“More than 23 years ago, I sat down with a man who had a vision. He shared ideas of what the future could look like, imagining a society where people were enabled to pursue noble dreams and aspirations. We toasted over tea, and I came onboard in a position that gave me a vantage view of how a visionary realizes a better world, one project after another.”
These were the opening lines of the winning tribute delivered by Aniceto Sobrepeña, president of Metrobank Foundation, to Dr. George S.K. Ty.
During the memorial service on Nov. 25, 2018, he described Ty’s passion and drive to enable others to reach their potentials. The founder of the Metrobank Group of Companies established the Metrobank Foundation in 1979 as the corporate social responsibility arm of his conglomerate.
Ty shared his resources to implement programs that uplifted the quality of life across the country. He believed in giving others a chance to be great by giving them an opportunity. Sobrepeña talked about Ty’s philanthropic legacy, which he felt should be made known to a wider audience. His tribute was consequently published in print and social media.
The positive feedback received from the public prompted the Metrobank Foundation to submit the eulogy as an entry to The Philippine Quill Awards. “Good Night, Mr. George Ty. I’ll See You in the Morning,” bagged the Quill Professional Excellence Award in the 17th Philippine Quill Awards last Aug. 30.
Sobrepeña spoke of Dr. Ty’s generosity and passion to help others through the Metrobank Foundation’s programs and projects that address needs of various sectors of Philippine society, while also intending for them to move forward and reach for their goals.
The intent of the eulogy was to honor Ty by communicating the Metrobank founder’s benevolent initiatives benefitting marginalized and disadvantaged Filipinos through the work of the Metrobank Foundation, highlighting Ty’s vision, values, and contribution to society. The eulogy was intended to reach and connect to a wide audience through Sobrepeña’s memories of Ty. It encouraged others who knew Ty to reminisce their own moments with him.
It provided the public a glimpse of Ty as a person and as a superior. Sobrepeña worked with Ty for more than 20 years, in what he describes as nation building from the ground up.
His tribute aspired to make known Ty’s generosity of spirit, inspire others by his life and works, and convey the Metrobank Foundation’s programs and initiatives contributing to the lives of their target beneficiaries.
The speech was not just about the good Ty had done, but highlighted his philanthropy as the expression of the meaningful life he chose to live. The tribute conveyed Sobrepeña’s close personal and professional relationship with Ty, allowing the public a glimpse into Ty’s person not widely known outside his circle. He described their morning teatime as occasion to discuss current events, their work and their families.
Many in the audience who heard the eulogy shared how the Metrobank founder motivated them to give back to the community following their own successes. Beneficiaries of Ty’s philanthropic endeavors also expressed gratitude for the Metrobank Foundation’s programs which Ty conceived. His philanthropic legacy prospers in the hearts of those he helped and inspired. Heightened awareness of his advocacies honors not just his life and works but promotes generosity for the benefit of one’s fellowmen.
The excellence award received by Sobrepeña for his tribute to Ty is a timely recognition for the late Metrobank Group chairman whose birth anniversary falls on Sept. 5.
The article was originally published on the Sept. 4 issue of The Philippine Star.
The 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos were awarded in a ceremony held on September 4, 2019 at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium, Makati City. As one of the highlights of Metrobank’s 57th anniversary celebration, 4 teachers, 3 soldiers, and 3 police officers were each conferred with a gold medallion, “The Flame” trophy, and P1 million (net of tax) cash prize.
Metrobank chairman Arthur Ty, together with Metrobank Foundation (MBFI) trustee and Federal Land Chairman Alfred Ty, Metrobank president Fabian Dee, and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña led the awarding ceremonies. Distinguished officials from the government, business, civil society, academe, and diplomatic community graced the event. Speaker of the House of Representatives Alan Peter Cayetano delivered the key note address as the Guest of Honor.
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 (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); and (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/ EOD Technician, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, Army Support Command, Philippine Army, Camp Servillano S. Aquino (Tarlac City); (6) Major Romulo G. Dimayuga II PN (M), Operations and Training Officer, Force Reconnaissance Group (formerly Marine Special Operations Group), Headquarters Philippine Marine Corps, Fort Bonifacio (Taguig City); and (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 General Emilio 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/ Social Worker, Women and Children Protection Center, Philippine National Police Headquarters, Camp Brigadier General Rafael T. 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); and (10) Police Colonel Edwin A. Quilates, Provincial Director, Batangas Police Provincial Office, Camp Miguel C. Malvar (Batangas City).
Delivering a response on behalf of the awardees, Lt. Col. Baldomar said “there is no higher calling than to serve our country in any capacity that we can. There is nothing more fulfilling than to see the impact of our service in the lives of others. Sometimes we are called upon to serve our country in ways we didn’t expect. But we do our job beyond excellence because our country is worthy of our excellence.”
Lt. Col. Baldomar, AFP’s Community and Organizational Transformation Warrior, was assigned in 2001 with Bravo Company, 37th Infantry Battalion, 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army and subsequently became its Company Commander. In this capacity, he rallied his troop in responding to the plight of the 95 internally displaced Tiruray families at Sitio Kyamko (Hill 224), Barangay Maitumaig, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.
In 2014, he was designated as Chief of the Strategic Communications Branch under the AFP’s Office for Strategic Studies and Strategy Management. He, together with the team, steered the development and implementation of the AFP Transformation Roadmap strategic communication plan called “Horizon 1”.
The legacy of Dr. Cristobal, Quezon City’s Veteran Innovator in History Instruction, in the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) can be best captured by her initiative to inspire changes to the students’ perspective towards learning history. She introduced a teaching strategy that requires grade 7 learners to use primary sources in studying history.
