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Ingenuity must thrive inside and outside the classroom and, even, amidst crisis. This is the wisdom that Ms. Ma. Regaele A. Olarte, 2016 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Teacher, strives to sustain, especially now as she, her students, and co-teachers find themselves at the center of changes due to the pandemic.

One of the ways she does so is by continuing to lend her expertise as a science educator and Education Program Supervisor in the Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Muntinlupa. Now, a normal day for her consists of balancing and assisting in the implementation of various programs and projects in her Division, performing the duties of a pregnant work-form-home mom, and pursuing her doctorate degree at the University of the Philippines-Open University.

Good news greeted Ms. Olarte and her family before the onset of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila—she is pregnant with her third child. While this has placed her in the list of high risk or vulnerable groups, she copes with the situation by helping others get through this crisis.

Having this full plate is as tough as it sounds. Ms. Olarte, nonetheless, finds fulfillment in dedicating her service for other people. “I continue to offer whatever kind of service I can readily give to help other people during these times, because in that way, I also help myself in equal measure. Whether completing my daily tasks or delivering services beyond my duty, I never get burned out because I put joy in everything that I do,” she revealed.

Learning goes on

On top of her regular work, Ms. Olarte designs and produces numerous advocacy materials promoting the importance of continuing education amid the pandemic.

Her experience in enhancing and modifying instruction materials can be traced back several years ago when she was tapped to be one of the national authors of the DepEd Learners’ Materials, Teachers’ Guides, and other curriculum materials as part of the shift to the DepEd K-12 program.

At present, she serves as both writer and validator of self-learning modules for distance learning. In this capacity, she also actively disseminates relevant information on module utilization and shares her knowledge on module development among other writers nationwide.

Some of the materials designed and produced by Ms. Olarte

Science for the community and the future

Ms. Olarte is perhaps best known for promoting invention-driven instruction and enhancing science education in her school and in Muntinlupa. In her class, she empowers her students to observe, innovate, and explore their potential.

In 2008, Ms. Olarte initiated a program called “Invention-Driven Instructional Design and Innovation Transfer (I-DID IT)” geared towards balancing formal classroom-based instruction with finding solutions to real-life problems. The name itself underscores the maker-oriented nature of the initiative.

With I-DID IT, learners become creators, builders, designers, and producers by generating ideas, designing investigations, and implementing sustainable solutions that benefit their community.

Students have won in various invention and project-making competitions both locally and internationally. They were even able to patent their brainchild through the support of their school and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). This program is being implemented in the Division of Muntinlupa to this day.

Ms. Olarte believes that students’ curiosity and inventiveness continue to flourish despite the changes in the learning environment. She shared that through the Science Blog she started years ago, many students from all over country still reach out to her to consult about the conduct of scientific research and investigatory projects.

“This 2020 has shown us that the society is desperately in need of the next generation of problem-solvers, innovators, and inventors. By igniting the innate creativity and ingenuity of our Filipino learners, we’ll be able to “future-proof” our youth and create the resilience needed to meet global challenges, thus preparing our citizens for an ever-changing future,” she said.

Another notable impact of the I-DID IT program is the construction of the first-ever Chlorella Micro-farm in the Philippines, made possible by Ms. Olarte and her colleague and co-inventor, Jason Albaro.

This micro-farm is expected to yield algae harvest that can be turned into food supplements, medicine, and food fortification ingredients which will help address food security challenges in this new normal.

When the micro-farm was still a project proposal in 2019, it bested entries from all over the world in the Zayed Sustainability Prize hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government. It is an annual award recognizing “impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions” in health, food, energy, water and global high schools.

Ms. Olarte receiving the Zayed Sustainability Prize for the Chlorella Micro-farm project proposal in 2019

Ms. Olarte and Mr. Albaro received a grant from the UAE government to enable further development of the project. They are also closely coordinating with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and DOST for its sustainable operation.

Recently, Ms. Olarte presented the I-DID IT program to the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, and Futures Thinking during the Public Hearing on Senate Resolution Nos. 393 and 413. Also, her team created a website that details the project’s features, core thrusts, and activities.

Indeed, duty always calls, and Ms. Olarte is undeterred to respond whenever and however she can. She hopes that during this challenging period, her fellow teachers find joy in their ability to guide learners.

