At the heart of every nation-building endeavor are exemplary public servants who respond to the call for collective action and render service above and beyond their call of duty.
They are the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos: models of excellence in the academic, security, and peace and order sectors. They are the country’s educators, peacekeepers, and defenders who are beckoned to serve, heedless of reward or distinction. Instead, they derive meaning in being a person for others.
This year, Metrobank, through the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI), awards yet another batch of Outstanding Filipinos—four teachers, three soldiers, and three police officers—who embody the words “Beyond Excellence” and whose meaningful work raise the bar of excellence in their fields. They join the ranks of 665 outstanding public servants recognized since 1985.
Each awardee received a cash prize of PhP 1 million, a gold medallion, and “The Flame” trophy during the formal conferment ceremonies held on September 4, 2019 at the Metrobank Plaza auditorium in Makati City as part of Metrobank’s 57th anniversary celebration.
Western Visayas’ Paragon of Inclusive Education
Iloilo-based teacher Dr. Dorothy S. Tarol’s story reflects her solid stance on inclusive education. Progressively losing her hearing at 35, Dr. Tarol has shifted her teaching career to cater to students with disabilities at the Special Education-Integrated School for Exceptional Children (SPED-ISEC) in Iloilo City.
She is best recognized for writing and implementing in 2011 an action research entitled “Buddy-Mediated Instruction (BMI): Pivotal Strategy for Spelling and Social Skills for Students with Hearing Impairment” which aims to develop a student’s basic literacy skills.
Dr. Tarol also advocates for equal career opportunities for persons with disabilities. In 2007, she co-founded an organization registered as the Association of Late-deafened, Deaf, and Hard-of-Hearing for Education, Advocacy, Research and Support (ALDHEARS). Dr. Tarol holds a Master Teacher II position at SPED-ISEC since 2015, and is a registered guidance counselor.
Quezon City’s Veteran Innovator on History Instruction
The legacy of Dr. Cristina B. Cristobal, Special Science Teacher 5, in the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) can be best captured by her initiative to inspire changes to the students’ perspective towards learning history. She introduced a teaching strategy that requires grade 7 learners to use primary sources in studying history.
The approach provides opportunities for students to analyze documents, review data and construct historical narratives firsthand—a deviation from the traditional learning through textbooks and memorization.
Outside the system, Dr. Cristobal actively engages in providing teacher-training for Islamic teachers. Together with Ateneo de Davao University, she organized “Buklod Guro,” a program where best teaching practices of PSHS teachers are shared to madaris (Islamic schools) in several schools across Mindanao.
Philippines’ Foremost World War II Historian
Acclaimed historian Dr. Ricardo T. Jose, currently a Professor 12 at University of the Philippines Diliman, has spent 40 years filling the gaps in the country’s past, more profoundly on the subjects of Philippine diplomatic history, Philippine military history, the Philippines under United States of America’s (USA) colonial rule, and the tie between the Philippines and Japan.
Tagged as the country’s foremost scholar on World War II in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific, Dr. Jose has produced a body of work that serves as the foundational literature on the study of the Second World War.
To many of Dr. Jose’s generations of students, he is often remembered as someone who would bring historical artifacts such as helmets, air raid sirens, and yellowing photographs during class discussions.
Philippines’ Prime Mover of Genomic Medicine and Education
Dr. Eva Maria C. Cutiongco-de la Paz, Professor 10 of the College of Medicine, UP Manila and Executive Director of the National Institutes of Health, has dedicated her 22 years in the teaching profession to a branch of biology concerned with the study of genes called genomics.
She, along with her colleague Dr. Carmencita Padilla, established a Clinical Genetics Fellowship Program, the first and only one of its kind teaching and training program in the subspecialty of Genetics in the country. As the first training officer, she was able to lay the groundwork in equipping Filipino clinicians and researchers about the role of genetics in health and disease.
Further, she is currently part of an international team of experts with an extraordinary mission to advance the understanding and ability to treat X-Linked Dystonia Parkinsonism or XDPa brain condition causing involuntary movements of the body (dystonia) combined with parkinsonism, primarily afflicting some Filipino males born to mothers who come from the Panay Group of Islands.
Marawi’s Lead Explosive Ordnance Disposal Expert
The two-decade career in ordnance service of explosives expert MSgt. Ramil A. Caporas PA involves safeguarding communities from bomb threats.
