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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.

 

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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.

 
2013 The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers Named

The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers of 2013 with Vice Commanders of each branch of service, organizers, and members of the final board of judges: (Seating from left) Major General Raul Gabriel Dimatatac AFP, Major General Essel Soriano AFP, Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, Aniceto M. Sobrepeña, The Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Macapagal AFP, VAdm Mateo M. Mayuga (ret), His Excellency Ivo Sieber, and Rear Admiral Edgardo Tamayo. (Standing from left) Colonel Romeo S. Brawner, Jr., Chief Master Sergeant Rogelio J. Mendoza, Technical Sergeant Ferdinand S. Baladjay, Captain Vicente L. Cejoco, Technical Sergeant Dante P. Berganio, Hospitalman Third Class (Sergeant) Sergs E. Estropigan,  Lieutenant Colonel Moises L. Micor., Master Sergeant Alberto A. Pesebre, Technical Sergeant Nolito E. Tumesa and  Major Daneck E. Dang-awan

Ten Commissioned and Non-Commissioned officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines made it to this year’s winners of the Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS). The announcement was made by the Metrobank Foundation and the Rotary Club of Makati Metro during a Press Conference at the AFP Commissioned Officers Club, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The winners from the Philippine Army are: Colonel Romeo S. Brawner, Jr., Chief Master Sergeant Rogelio J. Mendoza and Technical Sergeant Ferdinand S. Baladjay. On the other hand, the winners from the Philippine Navy are: Captain Vicente L. Cejoco, Technical Sergeant Dante P. Berganio (Marines), and Hospitalman Third Class (Sergeant) Sergs E. Estropigan.  Lieutenant Colonel Moises L. Micor., Master Sergeant Alberto A. Pesebre and Technical Sergeant Nolito E. Tumesa are the winners from the Philippine Air Force. Meanwhile, Major Daneck E. Dang-awan, from the Technical & Administrative Services – Chaplain Service completes this year’s batch of winners.

“More than being the private sector’s expression of gratitude for the sacrifices of our soldiers, this recognition also highlights the contributions of the men and women of the military, as vanguards of peace and democracy, to nation building and development,” Mr. Aniceto Sobrepeña, Metrobank Foundation president said.

The awardees were selected by a multi-sectoral Preliminary and Final Board of Judges. Preliminary Board of Judges were: Chairman Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Chairperson of the Negotiating Panel with the MNLF of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process; Major General (ret) Renato M. Garcia, Executive Director of the Help Educate and Rear Orphans (HERO) Foundation, Inc.; Brigadier General (ret) Fermin R de Leon Jr, PhD, President of the National Defense College of the Philippines; Mr. Jiggy Manicad, Senior News Producer of GMA Network, Inc.; Hon. Ma. Victoria V. Cardona, Commissioner of Commission on Human Rights; Ms. Maxine Tanya M. Hamada, Executive Director of International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov); Ms. Joy Aceron, Program Director of Ateneo School of Government-Government Watch (ASoG G-Watch) and Mr. Gerry C. Baja, News Anchor of DZMM, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation.

The Final Board of Judges that chose this year’s winners was chaired by Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, Chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy. Members of the final board are: Mr. Alfredo E. Pascual, President of University of the Philippines System; Mr. Melito S. Salazar, Jr., President of Management Association of the Philippines; Most Rev. Florentino F. Cinense, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Tarlac; Ms. Tina Monzon-Palma, Program Director of Bantay Bata 163 Sagip Kapamilya; Ms. Amina Rasul-Bernardo, President of the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy; and His Excellency Ivo Sieber,   Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the Swiss Confederation.

“Talking to individual finalists tells us that there is a lot of humanity behind each soldier,” said UP President Alfredo E. Pascual. “It is very comforting to know for a civilian like me that we are producing these kinds of soldiers. I am very impressed with the commitment of our soldiers to their duty to the people and our country,” he continued.

Among this year’s awardee is an enlisted personnel of Philippine Navy, Hospitalman Third Class Sergs E. Estropigan, Technical Diver and Seal Operator at the Naval Diving Salvage Unit 1 of Philippine Fleet, was awarded by the President, His Excellency Benigno Simeon C. Aquino the “Bakas Parangal ng Kagitingan Award”. He received this for demonstrating an exemplary sense of volunteerism, courage and perseverance as technical driver and chamber operator of the Search and Rescue Team who have showed a collective effort to locate our two (2) missing pilots of the ill-fated SF-260TP # 716 that crashed landed near the cost of Mariveles Bataan on 18 May 2012. Also, the award was given for his utmost dedication and wholehearted effort in conducting the successful search, rescue and retrieval operations under Task Force KALIHIM to late DILG Secretary Jesse M Robredo.