Outside the system, Dr. Cristobal actively engages in providing teacher-training for Islamic teachers. Together with Ateneo de Davao University, she organized “Buklod Guro”, a program where best teaching practices of PSHS teachers are shared to madaris (Islamic schools) in several schools across Mindanao.
P/Col. Quilates, Batangas’ Vaguard of Public Safety, paved the way for the launch of Oplan Iron Curtain, colloquially known as ‘lockdown’, in 2018. Premised on unified command and coordination, this approach is hailed as best practice, and is key to the successful arrests of notorious criminals, resulting to lower crime rate in the province and in the entire CALABARZON region.
Wearing his hats as both officer and legal practitioner, he initiated the Agapay Kabayan campaign which involves community extension programs that aim to provide indigent communities’ basic needs as well as make legal assistance available to the public, among others.
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 19 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.
Since 1985, the Metrobank Foundation has honored a total of 665 Outstanding Filipinos. The program is held in partnership with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, PSBank, Rotary Club of Makati Metro, and the Rotary Club of New Manila East.
2019 ANNIVERSARY GRANTS TURNOVER
MR. ANICETO M. SOBREPEÑA
4 SEPTEMBER 2019, 11:00AM
Metrobank Plaza Auditorium
Sharing is the clearest manifestation of gratitude. It is a message of thanks spoken in the deepest language of the human heart.
It is with this generosity that Dr. Ty founded Metrobank Foundation (MBFI) in 1979, sixteen (16) years after he built Metrobank in 1962. It is the foundation responsible for acknowledging the efforts of our heroes in the academe, the military, and the police force through its search for Outstanding Filipinos. It is the same foundation together with partners like yourselves, that is responsible for giving teachers proper recognition through its nationwide celebration of the National Teachers’ Month. Of course, MBFI is the same foundation that has been recognizing the talent and hard work of young Filipino artists since 1984 through its visual arts and design program, the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence. Aside from these programs, MBFI also contributes to development through grants in the areas of health, education, arts, and livelihood (heal).
Contributions to these areas, along with the aforementioned notable programs, are testaments to Dr. Ty’s generosity of spirit. Mr. Arthur Ty, his eldest son, said it best in his message during the MBFI 40th Anniversary, “the work we do at the Metrobank Foundation is a reflection of Dr. Ty’s enduring legacy to make a difference in the lives of the citizenry and contribute to nation building.” Anyone who has achieved this much can spend the rest of his days enjoying his blessings, finding comfort in the idea that he has contributed back to society just as much. But just like this year’s Metrobank Foundation anniversary theme “Puso at Sigasig”, Dr. Ty has heart and zeal that refuse to rest knowing there is always room for growth and knowing he can help more.
Not known to many, Dr. Ty also put up his family foundation, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI). Since its inception back in October of 2009, the foundation has silently pursued the philanthropic initiatives of the family in the areas of health, environment, and education. Taken together, these grant priority areas result in the acronym “heed,” which is very fitting as GTFI aims to respond to the needs of the underprivileged and hope to pave ways for a better and brighter future.
In addition to grants, GTFI also supports projects that perpetuate the legacy of the Ty family primarily through infrastructure development. These projects cut across the foundation’s priority areas, helping fund the construction and equipping of school buildings, classrooms, laboratories and the like, for education; barangay health stations and maternity waiting homes, for health.
A few years back, when asked to talk about his accomplishments with respect to putting up a bank at the very young age of 29 with hardly any experience in the industry, Dr. Ty compared himself to “an ant that moves a mountain.” He said ‘we have stories in Chinese about an ant that moves a mountain. Actually, it is not just one ant; it’s a group, thousand of ants that moved the mountain. In my particular case, i was just one small ant.”
The analogy he made himself, however, was to the spirit of a singular ant. “i have the spirit of an ant. Ants work together: they never give up. I have a very good people and we are working together to move more mountains.”
Throughout his journey to success, Dr. Ty found partners who also shared a vision for nation building. Among them was the late President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino who served as Metrobank foundation’s chairman of the board of advisers from the time she stepped down from the presidency in 1992, up to the time of her death. We specifically remember today our beloved Tita Cory whose 10th death anniversary we just commemorated last August.
This is the very essence of today’s event – partnerships. As our two foundations mature, MBFI and GTFI try to explore ways to make our projects more strategic in generating the desired impacts. We want to be able to determine if our efforts in fact contribute to nation building, and in what way. In order to do this, we rely on you, our partners and stakeholders. If we are to succeed, we need your commitment, not just to carry out project deliverables, but to provide relevant solutions to stakeholder needs; to assess the undertaking; and make sure the next one is even more meaningful and impactful. As we propagate a culture of excellence, we need partners like you who share the same mindset. Today’s ceremonies therefore, allow us to express our trust in your capabilities in turning our shared vision into reality.
With these directions, Dr. Ty will surely find peace knowing that the values he championed endure, and his legacy lives on, thanks to our concerted efforts.Thank you once again, and welcome to the 2019 Anniversary Grants Turnover Ceremony in celebration of Metrobank’s 57th Anniversary.
Have a pleasant morning.
At the heart of every nation-building endeavor are exemplary public servants who respond to the call for collective action and render service above and beyond their call of duty.
They are the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos: models of excellence in the academic, security, and peace and order sectors. They are the country’s educators, peacekeepers, and defenders who are beckoned to serve, heedless of reward or distinction. Instead, they derive meaning in being a person for others.
This year, Metrobank, through the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), awards yet another batch of Outstanding Filipinos—four teachers, three soldiers, and three police officers—who embody the words “Beyond Excellence” and whose meaningful work raise the bar of excellence in their fields. They join the ranks of 665 outstanding public servants recognized since 1985.