He was deployed in Marawi for the whole duration of the siege. He led a team of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts tasked to recover and dispose Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) during the five-month battle. In one high-risk operation, he was able to use raw materials available in the area to create an explosive, called “Bintana,” instrumental to the assaulting troops.
Msgt. Caporas’ aim to equip citizens with the right knowledge to handle threats involving bombs and other explosive devices led him to conduct several IED Recognition and Safety Awareness training’s and Bomb Threat Management seminars.
Philippine Navy’s Special Operations Warfighter
Nineteen years into the military service, Maj. Romulo G. Dimayuga II has held a number of key positions as a Marine officer and has rendered game-changing contributions to the military.
His stints as Intelligence Officer of Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 and Operations Officer of Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 marked his crucial role in the successful counter-communist insurgency operations against armed lawless groups in Northern Palawan. These efforts have contributed to the declaration of Palawan province as a “Zone of Sustained Peace, Development, and Prosperity” in 2014.
Inside his institution, Maj. Dimayuga led the standardization of training programs that aims to improve the combat effectiveness of the Force Reconnaissance Group, Philippine Marine Corps’ elite unit, and the Marine Battalion Landing Team-12’s Scout Sniper Squad.
AFP’s Community and Organizational Transformation Warrior
Lt. Col. John Paul D. Baldomar’s 22 years of service in the military is best summed up by these words: a heart that puts the nation and its people first.
In 2001, he was assigned with Bravo Company, 37th Infantry Battalion, 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army and subsequently became its Company Commander. In this capacity, he rallied his troop in responding to the plight of the 95 internally displaced Tiruray families at Sitio Kyamko (Hill 224), Barangay Maitumaig, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.
Years later, Lt. Col. Baldomar became part of the transformation journey of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). In 2014, he was designated as Chief of the Strategic Communications Branch under the AFP’s Office for Strategic Studies and Strategy Management. He, together with the team, steered the development and implementation of the AFP Transformation Roadmap strategic communication plan called “Horizon 1.”
Camp Crame’s Anti-Human Trafficking Crusader
A licensed social worker, P/CMSgt. Marsha T. Agustin’s legacy in the police force, particularly at the Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) of Camp Crame, involves the union of police and social work.
With her lead, WCPC has adopted an interviewing technique, dubbed as the “Social Worker-Police Investigative Technique in Handling Cases Involving Women and Children Victims.” She also co-authored the Standard Operating Procedures Manual being widely used by the PNP when handling Trafficking in Persons (TIP) cases. This aligns with the new provisions of the Republic Act No. 10364 known as the “Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.”
PNP’s Premier Cyber Cop
With illegal activities pervading the cyber space, cybercrime is the area that P/Maj. Robert A. Reyes intends to bring to fore. His career accomplishments can be traced back to his being a pioneer of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group in 2013, born out of the Republic Act 10175 “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.” He helped develop the unit’s operational and administrative manual outlining the guidelines or protocols for cybercrime investigation.
His expertise was key to the arrest of a notorious outlaw considered the No. 1 hacker in Korea by the Korean National Police Agency in 2011 and was included in Interpol’s Wanted List.
As one of PNP’s most sought-after lecturers when it comes to cybercrime investigation, P/Maj. Reyes strives to raise awareness among his peers on the proliferation of cybercrimes and the role of the local force to combat this so-called crime without borders.
Batangas’ Vanguard of Public Safety
P/Col. Edwin A. Quilates believes that his badge stands for his oath to channel all his energies into combating crime in all its forms.
Currently the Provincial Director of the Batangas Police Provincial Office, P/Col. Quilates’ mission to make the province crime-free paved the way for the launch of Oplan Iron Curtain, colloquially known as lockdown, in 2018. Premised on unified command and coordination, this approach is hailed as best practice, and is key to the successful arrests of notorious criminals, resulting to lower crime rate in the province and in the entire CALABARZON region.
P/Col. Quilates is also a lawyer. Wearing his hats as both officer and legal practitioner, he initiated the Agapay Kabayan campaign which involves community extension programs that aim to provide indigent communities’ basic needs as well as make legal assistance available to the public, among others.
Our 10 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos demonstrate that the opportunities to serve abound; each one, regardless of sector, is beckoned to live up to their definition of service for the nation. #