Member News
Rojan J. Pajarin for Smile Train

cleft patient, cleft advocate, marathoner, fighter, proud husband and father

Rojan J. Pajarin born with a cleft lip and palate is now a bike mechanic and a Patient Care Staff at Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines, exuding with positivity and energy. At work, he is the source of encouragement of parents and children with clefts. He uses his life as an example to boost their morale and reminds them to never lose hope.

Life was not always bright for Rojan. At the age of 5, he had a cleft lip surgery during a mission in Legaspi City. However, his cleft palate remained so his speech was still impaired. He endured immense bullying and teasing during his teen years until adulthood because of the way he talked. His spirit was crushed and he lost his self-esteem. He limited interacting and speaking to other people altogether.

Rojan never gave up and was relentless in pursuing a better life. He was determined to get a college education and is a proud graduate of a business management course at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasay. He was a working student and drove a pedicab (tricycle) after school hours to make this dream possible. His father was only a fisherman with irregular income so Rojan also carried the burden of supporting his siblings.

Despite his degree, he was rejected during job interviews, again because of his speech. He realized that he needed his cleft palate repaired in order to get employment and move forward with his life. Last 2008, Smile Train funded the much needed surgery for Rojan. Post-surgery, he also attended intensive weekly speech therapy classes in Our Lady of Peace Craniofacial Center as part of Smile Train’s comprehensive care. This dramatically improved the quality of his voice and speech. He was later absorbed as an employee of Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Philippines in Manila as a support staff.

Life just went uphill after the surgery and Rojan was able to pursue his dreams and passions.

Now at 31 years old, he is a member of Team Fitness and is an accomplished elite runner who has participated in numerous marathons. He has a beautiful wife and two children. His next goal is to race for Smile Train in IRONMAN 70.3 Mactan and raise funds for cleft patients just like him.

IGFI is into K-12 Program of DepEd

One of the challenges being faced by our high school graduates now especially those who have no or limited means to go to college is the difficulty of being employed due to lack of skills as needed by the industry. The K-12 Program of the Department of Education (DepEd) is supposed to address this problem but as admitted by the DepEd, the curricula of the K-12 Program particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Technical and Vocational (Tech-Voc) strands of the Senior High School are yet to be responsive to the needs of the industry.

Considering the above context, ICCP Group Foundation, Inc. (IGFI) forged a partnership with the Australian Embassy through the Asia Foundation Partnership in the Philippines under the Coalition for Change Program in Basic Education to contextualize the curricula of STEM and Tech-Voc based on the needs of the industry. The initiative that started in 2015 is dubbed as, “Senior High School Industry Linkage Project (SHSILP)” generally aims to develop a sound and sustainable industrial linkage and service program for the students of K-12 Program. The project pilot site was in Calamba, Laguna in partnership with the locators of the Light Industry and Science Park (LISP) II and DepEd Calamba Division of Schools. The collective partnership specifically aims to contextualize the curriculum of senior high schools based on the knowledge and skills’ needs of the locators of LISP II and develop immersion program for students in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) towards the formation of a pool of skilled manpower for all our locators.

The success of the pilot project in Calamba triggered the replication of such initiative to other IGFI areas with industrial parks. The replication process has been conducted in four (4) areas, i.e. LISP I in Cabuyao, Laguna, LISP III in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, Hermosa Ecozone & Industrial Park (HEIP) in Hermosa, Bataan and Cebu Light & Industrial Park (CLIP) in Lapulapu City, Cebu.

Currently, the SHSILP is on the process of scaling up at the regional level. IGFI is now coordinating with major industry associations such as Semiconductors and Electronics Industries of the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI), Philippine Ecozones Associations (PHILEA) and Bankers Associations of the Philippines (BAP) as well as with the regional office (Region IV-A) of the Department of Education. The effort is to implement the project to other regional areas to benefit more students and ensure employment especially to those senior high school graduates who will not be able to pursue college education.

TeamAsia at 25: Fuelling innovation with passion

The passionate people of TeamAsia in their new office.

