers.

The celebrations have been around for a decade, and our experience tells us that NTM is a prime example of a collaborative, working partnership with the private sector. In recent year, National Teachers’ Month has become the platform of elevating teacher needs and concerns in the public sphere.

The celebrations often become conversation starters which often begin with “How else can we extend support to our teachers?” The celebration is an opportunity to streamline multi-sectoral support for teachers. Every year, more partners come onboard to show solidarity for the teachers, may it be the simple act of showing their gratitude or mobilizing resources for training, workshops, etc.

Moving forward, National Teachers’ Month can be considered as an alternative platform for more effective collaborations among education stakeholders especially those who would like to invest in the teachers’ professional development. While many of our present engagements are short-term, some of the initiatives have the potential to be rolled over and adopted at a national level. Many of our partners have already established long-term engagement with primary stakeholders in their communities. The challenge now is how we can roll these initiatives to benefit more teachers even beyond Teachers’ Month.

To the League of Corporate Foundations and to everyone who took the time to join us today, thank you. I hope you will also take the time to thank that wonderful teacher who has inspired you to be the person you are today. Muli, maraming salamat and good afternoon!

Kristina Mae I. Misajon
Coordinator, National Teachers’ Month (NTM)
Program Officer, Education Unit
Metrobank Foundation, Inc.
18th League of Corporate Foundations Corporate Social Responsibility Expo
04 July, 2019 | Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City

The 18 finalists of the 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos have been revealed. They will proceed to the final selection process on July 26 and 27 at the Metrobank Plaza, Makati City.

After months of thorough document review, background check and verification of accomplishments in both professional and community service in the semi-final stage by the Board of Assessors and third party validators, 18 finalists were selected among 240 nominations submitted for this year’s cycle. The finalists will then face the Final Board of Judges, a multi-sectoral jury, in a panel interview as they vie for the award.

Guided by the theme of “Beyond Excellence”, the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos are recognized for rendering service above and beyond their call of duty. Their accomplishments must have inspired and influenced their peers as well as the people in their respective communities. Their works must have transformed a community with a lasting positive impact on people and to the country. Finalists for the teacher award are: Jennifer S. Cataluña of Tambo Central School (Iligan City); Dorothy S. Tarol, Ph.D. of Special Education-Integrated School for Exceptional Children (Iloilo City); Amando Perfecto dlC. Molin of South Hill School, Inc. (Los Baños, Laguna); Cristina B. Cristobal, Ph.D. of Philippine Science High School Main Campus (Quezon City); Eva Maria C. Cutiongco-de la Paz, M.D. of the University of the Philippines Manila (Manila City); and Ricardo T. Jose, Ph.D. of the University of the Philippines Diliman (Quezon City).

Finalists for the soldier competition are: Lieutenant Colonel Gremel B. Brual PA of the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, G3, 1st Infantry Division, Philippine Army (Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur); Master Sergeant Ramil A. Caporas PA of the Philippine Army (Capas, Tarlac); Lieutenant Colonel John Paul D. Baldomar PA of Current Operations Branch ISOD, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, J3, Armed Forces of the Philippines (Quezon City); Staff Sergeant Francis G. Angeles PN(M) of the 62nd Marine Company, Force Reconnaissance Group, Philippine Marine Corps (Jolo, Sulu); Major Romulo G. Dimayuga II PN(M) of the Force Reconnaissance Group, Philippine Marine Corps (Taguig City); and Colonel Sheillah Grace E. Vicente PAF of Tactical Operation Group 6, Tactical Operations Wing – Central, Philippine Air Force (Dingle, Iloilo).

Finalists for the police officers competition are: Police Senior Master Sergeant Steven V. Salaya of the Police Regional Office 6 EOD/K9 Team, Police Regional Office 6 (Iloilo City); Police Chief Master Sergeant Marsha T. Agustin of the Women and Children Protection Center, Philippine National Police, Camp Crame (Quezon City); Police Major Robert A. Reyes of the Counter Intelligence Task Force, Philippine National Police, Camp Crame (Quezon City); Police Captain Dexter D. Panganiban of the Viga Municipal Police Station, Catanduanes Police Provincial Office (Viga, Catanduanes); Police Lieutenant Colonel Oliver S. Tanseco of the Operations Management Division, Highway Patrol Group, Camp Crame (Quezon City); and Police Colonel Edwin A. Quilates of the Batangas Police Provincial Office, Camp Malvar (Batangas City).

