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To address the immediate needs of families affected by typhoon Ompong, GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), has allocated a total amount of PhP 5 million. To date, GTFI has reached out to a total of 6,100 families through a series of relief operations held in coordination with the network of Metrobank branches in northern Luzon.

Relief distributions were held in three (3) municipalities in the province of Cagayan. Spearheaded by Metrobank Tabuk City branch, 500 families were assisted in the municipality of Rizal covering barangays Linno-C, Poblacion, and Batu on September 25. Metrobank Aparri branch, on September 29, reached out to 500 families of barangay Maura, Aparri, Cagayan. Metrobank Tuguegarao branch, on the other hand, covered the hardly hit town of Baggao, reaching out to 3000 families of barangays Temblique, Adaoag, Asassi, Canagatan, Bagunot, Ibulo, Carupian, Masical, Taguing, and Bunugan last September 22. Relief distribution efforts were also coursed through the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, benefitting a total of 1000 beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, led by Metrobank Purple Hearts Club Bag-iw Chapter in Baguio City, relief goods were distributed to 500 families in Itogon, Benguet and Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya on September 23. Packed meals were also distributed to 350 PNP rescue workers in Bakun and Itogon. Through Operation Blessing, 600 families in Kabayan, Benguet also received relief goods covering the barangays of Lusod, Tawangan, and Upper Bashoy.

GTFI has also partnered with Alagang Kapatid Foundation in providing hot meals to disaster-stricken or homeless families through their Foton First Responder Food Truck. A total of 6,621 individuals were served with hot meals in the towns of Baggao, Santa Ana, Gonzaga, Gattaran and Rizal, Cagayan. Most of these areas reached through #AKFeed have been isolated as residents did not expect help to reach them, including an Aeta community in Gattaran.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (503 Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army) and the Philippine National Police served as cooperating agencies in the transport of the relief goods. The Philippine Air Force (Tactical Operations Group 1) provided choppers to airlift the goods in Benguet. Metrobank employees and some chapters of the bank’s volunteerism arm, Metrobank Purple Hearts Club, were mobilized in the repacking and distribution of goods in the communities. GTFI is currently in coordination as well with the Philippine Red Cross to provide GI sheets to some 150 affected families for the repair of partially-damaged shelters.

Together with Metrobank Foundation, Inc., GTFI remains responsive to aid survivors of natural calamities through relief and rehabilitation efforts.

This 2018, the National Teachers’ Month (NTM), celebrated from September 5 to October 5, marks its 10th year milestone anniversary with the theme “Gratitude In10sified”.

This year, the goal is to intensify all efforts honoring our teachers by encouraging various stakeholders to express their gratitude through the 4 As of Gratitude: Appreciation, Approval, Admiration, and Attention.

The 4 A’s of Gratitude: Appreciation, Admiration, Approval, and Attention.

The NTM movement started in 2008 when former DepEd secretary and currently De La Salle Philippines president Br. Armin Luistro approached Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña and proposed the idea of a month-long observation to heighten public consciousness and participation in the World Teachers’ Day celebration every October 5. Other organizations were then invited to spearhead the celebration, then called the Teachers’ Month Campaign (TMC).

Over time, the campaign has become a multi-sectoral movement—specifically engaging sectors which work closely with teachers. The movement have also seen growth in numbers, eventually becoming the nationwide celebration as it is known today. Since its inception 10 years ago, NTM marked several milestones: in 2011, Presidential Proclamation No. 242 was signed, formally declaring “the period from September 5 to October 5 of every year as National Teachers’ Month.” With its issuance, TMC formally became National Teachers’ Month.

Five years later, Republic Act No. 10743 was signed, formally designating “October 5 of every year as National Teachers’ Day.”

10 ACTS OF GRATITUDE

On its 10th year, the NTM Coordinating Council—composed of various government agencies, educational institutions, private companies and non-government organizations, all sharing in the advocacy of appreciating teachers—has adopted 10 major activities in collaboration with various organizations.

Dubbed as the 10 Acts of Gratitude, these activities will showcase the Council members’ unique expressions of gratitude for our teachers.

The Council’s 2018 major activities are:

1.TEACH FOR A DAY – in partnership with Teach for the Philippines, this activity will feature professionals who will spend a day teaching in classroom together with a Teach for the Philippines Fellow.

2. TEACHER DAY OUT – in collaboration with various museums, teachers will have their educational tours in these museums for free.

3. NTM LECTURE SERIES – Around 150 teachers will get to attend a three-day lecture series covering various topics on cyber-education to be facilitated by SEAMEO-INNOTECH, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and World Vision.

4. 39TH MANILA INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR – teachers visiting the 39th Manila International Book Fair from September 12 to 16 will get to enter for free at the Hall 1 entrance of SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. An NTM Booth managed by the Metrobank Foundation will be set up at the Hall 1 entrance wherein everyone can participate in the activities while teachers can get a chance to win prizes.

5. ALTERNATIVE NATIONAL SEMINAR CONFERENCE – hosted by Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), this seminar-conference will focus on the theme, “Educator’s Life Care Conversation, Artshop, and Playshop Conference”. Around 300 teachers will be invited to attend this free 3-day conference.

6. TEACHER QUALITY FORUM – Philippine Business for Education (PBED) will host this one-of-a-kind forum which highlights the state of teacher quality in the Philippines, as well as global innovations and trends in teacher development. The forum will also serve to pave the way for crafting concrete policy recommendations for raising teacher quality in the country.

7. NTM DIGITAL CAMPAIGN – this month-long digital campaign will highlight the culture of gratitude for teachers on social media. The official hashtags #ThankYouTeacherPH and #2018NTM shall be used.