As independent integrated marketing communication firm TeamAsia gears up for its silver anniversary, president and founder Monette Iturralde-Hamlin fondly recalls how everything that the agency is today is borne of passion.

“It was 1992 when Mike Hamlin and I teamed up with the Asian Institute of Management and The Far Eastern Economic Review to organize The Asian Management Awards in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand. Little did we know that the blood, sweat, and tears that our small team of three had put into the event would bring about an award-winning agency 25 years later,” said Monette.

Acknowledging their strength as an organizer, multinational companies such as Microsoft, Intel, and SAP Software Solutions then started to ask for assistance not only for events but also for creative promotions and public relations. This challenged TeamAsia to expand their services, allowing them to survive through the Asian Financial Crisis and eventually, through the rise of industry competition.

“We’ve always been flexible. We’ve rolled with the punches and reengineered our processes and services to adjust to the changing times, whether it is to capitalize on an opportunity or to adapt for survival,” she continued.

Now with five core services (Experience, Digital, Content, Creative, and Integrated Marketing Communication) and a team of 70, TeamAsia celebrates their 25th anniversary with the theme of passion—the very thing that founded, sustained, and prospered them.

And where better celebrate such a grand milestone than in a new office with an open layout which complements their fun family culture? The modern industrial interior encourages not only collaboration but also excellence, as decals of the agency’s philosophies—Inspire, Think Big, Be Bright, Live, and of course, Drive Passion—are on the office walls as reminders. Aside from this, the layout was also intentionally designed to help reduce energy consumption through the use of natural light and LED. This is in line with Project Live and Green Conferencing, recently launched campaigns which aim to strengthen TeamAsia’s efforts at reducing carbon footprint both in their day to day operations and in the events that they organize.

This is only the beginning for TeamAsia’s year-round celebration, as they are preparing to launch new events, projects, and marketing technology this 2017.

“Growing strong for 25 years is a feat but it surely is just the beginning for us. This year, we are more passionate than ever to find new and innovative ways to deliver next level experiences that will create and sustain the visibility of our clients,” said Managing Director Bea Lim.

TeamAsia started their 25th year with a bang, closing deals with clients such as Jollibee Foods Corporation, UnionBank, Madrid Fusión Manila, ASUS, the ASEAN Creative Cities Forum and Exhibition, QBE Group Shared Services Limited, and Let’s Talk Cleaner Energy, among others.

A light-up die cut 25 sign with colorful notes of what TeamAsians are passionate about—their way of celebrating 25 years of passion.

The strong female icons behind TeamAsia: Bea Lim and Monette Hamlin.

Metrobank Foundation Wins 7 Trophies at the 52nd Anvil Awards

Metrobank Foundation representatives led by president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña with their Gold and Silver awards

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) took home seven (7) trophies at the 52nd Anvil Awards Gabi ng Parangal by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) last March 10, 2017 held at the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

MBFI was awarded with Gold Anvil for “2016 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos”, a unified recognition program of three searches, namely the Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT), The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), and the Country’s Outstanding Police Officers in Service (COPS).

With the theme “Aspire. Inspire. Stand Out.”, the Metrobank Foundation 2016 Outstanding Filipinos honored 30 exemplars in the fields of academe, military, and police who have aspired to act on their visions for change, inspired countless others to become their best selves and be of service to their communities, and have courageously stood out even in the most trying of circumstances. These Outstanding Filipinos are people of unwavering dedication, whose stories of triumph and sacrifice collectively serve as a staggering reminder that building a progressive nation lies in the hard work of those who believe it is attainable.

MBFI also won a Gold Anvil for its “2016 Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge” (MMC) in partnership with the Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines (MTAP) and the Department of Education (DepEd). MMC is a Mathematics competition for elementary and secondary students in both private and public schools in the Philippines.

The only math competition in Asia spearheaded by a bank, MMC provides a venue for Filipino students to hone their mathematical skills in an atmosphere of friendly competition. Over the years, it has produced national winners who get to compete and eventually win in international competitions.