Each awardee received a cash prize of PhP 1 million, a gold medallion, and “The Flame” trophy during the formal conferment ceremonies held on September 4, 2019 at the Metrobank Plaza auditorium in Makati City as part of Metrobank’s 57th anniversary celebration.Western Visayas’ Paragon of Inclusive Education
Iloilo-based teacher Dr. Dorothy S. Tarol’s story reflects her solid stance on inclusive education. 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.
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.
Dr. Tarol also advocates for equal career opportunities for persons with disabilities. In 2007, she co-founded an organization registered as the Association of Late-deafened, Deaf, and Hard-of-Hearing for Education, Advocacy, Research and Support (ALDHEARS). Dr. Tarol holds a Master Teacher II position at SPED-ISEC since 2015, and is a registered guidance counselor.Quezon City’s Veteran Innovator on History Instruction
The legacy of Dr. Cristina B. Cristobal, Special Science Teacher 5, in the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) can be best captured by her initiative to inspire changes to the students’ perspective towards learning history. She introduced a teaching strategy that requires grade 7 learners to use primary sources in studying history.
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.
Outside the system, Dr. Cristobal actively engages in providing teacher-training for Islamic teachers. Together with Ateneo de Davao University, she organized “Buklod Guro,” a program where best teaching practices of PSHS teachers are shared to madaris (Islamic schools) in several schools across Mindanao.Philippines’ Foremost World War II Historian
Acclaimed historian Dr. Ricardo T. Jose, currently a Professor 12 at University of the Philippines Diliman, 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.
Tagged as the country’s foremost scholar on World War II in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific, Dr. Jose has produced a body of work that serves as the foundational literature on the study of the Second World War.
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.Philippines’ Prime Mover of Genomic Medicine and Education
Dr. Eva Maria C. Cutiongco-de la Paz, Professor 10 of the College of Medicine, UP Manila and Executive Director of the National Institutes of Health, has dedicated her 22 years in the teaching profession to a branch of biology concerned with the study of genes called genomics.
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. As the first training officer, she was able to lay the groundwork in equipping Filipino clinicians and researchers about the role of genetics in health and disease.
Further, 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 XDPa 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.Marawi’s Lead Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expert
The two-decade career in ordnance service of explosives expert MSgt. Ramil A. Caporas PA involves safeguarding communities from bomb threats.
He was deployed in Marawi for the whole duration of the siege. He led a team of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts tasked to recover and dispose Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) during the five-month battle. In one high-risk operation, he was able to use raw materials available in the area to create an explosive, called “Bintana,” instrumental to the assaulting troops.
Msgt. Caporas’ aim to equip citizens with the right knowledge to handle threats involving bombs and other explosive devices led him to conduct several IED Recognition and Safety Awareness training’s and Bomb Threat Management seminars.Philippine Navy’s Special Operations Warfighter
Nineteen years into the military service, Maj. Romulo G. Dimayuga II has held a number of key positions as a Marine officer and has rendered game-changing contributions to the military.
His stints as Intelligence Officer of Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 and Operations Officer of Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 marked his crucial role in the successful counter-communist insurgency operations against armed lawless groups in Northern Palawan. These efforts have contributed to the declaration of Palawan province as a “Zone of Sustained Peace, Development, and Prosperity” in 2014.
Inside his institution, Maj. Dimayuga led the standardization of training programs that aims to improve the combat effectiveness of the Force Reconnaissance Group, Philippine Marine Corps’ elite unit, and the Marine Battalion Landing Team-12’s Scout Sniper Squad.AFP’s Community and Organizational Transformation Warrior
Lt. Col. John Paul D. Baldomar’s 22 years of service in the military is best summed up by these words: a heart that puts the nation and its people first.
In 2001, he was assigned with Bravo Company, 37th Infantry Battalion, 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army and subsequently became its Company Commander. In this capacity, he rallied his troop in responding to the plight of the 95 internally displaced Tiruray families at Sitio Kyamko (Hill 224), Barangay Maitumaig, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.
Years later, Lt. Col. Baldomar became part of the transformation journey of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). In 2014, he was designated as Chief of the Strategic Communications Branch under the AFP’s Office for Strategic Studies and Strategy Management. He, together with the team, steered the development and implementation of the AFP Transformation Roadmap strategic communication plan called “Horizon 1.”Camp Crame’s Anti-Human Trafficking Crusader
A licensed social worker, P/CMSgt. Marsha T. Agustin’s legacy in the police force, particularly at the Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) of Camp Crame, involves the union of police and social work.
With her lead, WCPC has adopted an interviewing technique, dubbed as the “Social Worker-Police Investigative Technique in Handling Cases Involving Women and Children Victims.” She also co-authored the Standard Operating Procedures Manual being widely used by the PNP when handling Trafficking in Persons (TIP) cases. This aligns with the new provisions of the Republic Act No. 10364 known as the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.”PNP’s Premier Cyber Cop
With illegal activities pervading the cyber space, cybercrime is the area that P/Maj. Robert A. Reyes intends to bring to fore. His career accomplishments can be traced back to his being a pioneer of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group in 2013, born out of the Republic Act 10175 “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.” He helped develop the unit’s operational and administrative manual outlining the guidelines or protocols for cybercrime investigation.
His expertise was key to the arrest of a notorious outlaw considered the No. 1 hacker in Korea by the Korean National Police Agency in 2011 and was included in Interpol’s Wanted List.
As one of PNP’s most sought-after lecturers when it comes to cybercrime investigation, P/Maj. Reyes strives to raise awareness among his peers on the proliferation of cybercrimes and the role of the local force to combat this so-called crime without borders.Batangas’ Vanguard of Public Safety
P/Col. Edwin A. Quilates believes that his badge stands for his oath to channel all his energies into combating crime in all its forms.