Another awardee this year is Lieutenant Colonel Moises L. Micor who was awarded the Gold Cross Medal for gallantry in action during the first burst of attack of the MNLF at the 104th BDE and Camp Budato on 19 November 2001. The flight was very instrumental in the camp defense of the 104th Brigade and Camp Budatu where he assisted in the extrication of 5 WIAs, 2 KIAs of the beleaguered 1st Scout Ranger Battalion (1SRBN) despite a seriously damaged aircraft. The accurate and timely delivery of close air support suppressed the enemy from inflicting more casualties on government troops and strengthened the will of the ground troops to fight.

For the past 14 years, the Metrobank Foundation, along with the Rotary Club of Makati Metro, annually holds the Search for TOPS to honor the gallant men and women of the Armed Forces who go beyond expectations, and to highlight their achievements and efforts toward nation building and development. All previous TOPS awardees are now members of the TOPS alumni organization named “The Organization of Philippine Soldiers with Outstanding Leadership, Dedication, Integrity, Excellence, and Responsibility to Society” or TOPSOLDIERS.

The awardees will be honored together with the winners of the Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT) and Country’s Outstanding Police Officers in Service (COPS) dubbed as Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos on September 5, 2013 as highlight of Metrobank’s anniversary celebration. Each winner will receive a cash prize of P300, 000 and a specially designed trophy from the Metrobank Foundation.

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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.
 
IFBS for DAR: Rekindling an Old Partnership

 

On December 1, 2012 and March 11, 2013, a total of seventy agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and development facilitators from Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Camarines Sur A and B underwent the training on Integrated Farming Bio-Systems (IFBS) at the Shell Training Farm in Bombon, Camarines Sur (Districts 1, 2, and 3 are under Camarines Sur A while Districts 4 and 5 are under Camarines Sur B).

The IFBS is a comprehensive capacity building course aimed at training farmers on appropriate farming technologies.  It is designed to promote sustainable benefits of crop production, livestock, agro-forestry, and includes the conversion of farm wastes into bio-organic fertilizers and farm entrepreneurship as well.



One module in the training that caught the attention of the participants was the improved bio-organic fertilizer production thru utilization of agricultural wastes.  They were amazed on how microbial inoculants can hasten decomposition of organic wastes compared to the conventional composting method. DAR Provincial Office A Community Organizer Sandie Orogo remarked, “There is a lot of money in our land and all we need to do is develop it through the help of our training in IFBS. We realized that organic farming is not just a concept that can be read from books.  It can realistically be done in our fields and the participants have seen it all here at the Shell Training Farm. The modules can be replicated in the Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) and can not only augment our means of livelihood but can also uplift our lives through the health benefits derived from organic farming.”

On the other hand, OIC-Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer from DAR Camarines Sur B Ms. Gigi Sales mentioned that she dreams of having their farmers pursue their own organic vegetable farms, shifting from their traditional practices to the organic way of farming. She also looks forward to the establishment of a “bagsakan center” for organically-grown vegetables and the formation of a farmers’ cooperative that will manage the center and disseminate the benefits of organic farming.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer from DAR Camarines Sur A Mr. Rodrigo Realubit expressed his appreciation and gratitude to PSFI for the conduct of the training.  He was very elated with the farmers’ reception of the activity, seeing their eagerness to learn and attentiveness to adopt new techniques and technologies, especially on organic farming. He quipped, “PSFI and DAR has a partnership that dates back to the 1990’s, not only in the Bicol Region, but also in Palawan, Negros Occidental, Mindoro and Cagayan Valley provinces.”



PSFI’s partnership with DAR on the development of ARCs to improve the lives of the beneficiaries started in 1996. The ARC development is DAR’s key strategy to accelerate and sustain economic growth in agrarian reform and rural areas through a people-centered, holistic and area-focused approach in community development.  Of the 2,100 ARC’s supported by DAR, PSFI is proud to have participated in the training of more than 3,500 farmers in around 240 ARC’s nationwide.

Article by: Maria Pamela S. Castro and James S. Bruma

 
Can you Design with Culture?

 

The 2013 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) design competitions takes on a progressive roadmap towards wellness, sustainability and tourism. This year MADE presents two design competitions with themes that gear towards bigger and iconic infrastructures which pose another underlying challenge of representing Filipino culture in the international scene.


DESIGN THE FUTURE Metrobank Foundation, Inc., through President Aniceto Sobrepeña (middle), renewed its 10-year partnership with the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID) and the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) represented by their Presidents Arch. Rogelio Caringal, fpiid, fuap (left) and Arch. Rozanno Rosal, fuap (right) for the conduct of the 2013 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) Interior Design and Architecture Competitions. The conceptual design competition aims to continuously promote Filipino and sustainable design and recognize creativity and talents of young designers and architects in the country.


Interior Design Competition: Medical Tourism

Registered Filipino Interior Designers, 25 to 45 years old are invited to join this year’s MADE interior design competition which brings into focus “Medical Tourism”. Realizing the thrust in wellness and tourism, this year’s competition challenges young designers to create an ambiance of wellness at the Manila Doctors Hospital (MDH) U.N. Avenue and Kalaw Avenue Lobbies. These twin lobbies acts as receiving and exit areas for hospital guests thereby influencing the whole hospital experience of the patient. As MDH provides exceptional healthcare services, the hospital is also looking after the psychological wellness that patients and their visitors undergo as they are received and as they take off from the hospital. It is important that these areas reflect the hospital’s international healthcare standards as well that of our unique Filipino culture. MDH is located along United Nations Avenue, Metro Manila.