Moreover, MBFI’s “2016 National Teachers’ Month (NTM)” also received a Gold Anvil award. The 2016 NTM celebration is composed of milestone events, on-the-ground initiatives, the annual “Teacher Treats” menu of benefits and discounts, and a Digital Celebration – all of which contribute to realizing NTM’s vision as a national celebration that established a proactive engagement between the government and the private sector in uplifting teaching professions.

In 2016, NTM has marked a milestone with the institutionalization of its culminating activity through Republic Act No. 10743 formally designating “October 5 of every year as National Teacher’s Day”.

“We are greatly humbled and honored by the validation that the Public Relations Society of the Philippines has given to us. Through the Metrobank Foundation Search for Outstanding Filipinos, what we aim is to highlight the overall contributions, inspiring stories of gallantry, innovations and sacrifices of our modern day heroes and heighten the general public’s appreciation of these professions and the institution they represent.,” said MBFI president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña. “We also are glad to receive other important awards because this also proves our commitment to nation-building by giving back to the communities we serve,” he continued.

Another PR Program which was recognized with a Silver trophy award is the “2016 Bags of Blessing” in partnership with GT Foundation and the Catholic Church. The 2016 Bags of Blessing is a gift-giving project of Metrobank Founder and Group Chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty held every Chinese New Year with a tradition of sharing and giving back in gratitude for a prosperous year by helping the least privileged members of the Philippine society.

The Foundation also won Silver Anvil for the following entries under the PR Tool category: “Aspire. Inspire. Stand Out.” 2016 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Unified Souvenir Programs which showcases stories and best practices of the winners of SOT, TOPS and COPS; “Dreams, Journeys, and Discoveries” Metrobank Foundation 2015 Annual Report features milestones and accomplishments of the Foundation by highlighting success stories of its stakeholders. The annual report also acknowledges the role of its institutional partners who are contributors to the success of its programs; and lastly “HEALing the Nation, One Grant at a Time” Metrobank Foundation Grants highlights how the Program has helped bring about transformation in the lives of the underprivileged and vulnerable sectors of society, especially in the areas of health, education, arts and livelihood.

MBFI has been winning Anvil awards since 1985. To date, it has won 71 Anvil awards for its various programs and public relations tools, including the much coveted Grand Anvil gaining the record as the first corporate foundation to win a back-to-back Grand Anvil (2009 and 2010) in the history of the Anvil Awards. The Anvil Award is the most prestigious award in public relations in the Philippines. It is awarded by a distinguished multi-sectoral jury to outstanding PR programs and tools that reflect and promote public interest, good values, and genuine service to the community and society.

Caltex Fuel Your School to Fuel Learning in Bicol Public High Schools

Campaign starts in August to acquire quality learning equipment


Makati City, Philippines - Caltex’s multi-awarded Fuel Your School (FYS) program is now set to help fund projects in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for high-need public high schools in Bicol region.

From July 1 to August 31, Caltex will donate one peso (P1) for every liter of fuel purchase in the 22 Caltex stations in Bicol. Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), marketer of the Caltex fuels and lubricants, aims to raise three million pesos (P3M) under this fuel-to-donate program.

Photo above show (L-R ) American Chamber Foundation (ACF) Director and Internal Auditor Roberts Sears; Southern Cross Distributors Inc., Chairman Jose Mari Delgado; CPI Country Manager Peter Morris; Department of Education (DepEd) Region V Asst. Regional Director Tolentino Aquino; and CPI Manager for Policy, Government and Public Affairs Atty. Raissa Bautista during the MOA signing.

Under the MOA, DepED will select Bicol’s highest need public high schools which can submit projects eligible for funding under the program while ACF will screen the projects and purchase the equipment for the qualified entries. SCDI, which is the pioneer Branded Marketer partner of Chevron and distributes Caltex fuels in the Bicol region, will help fund the program, as well as promote FYS. There will be 22 Caltex stations in Bicol that will participate in this program.

This year, high schools across the country will need more equipment as the first batch of grade 12 senior highs schoolers enter the government’s K-12 education system.

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