Currently the Provincial Director of the Batangas Police Provincial Office, P/Col. Quilates’ mission to make the province crime-free paved the way for the launch of Oplan Iron Curtain, colloquially known as lockdown, in 2018. Premised on unified command and coordination, this approach is hailed as best practice, and is key to the successful arrests of notorious criminals, resulting to lower crime rate in the province and in the entire CALABARZON region.
P/Col. Quilates is also a lawyer. Wearing his hats as both officer and legal practitioner, he initiated the Agapay Kabayan campaign which involves community extension programs that aim to provide indigent communities’ basic needs as well as make legal assistance available to the public, among others.
Our 10 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos demonstrate that the opportunities to serve abound; each one, regardless of sector, is beckoned to live up to their definition of service for the nation. #
ARTHUR V. TY
Chairman, Metrobank & Metrobank Foundation
Conferment Ceremonies for 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos
September 4, 2019, Metrobank Plaza Auditorium
Honorable Speaker of the House Alan Peter Cayetano
Members of the final board of judges chaired by senator sherwiin gatchalian and co-chaired by associate justice alexander gesmundo;
Members of the cabinet, judiciary, and diplomatic community;
Colleagues from the business sector;
Friends from the media;
Valued clients and partners;
Friends, ladies and gentlemen;
Good evening and welcome to the conferment ceremonies of the 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos.
I’d like to begin by thanking you all for coming tonight. It is always such a great honor to see so many distinguised leaders and public servants gathered in one auditorium. This evening, we present to you 10 Outstanding Filipinos who exemplify the best in our people.
We have been looking forward to this event every year, not only to celebrate the lives and works of our awardees; but more importantly, to voice our conviction that nothing creates more hope and impact to nation-building than the heart and zeal of many ordinary Filipinos who go extraordinary lengths for the country’s greater good. Guided by the philanthropic vision of our late founder, Dr. George S.K. Ty, we believe that they deserve nothing less than great achievement for all their great sacrifices in the name of public service.
It is also worth mentioning that it is not a random coincidence, but a deliberate choice, to have this conferment ceremony fall within the bank’s week-long anniversary festivities—our 57th year anniversary, to date. Honoring these unsung heroes on the same day we commemorate the founding of Metrobank is our way of putting forward the values that the bank stands for. Our Outstanding Filipinos embody what it truly takes to serve and keep our fellow Filipinos in good hands, wherever they are and whatever their needs may be.
To our awardees, I say congratulations, and welcome to the growing Metrobank family. The ten of you have stood out from the rest.
Nominations came in from different regions of the country—from various schools, military infantries, and police units large and small, famous and obscure. The decision was difficult, as you can imagine. We have never seen such an impressive pool of nominees. But you have made the cut, and we applaud the passion and perseverance you have demonstrated in all that you have accomplished. You now join the 655 Outstanding Filipinos who have likewise pledged their lives and continue to work towards building the nation.
With this award on your sleeve, I challenge and remind you that some of your hardest work are yet ahead. We hope that you seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as a springboard to more remarkable contributions to your community.
I would like to end by thanking everyone who has made this program a tremendous success. Thank you to our institutional and program partners, the board of assessors, the members of the final board of judges, and Metrobank Foundation officers and staff, for doing the difficult work behind the scenes. All of you have done such great work.
Lastly, I thank all of you, our guests, for joining us in this evening of celebration. We have much to be grateful for—the bank’s continuous growth, our loyal customers, and most notably, the presence of likeminded individuals like you who share our belief in the potential of the Filipino people.
Cheers to more years of building the nation together. Thank you and please enjoy the rest of the evening.
In celebration of its 57th anniversary, the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank), through its corporate social responsibility arm—Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and the Ty family foundation—GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), awarded PhP35 million worth of development grants to 40 socio-civic organizations during the annual Anniversary Grants Turnover Ceremony on September 4, 2019 at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium in Makati City.
The turnover ceremonies were led by Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty, MBFI trustee and GTFI president Alfred Ty joined by MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña. Serving as guest of honor is City of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
The Grants and Social Development Partnerships program of MBFI aims to contribute significant and sustainable solutions to the country’s social development challenges and help in raising the quality of life of the poorest, most vulnerable, and underserved sectors of society. A framework to achieve a more strategic and responsive approach in addressing development concerns in the areas of heal, education, arts, and livelihood (HEAL) has been institutionalized as a response to the global call in the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Since its inception in 2009, GTFI, on the other hand, implements strategic development programs that empower communities, primarily in the sectors of Health, Environment, and Education (HEED).
“This is the very essence of today’s event–partnerships. As our two foundations mature, MBFI and GTFI try to explore ways to make our projects more strategic in generating the desired impacts. We want to be able to determine if our efforts in fact contribute to nation-building, and in what way.” expressed Sobrepeña in his message. “In order to do this, we rely on you, our partners and stakeholders. If we are to succeed, we need your commitment, not just to carry out project deliverables, but to provide relevant solutions to stakeholder needs; to assess the undertaking; and make sure the next one is even more meaningful and impactful,” he continued.
Heeding the Call for Healthier Communities
Among the beneficiaries under the health thrust is the PGH Medical Foundation, Inc. established to assist the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in achieving its mission to provide excellent healthcare to indigents. As the premier government hospital, more than half a million patients are served annually, 98% of whom are indigent.
GTFI sustains partnership with Plan International, on the other hand, for the construction of three (3) barangay health stations with birthing facilities in Western Samar and Maguindanao aimed at improving the access to health services of at least 10,000 individuals. Plan International, as a humanitarian and child development organization, advances children’s rights to education, protection, health care and a high quality of life.