She has this to say, “remember that your labor is not in vain because every seed that you have sown in the lives of the students will eventually grow and bear much fruit in the future. Every act of selfless service can be much bigger and impactful than we realize. We can always choose to make a positive difference by tapping into our own strengths and abilities, sharing them, and matching them to the right opportunities.”

The virtual turnover ceremony was led by Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty, Metrobank president and MBFI trustee Fabian Dee and MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña on September 4, 2020 which was attended by key officers and representatives from beneficiary organizations.

Empowerment through dynamic partnerships has been at the heart of Metrobank’s anniversary for the many decades. This 2020, this rings true as it celebrates 58 meaningful years of being the people’s ally in progress. A total of PhP 30 million worth of grants was turned over to social development partners during its annual giving-back tradition, “Anniversary Grants Turnover Ceremony,” on September 4. To adhere to protocols, the event was held virtually attended by key officers and representatives from beneficiary organizations. Serving as Guest of Honor was Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones.

Department of Education secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones

During this unprecedented period, Metrobank shares in the aspiration of helping Filipinos, most especially the vulnerable and underserved, to get back on their feet. To sustain its commitment to help the national government in addressing the effects and impact of the health crisis to many lives, said donation is added to the previous PhP220 million donation of the company which funded and supported efforts to combat the pandemic.

“The theme of this year’s event is collaboration. In these unusual times, our actions may be physically limited but through strategic partnerships, we can still achieve our objectives by working together,” said Metrobank and MBFI chairman Arthur Ty. “We at Metrobank have always looked at our anniversaries as an opportunity to give back and help the vulnerable and marginalized. There is a lot of need in our country right now but we hope that these small steps lead us to look to the future with some optimism and hope. And we’re grateful to our development partners for helping make this vision a reality,” he added.

Coursed through its social arm, Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and Ty family’s GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), this year’s batch of beneficiary organizations received financial aid to implement their programs on health, education, arts, livelihood, and nutrition.

One with the League to Promote Hand Hygiene

As a member of the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF), MBFI will support #LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya Program. Collaborating with fellow corporate foundations, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities will be constructed in select public schools nationwide in compliance to the ‘Guidelines on the Required Health Standards in Basic Education Offices and Schools’ (DepEd Order No. 014 s. 2020) which covers the protection of health, safety, and well-being of students, teachers, and personnel. To complement the facility, hygiene kits and supplies will also be provided.

MBFI’s donation will benefit almost 29 thousand students from 20 schools in Pasig, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Marikina, including La Union, Bulacan, Laguna, Rizal, Zamboanga City and Davao City.

Paddling Farther to Reach More Geographically-Isolated Schools

To reach out to more geographically-isolated schools, MBFI renewed its 7-year partnership with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation. This time, not only to provide physical access to education for schoolchildren in the form or boats and school dormitories, MBFI will also provide in-kind donation of printers, copiers and risograph machines to aid teachers in the reproduction of the modules and learning materials. The donation shall benefit more than 20 thousand students from 39 schools in the provinces of Cebu, Romblon, Zamboanga Sibugay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Pampanga, Zambales, Bulacan, Basilan, Siargao, Tarlac, Capiz, Zamboanga del Sur, and Sulu.

Photo from the Department of Education

Meanwhile, another donation of printers, copiers and risograph machines will go directly to select Department of Education public schools to benefit more than 23 thousand students from Manila, Navotas, Makati, Laguna, Sarangani, Leyte, Antique, Dipolog, Nueva Ecija, Iligan, Cavite, Iloilo, and Tarlac.

Art Community Gets Boost of Support

To further solidify support for the local art community, MBFI extended cash assistance to 200 visual artists whose main source of living was impacted by the crisis. Dubbed as MADE CARES (Metrobank Art & Design Excellence–Community Aid and Relief for Emergency Situations), past awardees of MADE Painting and Sculpture Recognition Programs, including eligible Filipino painters and sculptors have applied for the amelioration program.

Ministry to Curb Poverty

Another partnership renewed is that of the International Care Ministries (ICM). As a non-profit organization, ICM provides help, hope and change to impoverished families in Visayas and Mindanao. Through their integrated poverty solutions, 100 thousand ultra-poor Filipinos are assisted each year.