Of these 18 finalists, 10 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos composed of four teachers, three soldiers and three police officers will be awarded. They will each receive a cash prize of P1 million, a gold medallion and a trophy during Metrobank’s 57th anniversary celebration in September.

The 21st edition of the annual Graduates’ Forum was held on June 28, 2019 at the Penthouse of Manila Doctors Hospital in the City of Manila. A total of 38 scholars finished their respective undergraduate degrees. Of the 38 scholars, 17 finished with Latin Honors–6 magna cum laude and 11 cum laude. They were joined by Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines officials seated in front row from 4th to 8th: MBFI asst. executive director Irene Labitad; MBFI executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr.; MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña; Boysen vice president Engr. Ruben Cueto; and Boysen office manager Natalie Lee.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and the GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), together with partner Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, recognized this year’s batch of scholar graduates during the 21st Graduates’ Forum, held last June 28, 2019 at the Penthouse of Manila Doctors Hospital in Ermita, Manila.

With the theme “#PayIt4Ward: Service to 4Cs,” the event aims to highlight what makes a Metrobank scholar different—his or her commitment to serve the Creator, Clan, Community and Country.

This year, a total of 38 scholars finished their undergraduate degrees from four (4) universities and colleges across the country. They are the recipients of the following scholarship programs: GTFI- Manila Tytana Colleges Youth for Excellence and Service (YES); MBFI- Manila Tytana Colleges Youth for Excellence and Service (YES); and MBFI-Pacific Paint (Boysen). Out of the 38 scholars, 17 finished with Latin honors—six (6) magna cum laude and 11 cum laude. They were conferred with Metrobank medals and certificates of academic excellence.

The annual event is intended to highlight among the scholars the value of giving back as they jumpstart their professional careers. The 4Cs—Creator, Clan, Community and Country—outlines how scholars can pay forward the blessings they have received.

“We believe that one’s generosity is instrumental in other’s success. After all, success is best savored when other people benefit from it. We hope that you will treasure the ideals you have learned in your respective institutions as well as the experiences gained from your journey,” said MBFI executive director Nicanor Torres, Jr. in his welcome remarks.

Julian Andrei Imperial, Bachelor of Science in Architecture graduate, magna cum laude, from the University of the Philippines Diliman, delivered a message of gratitude on behalf of his fellow scholars. Drawing inspiration from this year’s theme, he emphasized how all them gathered in that room may have different stories and circumstances, but they are bound by several similarities: how their benefactors have helped them pursue their dreams through their respective scholarship programs, as well as their common duty now as graduates to pay-it-forward through their craft and being the best version of themselves.

Imperial was able to finish his degree with the financial aid from the MBFI-Pacific Paint (Boysen) Scholarship Program. He is set to undergo apprenticeship in line with his aspired track of becoming an architect and future urban planner.

A series of activities followed the awarding ceremony. Scholars shared their stories and life journeys, and recalled the people who helped them along the way. They outlined their future plans on vision boards to guide their next steps in life.

During the “Where Youthful Energy meets Lifelong Experience” session, executives from the Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings shared tips over lunch to the new graduates related to the professional world.

Ma. Jabba Baquirquir, a Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English, magna cum laude, from the University of San Carlos in Cebu, also addressed the forum’s participants during her speech after the session. She shared how she always dreamed of becoming a teacher at such a young age, inspired by the thought of following in her mother’s footsteps. She recalled the days when this dream seemed too difficult to achieve, given the financial constraint experienced by her family. Prior to being accepted as a GT scholar, her studies were financed by her grandmother using the meager income from running a bakery.