Providing Access to Quality Education for the Marginalized
Beneficiaries for the thrust on education include Children of Asia—a child caring institution that provides educational opportunities to the underprivileged children in the slums of Cebu City. MBFI, through an educational sponsorship program, is supporting 11 ninth grade students in Alegria, Cebu as they complete junior high school and prepare for senior high school.
GTFI, for its part, aims to equip out-of-school youth and other marginalized students with skills that will help them gain immediate employment under its Scholarships for Technical-Vocation Education (STEP) program. Over the years, GTFI has been supporting scholars from some of the best technical-vocational education and training schools in the country with industry tie-ups for guaranteed employment.
To elevate interventions in catering to this sector, 3 institutional partners were added. These include: Don Bosco Academy of Pampanga for the improvement of their technical-vocational facilities; FPTI-Habihan School to support the 24-month technical-vocational education of 15 women; and MFI Polytechnic Institute to support 25 students enrolled under its Automation and Mechatronics Technology course—a 2 year technical training under the Dual Training System. The partnership with Toyota Motor Philippines School of Technology (TMP Tech) continues, through which full scholarship grants for select students under the 2-year General Job Automotive Servicing Course.
Supporting Art CausesFor the art thrust, MBFI supports ArtPsyche Circle for its project “Pahingalayan ng mga Bayani,” a creative retreat series composed of 6 half-day art therapy sessions to benefit soldiers-wounded-in-action undergoing medication and healing process at V.Luna Hospital in Quezon City.
Another organization supported is the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS Philippines) for the implementation of a 5-day course on photogrammetry¾a low-cost method of 3D documentation where the input is a photograph and the output is a 3D image. This will address the shortage of trained documentation professionals in this field.
Livelihood Opportunities for those at the Margins
MBFI endeavors to provide individuals and communities with sustainable livelihood opportunities.One of the beneficiary organizations under its livelihood thrust is the MicroVentures Foundation (HAPINOY), a social enterprise organization. MBFI supports its Samahang Pinoy “Business Friends Forever” program. Sari-sari store owners are organized into a local peer support network serving as venues to learn from each other’s business experiences and help each other in addressing challenges faced by thriving micro-entrepreneurs.
Development grants were also extended to the World Surgical Foundation, International Bazaar Foundation, DFA Ladies Foundation, Du30 Cabinet Spouses Association, Congressional Spouses Foundation, Senate Spouses Foundation, and the Philippine Red Cross.
A licensed social worker, joining the police force was perhaps not the foremost route P/CMSgt. Marsha T. Agustin had set her sights on, yet it proved to be a decision that solidified the clarity of her lifelong mission: take on a job that saves lives.
Earning a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Saint Paul University in Tuguegarao City, many expected that she would land a career in the Department of Social Welfare and Development. But her fate has presented her quite a different ride, as she chose to realize her goals by working for the Philippine National Police (PNP).
In retrospect, the union of these two disciplines forms part of her legacy in PNP, particularly at the Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) of Camp Crame. Her maiden institution empowers her to advocate for the use of social work principles in handling human trafficking cases and defending the vulnerable—children, women, and the disenfranchised.
During the early stages of WCPC, police investigators found it difficult to interview victims due to their resistance and refusal to share their experiences, and understandably so—cases involving women and children entail a different tack. The victims need a specialized age and gender-sensitive approach especially during interviews due to the trauma incurred.
With P/CMSgt. Agustin’s lead, WCPC has adopted an interviewing technique, dubbed as the “Social Worker-Police Investigative Technique in Handling Cases Involving Women and Children Victims”, combining social work and police investigation designed for victims involved in these sensitive cases.
This method is rooted in the belief that investigative work requires a heart; it is more than acquiring information but working with a person who has his or her own story and whose voice needs to be heard. Case after case, P/CMSgt Agustin reinforces the perspective that the police forces’ duty is the protection of the victim as much as the conviction of perpetrators.
In her 16 years of service in the PNP, P/CMSgt. Agustin has mustered the principle of making the welfare of the victims a paramount consideration. As a mother of two, she treats her clients as her family, thereby giving them their needs as much as she can.
P/CMSgt. Agustin’s expertise extends beyond the premises of WCPC. She co-authored the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Manual being widely used by the PNP when handling Trafficking in Persons (TIP) cases. This aligns with the new provisions of the Republic Act No. 10364 known as the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act”. P/CMSgt. Agustin is the resource person responsible for cascading the contents of the manual among her peers, particularly on the section on management of trafficked persons.
She is also not one to refuse her neighbors’ call for help. P/CMSgt. Agustin was one of the first police responders in Tacloban City during the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda as part of the PNP Disaster Management, Preparedness, and Response Task Group. She took charge of ensuring the welfare of vulnerable women and children in typhoon-afflicted communities through the social worker-police investigative technique. She was lauded as one of the Exemplary Government Accredited Social Workers in 2015 for the said efforts.
Further, P/CMSgt. Agustin believes that assistance to those who come to WCPC for aid does not stop at taking their statements and listening to their stories. Since 2005, she actively provides support by referring them to public hospitals where they can avail of discounted rates on medical services, and by preparing a case study report that conveys the individuals’ current situation and financial handicap. She accompanies them to medical institutions and helps process the necessary documents. This initiative is being replicated by police officers in the PNP Health Service.
Advocating for the holistic delivery of services, P/CMSgt. Agustin’s proposal to dedicate a room exclusively for clients has led to the ongoing construction of a Temporary Processing Area in the WCPC building. She pushed for the establishment of the said facility to provide an environment conducive for the recovery of victims of gender-based violence. This would also improve the current setup of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Division in holding psychosocial interventions and other aftercare services.