8. “SALAMAT PO, TEACHER” LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN – in this campaign, Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) seeks promote a culture of appreciation for teachers through letter writing. On another front, PHLPOST releases a specially-designed NTM stamp which the public can use when they mail their letters.

9. 10 TEACHERS, 10 YEARS – the proposed online series by Rappler.com will highlight 10 extraordinary teachers celebrating their 10th year in service this 2018.

10. PERSONALITIES SAY “THANK YOU” – in this AVP series, executives, influencers, and key personalities from various companies and organizations will have an opportunity to say “Thank You” to their mentors and share what important lessons they have learned from them.

TEACHERS’ TREATS

Another highlight of the annual NTM celebrations is the Teachers’ Treats offered from September 5 to October 5. Throughout the month, teachers get to enjoy exclusive treats and discounts at various establishments throughout the country.

Teachers will once again get to enjoy free entrance and tours in participating museums in Metro Manila like The Mind Museum, Museo Pambata, Ayala Museum, Yuchengco Museum, and Metropolitan Museum as well as museums outside Manila like Museo Orlina, BenCab Museum, and Museo Kordilyera.

Teachers will also get to enjoy exclusives like free admission to events like the 39th Manila International Book Fair and the “Panoramic Endeavors” Lecture Series by Metrobank Foundation and the United Architects of the Philippines. Participating restaurants and retail establishments will also offer treats and discounts on products and services.

2018 NATIONAL TEACHERS’ DAY

As NTM’s culminating event, the Department of Education brings the 2018 National Teachers’ Day celebrations to Region VIII. Ormoc City will host the biggest gathering of teachers on October 5 wherein 6,000 teachers will gather for a day of entertainment and tribute. This year’s theme “Gurong Pilipino: Turo Mo, Kinabukasan Ko” puts spotlight on Filipino teachers as catalysts of empowering learners to realize their potential and achieve their life goals.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) recognized this year’s Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) awardees in a ceremony held on September 20, 2018 at the Le Pavillon, Metropolitan Park in Pasay City. U.S Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Yong Kim and Cultural Center of the Philippines chairperson Margie Moran-Floirendo graced the event as Guests of Honor, who were welcomed by Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty, Federal Land chairman Alfred Ty, Metrobank vice chairman Francis Sebastian, Metrobank president Fabian Dee, and MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña.

On its 34th year, MADE chose the theme “Discover” inviting Filipino painters and sculptors to immerse into a whole new experience—one that demands looking at the world with fresh eyes to discover the beauty in things mundane and overlooked. Since 1984, MADE has recognized more than 400 artists, architects and designers serving as the venue to discover emerging names in the art scene.

“MADE has continued to be a platform for discovery for the most passionate and persistent creative visionaries in the country. Our roster of winners—now counting to more than four hundred—discovered their potentials, and majority of them are now carving significant names in the local and even international art scenes,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña. “But more than a competition that breeds artistic talent, MADE has evolved to become an implementing entity that facilitates a generation of fresh ideas for social development. The works of the artists we celebrate this evening are testaments to that,” he continued.

Two (2) Grand Awardees for the Painting Recognition Program and one (1) Grand Prize Awardee for the Sculpture Recognition Program received a financial assistance worth PhP500,000 and the “Mula” glass trophy designed by 2009 Metrobank Prize for Achievement in Sculpture (MPAS) awardee Noell El Farol.

On the other hand, two (2) other finalists for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas Category, Painting Recognition Program were given Special Citations for their remarkable artworks.

MADE Painting Recognition Program

Iloilo-based Noel M. Elicana is the Grand Awardee for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas Category with his piece “Kanya-kanyang Tinik, Kanya-kanyang Landas, Iisa ang Ginagalawan” portraying both creation and destruction.

A tree rooted in the artist’s deep familiarity of his hometown in Oton, Iloilo, serves as the center of the composition where otherworldly figures and flowers spring. While death and destruction are represented through bones and vultures.

“Every single Filipino has their own yoke to carry. But no matter what their differences are, their eyes shine with positive thoughts. These people envision their dreams and are searching to unlock their journey,” said Elicana.

Grand Awardee for Watermedia on Paper Category Alex P. Ordoyo from Santa Barbara, Iloilo portrayed the devastation that enveloped Marawi City through his monochromatic piece entitled “Destroyed.”

The painting stitches the various features of the capital city of Lanao del Sur through the presentation of the destroyed urban landscape — ruined houses, establishments, mosques and fleeing figures. “Destroyed” depicts the Marawi tragedy with a surrealistic approach so much that no visual point of entry is present as to encapsulate the full intensity of wreckage.

Bulaceño artist Francis Eugene E. Andrade’s Oil/Acrylic on Canvas piece “The Sacrifice” grabbed a Special Citation for its remarkable message tackling a mother’s undying love for her children.

Like most of his pieces, Andrade mirrors melancholic experiences through the symbolism of clothing. In “The Sacrifice,” a crumpled mother’s silken dress lie below three hanged clothes paired with hats depicting different occupations: flight attendant, seaman and engineer. Pieces of the mother’s dress are used to patch up some parts of her children’s clothing which are also smeared with stains. Rendered in sepia and with the dresses being old-fashioned, the work offers a simple but no less moving testament to parental love with no cost.

Completing the trio of artists from Iloilo, Roland F. Llarena’s “The Diminishing Memories of Home” which touches upon notions of departure also won a Special Citation for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas Category. Described as a subtle and sad representation of reality, his entry interprets the eventual estrangement from family values and indifference to family and friends through the depiction of an abandonment of a home.

