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2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Awarded

The 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos composed of four (4) teachers, three (3) soldiers, and three (3) police officers receive a P1 million cash prize, a gold medallion, and “The Flame” trophy from Metrobank chairman Arthur V. Ty and Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña in a hybrid conferment ceremony on Sept. 5 at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium, Makati City.

In celebration of the Metrobank’s 60th anniversary, its diamond year, the 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Award was conferred to four (4) teachers, three (3) soldiers, and three (3) police officers in a hybrid ceremony on September 5. Each received P1 million cash prize (net of tax), gold medallion, and “The Flame” trophy.

Following the government’s health protocols on COVID-19, Metrobank Foundation chairman Arthur V. Ty and Metrobank Foundation president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña turned over the prizes to the 10 awardees at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium, Makati City. This is the first time since 2019 that the conferment ceremony was held on-site. Meanwhile, Senator Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, also the chairperson of the Final Board of Judges, delivered the keynote address through a video message. Distinguished officials from the government, business, civil society, academe, diplomatic community, and the public watched the event via Zoom, Facebook, YouTube.

“Those of you who have been chosen as our 2022 Outstanding Filipinos are a cut above the rest. You are now members of an elite club of public servants who have proven your mettle not just by your excellence but by living a life ‘Beyond Excellence.’ Maraming salamat sa inyong marangal at dedikadong paglilingkod sa bayan,” said Sen. Poe-Llamanzares.

Outstanding Filipinos exemplify the true meaning of “Beyond Excellence,” as their contributions in service and community involvements are geared towards making a difference beyond their own selves, but in sectors where they serve and the country at large.

Recipients of the 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Teachers are (1) Mr. Junmerth C. Jorta, “Bukidnon’s Ingenious Educator for the Indigenous Peoples,” Teacher I and Officer-in-Charge of Keupiyanan Te Balugo (San Fernando, Bukidnon); (2) Christine Joy DR. Aguila, Ph.D., “Quezon City’s Champion Educator of Filipino Language Instruction,” Special Science Teacher 5, Philippine Science High School – Main Campus (Quezon City); (3) Mark Nolan P. Confesor, Ph.D., “Mindanao’s Physicist-Educator Extraordinaire,” Professor 6, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (Iligan City); and (4) Leonila F. Dans, M.D., M.Sc., “Manila’s Pioneering Educator on Pediatric Rheumatology,” Professor 12, University of the Philippines Manila (City of Manila).

Recipients of the 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Soldiers are (5) Technical Sergeant Joel L. Tuganan PA, “Central Mindanao’s Combat Ace and Marksman,” First Sergeant of the Delta Company, 33rd Infantry Battalion, 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army (Radjah Buayan, Maguindanao); (6) Colonel Maria Victoria P. Juan NC, “Philippine Army’s Health Service Innovator,” Army Chief Nurse, Office of the Army Chief Nurse, Headquarters Philippine Army (Taguig City); and (7) Colonel Stephen L. Cabanlet PN(M), “Philippine Marine Corps’ Visionary Warrior for Peace,” Assistant Chief of Unified Command Staff for Operations, U3, Western Command, Camp Gen. Artemio Ricarte (Puerto Princesa City).

Meanwhile, recipients of the 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Police Officers are (8) Police Executive Master Sergeant Rogelio A. Rodriguez Jr., “Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s Crime-busting Intelligence Operative,” Investigator, Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Unit, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (Quezon City); (9) Police Captain Rosalino E. Panlaqui, “Jalajala, Rizal’s Chief Protector and Community Relations Advocate,” Chief of Police, Jalajala Municipal Police Station (Jalajala, Rizal); and (10) Police Colonel Lambert A. Suerte, “PNP Special Action Force’s Stalwart of Law and Public Safety,” Battalion Commander, Regional Mobile Force Battalion – National Capital Region Police Office (Taguig City).

Delivering a response on behalf of the teachers, Dr. Aguila said “Hindi kailanman mapapalitan ang gampanin at halaga nating mga guro. Nananatili ang ‘calling’ na ito sa puso ng mga guro ng bayan. Kami po ay kinatawan lamang ng milyon-milyong guro sa bansa na patuloy na gumagawa hindi lamang sa ngalan ng tungkulin bagkus ay sa ngalan ng pagmamahal sa bawat buhay na aming hawak sa aming mga silid, sa bawat komunidad na aming pinaglilingkuran.”

Dr. Aguila, “Quezon City’s Champion Educator of Filipino Language Instruction,” is a teacher-advocate of the Filipino language, with numerous contributions to the academe in the areas of assessment and teaching excellence. Through her dedication to Filipino language and culture, she has championed excellence and leadership among her students as a beloved Binibini (miss) and to her colleagues as a mentor.

To represent the soldier awardees, Col. Cabanlet said they were recognized for their calling in bringing the nation forward. “Our country has struggled long enough for unity and peace, literally in places where there is actual insurgency and figuratively in our current political and economic state. They say the night is darkest at the break of dawn, and the light is about to break. It is now the season for the visionaries; therefore, let us continue with our chosen advocacy,” he added.

Col. Cabanlet, called “Philippine Marine Corps’ Visionary Warrior for Peace,” is fueled by the mission to bring harmony and development in conflict-ridden areas. In 2011, he introduced his brainchild, “Football for Peace,” a sports advocacy program which he started in Sulu and has since been adopted in different areas. It is anchored on inspiring the youth in conflict zones towards values formation and fostering peace in the communities.

Lastly, responding on behalf of the police officers, PCOL Suerte said “We may have different stories, but we clearly share common grounds in nation building, peace keeping and service to people. I am honored to receive this award with you and I intend to keep your stories with me as I press on my journey.”

PCOL Suerte is also known as the “PNP Special Action Force’s Stalwart of Law and Public Safety.” As a commander, his resolve and expertise have been tested in several armed encounters with enemy forces. In 2017, he bravely led 108 of his men to victory and safety during the Marawi City siege that lasted for months. His legacy in the police force is marked by his efforts which were crucial in the liberation of stakeholder groups from security threats.

Through the years, the search has continuously ensured that its screening and selection processes are attuned to the times while upholding the core ideals that it stands for. This year, the board of assessors composed of members from various sectors of society reviewed, evaluated and interviewed the semi-finalists to determine the shortlist.

The 2022 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos’ Final Board of Judges: (L-R) Mr. Frederick D. Go, Mr. Benjamin V. Ramos, Sen. Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando, Mr. Agapito Joe R. Zaldarriaga, and Ms. Ma. Cecilia L. Alcantara.

The 18 finalists were then interviewed by a final board of judges who took time out of their hectic schedules to scrutinize their accomplishments. The board was chaired by Sen. Poe-Llamanzares and co-chaired by the Supreme Court of the Philippines Associate Justice Ramon Paul L. Hernando. The members were: Robinsons Land Corporation’s president and CEO, Mr. Frederick D. Go; Nine Media Corporation/ CNN Philippines president, Mr. Benjamin V. Ramos; Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines president, Ms. Ma. Cecilia L. Alcantara; and International Association of Business Communicators Philippines chairman, Mr. Agapito Joe R. Zaldarriaga.

The awardees join the ranks of 685 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos since 1985. The program is held in partnership with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, PSBank, Rotary Club of Makati Metro, and the Rotary Club of New Manila East.

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