The donation will support their Transform and Prevail programs aimed at training and mentoring families living in ultra-poor communities on livelihood building skills. Transform is ICM’s core strategic program, designed to address the wide range of needs faced by families living in ultrapoverty. Transform starts by creating supportive environments for hope to grow, then invests in building capacity for sustainable progress out of poverty. Prevail, on the other hand, is a support network for savings groups that promotes sustainability towards greater financial inclusion. The assistance will cater to 222 households (1,110 individuals) from six (6) communities in the province Cebu.

‘Kindness Kitchen’ Goes South

From its previous donation to support the ‘Kindness Kitchen’ program of Ronald McDonald’s House Charities of the Philippines (RMHC) that served hot meals to 40 thousand individuals from NCR last April 2020, MBFI will fund additional feeding activities. This time, families and frontliners from the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu Lapu, and Davao province will be reached out, other than NCR.

GT Foundation Steps Up Tech-Voc Program

GTFI, the family foundation of the late Dr. George Ty Siao Kian, believes that quality education and equitable healthcare are basic needs that should be made accessible to the underprivileged. Since 2009, philanthropic initiatives of the family are realized through GTFI’s strategic development programs in the areas of health, education, and technology and innovation.

Through its Scholarships for Technical-Vocational Education Program (STEP), out-of-school youth and underprivileged students can gain access to quality education that enable them to gain immediate employment. Scholars of some of the best technical-vocational education and training schools in the country with industry tie-ups for guaranteed employment are supported. The virtual event served as an opportunity to renew the partnership with Dualtech Training Center, Don Bosco Technical Institute, and Punlaan School. Over a period of three (3) years, 150 Dualtech scholars will be supported to meet the manpower demands of specific industries. On the other hand, the 3-year partnership with the Don Bosco Technical Institute will support the technical skills education of 135 scholars from their 3 centers. Lastly, 24 scholars of Punlaan School will have the opportunity to gain proper skills training on hospitality and culinary arts through a 4-year agreement.

Extending Healthcare Privileges to Indigents

Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH) serves as the healthcare affiliate of MBFI which offers social services to indigent patients such as hospitalization and consultation subsidies, medical missions, and other health-related interventions in select communities. Through the annual financial support of GTFI, the corporate social responsibility programs of MDH such as quality non-discriminatory inpatient and outpatient services and surgical operations will reach out to more indigent Filipinos in need of medical assistance.

Laptops and Tablets for Blended Learning

To complement the national government’s groundwork for a blended learning approach for the school year, GTFI launched Project PERFORM (Provision of Equipment to Reinforce Facility of Online and Remote Modality of Learning). The program is targeting to give laptops and tablets to more than 600 qualified students from public and techvoc schools, as well as GTFI and MBFI scholars.

“Sharing has been at the core of Metrobank’s anniversary for the last 58 years. Grants turned over to our partners are intended to benefit those whom they are helping. Our donations are expressions of gratefulness ingrained in our institutional culture,” expressed MBFI president and GTFI executive director Aniceto Sobrepeña. “As we pursue these ideals, we do so honoring the memory of our founder Dr. George Ty Siao Kian. He envisioned a bequest that would go well beyond his lifetime, enabling and ennobling men to build a world where sound health, quality education, and productive lives are everyone’s portion,” he concluded.

2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Police Officers
Social worker, computer genius, lawyer-strategist: The many hats of today’s police heroes

By May Dedicatoria

Ask a young Filipino chap on what he wants to become when he grows up, and he might answer with conviction: “a police.” Young or old, every Filipino feels the need to improve the strength of the uniformed personnel. The Philippine National Police (PNP) even eyes a 1:489 police-to-population ratio by 2022. But more than increasing police visibility, everyone hopes to see all police officers putting their best foot forward — exhibiting leadership, professionalism and excellence.

The annual Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos is one with the community in recognizing exemplary servants from the police sector. For 2019, it honors three police officers, namely, Police Chief Master Sergeant Marsha Agustin, RSW, investigator, Women and Children Protection Center, Philippine National Police (PNP) Headquarters, Camp Crame (Quezon City); Police Major Robert Reyes, technical support officer, Counter Intelligence Task Force, PNP Headquarters; and Police Colonel Edwin Quilates, provincial director, Batangas Police Provincial Office, Camp Miguel C. Malvar (Batangas City).