“The Diminishing Memories of Home” is a snapshot of a parting moment painted to appear like an old tattered photograph. Mainly featured are a fading ancestral house and a trolley bag ready to be wheeled away from the picture. While the act of leaving depicts openness to new opportunities and aspirations for a greener-pasture, Llarena said “emotions and memories will always be tied to the place that we live in”.

This year’s MADE Painting Recognition Program Final Board of Judges was chaired by one of the country’s leading art critic and 13-time MADE judge Cid Reyes. Members of the Board included 1993 Metrobank Annual Painting Competition winner Alfredo Esquillo, Jr., award-winning visual artist Marina Cruz and curator Ricky Francisco and esteemed member of the academe and art community, Professor Leo Abaya.

MADE Sculpture Recognition Program

Maria Ronna Lara-Bes won this year’s Grand Award for the Sculpture Recognition Program with “Interconnected”, a medley of spheres and lines symbolizing binding ties.

With three equidistant spheres representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as the base, the indoor sculpture is interconnected by “stems” inspired by different indigenous fabrics and stainless spheres of varying sizes that serve as vital connecting nodes of the composition. “Interconnected” is a visual representation of how the disparate islands of our archipelago are bridged together by the shared identity of the Filipino people.

In partnership with Federal Land, Inc., the 2018 MADE Sculpture Recognition Program challenged sculptors to design an artistic and modern indoor public art installation at the Atrium Lobby of Met Live, a three-level upscale mall at the Metro Park complex along Macapagal Boulevard, corner EDSA Extension in Pasay City.

To serve as the signature art centerpiece of the mall, the artwork should personify the visual design identity of Met Live which is described as “threads of fabric, fashion, and architecture all woven together creating an artisanal and innovative characteristic that is ethnic-inspired yet versatile, artful yet progressive.

The MADE Sculpture Recognition Program Final Board of Judges was headed by multimedia artist and 1990 Metrobank Annual Painting Competition winner Mark Justiniani. Members of the Board included award-winning international sculptor Daniel dela Cruz, multimedia artist Gerardo Tan, Interdisciplinary artist Josephine Turalba, and sculptor Reginald Yuson.

Past MADE Awardees Paying-it-Forward

Another highlight of the night was an art exhibit by the MADE Network of Winners (MADE NOW) —the alumni organization of former MADE winners—entitled “Voyage of Senses”. Artworks displayed were made available for sale during the exhibit run of which a percentage of the proceeds go to the various pay-it-forward projects of the alumni organization such as art therapy.

Once young and amateur artists, most of the members are now the most sought after contemporary artists of today. Participating artists include Roberto Acosta, Andrew Tan, Samuel Penaso, Siefred Guilaran, Eugene Jarque, Jonathan Dangue, Melvin Culaba, Clarence Eduarte and Rolando Ventura.

The 2018 MADE Grand Awardees and Special Citation recipients automatically become members of MADE-NOW where they will be implementing pay-it-forward projects that benefit marginalized sectors.

Panoramic Endeavors: Lectures on Rediscovering Philippine Art and Cultural Heritage

A two-day lecture on rediscovering Philippine arts and cultural heritage, entitled “Panoramic Endeavors” was also held in the same venue—September 21 to 22. With themes “Arts and Design as Personal Advocacies” and “Conservation of Tangible Heritage” in day one and “Hubs for Creative Ingenuity” and “Shaping Creative Public Spaces” for day two, the lectures seek to rediscover the importance of arts, architecture and design in everyday life through the nationalistic efforts of dynamic individuals in the art and design community.

Now on its 34th year, MADE has set the benchmark among the country’s art competitions, raising the general public’s appreciation for the arts through exhibits and lectures and has long served as the career launch pad of the country’s most admired contemporary artists and sculptors. Among its past awardees are Elmer Borlongan, Mark Justiniani, Jan Leeroy New, Salvador “Buddy” Ching, and Andres Barrioquinto.

This year’s Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos paid a courtesy visit to Speaker and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo last September 12, 2018 at the Speaker Social Hall, House of Representatives in Quezon City. The awardees were also honored at the Plenary Hall wherein the 17th Congress passed Resolution No. 2152, a resolution honoring and commending the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino of 2018.

The Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos is a prestigious career-service award for Filipino exemplars in the academe, military, and police sectors.

Guided by the theme of “Beyond Excellence”, a Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino is recognized for rendering service above and beyond his/her call of duty. His/her 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. Teacher awardees are: (1) Mary Jane S. Ramo of Tonggo Elementary School (Tudela, Misamis Occidental); (2) Dr. Alma S. Janagap of Pavia National High School (Pavia, Iloilo); (3) Dr. Aimee Marie C. Gragasin of Philippine Science High School-Cagayan Valley Campus (Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya); and (4) Dr. Carla B. Dimalanta of the University of the Philippines-Diliman (Quezon City).

Soldier awardees, on the other hand are: (5) Lieutenant Colonel Francis A. Señoron PA of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, OJ4, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp Aguinaldo (Quezon City); (6) Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Ryan R. Seguin PAF of the 5th Fighter Wing, Basa Air Base (Floridablanca, Pampanga); and (7) Lieutenant Colonel Danilo T. Facundo PN(M) of the Marine Corps Force Development Center, Philippine Marine Corps (Taguig City).

Police officer awardees are: (8) Senior Police Officer 1 Aida L. Awitin of Davao Occidental Police Provincial Office (Malita, Davao Occidental); (9) Police Senior Inspector Dennis S. Ebsolo of the Villanueva Municipal Police Station (Villanueva, Misamis Oriental); and (10) Police Senior Superintendent Pascual G. Muñoz, Jr. of the Directorate for Logistics, Philippine National Police, Camp Crame (Quezon City).