Baquiquir’s passion for teaching never waned despite challenges. What reaffirmed this was her participation in various community extension programs such free tutorial sessions for youth in conflict with the law. In the future, Baquirquir sees herself as a teacher who will share the gift of education, the same gift that was extended to her by her benefactors.

A consistent achiever, Bonita Gracia S. Gutierrez took up BS Nursing at the Manila Tytana Colleges to bring to life her dream of being part of the healthcare industries. Her aspiration is to help those in need by providing them free medical services. She recently passed the Nursing Licensure Examination, and is preparing to land a job that will enable her to practice her profession. She also plans to continue on this path by taking up Master’s Degree in Nursing as well as Medicine.

Every year, the Foundation holds the Graduates’ Forum to recognize the academic and non- academic accomplishments of its promising graduates from different scholarship programs. Reinforcing the vision of the Metrobank Group’s late Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty to nurture the country’s future leaders, the event allows graduates to meet their benefactors and interact with their fellow scholars. Since 1995, the Metrobank Scholarship Program has been awarding financial grants to support deserving students through college. To date, the program has produced over 1,000 graduates in collaboration with its partner institutions and schools.

For more information on MBFI’s scholarship programs, please visit

GT FOUNDATION SCHOLARS EARN TMP TECH CERTIFICATION. Nine (9) GT Foundation scholars under its Scholarships for Technical-Vocation Education Program (STEP) were conferred formally with two-year certificate degree on general automotive servicing course by Toyota Motor Philippines School of Technology (TMP Tech). The ceremony was held during TMPTech’s 8th Commencement Exercises on May 30, 2019 at the TMP Tech campus in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna. They are (L-R) Mark Joseph Bombeza, Christian Nieles, Rodrigo Sorromeo, Jr., Rio Glenn Corbin, Shena Lyn Anoche, Jonathan Umandap, Joe Jerrie Benolirao, Arthur Ycay, and Franz Vincent Diana. Two (2) of them (Umandap and Sorromero, Jr.) received academic awards (2 of only 3 Bronze Medalists in the entire batch). Sorromero was also recognized the Best in Drive Train System certificate. They are joined by GTFI senior program officer Marla Angeli Dator (leftmost) and Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation assistant vice president and operations Manager and TMP Tech scholarship and corporate social responsibility (CSR) officer Ronald Gaspar (rightmost). In his keynote address, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Laguna Provincial Director Pascual Arriola told the graduates that completing their studies in technology-based education is something they should be proud of as it is an important driver in economic growth and development. To date, a total of 54 GT Foundation STEP scholars have earned TMP Tech certification and are now employed in the automotive industry.
The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) launched the 3rd edition of Assistance for the Completion of College Education for Superior Students (ACCESS III) Scholarship Program through the formal signing of respective Memorandum of Agreements with five 5 academic partners. The ceremony was held on May 9, 2019 at the Penthouse of Metrobank Plaza in Makati City. Photo shows MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña (4th from left) leading the ceremony joined by (L-R) Technological Institute of the Philippines president Dr. Elizabeth Lahoz; Central Philippine University (Iloilo City) president Dr. Teodoro Robles; Ateneo de Zamboanga University president Fr. Karel San Juan; Saint Louis University (Baguio City) president Fr. Gilbert Sales; and University of the East–Manila president Dr. Ester Garcia. Partner institutions chosen for this program are accredited by CHED as the centers of excellence and development in the above mentioned courses. Through a PhP 20 million scholarship fund, fifty (50) scholars taking up courses in the fields of engineering, information technology, education, agriculture, and science and math will be selected. Established in 1995, a total of 946 scholars nationwide have graduated, 464 of which were ACCESS I and II scholarship program recipients.

Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) in partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) opened the “Icons MADE” exhibit and lecture series “HIRAYA” on May 15, 2019 in Pasilyo Victorio Edades (4F Hallway Gallery), CCP Main Theater Building. The exhibit served as a cultural heritage celebration, in line with this year’s National Heritage Month.