Camp Crame’s Anti-Human Trafficking Crusader

After Agustin graduated with a degree in Social Work at Saint Paul University in Tuguegarao City, she wished to land on a job that saves lives. Little did she know that she would enter the PNP, which opened the door to realize her vision.

“As a police officer, it is fulfilling to bring justice to every victim and help them recover to their normal life. It is not just the responsibility of a police officer to respond to the criminal concerns of clients, but to ensure that their welfare is of paramount consideration,” shares Agustin, who is a doting mother of two.

Through her leadership, the Women and Children Protection Center of Camp Crame adopted the Social Worker-Police Investigative Technique in Handling Cases Involving Women and Children Victims, an interviewing technique that recognizes the needed age- and gender-sensitive approach.

Agustin also co-authored the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Manual being widely used by the PNP when handling Trafficking in Persons cases. The project aligns with the new provisions of the Republic Act No. 10364 known as the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.”

PNP’s Premier Cyber Cop

Reyes also chose to merge crime prevention with another specialization that’s also close to his heart — computer science. Being a police officer was his childhood dream, but his mother did not allow him, for fear of the profession’s risk and danger.

His career accomplishments trace 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 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.

“My main source of fulfillment as a police officer is the appreciation of the people, who I rendered services and people who I worked with. It is truly fulfilling to receive even a simple gesture of gratitude every time I do something, though I am not waiting for any of it, since what I am doing is my job,” he shares.

Batangas’ Vanguard of Public Safety

Batangas Police provincial director Edwin Quilates wants to be remembered as a police officer with the motto, “Para sa bayan.” And his 25 years in service is more than enough to showcase his strong passion to his duty as a public servant, going against big personalities in campaigns against illegal drugs and terrorism.

“Most of my experiences seem to adopt a parallelism in the famous quote of FPJ, ‘Huwag niyo kaming bibigyan ng kahit katiting na lead dahil kahit butas ng karayom, papasukin namin’,” says the real-life Da King, who is also a practicing lawyer. “Every time we make an operation successful, it gives peace in our minds that we are another step closer to a peaceful nation.”

Quilates triggered the launch of Oplan Iron Curtain, which is hailed as “best practice” and key to the successful arrests of notorious criminals, resulting to lower crime rate in the province and in the entire CALABARZON region.

He also initiated Agapay Kabayan, a community extension program benefiting over 7,000 residents in Batangas City; Oplan Balik Armas, which has been adopted by CALABARZON to effectively prevent illegal use of firearms; and Simula ng Pag-asa (SIPAG) Program, which focuses rehabilitating surrenderees.

Lt. Col. John Paul D. Baldomar, PA

2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino
Conferment Ceremonies, September 4, 2019

Our esteemed Guest of Honor House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano;
Metrobank and Metrobank Foundation chairman Arthur V. Ty;
Distinguished officials from the government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, academe, and the Philippine National Police;
Members of the diplomatic corps;
Distinguished members of the Final Board of Judges chaired by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian and co-chaired by Justice Alexander Gesmundo;
Board of Assessors;
Metrobank vice chairman Francis Sebastian;
Metrobank Foundation trustee and Federal Land chairman Alfred Ty;
Metrobank president Fabian Dee;
Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña;
Other members of the board of trustees, advisers, and officers of the Metrobank Foundation;
Officers of the Rotary Clubs of New Manila East and Makati Metro;
Fellow Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos;
Families, Friends, ladies and gentlemen;

Good evening!

I am deeply elated and truly honored to be standing in front of this distinguished audience as one of the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos for 2019. This recognition is one of, if not the highest moment in my life. Since the announcement of the result, a lot has already happened. Among of which is people would greet and congratulate me but on the side lines would jokingly ask for a share of the cash prize being a new millionaire. I believe my fellow awardees can also relate to this. But what really concerns me most is when people ask me, “What’s the secret to win the award? How did I do it?”. Well tonight, this would be the first time I’m gonna talk about that secret and the answer is very simple …”I don’t know!” I really do not know how I did it. But instead allow me to tell you some defining moments in my life as a public servant in my effort to answer the question.