Dr. Alma Janagap is an advocate of a culture of reading among students, believing it as the backbone of all wisdom and learning. As the English teacher and remedial adviser in Pavia National High School, she developed a school-based Reading Clinic—first of its kind in Region VI. The innovation eventually became a benchmarking model in the Division of Iloilo and has been replicated by 149 out of 179 schools. Her famous remedial classes have also extended through her immediate communities. Taking another shape through “Project Mind, Body and Soul” (MBS), Dr. Janagap personally visits houses in the neighborhood—where she does lectures on reading and writing skills, hygiene and nutritional needs, and building of spiritual character.

Dubbed as the Philippine Navy’s Joint and Interagency Champion, Lt.Col. Danilo Facundo has championed initiatives upholding diversity and equal opportunity within the military and among the communities he has vowed to serve. During his stint as the Commanding Officer of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 4 in Palawan, Lt. Col. Facundo led various inter-agency interventions to combat widespread insurgency and terrorism in the province. By so doing, there was zero kidnapping and zero terrorism related activities in Palawan in the entire duration of his term.

In his 28-year service, PSSupt. Pascual Muñoz, Jr. has proven himself exceptional both as a cop in the operational frontlines, and as an internal game-changer crafting policy changes to PNP’s internal woes. When he was the Director of the Laguna Provincial Police Office, he implemented new operational strategies to curtail pervasive drug trades and organized crime groups. In 2017, when he was lifted out of frontline duty to serve in the Camp Crame Headquarters, he did not falter in blazing trails towards the improvement of police services. He facilitated the conceptualization and formulation of policies streamlining service procedures for retirees and two support programs for a more transparent and expedient procurement of goods within the force.

The awardees were chosen by the distinguished members of the Final Board of Judges chaired by Senator Angara and co-chaired by Supreme Court of the Philippines Associate Justice Noel Tijam.

The other members include: Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Makati City Mayor Mar-Len Abigail Binay-Campos, De La Salle Philippines President Br. Armin Luistro, Philippine Business for Social Progress Chairperson Manuel Pangilinan, Rockwell Land, Inc. President & Chief Executive Officer Nestor Padilla and veteran journalist Ma. Teresa “Marites” Vitug.

The 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos awardees received a cash prize of P1 million each, a gold medallion, and a trophy during the 56th anniversary celebration of the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank) on September 7, 2018 (Friday) held at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. Makati City.

Metrobank Foundation, Inc. continues to uphold its legacy of honoring Filipino creativity through the recognition of new promising artists for the 2018 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE).

Two (2) Grand Awardees for the Painting Recognition Program and one (1) Grand Awardee for the Sculpture Recognition Program will be receiving a financial assistance worth P500,000 and the “Mula” glass trophy designed by 2009 Metrobank Prize for Achievement in Sculpture (MPAS) awardee Noell El Farol.

Meanwhile, two (2) other finalists for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas Category, Painting Recognition Program were given Special Citations for their remarkable artworks.

The awardees with be formally recognized at the 2018 MADE Awarding Ceremony and Exhibit Opening as part of the 56th anniversary celebration of the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank) on September 20, 2018.

The awardees also become members of the MADE-Network of Winners (MADE-NOW), the alumni organization of past MADE awardees implementing pay-it-forward projects that benefit marginalized sectors.

For more than three decades, MADE has since served as a platform to discover emerging names in the art scene. This year, the theme “Discover” invites painters and sculptors to immerse into a whole new experience—one that demands looking at the world with fresh eyes to discover the beauty in things mundane and overlooked.

MADE Painting Recognition Program

GRAND AWARDEE (OIL/ACRYLIC ON CANVAS)
Title: “Kanya-kanyang Tinik, Kanya-kanyang Landas, Iisa ang Ginagalawan”
Artist: Noel M. Elicana

Iloilo-based Noel Elicana is the Grand Awardee for the Oil/Acrylic on Canvas Category with his piece “Kanya-kanyang Tinik, Kanya-kanyang Landas, Iisa ang Ginagalawan.” Elicana, through representational surrealism, portrayed both creation and destruction in this award-winning piece.

A tree rooted in the artist’s deep familiarity of his hometown in Oton, Iloilo, serves as the center of the composition where otherworldly figures and flowers spring. While death and destruction are represented through bones and vultures.

“Every single Filipino has their own yoke to carry. But no matter what their differences are, their eyes shine with positive thoughts. These people envision their dreams and are searching to unlock their journey,” said Elicana.

GRAND AWARDEE (WATERMEDIA ON PAPER)
Title: “Destroyed”
Artist: Alex P. Ordoyo

Grand Awardee Alex Ordoyo portrayed the devastation that enveloped Marawi City through his monochromatic piece entitled “Destroyed.”

The painting stitches the various features of the capital city of Lanao del Sur through the presentation of the destroyed urban landscape — ruined houses, establishments, mosques and fleeing figures.

In the spirit of representational cubism, the work frustrates perspective or any point of entry to sensibly navigate the piece, so much so that the viewer is confronted by the full intensity of a wreckage.

Ordoyo reminds us that war is not something in the distant past, consigned to history, but a continuous looming threat hovering even in this second decade of the new millennium. As Marawi begins its slow but sure-footed rehabilitation, “Destroyed” is a dire warning that, without our radical search for justice, something as destructive threatens to happen again.

