Meet Metrobank Foundation’s Outstanding Filipinos

Published August 13, 2021, 3:49 PM

by Deedee Siytangco


The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. —Mahatma Gandhi

OUTSTANDING FILIPINOS OF THE METROBANK FOUNDATION Top row, from left: Lou Sabrina Ongkiko, Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag, Dr. Iris Thiele Isip Tan, Jason Albaro; bottom row: Technical Sergeant Jake Belino, PAF, Lt. Col. Elmer Bongaling, Police Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare Police T. Col. JonathanPablito, and Police Senior Master Sergeant Mary Joy Ylanan.

After almost a two-year “pause,” the 2021 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos program is here again at last

As a very prestigious career-service award for Filipino exemplars in the academe, military, and police sectors, 10 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos are recognized in the fields of education, military, and police work. This year, those cited are four teachers, three soldiers, and three police officers.

As has been customary for the foundation, each awardee will get a cash prize of ₱1 million each (net of tax), a golden medallion, and “The Flame” trophy during the conferment ceremonies on Sept. 2 as part of Metrobank’s 59th anniversary celebration.

The Foundation Outstanding Filipinos exemplify the true meaning of “Beyond Excellence,” said Chito Sobrepena, president of the bank’s social service arm. “Their contributions speak of service beyond one’s self—but also to their sectors and in the larger community, inspiring their peers. Their service and community involvements have helped shape better communities and created a lasting positive impact upon the people.”

Recipients of the 2021 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for Teachers are Lou Sabrina S. Ongkiko, master teacher I, Culiat Elementary School (Quezon City); Jason B. Albaro, teacher III, Muntinlupa National High School Main (Muntinlupa City); Maria Minerva P. Calimag, M.D., M.Sc., Ph. D., professor 5, College of Medicine, University of Santo Tomas (City of Manila); and Iris Thiele Isip-Tan, M.D., M.Sc. , professor 10, College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila (City of Manila).

Recipients of the 2021 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for soldiers are: Technical Sergeant Jake P. Belino, PAF, non-commissioned officer in charge, Civil Military Operations Tactical Operations Group 1, Tactical Operations Wing Northern Luzon, (Baguio City); Lieutenant Colonel Elmer M. Boongaling, PA, executive officer, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans, G5, Philippine Army, Fort Bonifacio (Taguig City); and Colonel Augusto N. Padua, PAF, executive officer, Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations, A-3, Philippine Air Force, Villamor Airbase (Pasay City).

Recipients of the 2021 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Award for police officers are Police Senior Master Sergeant Mary Joy B. Ylanan, police community relations PNCO, Bogo City Police Station (Bogo City, Cebu); Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace J. Pelare, chief of police, Talisay City Police Station (Talisay City, Cebu); and Police Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan P. Pablito, assistant chief, Regional Police Strategy Management Unit, Police Regional Office 6, Camp General Martin Delgado, Fort San Pedro (Iloilo City).

“As a community held together by hope especially during these turbulent times, may we derive inspiration from the awardees’ example,” said Sobrepeña. “The entire nation continues to be at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the situation is still evolving. During this extended period of unease, we are fortunate to be inspired by the dedication of public servants and front liners who are steadfast in their mission.”

The awardees underwent a rigorous selection process and were chosen from hundreds of nominations. I can attest to the meticulous process of screening as once upon a time, I was in the panel of judges. The two-day intensive interviews and screening are indeed spotless and fair.

A Board of Assessors, composed of members of the government, academe, military, and NGO sectors, identified the semi-finalists, of whom 18 were chosen by a multi-sectoral final board of judges chaired by Sen. Nancy Binay Angeles and co-chaired by Supreme Court Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang. The other members were First District of Quirino Representative Junie E. Cua, Civil Service Commission chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, Alliance Global Inc. CEO Kevin Andrew Tan, and United Print Media Group president Barbie Atienza.

The awardees’ accomplishments in their respective duties and communities range from creating breakthroughs and innovations that benefit their institutions and the people they serve.

Since 1985, the Metrobank Foundation has honored a total of 675 Outstanding Filipinos. 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.

Mabuhay kayong Lahat!