Architecture Competition: Cultural Tourism in Collaboration with the Cultural Center of the Philippines

From residential to cultural iconic structures, Metrobank Foundation and the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) collaborated with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) for the development project of the CCP complex. MADE 2013 architecture competition challenges a team of 2 to 4 registered Filipino architects ages 25 – 50 years old to design a waterfront area in the complex where one of the most iconic Philippine structures lie, the CCP Development Complex Port Area.

The waterfront area includes a port terminal as well as a structure for international and local tourists that will offer venues for their personal, social and cultural needs. The Terminal should be aptly designed to provide the same level of comfort and convenience found in an airport. The Port sets out a comprehensive range of facilities to (1) provide for all the requirements of the cruise line and ferry passengers; (2) feature culture and arts (3) promote practices and activities that are all uniquely Filipino and (4) stimulate social and economic growth of the country. The design should reflect Filipino culture integrated with applications of environmental sustainability in order to transcend location, time and climatic phenomena and CCP’s Urban Design Principles that will bring the Philippines in the forefront of tourism in the 21st century.

The Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) competition is an art and design competition that has been strengthening Philippine architecture and interior design for 9 years by discovering exceptional talents. This year, bigger challenges are presented which will not only raise the bar of artistic standards in design but will also position Filipino culture amidst an international audience. Some of the past winners in the design competitions are: Arch. Michael Peña, Arch. Angelo Mañosa, Arch. John Oyek, IDr. Honey Cortez, IDr. Gelo Del Mundo and Arch. Jonathan Dangue to name a few.

MADE will award an architect and an interior designer with a grand prize of P300,000.00 each. Complete information about the competitions can be found in the entry forms downloadable at www.mbfoundation.org.ph or may be requested at selected Metrobank Branches. Interested participants may also contact the MADE Secretariat at (02) 898-8856 or Like the MADE (Metrobank Art and Design Excellence) Competition fanpage in Facebook for more details.

 
Davao City Grants P5.7M for Busog, Lusog, Talino School Feeding Program

Department of Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro personally assisted a BLT pupilduring the 7th
Annual BLT Opening this SY 2013-2014. Also in photo are Jollibee Group Foundation
President Grace Tan Caktiong, JTC Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer Jaime T. Cruz and
F. Dizon Elementary School Principal Lilian Libre.

DAVAO CITY – To symbolize the commitment of the local community in addressing malnutrition among school children, the City Government of Davao signed a City Ordinance granting P5.7-million as a support to the Busog, Lusog, Talino (BLT) School Feeding Program. BLT is now assured of continuous implementation in 142 public elementary schools in Davao City for the next five (5) years. The City Ordinance came in at the perfect time as BLT celebrates its 7th year of feeding this school year 2013-2014.

In celebration of this milestone, Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) recognized the overwhelming support of its local implementing partners (LIPs) in Davao City. The special event was attended by no less than Department of Education Secretary Bro. Armin C. Luistro and Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) President Grace Tan Caktiong.

The BLT School Feeding Program is an initiative of JGF with partnering institutions that addresses hunger among Grades 1 and 2 pupils to help them stay in school and learn better. BLT provides daily lunch to undernourished public school pupils for 136 days or eight (8) months during the school year (July-March).

In his speech, Sec. Luistro lauded the efforts of the City Government of Davao and BLT Partners for the Php5.7M support to BLT. He also noted that this program should be replicated in more public schools. “I am serious that this program is worth plagiarizing. In DepEd Schools, we say that honesty is the best policy, no cheating. But this is one good project that I give permission to our principals to copy. All good projects cannot stay in their birth place,” said DepEd Sec. Luistro.

We are very thankful to our Davao local implementing partners who worked very hard thru BLT for our school children. We are certain that this kind of achievement will inspire more communities and partners in other BLT areas so that the program can continue to help in addressing hunger among school children to keep them in school,” Mrs. Tan Caktiong said in her statement.

This school year, the BLT School Feeding Program covers more than 1,200 public schools in over 200 cities/municipalities nationwide; providing daily lunch to 48,000 pupils selected from Grades 1 and 2 to help address hunger and encourage them to attend school every day. This brings the total number of BLT pupils covered by the program to over 100,000 since its first year of implementation in 2007.

There are three ways to become a BLT partner: 1) donate funds; 2) donate feeding ingredients and materials; and 3) implement BLT as your community relations/outreach program.

 

Everyone can also help feed pupils by donating through BLT coinbanks found in all Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) stores nationwide: Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal and Burger King.

To learn more about the BLT School Feeding Program, contact (02) 688-7124 or send an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit www.jollibeegroupfoundation.org.

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