Since my second lieutenant years, I have always kept a life verse … a biblical promise that I always claim and hold on to which says… “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29: 11-13). However, 16 years ago, that promise was tested. It was when I find myself fighting for my life in the hospital after being wounded-in-action and suffering from an almost damaged left lung. It was a near death experience. I was then on the verge of considering the possibility of being medically discharged from the military service. I said to myself, “This is it, the end of my military career.” I was full of frustration and bitterness. I resented and blamed God. How could he allow such a tragic thing to happen? Why would God allow me to live and yet some of my men, good men died, leaving behind their very young families.

Little did I know that God is not yet done with my life. I remember when I met a fine military officer who is so passionate in his service as a soldier. Out of curiosity I asked him, “sir after all the frustrations, issues and problems in the AFP, why do you still wanted to stay in the military?” He looked at me, paused for a few seconds, smiled and said…”the Armed Forces needs good and godly men to serve our country”… good and godly men to serve our country. That very day, I challenged myself to be the best that I could be in everything. After God gave me my second life, I again started to believe that He really does have a plan and a future for me, and that God might have something more for me to accomplish. Few months later, I found myself reporting back to my unit in the frontline while at the same time working very hard to physically recover from my injuries. Then the rest was history.

Who would have ever thought that months after that, I and my men would be instrumental in helping 95 displaced Tiruray families in Maguindanao. After being dislodged from their ancestral lands, they are now a transformed community; have shelters for their families; schools for their children; and livelihood to meet their basic daily needs. That after 18 years, from 95 families without a home, they have now grown into more than 300 families living peacefully in three Sitios of Maguindanao.

Who would ever imagine, that together with my team, we would be a part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ journey for genuine transformation through its Transformation Roadmap-a desire of every soldier, airmen, sailor, and marine that the AFP will be relevant to the Filipino people.

Today, I stand in front of you, truly privileged yet humbled because I know this was made possible through the goodness of God. I stand knowing that the story of my success is not mine alone. It is rather just a small part of the stories of people who’s been an instrument to influence my life. Allow me to share their stories.

This is the story of my mother, who decided to rear me despite the challenges and trials of her pregnancy. Who sacrificed a lot yet decided to give me life. This is the story of my Tatay Emin who is now with our creator. He taught me valuable lessons in life as a World War II veteran who once fought for the freedom that we are enjoying right now.

This is the story of my family, who sacrificed a lot trying to understand why I was so dedicated to serve my country and yet cannot even give them the time they deserve. The story of my wife Michelle who stood firm and supported me in every situation and trials in my career and in our lives. The story of my kids MJ and Yana who never failed to make me smile despite an exhausting day. You are the people whom I wanted to be most proud of me.

This is the story of my men in the frontlines who silently had given so much for our country. A testament of men who doesn’t get recognized yet continuously work and serve with dedication, accomplishing even the tasks that are beyond their mandates. They entrusted their lives to me and have treated me more than a brother. Together we rejoiced in times of victory and mourn in times of despair. They are the persons who genuinely love our country without asking anything in return.

This is the story of the Tiruray Community in Maguindanao, who suffered so much yet choose to live in peace. They have proven that transformation of an entire community is possible, if desired. They have shown us sincerity and loyalty and are willing to give up their lives for the friendship that we shared. They have taught us life’s important lessons about persistence, contentment, loyalty and friendship.

This is the story of my men who made the ultimate sacrifice. The stories of the late Cpl Grejaldo, Cpl Bayoneta, and CAA Bonbon Ulubalang, who sacrificed their lives just to save mine. Without them I would not be here right now. They have taught me the importance of our brotherhood that is thicker than blood. I know you are looking down at me right now from heaven, this recognition is for you. Thank you for your service. Your sacrifices will never be forgotten.

This is also the story of my mentors and seniors, who guided me in knowing the difference between right and wrong. They are the people who never withhold the chance to praise and yet know when to privately correct my mistakes. They are the people who offered their wisdom and knowledge and even shared their lives with me.

This is the story of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ journey for genuine transformation. A journey of men and women who places high value on honor, service, and patriotism. A journey of dedication and commitment to always protect the Filipino people, the constitution, and the sovereignty of our state.