SPECIAL CITATION (OIL/ACRYLIC ON CANVAS)
Title: “The Sacrifice”
Artist: Francis Eugene E. Andrade

Bulaceño artist Francis Eugene Andrade’s “The Sacrifice” grabbed a Special Citation for its remarkable message tackling a mother’s undying love for her children.

The piece is a domestic portrait evoked through the symbolism of clothings. A mother’s silken dress, crumpled and dejected, is draped on the cover of a sewing machine while three clothes paired with hats depicting the children’s occupations are displayed on the wall.

Delicately mended, each dress exhibits wear and tear as well as an entire history of smears and stains. While the “The Sacrifice” alludes to the mother, this also extends to the children as they grapple with life’s struggles.

Rendered in sepia with its subtle effects of chiaroscuro and with the dresses being old-fashioned, the work offers a simple but no less moving testament to parental love that doesn’t count the cost.

SPECIAL CITATION (OIL/ACRYLIC ON CANVAS)
Title: “The Diminishing Memories of Home”
Artist: Roland F. Llarena

Completing the trio of artists from Iloilo, Roland Llarena’s “The Diminishing Memories of Home” touches upon notions of departure.

Evoking the desaturated coloration of a faded photograph, the work features an ancestral house that already shows signs of ruin and degradation.

Juxtaposed to this ancestral house is a trolley bag, painted realistically, ready to be wheeled away and his decision to paint the luggage with the colors of the flag symbolizes not only of the experience of overseas Filipino workers but also our diasporic culture as a whole.

For Llarena, “home is where the heart is”—a transportable, moveable thing. What will replace the old is something that may be not tangible but is more persistent and long-lasting.

MADE Sculpture Recognition Program GRAND AWARDEE
Title: “Interconnected”
Artist: Maria Ronna Lara-Bes

Maria Ronna Lara-Bes won this year’s Grand Award for the Sculpture Recognition Program with “Interconnected,” a medley of spheres and lines symbolizing binding ties.

With three equidistant spheres representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as a base, the indoor sculpture is interconnected by “stems” inspired by different indigenous fabrics and stainless spheres of varying sizes that serve as vital connecting nodes of the composition.

While the sculpture is contemporary—even futuristic—in its sensibility, through the patterns, it gestures at our schools of living tradition.

“Interconnected” is a visual representation of how the disparate islands of our archipelago are bridged together by its people. Whether the connection may be that of “familiar bonds, regional ties, or social media.”

Lara-Bes’ sculpture embodies the deep and abiding bonds that shape our identity and shared experience. Elegant in its beauty and clarity, Interconnected manifests the perpetual hope for solidarity.

For this year’s MADE Sculpture Recognition Program, sculptors were challenged to design an artistic and modern indoor public art installation at the Atrium Lobby of Met Live, a three-level upscale mall in the Metro Park complex located at Macapagal Boulevard, cor. EDSA Extension in Pasay City.

Serving as the signature art centerpiece of the mall, the artwork should personify the visual design identity of Met Live which is described as “threads of fabric, fashion, and architecture all woven together creating an artisanal and innovative characteristic that is ethnic-inspired yet versatile, artful yet progressive.”

This year’s MADE Painting Recognition Program Final Board of Judges was chaired by one of the country’s leading art critic and 13-time MADE judge Cid Reyes. Members of the Board included 1993 Metrobank Annual Painting Competition winner Alfredo Esquillo, Jr., award-winning visual artist Marina Cruz and curator Ricky Francisco and esteemed member of the academe and art community, Professor Leo Abaya.

Meanwhile, the MADE Sculpture Recognition Program Final Board of Judges was headed by multimedia artist and 1990 Metrobank Annual Painting Competition winner Mark Justiniani. Members of the Board included award-winning international sculptor Daniel dela Cruz, multimedia artist Gerardo Tan, Interdisciplinary artist Josephine Turalba, and sculptor Reginald Yuson.

Now on its 34th year, MADE has set the benchmark among the country’s art competitions, raising the general public’s appreciation for the arts through exhibits and lectures and has long served as the career launch pad of the country’s most admired contemporary artists and sculptors. Among its past awardees are Elmer Borlongan, Mark Justiniani, Jan Leeroy New, Salvador “Buddy” Ching, and Andres Barrioquinto.

Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (Metrobank), through its corporate social responsibility arm, Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and the Ty Family foundation, the GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), awarded P20 million worth of financial assistance to 36 development organizations during the annual Anniversary Grants Turnover ceremony last September 7, 2018 at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium, Makati City.

Metrobank Chairman Arthur Ty, together with GTFI President and and Federal Land Chairman Alfred Ty and MBFI President and GTFI Executive Director Aniceto Sobrepeña led the ceremonies while Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III graced the event as the Guest of Honor.

MBFI and GTFI work with socio-civic organizations, non-government organizations and government agencies for the implementation of programs and projects for the underprivileged and marginalized sectors towards the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The grants program’s priority thrusts are captured by the acronym HEAL — health, education, arts, and livelihood.

“It is easy to think that small gestures of love and service might not go very far in solving the country’s pressing problems. There will always be much to do, but very little act leaves a big impact towards realizing a better country, a better nation,” said Sobrepeña.

Healthier communities

One of the 36 beneficiaries that received assistance from GTFI is Plan International, Inc. for the construction of three (3) Barangay Health Stations with birthing facilities in Western Samar and Maguindanao. When completed, the health station will give 6,550 locals access to primary and maternal health care.

On the other hand, MBFI’s grant to the Office of the Vice President’s flagship program Angat Buhay will help install a functional electrical water pump machine in Villa Fria Elementary School and provide hygiene kits to more than 1,000 children in eight (8) elementary schools in Agutaya, Palawan.

