Published November 29, 2020, 3:31 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Suntrust Properties’ anniversary party showed everybody that, yes, you can have a great get-together as a family even while far apart.

No distance can separate a family, and it was true for the Suntrust Properties family when it celebrated its 23rd Anniversary. On November 18, the company’s employees, contractors and salespeople (collectively calling themselves Suntrustees) got together virtually over their private Facebook group. Using technology, the Suntrust family enjoyed a fun-filled anniversary celebration, quarantine style. It was a day filled with positivity, encouragement, music and a fun virtual experience for all.

Aila Tadeo-the song writer with the band

The company adopted the theme “Together We Win”, to assure everyone that winning doesn’t mean getting to the finish line first, but getting there together.

The day started with a thanksgiving mass officiated by Rev. Father Jerry Orbos. This was followed by the airing of testimonial videos from salespeople and contractors who have been with the company for many years and have contributed greatly to its success.

Afterwards, company chairman Dr. Andrew L. Tan, vice chairman Lou Gutierrez-Alfonso and Suntrust president Atty. Harrison M. Paltongan shared words of wisdom and encouragement. This set the tone for the celebrations as one of hope and togetherness.

Andrew L. Tan

“Challenges are nothing new to Suntrust,” said Dr. Tan. “In fact, the company was founded during the Asian financial crisis in 1997. Those were very difficult times, and yet Suntrust didn’t just survive, it thrived,” he said. He also emphasized Suntrust’s importance in the Alliance Global family, and how unity is crucial in getting through the current pandemic. 

For her part, Gutierrez-Alfonso said that a company’s anniversary is much like a person’s birthday: a blessing. “It means that Suntrust has gained another precious year in business,” she said. “God has given Suntrust a lot to be grateful for.” 

And to make the event more unforgettable, the day also marked the launch of the company’s 23rd-anniversary song. Using the theme“Together We Win”, it was composed, performed, and arranged by Suntrust employees. The song was premiered along with throwback videos of the group’s successesand milestones. It also showed the corporate social responsibility programs spearheaded by the company for the past years, living proof that a Suntrust family sticks together not only to build homes and fulfill dreams of thousands of Filipino families, but also to uphold communities and help those in need.

A long list of fun games with tons of prizes marked the second part of the program. As a tradition, the Suntrust family holds a sportsfest every year, and it is something its employees look forward to. This year, in lieu of the annual sportsfest, and through the help of technology, a very spirited game of Pictionary got employees up on their feet trying to outguess and outdo each other.Suntrust managed to build up the excitement by holding pre-event elimination rounds several days before, during office lunch breaks. The ante was upped by offering cash prizes to the virtual audience participating in the mini-games via the comments section.

Things got more exciting as fun mini-games such as Kara-OK, Guess the Price, and Name that Movie proved that virtual platforms are no match to a group of people determined to have a good time.

Kara-OK Challenge

And to give deeper meaning to the celebrations, Suntrust maintained its tradition of giving back to the people who contributed to its success and to the communities it belongs to. This year, through the initiative of its employees, it formed SHARE KO TO, a fund-raising project for Typhoon Ulysses victims. On November 19, a day after the virtual celebrations, around 150 families in Barangay San Isidro, Karangalan Village, Cainta, Rizal received food packs from the funds raised by employees and salespeople.


For his part, company president Atty. Paltongan reflected on how experience has taught him to look at challenges as a glass that is half-full, emphasizing the importance of people who focus on “blessings despite all difficulties. They know how to fill in the empty space.”

Suntrust President Atty. Harrison M. Paltongan

“[It] seems the worst- a pandemic the end of which is uncertain, worsened by these relentless typhoons,” he said.“Yet, Suntrust is that home where hope never fades. “ 

“As an optimist, we must have surpassed the worst and the shore seems so near,” he said. “We are now excited about the expansions we will be doing as each barrier that holds us back is torn down. We will go to more regions, more cities and provinces. We will be employing more people and giving opportunities to many more.  We have tens of thousands of clients/homeowners and we will be sharing bigger responsibilities with them in making their communities more resilient against the challenges that we are confronting now.”