This is also the story of my fellow awardees, who selflessly committed their lives as public servants. They are the people who faced challenges yet never backed down because they know that greatness is born out from those who were tested much like our outstanding teachers: Dr. Dorothy Tarol, Dr. Cristina Cristobal, Dr. Ricardo Jose, and Dr. Eva Cutiongco-de la Paz. They strived for excellence and worked passionately to prepare the next generations of Filipinos. This is a story of service-oriented police officers who always find fulfillment in helping others like our police awardees: PCol Edwin Quilates, PMaj Robert Reyes, and PCMS Marsha Agustin. They choose to give their lives to the noble profession of serving and protecting the Filipino people. Stories of valor and courage of my fellow soldier awardees: Maj Romulo Dimayuga and MSgt Ramil Caporas. They adopted the profession of arms and took the road less travelled of selfless service to our nation with the aspiration of making a difference.

This is also a story of Dr. George Ty’s legacy through the Metrobank Foundation. The story of giving importance in doing our jobs “beyond excellence” in order to make a difference and help our country become great again. The story of continuously inspiring Filipinos to be a source of hope and provide a lasting positive impact in the lives of our countrymen.

And most importantly this is a story of God’s goodness in my life. A story of grace given even though it is undeserved. A story of God’s plan for me. Plans to prosper, for hope, and a promising future. This is a story of how God has given me my second life and how He will use it to impact the lives of others. To God be all the glory and honor. He alone deserves all the praises for this award!

In behalf of my fellow awardees, I would like to close with an answer to the previous question, “how did we do it.” “How did we win the award?” And this is the best answer we got. Maybe what we did in our lives as public servants was not actually aimed to win an award, because for us, the true measure of a man lies not on the recognition that he receives but on the impact that he leaves behind. Let us always serve with this simple principle in life: “Do not withhold good to those who need it, if it is in your capacity to do it.” (Psalms 3:27)

Let us always find joy in helping others and never hold back. There is no higher calling than to serve our country in any capacity that we can. There is nothing more fulfilling than to see the impact of our service in the lives of others. Sometimes we are called upon to serve our country in ways we didn’t expect. We might say we are not ready…none of us were ready …and none of us is perfect. But we do our job beyond excellence because our country is worthy of our excellence. As we face our daily battles we trust our training, instincts and most of all the Almighty God. In some trials we’ll be successful…in some we won’t…and in some we’ll only know it in due time. But we serve our country each day hopeful that our sacrifices have been worth it…that our excellence has been good enough. In that way we will grow our influence to make an impact. In that way we will honor those who have gone ahead of us and those who have invested their lives on us. Only God knows how the ripples of our service and influence will have a lasting impact in the lives of our fellow Filipinos and of the generations to come.

May God richly bless you all. Thank you very much and have a wonderful evening.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) bagged four (4) awards at the 17th Philippine Quill Awards organized by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)-Philippines on August 30, 2019 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom, Pasay City. MBFI took home two (2) Quill Awards of Excellence and two (2) Quill Awards of Merits.

Under the Communication Skills Division, “Good night, Mr. George Ty. I’ll see you in the Morning”, a eulogy delivered by Metrobank Foundation President Mr. Aniceto Sobrepeña during the wake of Dr. George S.K. Ty, founder of Metrobank and Chair of the Metrobank Foundation received a Quill Award of Excellence. His tribute endeavored to celebrate Dr. Ty’s generosity of spirit, encourage others by his life and works, and communicate MBFI’s programs and initiatives that served as avenues for life transformation of the target beneficiaries. The speech was not just about the good Dr. Ty had done, but highlighted his philanthropy as the expression of the meaningful life he chose to live.

Another Quill Award of Excellence went to “Beyond Excellence: the 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Souvenir Program,” a publication that presents the stories and accomplishments of the 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos. The program recognizes exemplary teachers, soldiers, and police officers who render service above and beyond their call of duties. In 2018, ten (10) Outstanding Filipinos—composed of four (4) teachers, three (3) soldiers, and three (3) police officers that have inspired and influenced their peers and the people in their communities.