Accessible and quality education

Aiding students in Siayan Zamboanga del Norte, GTFI, on the other hand, is funding Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, Inc.’s construction of a female dormitory that will serve as a halfway home for students who spend hours of land travel to reach the school. In line with GTFI’s goal to ensure access to quality education, the dormitory will save the students from the troubles of traveling to unsafe and long terrains during the weekday.

MBFI continues to invest in education programs seeking to improve the conditions of students and teachers according to needs specific to a community. MBFI, through the Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology, Inc., is providing 600 public school chemistry teachers in NCR, Benguet, Quezon, Eastern Samar, Bohol and Maguindanao with Hands-On, Minds-On Microscale Chemistry (HOMOMICH) kits complementing the K-12 curriculum. Through plenary lectures, discussions, demonstrations and hands-on activities, the program seeks to develop teaching approaches of local science educators.

Healing through arts

As arts is also seen as a tool for healing, MBFI supports Pahingalayan ng Bayani, a creative retreat for Filipino soldiers seeking for a safe space and peaceful respite from stress and anxiety using different art modalities. ArtPsych Circle, Inc.’s, a civil society organization composed of psychologists and psychology practitioners, program primarily caters to soldiers wounded in action in need of psychological assistance.

Sustainable livelihoods

As a continuing partnership, MBFI gave grants to Hineleban Foundation for technical trainings, values formation and provision of supplies and equipment to indigenous coffee farmers in Bukidnon. Hineleban’s advocacy to reforest the high mountain ranges of Mindanao is attained by providing the locals with sustainable livelihoods through the Transformational Business Partnerships model.

MBFI is also supporting Caritas Margins’ entrepreneurial skills trainings for selected urban poor communities in NCR and CALABARZON as well as their product development coaching for partner micro-enterprises and improvement of some of their kiosks and stores.

Established in 1979, MBFI, through its Grants Program, continues to forge more partnerships with like-minded organizations who share in their mission in helping heal the Filipino one grant at a time.

The Senate of the Philippines honored this year’s Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos—consisting of 4 teachers, 3 soldiers, and 3 police officers—in a plenary session held last September 3, 2018.

The 17th Congress passed Resolution No. ___ authored by Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara, chairperson of the Final Board of Judges, Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay-Angeles, Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero and Senator Gregorio “Gringo” B. Honasan II to commend the achievements of the awardees. Senate President Vicente “Tito” C. Sotto III led the ceremonies.

The Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos is a prestigious career-service award for Filipino exemplars in the academe, military, and police sectors.

Guided by the theme of “Beyond Excellence”, a Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino is recognized for rendering service above and beyond his/her call of duty. His/her 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.

Teacher awardees are: (1) Mary Jane S. Ramo of Tonggo Elementary School (Tudela, Misamis Occidental); (2) Dr. Alma S. Janagap of Pavia National High School (Pavia, Iloilo); (3) Dr. Aimee Marie C. Gragasin of Philippine Science High School-Cagayan Valley Campus (Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya); and (4) Dr. Carla B. Dimalanta of the University of the Philippines-Diliman (Quezon City).

Soldier awardees, on the other hand are: (5) Lieutenant Colonel Francis A. Señoron PA of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, OJ4, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp Aguinaldo (Quezon City); (6) Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Ryan R. Seguin PAF of the 5th Fighter Wing, Basa Air Base (Floridablanca, Pampanga); and (7) Lieutenant Colonel Danilo T. Facundo PN(M) of the Marine Corps Force Development Center, Philippine Marine Corps (Taguig City).

Police officer awardees are: (8) Senior Police Officer 1 Aida L. Awitin of Davao Occidental Police Provincial Office (Malita, Davao Occidental); (9) Police Senior Inspector Dennis S. Ebsolo of the Villanueva Municipal Police Station (Villanueva, Misamis Oriental); and (10) Police Senior Superintendent Pascual G. Muñoz, Jr. of the Directorate for Logistics, Philippine National Police, Camp Crame (Quezon City).

Delivering a message on behalf of the awardees, Dr. Dimalanta said “being an Outstanding Filipino today means not only having the love and burning passion to be of service to others in one capacity but going above and beyond the call of duty.”

Dr. Dimalanta, Philippines’ First Female Exploration Geophysicist with a Doctoral Degree, delves in researches that provide answers to geoscientific problems in the Philippines, such as assessment of landslide hazards, investigating gold mineralization, and identifying sources of groundwater for coastal communities. A professor in the UP Diliman, her works on climate change and disaster risk reduction are integrated into UP’s General Education classes.

Dubbed as Philippine Air Force’s Freedom Warfighter, Lt. Col. Seguin was among the dauntless few who directed aerial missions instrumental in scoring back victory against the Maute group during the five-month-long armed conflict in Marawi last year. Outside his usual duty, he spearheaded the planning and implementation of the Adopt-a-Barangay program for the Aeta community of Barangay Nabuclod in Floridablanca, Pampanga which provided the community a supplication of potable water system, medical and dental services, feeding programs, tree planting activities, and the occasional children’s parties and storytelling activities.

PS/Insp. Ebsolo, Misamis Oriental’s Horse-Mounted Cop, initiated the use of horses in patrolling the hinterland barangays covered by the Cagayan de Oro Police Station 8. It was instrumental in the arrest of numerous robbery and murder suspects, and the capture of high-profile drug offenders involved in elusive trades within the province. Beyond his command office, he spearheaded the Suroy Bata (loosely translated as “Fieldtrip for the Children”) which lets the entire police force treats the children—coming from lumad families and marginalized communities in the hinterlands—to a day of learning and enjoyment by touring them to places in the Cagayan de Oro metropolis.

