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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 Causes

For 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.

“Life may be difficult for many. I serve as a witness to different stories of struggle. But I am optimistic that there’s a rainbow in the aftermath of any storm. Crimes and violations are hard to end, but a united community as we are, we can ease sufferings. The battle is never-ending and the goal to provide a safer place for all is a continuous voyage.”

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.

“The dedication to my job became a passion the time I got assigned in cybercrime investigation, where many victims do not know who their assailants are. Doing cybercrime investigation has allowed me to better discover how important police work is and I am more determined to stay and continue to serve and protect our people. I want to be remembered as a mentor, a builder of better police officers, and a friend whom one can call anytime for assistance. I hope that the knowledge I’ve shared to my students and colleagues will be shared to others.”

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.

“I want to be remembered as a police officer with the motto “Para sa bayan.” I always bear in mind that public office is a public trust. Serving and protecting lives and properties have been my very source of fulfilment as bread and butter is to my life. Being able to afford peace and safety for my loved ones and the community is more than enough for me as a police officer. I always try to become a catalyst of change, making ripples to inspire others.”

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.

“I want to be an instrument of peace. I want to use my technical expertise to protect and save the lives of the innocent, and to give glory to my God, my family and my country…My source of fulfilment as a soldier is when I can render safe or defuse a bomb without any harm, accomplish my mission to serve the people and secure the land, and go home to my family safe and sound.”

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.

“My early years as a Force Recon Marine were marked with literal blood, sweat and tears. I have experienced being wounded, being outnumbered in a firefight, losing comrades, being away from my loved ones, among others. These seem to be enough reasons for a sane man to quit this perilous job and find a safer one, but not for me. I’ve always known that the moment I signed up for the Philippine Marine Corps, all those came inside my canteen cup for free and with unlimited refill.”

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.

“I believe this is my purpose: to serve others and fight for those who cannot defend themselves. Every time I go out to do my job, I always think that I am doing this so that my family and the Filipino people would peacefully sleep while I and the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines are standing on the line fighting for their safety. Moreover, I want to ensure that the generations to come, the children of my children, would enjoy the same freedom I have enjoyed. I always consider it as a sense of fulfilment seeing the Philippine Flag freely hoisted which signifies our independence and freedom.”

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.

“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

Metrobank Foundation, Inc.

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

(02) 857-9746 / (02) 898-8855
(02) 818-5656 / 750-0837

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