On the other hand, “DISCOVER: 2018 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) Awarding Ceremony and Exhibit Opening,” the culminating event for the 2018 MADE in Painting and Sculpture grabbed a Quill Award of Merit. The event engages a diverse group of audiences, which is in line with MADE’s aim to institute arts and design programs that promote a culture of excellence towards holistic human social development aligned with the advocacy of awakening and renewing the art community and public’s appreciation for painting, sculpture, and its related fields.

Under the Communication Management Division, the “Gratitude In10sified: 2018 National Teachers’ Month (NTM)” also received a Quill Award of Merit. The National Teachers’ Month is 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 this year’s theme, “Gurong Pilipino: Turo Mo, Kinabukasan Ko,” the idea is to highlight the efforts of Filipino teachers as catalysts for empowering learners to realize their potential and achieve their life goals.

To date, MBFI has won 61 Philippine Quill for its various programs and public relations tools since 1986.

Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña (center) together with Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos and cooperating institutions visit Kampo Ranao in Marawi City.

In time for this year’s celebration of Metrobank Foundation’s 40th anniversary, its roster of Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos, through their respective alumni organizations – NOTED (Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators), TOPSOLDIERS (The Organization of Philippine Soldiers with Outstanding Leadership, Dedication, Integrity, Excellence and Responsibility to Society), and PROTECT (Police Officers Responsible for Organizing, Transforming and Empowering Communities) launched a pay-it-forward project called Guro, Pulis at Sundalo na may Galing, Puso, at Sigasig (GPS²). As the first ever collaborative project of these three sectors, GPS² aims to extend assistance to the City of Marawi in the process of rehabilitation.

To formally launch this undertaking, a visit was held on January 15 in the war-ravaged city through the assistance of the Department of Education (DepEd), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP). The delegation was led by Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto Sobrepeña, joined by a number of Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos which among include: MGen. Romeo Poquiz (Ret.); BGen. Alex Tamondong (Ret.); BGen. Ariel Caculitan; Col. Elmer Suderio PA; PCSupt. Mario Rariza, Jr.; PSSupt. Pascual Muñoz, Jr.; PSSupt. Alex Sintin; PSupt. Carlo Manuel; PCI Rosalino Ibay; Dr. Ernelea Cao; Dr. Mary Ann Serrano; Dr. Mark Torres; Dr. Ruben Abucayon; Dr. Rizal Vidallo, Olivia Caling among other awardees.

A situational briefing was first conducted by 2013 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino and Commander of Task Force Ranao and 103rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army Colonel Romeo Brawner, Jr. at Kampo Ranao. This was followed by a visit to one of the largest temporary schools–the Marawi Sagonsongan Pilot Elementary School.

They were welcomed by assistant schools division superintendent Anna Zenaida Unte Alonto of the DepEd Division of Marawi City. Awardees conducted simultaneous storytelling sessions. Teddy bears were also distributed to kindergarten and grade one learners courtesy of Metrobank Card Corporation. The group also visited Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School where a brief ocular inspection and conversation with faculty members took place.

To further its assistance to reach out to affected educators and schoolchildren of Marawi City, NOTED, TOPSOLDIERS, and PROTECT launched a call for donation (both in-kind or cash) last December 2018 to support GPS². Proceeds will fund the establishments of libraries and WASH (Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation) facilities and provision of teachers’ and learners’ kits to benefit affected educators and learners. Donations can be deposited through the NOTED (Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators) Metrobank account 636-3-63600717-0 or PROTECT (Police Officers Responsible for Organizing, Transforming and Empowering Communities) PSBank account 091102-00072-4. For further inquiries, please call the MBFI Excellence Awards Unit at telephone number 898-8757 or mobile numbers 0917-562-9980 or 0933-309-9585.

The visit to Marawi City was made possible by the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service; DepEd Division of Marawi City; Philippine Air Force; AFP Office of The Adjutant General; 103rd Infantry Brigade, Philippine Army; PNP Office of The Chief Directorial Staff; PNP Directorate for Logistics; PNP Police Regional Office 10; Misamis Oriental Police Provincial Office; Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office and Marawi City PNP.

Metrobank Foundation, Inc.

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

(02) 8857-9746 / (02) 8898-8855
(02) 8818-5656 / (02) 8750-0837


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