The awardees were chosen by the distinguished members of the Final Board of Judges chaired by Senator Angara and co-chaired by Supreme Court of the Philippines Associate Justice Noel G. Tijam.

The other members include: Department of Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, Makati City Mayor Mar-Len Abigail Binay-Campos, De La Salle Philippines President Br. Armin A. Luistro, Philippine Business for Social Progress Chairperson Manuel V. Pangilinan, Rockwell Land, Inc. President & Chief Executive Officer Nestor J. Padilla and veteran journalist Ma. Teresa “Marites” B.Vitug.

Each 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos will receive a cash prize of P1 million each, a gold medallion, and a trophy during the 56th anniversary celebration of the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank) on September 7, 2018 (Friday) to be held at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. Makati City.

This year’s Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos have been revealed during a press conference held on August 9 in Quezon City. As a career-service award for Filipino exemplars in the academe, military, and police sectors—ten (10) Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos were presented, consisting of 4 teachers, 3 soldiers, and 3 police officers to the members of the media. Each awardee will receive a cash prize of PhP 1 million each (net of tax), a gold medallion, and a trophy.

Guided by the theme of “Beyond Excellence”, a Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino is recognized for rendering service above and beyond his/her call of duty. His/her 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.

For the award for teachers: (1) Mary Jane S. Ramo, Master Teacher II, Tonggo Elementary School (Tudela, Misamis Occidental); (2) Alma S. Janagap Ed.D., Master Teacher II, Pavia National High School (Pavia, Iloilo); (3) Aimee Marie C. Gragasin, Ph.D., Special Science Teacher V, Philippine Science High School-Cagayan Valley Campus (Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya); (4) Carla B. Dimalanta, Ph.D., Professor X, University of the Philippines Diliman (Quezon City).

For the award for soldiers: (5) Major Francis Señoron PA, Assistant Division Chief, Logistics Management Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, OJ4, Armed Forces of the Philippines (Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City); (6) Lieutenant Colonel Danilo Facundo PN(M), Director, Mobile Training and Exercise Unit, Marine Corps Force Development Center (Philippine Marine Corps, Taguig City); (7) Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Ryan R. Seguin PA, Squadron Commander, 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 5th Fighter Wing, Basa Air Base Philippine Air Force (Floridablanca, Pampanga).

And for the award for police officers: (8) Senior Police Officer 1 Aida Awitin, Assistant Police Community Relations Police Non-Commissioned Officer, Davao Occidental Police Provincial Office (Malita, Davao Occidental); (9) Police Senior Inspector Dennis Ebsolo, Ph.D., Chief of Police, Villanueva Municipal Police Station (Villanueva, Misamis Oriental); and (10) Police Senior Superintendent Pascual Muñoz, Ph.D., Chief, Supply Chain Management Division, Directorate for Logistics of the Philippine National Police (Camp Crame, Quezon City).

“We again present 10 Outstanding Filipinos who embody the best in our people and are recognized for their steadfast commitment to inspire change for others to emulate,” said Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña. “Their stories of triumph and resilience inspire us, as individuals and as a community, to strengthen our commitment to building a better future for our nation. It is our privilege to let their light shine so that many more may benefit from their example,” he continued.

The awardees underwent a rigorous selection process and were selected from hundreds of nominations. A Board of Assessors, composed of members from the government, academe, military, and media sectors, pre-determined the semi-finalists through document review. The accomplishments of the semi-finalists were field validated by third-party organizations, the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC) and the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP). The field validation determined 19 finalists whose work has inspired and influenced their peers as well as the larger community with a lasting positive impact.

The 19 finalists were interviewed by a multi-sectoral Final Board of Judges chaired by Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara and co-chaired by Supreme Court of the Philippines associate justice Noel Tijam. The other members include: Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary Menardo Guevarra; Makati City mayor Mar-Len Abigail Binay-Campos; De La Salle Philippines president Br. Armin Luistro; Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) chairman Manuel Pangilinan; Rockwell Land, Inc. president and chief executive officer Nestor Padilla; and veteran journalist Ma. Teresa Vitug.

Joining the ranks of 655 outstanding public servants recognized by MBFI since 1985, the awardees will be honored during the formal conferment ceremonies on September 7, 2018 at the Metrobank Plaza, Makati City as part of Metrobank’s 56th anniversary celebration.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) announces the 19 finalists of the 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos who will undergo the final selection process on July 27 and 28 at the Metrobank Plaza in Makati City.

Finalists for the teachers category are: Venus Alboruto, PhD of Surigao City National High School (Surigao City); Carina De Los Santos of Uyugan Elementary School (Uyugan, Batanes); Carla Dimalanta, PhD of the University of the Philippines–Diliman (Quezon City); Aimee Marie Gragasin of Philippine Science High School–Cagayan Valley Campus (Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya); Alma Janagap, EdD of Pavia National High School (Pavia, Iloilo); Mary Jane Ramo of Tonggo Elementary School (Tudela, Misamis Occidental); and Ma. Mercedes Rodrigo, PhD of Ateneo De Manila University (Quezon City).