As a witness to the victims’ struggles, P/CMSgt. Agustin knows that asking them to recall and share their story is hard thus, she ensures that they see a confidant and ally in her. For every case that she takes on, she carries with her the hope of bringing justice to every victim, helping restore normalcy in their lives, and providing a safer environment for them.
When one thinks of crime, the default scenarios that often crop up on the minds of many are those that happen on the streets or during dark period, as commonly reported by the media. One kind that is inadvertently left at the periphery is the crime done behind a veil of anonymity, using readily available tools such as a computer and internet access: cybercrime.
This is the area that P/Maj. Robert A. Reyes intends to bring to fore. With illegal activities pervading the cyber space and new forms of offenses emerging, safeguarding online users from threats and capturing assailants have become one of the police’s paramount concerns.
P/Maj. Reyes’ career accomplishments can be traced back to his being a pioneer of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group in 2013, born out of the Republic Act 10175 “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012”. In this capacity, he helped develop the unit’s operational and administrative manual outlining the guidelines or protocols for cybercrime investigation which is now being used in the training and learning sessions of PNP. P/Maj. Reyes has also led over 20 police operations as well as investigated more than 100 cybercrime cases.
Prior to the group’s formation, his expertise was key to the arrest of a notorious outlaw considered the No. 1 hacker in Korea by the Korean National Police Agency in 2011 and was included in Interpol’s Wanted List. The immediate identity and apprehension of the suspect during that period was urgent due to the bulk of information and customer database he has stolen from a prominent financial service company.
P/Maj. Reyes collaborated with private internet service providers to identify the hacker. The successful operations prevented further reputational damage to the company and loss due to possible extortion in exchange for the selling of the database to syndicates.
With these accomplishments, one would be surprised to know that P/Maj. Reyes almost did not become a cop. His parents knew the risks and dangers of the profession and advised against pursuing the same path his brother took. Fate, however, somehow worked to bring him back to his first dream of joining the Philippine National Police (PNP). His degree in Computer Science serves him well in the exercise of his duty.
Years later, he has brought his expertise to his incumbent unit, the PNP Counter Intelligence Task Force. Reyes was among the pioneer members of this unit that aims to regain the public trust and confidence in PNP by strengthening integrity among the forces. He actively campaigns for this initiative by crafting information, education, and communication (IEC) materials for dissemination. The poster developed by his team is prominently displayed in police stations nationwide.
P/Maj. Reyes has also made it his advocacy to raise awareness among his peers on the proliferation of cybercrimes and the role of the local force to combat this so-called crime without borders where danger is one click away. He believes that targeting felons whose new modus operandi use the internet and technology means that the police forces should also have the technical expertise to locate and catch them.
As one of the most sought-after lecturers of PNP when it comes to cybercrime investigation, he has also delivered various lectures on trafficking in person intelligence and investigation. He hopes that he can help develop more talents in this field. From merely having a handful of police officers equipped to handle cyber-related offenses, an increased number is now qualified as cybercrime investigators.
When he is not solving crimes assigned to his unit or delivering lectures, Reyes is helping various members of society who are victims of illicit online activities. His strong partnership with contacts representing social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram has helped in the deactivation of fake profiles and pages, as well as restoration of hacked accounts and giving the control back to legitimate owners. Since 2012, close to 270 fraudulent accounts were deleted upon P/Maj. Reyes’ intervention.
P/Maj. Reyes, 44, has served in the force for 19 years now. He is married, and is a father of three.
Being a law enforcer should not be divorced from exercising the duties of a public servant. This is the ethos that permeates P/Col. Edwin A. Quilates’ work as a cop who has served the country for 25 years. As the incumbent Provincial Director of the Batangas Police Provincial Office, he believes that his badge stands for his oath to channel all his energies into combating crime in all its forms.
P/Col. Quilates’ mission to make the province crime-free paved the way for the launch of Oplan Iron Curtain, colloquially known as ‘lockdown’, in 2018. The initiative aims to strictly mobilize police forces in and around Batangas through dragnet operations during investigation and manhunt. This leads to the swift apprehension of criminals involved in shooting and/or robbery incidents.
Oplan Iron Curtain, premised on unified command and coordination, is hailed as best practice and as key to the successful arrests of notorious criminals, resulting to lower crime rate in the province and in the entire CALABARZON region.
P/Col. Quilates is also a lawyer which, perhaps, bespeaks his strong sense of justice. Wearing his hats as both officer and legal practitioner, he is quick to respond to his constituents’ call for help. He initiated the Agapay Kabayan campaign that aims to aid select underprivileged communities in Batangas while building trust among locals. The beneficiaries are the over 7,000 residents of barangay Wawa in Batangas City and other indigent barangays. The former is an informal settlers’ area where a segment of the population belongs to an indigenous group.
Agapay Kabayan involves community extension programs that aim to provide the residents’ basic needs as well as make legal assistance available to the public, among others.
For P/Col. Quilates, preserving peace and order in his jurisdiction requires a proactive stance to rein in all crimes on all fronts, and dismantle the systems that enable criminality to exist. This perspective has given rise to a number of programs rallying the police forces to counter prevalent issues in Batangas such as use of illegal firearms, war on drugs, shooting and robbery incidents, and organized crime.
With his leadership, his office initiated Oplan Balik Armas which campaigns for the responsible use of firearms among Batangueños by temporarily safekeeping their guns pending license renewal, or mandating them to surrender their guns in case they will not renew its license. This strategy has been adopted by Region 4-A CALABARZON due to its effective prevention of illegal firearms use.
P/Col. Quilates also led the Simula ng Pag-asa (SIPAG) Program to complement the government’s war on drugs and to respond to the number of individuals who surrendered. As the name implies, SIPAG Program is grounded on the idea that rehabilitation is central to the transformation of the surrenders and re-integrating them to society as responsible citizens with renewed hope and purpose.
