Metrobank Foundation honors Outstanding Filipinos in a coffee table book

An award-winning poet, a military chaplain, a public servant, a gifted artist and a hard-hitting journalist. These are just a few of the exceptional individuals who serve as an inspiration in their respective fields.

They come from varied backgrounds, but they all exemplify excellence in their chosen work, vocation or career.

Capiz-born Noel Ponsaran is both a policeman and a priest. As a police commissioned officer in the chaplain service in Cagayan de Oro City and a regional chaplain in General Santos City, his work has him traveling from one village to another, crossing the river five times each day to conduct lectures on conflict resolution in a volatile region in the Southern Philippines. By doing so, he serves as a bridge between communities and groups who would otherwise be distrustful of each other.


"For years, we have been using force to win the war, without exploring the alternatives, such as looking at the root cause of the conflict and map a solution from there," said Ponsaran.

While Ponsaran strives to bring a culture of peace in Mindanao, a gifted poet looks to nurture a flowering of culture in the Visayas. Bohol native Dr. Marjorie Evasco-Pernia is "no ordinary literature teacher."

Aside from being named Metrobank Foundation's Outstanding Teacher (1999) and a Metrobank Foundation Awardee for Continuing Excellence and Service (2004), her accolades list Outstanding Writer in the Literary Arts (1993), Southeast Asian Write Laureate for the Philippines (2010), the Carlos P. Garcia Award for Literature (2011), and the Ani ng Dangal by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (2011) among others.



Her poems have been translated into local dialects like Tagalog, Waray and into world languages. She has raised the level of teaching by making learning more engaging and helped develop new artists in the field of literature.

"Beyond the achievement of getting outstanding marks from students, peers and administrators, I count among my achievements, the fact...many students have also become teachers and writers," said Evasco-Pernia.

Ponsaran and Evasco are just two of the 15 outstanding Filipinos featured in the coffee table book Metrobank Foundation Exemplars.  It was launched with two other coffee table books – the Ten Outstanding Filipino Teachers and MADE of Gold last April at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) as part of the 50thanniversary celebration of Metrobank.

Authored by Ateneo de Manila professor Dr. Queena N. Lee-Chua, Metrobank Foundation Exemplars features in-depth profiles of 15 select awardees of the Foundation's recognition programs.


The author herself is no stranger to excellence awards, being an awardee of the 2003 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award and 2009 Award for Continuing Excellence and Service (ACES).

Her other accolades include the TOYM (The Outstanding Young Men), the TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service), the OYS (Outstanding Young Scientists), the Jose Rizal Awards for Excellence, the National Book Award, the National Science and Technology Journalism Awards, Outstanding S & T Columnist, and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

In the book’s introduction, Lee-Chua described the exemplars to be “the best of the best.”

She added that while it’s easy to admire one-hit wonders, “we respect more the people who make excellence a lifelong habit,” including teachers, soldiers, policemen, artists and journalists, many of whom go unrecognized.

Since its establishment in 1979, the Metrobank Foundation has sought to promote and foster the values of excellence and achievement among Filipinos. The exemplars featured in the book are all previous awardees of various recognition programs, including the Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), the Country's Outstanding Police Officers in Service (COPS), The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE), and Search for Outstanding Journalists.

“Though not as breath-taking as sudden fame, the steady dedication to one’s calling is so much harder to maintain. Metrobank Foundation has made it its annual mission to honor them, in the hope that doing so will inspire other Filipinos to follow the path of excellence,” wrote Lee-Chua.

Other exemplars include outstanding journalist GMA 7 Vice President for News Programs and News Anchor Jessica A. Soho, outstanding Philippine soldier Col. Lope Dagoy (GSC) PA, and outstanding teacher, Ambeth Ocampo.

Metrobank Group Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty, described the  Metrobank Foundation Exemplars  as "the country’s modern day heroes in education, journalism, public service and the arts."

"By staying true to their calling, living up to their responsibilities and always adhering to the highest standards of integrity and conduct, they set themselves apart from their peers," wrote Ty in his message.

For inquiries on the Metrobank Foundation Exemplars, email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call telephone number 857-5918 / 898-8855.




Established on January 8, 1979 by George S. K. Ty, sixteen (16) years after he founded the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company (Metrobank), the Metrobank Foundation is engaged in social development projects in the Philippines and other parts of Asia. As the corporate social responsibility arm of the Metrobank Group, the Foundation implements various programs in education, visual arts and healthcare. It also maintains an active and dynamic partnership with other organizations that likewise provide services for the disadvantaged. Among the Foundation’s flagship programs are the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE), Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), College Scholarship Program (CSP), Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC), The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), and Country’s Outstanding Police Officers in Service (COPS). In 2012, it launched its newest recognition program that recognizes excellence in Philippine journalism, the Search for Journalists of the Year (JOY).It also supports programs aimed at educating the citizenry on public-interest issues through research and lectures given by the distinguished holders of the Metrobank Foundation Professorial Lecture established by the Foundation in partnership with reputable educational institutions. The Foundation is also the majority owner of the Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH), one of the leading centers of wellness in the country.