For the soldiers category, the finalists are: Captain Jeffrey Buada of the 15th Scout Ranger Company, 5th Scout Ranger Battalion, Philippine Army (Talipao, Sulu); Lieutenant Colonel Danilo Facundo PN(M) of the Mobile Training and Exercise Unit, Marine Corps Force Development Center, Philippine Marine Corps (Taguig City); Staff Sergeant Joseph Hulibayan of the Scout Platoon, 26th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army (Talacogon, Agusan del Sur); Major Rhanjee Lao of the 470th Maintenance and Supply Group, 220th Airlift Wing, BGen Benito Ebuen Air Base, Philippine Air Force (Lapu-Lapu City); Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Ryan Seguin of the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 5th Fighter Wing, Basa Air Base, Philippine Air Force (Floridablanca, Pampanga); and Major Francis Señoron of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Armed Forces of the Philippines (Quezon City).

Lastly, the finalists for the police officers category are: Police Superintendent Jack Angog of First Special Action Battalion, PNP Special Action Force (Santiago, Agusan del Norte); Senior Police Officer 1 Aida Awitin of Davao Occidental Police Provincial Office (Malita, Davao Occidental); Police Senior Inspector Dennis Ebsolo of Misamis Oriental Police Provincial Office (Villanueva, Misamis Oriental); Police Chief Inspector Ronald Lao of Talomo Police Station, Davao City Police Office (Talomo District, Davao City); Police Senior Superintendent Pascual Muñoz, Jr. of Supply Management Division, Directorate for Logistics, Philippine National Police, Camp Crame (Quezon City); and Senior Police Officer 1 Mary Joy Ylanan of Bogo City Police Station (Bogo City, Cebu).

Of the 19 finalists, ten (10) Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos–composed of 4 teachers, 3 soldiers, and 3 police officers will be selected for going above and beyond the call of duty in their respective pursuits of service to the nation and its citizenry.

The awardees will be honored during Metrobank’s 56th anniversary celebration in September. Each of them will receive one million pesos worth of cash prize, a trophy, and a medallion. They will also be conferred as 2018 Metrobank Foundation Fellows in Public Service and given the opportunity to share their best practices through lectures across the country.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) received nine (9) awards at the recently concluded 16th Philippine Quill Awards organized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)-Philippines. Held on July 9, 2018 at the Grand Ballroom of Marriott Hotel in Pasay City, MBFI took home six (6) Quill Awards of Excellence and three (3) Quill Awards of Merits under the divisions: Communication Management and Communication Skills.

MBFI emerged as among the most-awarded organizations that night from among over 870 entries by hundreds of institutions nationwide, qualifying the Foundation as one of the finalists for the coveted Company of the Year award—not to mention the only corporate foundation among the roster.

Under the Communication Management Division, the “2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos” received a Quill Award of Excellence. Guided by the theme “Beyond Excellence”, the program recognizes exemplary teachers, soldiers, and police officers who render service above and beyond their call of duties. In 2017, ten (10) Outstanding Filipinos—composed of four (4) teachers, three (3) soldiers, and three (3) police officers—have been recognized for their accomplishments that have inspired and influenced their peers and the people in their communities. In keeping with the prestige of the award, MBFI introduced higher qualifying eligibility requirements; strategic information campaigns; rigorous field validation process; judging rounds chaired by distinguished individuals across various sectors; and carefully thought out events management during the week-long recognition activities.

Another Quill Award of Excellence went to MBFI grant-making initiatives, “Grants and Social Development Partnerships”, that help raise the quality of life of the poorest, most vulnerable, and underserved sectors of society. To realize the HEAL (health, education, arts, and livelihood) as priority thrusts and guiding framework in forging partnerships with social development partners, more strategic and responsive approaches were implemented on its grants administration. In 2017, there was a recorded increase in supporting high-impact Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-related projects and specific interventions under the HEAL thrusts. The network of social development partners was expanded to those which implement long-term and high-impact programs and projects.

On the other hand, “2017 National Teachers’ Month (NTM)” also took home a Quill Award of Excellence. A movement led by MBFI, together with the Department of Education and various multi-sectoral groups, NTM is held annually from September 5 to October 5. Guided by the “My Teacher, My Hero” theme, the idea is to engage the entire nation in joining the celebrations by bringing out the Teachers’ Day festivities from schools to the public sphere. On its 9th year, greater steps were taken in order to better highlight the role of teachers in nation-building.

“2017 Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC)” was also awarded a Quill Award of Excellence. As the longest running and the most widely-participated annual mathematics competition for elementary and junior high school students in both public and private schools in the Philippines, former MMC winners represented the country and have won medals in international competitions.

Meanwhile, under the Communication Skills Division, the “2017 Graduates’ Forum “#Payit4ward: Service to 4Cs” and “2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos video shorts” were both awarded Quill Awards of Excellence. The 19th edition of the annual Graduates’ Forum for Class 2017 scholar graduates highlighted what makes an MBFI scholar different. A total of 91 scholar graduates finished their undergraduate degrees, from 21 universities and colleges nationwide, 23 of whom were Latin honorees–1 summa cum laude, 6 magna cum laude, and 16 cum laude. The Outstanding Filipinos video shorts, on the other hand, were products of collaboration with Pilipinas HD. A collection of vignettes and in-depth-stories, the video shorts narrate the inspirational stories of the 2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos.

Other winning entries include: “Exceletter”, the MBFI institutional newsletter; “Imagine: 2017 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) Awarding Ceremony & Exhibit Opening”; “Beyond Excellence” Metrobank Foundation 2016 Annual Report, each took home Quill Awards of Merit.

To date, MBFI has won 57 Philippine Quill for its various programs and public relations tools since 1986.

For more information on MBFI’s scholarship programs, please visit www.mbfoundation.org.ph

Metrobank Foundation, Inc.

4th floor, Executive Offices
Metrobank Plaza, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, 1200

(02) 857-5918 / (02) 898-8855
(02) 818-5656 / 750-0837

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