Prior to taking the helm of the Batangas Police Provincial Station, P/Col. Quilates’ previous stints have also helped seal his contribution to the force. He was the Chief of Police of Marilao, Plaridel and San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan where he displayed acumen that garnered him the Best Chief of Police distinction for three consecutive years.
He has been assigned in high risk areas as Chief of Intelligence and Operation of the Sulu Anti-Kidnapping Task Force, Deputy Regional Chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Region 9, and as the ARMM CIDG Regional Chief in Cotabato City from 2014 to 2015. His roles were instrumental to the arrest of most wanted outlaws and notorious members of communist insurgency groups.
P/Col. Quilates, 49, is now on his 25th year of police service, and he is keen on keeping the province safe under his watch and ensuring Batangueños that he is at their service, as a cop and community leader. He is a graduate of the Philippine National Police Academy as a member of the Patnubay Class of 1995. He earned his degree in Law at Manuel L. Quezon University and his Master’s degree in Business Administration at the Adventist University of the Philippines. He is married and has two kids.
When a person encounters a suspected explosive material, the instinctive response is fear and the standard protocol is to keep a distance; rarely is it to move towards potential danger. This is the risk that MSgt. Ramil A. Caporas PA is all too familiar with. A two-decade career in ordnance service means that his definition of all in a day’s work involves putting himself in perilous situations to protect his comrades and the nation.
He has made it his life’s work to safeguard communities from bomb threats, even if it means constantly facing the reality that his profession entails a slim margin of error.
His contributions to the country’s military forces reflect his character as a soldier and leader: bravado combined with ingenuity and faith. These are what he carries whenever he goes out on a mission. These were also what he carried when he was one of the first few assigned in Marawi during the siege.
MSgt. Caporas led a team of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts tasked to recover and dispose Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) during the five-month battle. Their expertise resulted in the recovery and proper disposal of over 1,000 IEDs, ensuring the safety of the troops inside the war zone.
MSgt. Caporas was deployed in Marawi for the whole duration of the combat. In one high-risk operation, he was able to use raw materials available in the area to create an explosive, called “Bintana”, instrumental to the assaulting troops. This frame-like contraption was used to breach walls of buildings, which served as staging points of attack for government forces while under hostile enemy fire.
Carrying “Bintana” during operations added another layer of difficulty to maneuver but MSgt. Caporas pressed on resolutely, armed with the knowledge that it will help defend the lives of his men and the civilians. This pragmatic innovation for a complex situation played a significant role in weakening the opposing parties’ forces and the liberation of Marawi.
Further, MSgt. Caporas led a team that investigated a car bomb explosion in Lamitan City, Basilan, which was considered a new tactic in the Philippines’ IED landscape. The lecture he conducted to the troops in the area on counter IED promoted vigilance that prevented the rigged vehicle from proceeding to the target site—a school celebrating Nutrition Month. This incident was staged by a member of a terrorist group. MSgt. Caporas’ team’s intervention was key in thwarting what could have been a massive incident involving many casualties.
The subject of bombs may be considered taboo, MSgt. Caporas nonetheless believes that upholding safety and security across the lands cannot be done singlehandedly; it is a shared responsibility of the armed forces and civilians, especially since the latter is the usual target. Thus, he aims to educate and equip citizens with the right knowledge to handle threats involving bombs and other explosive devices.
He conducted several IED Recognition and Safety Awareness training’s and Bomb Threat Management seminars to the general public in Cebu, Negros Island, Panay Group of Islands, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga Peninsula and Basilan from 2012 to 2018. These seminars combine lecture to promote theoretical understanding as well as simulation of possible explosives threat to help paint a clearer picture among the participants.
Given the subject matter’s technical nature, MSgt. Caporas crafted a program of instruction tailor fit to laypersons. These seminars cater to a range of audiences, from government organization and private sectors to academe and religious sectors. He hopes that these efforts will reduce the risk of attacks in private and public spaces.
Moreover, he renders his services as a commentator of a Sunday radio program entitled “Ang Inyo Army sa Negros”, to propagate information and communicate the peace-building initiatives of the army in the hinterlands of Negros Island.
MSgt. Caporas, 41, earned his Master’s degree in Public Administration at Carlos Hilado Memorial State College in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. He is married, and is a father of four.
The life of a soldier is marked by the constant shadow of danger, and fuelled by the rallying cry of putting others’ welfare before one’s own—all in service of the people and the country. That in itself is a daunting prospect. This, however, did not deter Maj. Romulo G. Dimayuga II, who grew up harboring the dream of following in his father’s footsteps. He knew the risks of being on the frontlines yet he kept being driven onward.
Nineteen (19) years into the military service, Maj. Dimayuga has held a number of key positions as a Marine officer and has rendered game-changing contributions to the military.
In 2006, his leadership as a platoon commander of a Force Recon Platoon was key to crippling the forces of the most notorious terrorist group in the country by infiltrating their stronghold in Sulu. This led to the neutralization of its top leader who was tagged as one of the most wanted men in Southeast Asia and was listed as one of FBI’s most wanted terrorists. This news made headlines. Maj. Dimayuga and his platoon suffered losses and incurred injuries during this campaign, but they continue to remember this as a victory for the country against terrorism.
Further, Maj. Dimayuga’s stints as Intelligence Officer of Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 and Operations Officer of Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 from 2013 to 2014 and 2017 to 2018, respectively, marked his crucial role in the successful counter-communist insurgency operations against the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) in Northern Palawan.
The province has had a long history of being plagued by communist insurgency activities. This was the situation Maj. Dimayuga and his troops aimed to transform. For them, restoring peace not only meant defeating the enemies, but, primarily, creating an environment where communities can thrive.