Icons MADE opened with the HIRAYA lecture series (Heritage Initiative on Raising Awareness and Yielding Advocacy), the Culture and Heritage Education Program (CHEP) of MBFI. The lectures featured ICOMOS president Ma. Cristina Paterno discussing heritage preservation, art historian and critic Cid Reyes on the narrative of the Icons MADE exhibit, and the League of Corporate Foundations Art & Culture committee representatives from MBFI, Felicidad T. Sy Foundation, and BPI Foundation with their lecture on CSR in the Arts.

Following the lecture series was the exhibit reception showcasing winning works of selected Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) awardees. The opening of the Icons MADE exhibit was led by CCP board of trustee chairperson Margie Moran-Floirendo and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña.

In her welcome remarks, Margie Moran-Floirendo acknowledged the common vision of CCP and the Foundation’s arts program during the exhibit reception. “We are always on the lookout for passionate and persistent creative visionaries who are fresh, sometimes thought-provoking, especially during contentious times and relevant ideas that can help in national development.”

On heritage, MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña left a message to ponder on for the art community. “Think of our country as a puzzle. When all the other puzzle pieces are stripped away—the puzzle piece of all the successes and struggles of our economy, the puzzle piece securing the stability of the government, and the puzzle piece of the issues of our humanity—and focus on our country as it is, we are left with just one thing—the main basis for everything—which is our heritage. It can never be taken away from us, because our heritage is us.”

Icons MADE exhibit features award-winning paintings of 1988 & 1992 2nd prize winner Elmer Borlongan, 2007 grand winner Mark Andy Garcia, 1992 honorable mention Manny Garibay, 2001 Metrobank Young Painters’ Annual 3rd prize winner Guerrero Z. Habulan, 1990 grand winner Mark Justiniani, 2008 grand winner Raffy Napay, and 2007 grand winner Lynyrd Paras. The award-winning sculptures of 2005 grand winner Leeroy New and 2006 special citation recipient Mervy Pueblo are also showcased in the exhibit. All the featured MADE awardees are also recipients of the CCP Thirteen Artists Awardee.

The Icons MADE exhibit runs from May 9 until May 26, 2019.

GT Foundation, Inc (GTFI), together with De La Salle University (DLSU), inaugurated the George S.K. Ty Advanced Instrumentation Building through a marker-unveiling ceremony on April 11, 2019 at the university’s Laguna campus in the city of Biñan.

Through the generous support of GTFI, the four-storey facility houses the University’s research laboratories in different areas of science, engineering, and technology. The building also houses a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer that thoroughly analyzes and interprets molecular and compound structures. This NMR spectrometer is also the most sophisticated of its kind in the country.

The ceremonies were led by GTFI president Alfred Ty and DLSU president Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC. They were joined by GTFI assistant vice president Alesandra Ty; Metrobank first vice president Zandra Ty; GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña and deputy director executive Nicanor Torres, Jr.; Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) manager Emmanuel Cortero, and other key officers of the Metrobank Group subsidiaries and affiliates as well as DLSU administrators.

“The Lasallian identity of a spirit of faith, zeal for service and communion in mission, and its motto Religio, Mores, Cultura, resonates the vision and mission of GTFI of addressing the needs of the less privileged to improve the quality of their lives,” said GTFI president Alfred Ty in his message. “It is for these reasons that GTFI partnered with DLSU in the construction of the Dr. George S.K. Ty Advanced Instrumentation Building⎯an affirmation of Dr. Ty’s commitment to support and sustain the advancement of science, technology and engineering education in the Philippines,” he continued.

DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC, on the other hand, expressed his appreciation for the late philanthropist and his foundation.

“On behalf of the De La Salle University community, I would like to extend our humble and sincere gratitude for being chosen as a partner and beneficiary of Dr. Ty and his Foundations’ trust and generosity. Rest assured, his faith in our brand of education will bear much fruit, not only with the achievements of current and future Lasallians, but with the values and virtues that Lasallians will carry with them into the workplace and for the benefit of our country,” expressed Br. Suplido.

Metrobank Foundation, Inc.

10th floor, Annex Building
Metrobank Plaza, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, 1200

(02) 857-9746 / (02) 8898-8855
(02) 8818-5656 / 8750-0837


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