To achieve this, Maj. Dimayuga’s unit used an innovative yet pragmatic approach rooted in promoting a productive and lasting relationship with the locals. They knocked on every resident’s door to learn about their needs and at the same time to send the message across that they can be their allies. These efforts have contributed to the declaration of Palawan province as a “Zone of Sustained Peace, Development, and Prosperity” in 2014.
Moreover, Maj. Dimayuga channeled his efforts into forging a partnership between his units and the locals of northern Palawan and Puerto Princesa City by underscoring their mutual aspiration: weakening the communist insurgents’ ranks and curbing the threat among Palaweños.
Maj. Dimayuga spearheaded this initiative by employing a different tactic. He knew that urging the insurgents to walk away from the armed struggle cannot be achieved solely by force and combat operations, but by offering them another chance to re-integrate to mainstream society and bring back normalcy in their lives. Further, his unit ensured that the residents, especially the youth, are properly informed so they will not be influenced.
Inside his institution, Maj. Dimayuga led the standardization of training programs that aims to improve the combat effectiveness of the Force Reconnaissance Group, Philippine Marine Corps’ elite unit, and the Marine Battalion Landing Team-12’s Scout Sniper Squad. As a veteran of combat, he identified the gaps and incorporated his own experiences in crafting training programs attuned to real-life situations.
Defending the country’s sovereignty is also a part of his duty. From 2017 to 2018, he was the Operations Officer of Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 in charge of conducting territorial defense in the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), West Philippine Sea. His battalion provided round-the-clock security of seven (7) out of nine (9) islands— Lawak, Patag, Likas, Pag-asa, Panata, Parola, and Patag—of KIG and the whole northern Palawan.
Over the course of his storied career, Maj. Dimayuga’s inspiration is to make a difference wherever his mission takes him. His assignments might have entailed blood, sweat, and tears but Maj. Dimayuga pledges to always live by the Marine’s code of honor, duty, and valor to defend his country. Maj. Dimayuga, 37, is a graduate of PMA Class of 2005 and is married. He has been part of the country’s forces for 19 years now.
At present, he is taking up Master of Science in Defense Analysis (Irregular Warfare) at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, USA.
When one thinks of the country’s uniformed men and women, it is easy to picture them on the frontlines, gallantly orchestrating high-risk missions and advancing under enemy fire. Rarely is it considered that behind their hardened exterior lies the real drive of a soldier: a heart that puts the nation and its people first.
This is the sentiment that encapsulates Lt. Col. John Paul D. Baldomar’s 22 years of service in the Philippine Army. His heart for the people is best reflected in the initiative he spearheaded back in 2001 when he was assigned with Bravo Company, 37th Infantry Battalion, 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army and subsequently became its Company Commander. In this capacity, he rallied his troop in responding to the plight of the 95 internally displaced Tiruray families at Sitio Kyamko (Hill 224), Barangay Maitumaig, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.
The Tiruray community originally resided in Peris Hill, Maguindanao. The difficulty of thriving in a strife-torn environment due to armed lawless groups’ activities resulted in the community’s dispersal. Uprooted from their ancestral land, a majority of them took up residence in North and South Upi, Maguindanao, while a segment sought refuge in a patrol base of Bravo Company, 37IB located at Hill 224, a military outpost over three kilometers away from the national highway that is only accessible by foot.
Years later, this is the scene that Lt. Col. Baldomar witnessed: a community living in temporary shelters, facing imminent threat and barely meeting their basic social needs. He was then moved to action, initiating projects that will support the Tiruray in establishing a new home and becoming a self-sufficient community.
His unit’s relationship with the community was founded on mutual trust. The former collaborated with the local government and non-government organizations to implement community-based programs, and support the development of infrastructures such as school buildings, farm-to-market roads, multipurpose hall, and a place of worship.
The Tiruray’s story of recovery can be traced back to the compassionate efforts of Lt. Col. Baldomar and his troops who went beyond their mandate. The community grew from 95 displaced families in 2001 to more or less 300 empowered and self-sufficient families in 2019. With their growing number, the original Sitio Kyamko expanded to two other communities in Sitio Bagong and Sitio Peris.
Years later, translating this experience into his work served as his fuel to serve and be a part of the transformation journey of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Lt. Col. Baldomar was designated as Chief of the Strategic Communications Branch under the AFP’s Office for Strategic Studies and Strategy Management in 2014. Together with the team, he steered the development and implementation of the AFP Transformation Roadmap strategic communication plan called “Horizon 1”.
Horizon 1 stresses the significance of constantly aligning the AFP’s actions to its vision—“A World-Class Armed Forces, Source of National Pride”—in instilling a culture of genuine transformation and good governance. Upon publication of the strategic communication plan, Lt. Col. Baldomar’s team developed the design, facilitated the promulgation, and spearheaded the execution of activities that aims to enhance AFP’s capacity building and professionalism of its ranks.
Lt. Col. Baldomar’s impact was also stamped when he heeded the call to help shape the next breed of leaders of the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) through the “Transforming Leaders Initiative”. He joined hands with volunteer military officers in carrying out seminars for Tactical officers, as well as training staff and cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the Philippine National Police Academy. What began as a series of three (3) seminars has been recognized as a best practice and is rolled out in both academies. Further, it was adopted by the International Graduate School of Leadership to be incorporated as part of their leadership program.
Lt. Col. Baldomar, 41, is currently designated as the Chief, Current Operations Branch, Internal Security Operations Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, J3, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). He is a graduate of PMA Class of 2001. He earned his Master’s degree in Transformational Leadership at the International Graduate School of Leadership-Asia in 2014. He is married and has two kids.
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.
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.
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.
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.