Of workplace heroes and milestones


Who doesn’t swoon over Orero cookies, Cadbury, Toblerone, and Ritz Crackers?

I do, with my children and apos and, although these brands have been imitated, the originals are still the best. They still spell sweetness and joy for us fans. Anyway, do you know that the company that manufactures these snacks and other popular brands, Mondelēz International, has a Filipina as its head? It’s Aleli Arcilla taking over as vice president and managing director in the Philippines.

Arcilla is the first woman and Filipino company head in almost 15 years, strengthening the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda of supporting and developing local talent and women leaders.  

“Mondelēz International brands are those I personally love and because of that, I have always admired the company as a consumer,” says Aleli whose personal favorite snacks are Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers. “My impression of Mondelēz International as a snacks powerhouse, where people are proud of the brands and the work they do, has only been strengthened since I joined. The love for our brands and our consumers is palpable within the whole organization, which makes me very excited to lead the team.”

Aleli Arcilla

Aleli brings more than 26 years of experience to the company with a distinguished career across sales, marketing, and senior commercial roles with successful and scale multi-national companies.

“I am looking forward to taking Mondelēz International in the Philippines to further heights and to participate in adding to the 59-year history of the company, particularly for the growth of our global brands,” she said. Mondelēz International is also the maker of Tang, Eden cheese, and Cheez Whiz.


As the world continues to reopen, I can’t help but admire workers who go above and beyond their call of duty to deliver essential goods to the public amid these challenging times. As the country recently marked the National Heroes Day, these frontline employees are heroes in their own right!      

“At PCPPI, we recognize acts of everyday heroism of our employees. These heroic acts are deeply empowering as they encourage more helpfulness in the workplace and promote the importance of mutual empathy to achieve a stronger and more inclusive nation. We recognize our selfless Braveheart heroes,” said Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc. (PCPPI) president and CEO Frederick D. Ong.

Rey Zaporitzia

He cited Rey Zaportiza as among the many inspiring workplace heroes at PCPPI, the exclusive manufacturer of PepsiCo beverages in the country. Rey works as a sales manager at PCPPI. His responsibilities include setting, executing, and monitoring plans to help the company achieve its performance goals.

With the receding supply of food-grade carbon dioxide, Rey works hard to ensure sales and distribution push forward.

“It is very hard. I always remind my colleagues that we should give our 100 percent dedication and commitment because the company compensated the employees well despite the pandemic and other situations,” he said.

When typhoon Odette ravaged Surigao del Norte last year, Rey also went out of his way to bolster the operation of Pepsi sales office. “Since the operators and DCRs spent their time repairing their houses, my team and I covered the areas for three months. This is to avoid disruption in the sales operation and distribution of Pepsi products. We slept in our cars as there were no available houses for rent,” he said.

Rey also sacrificed their long-standing tradition of preparing food during Christmas and New Year’s Eve to help families affected by the typhoon.

“I felt pity for the residents when they posted signages saying, ‘We need food.’ I bought  sacks of rice and  boxes of noodles. We were able to give food packs to some 150 families in Surigao City area,” he recounted.

Another work place hero is Gerson Rial De Torres, key outlet manager at PCPPI. This makes him a part of the company’s front-line troop. He regularly communicates with distributors carrying PCPPI’s family of brands. He ensures these outlets will achieve their distribution, volume, and profit targets amid the ongoing sugar shortage that affects beverage makers in the country.

“I communicate to them the direction of our company. We try all possible ways to help them promote and sell our products to consumers by offering better deals and options,” he said.

Gerson Rial De Torres

Gerson also helped beyond the call of his duty during the height of the pandemic. People in the communities saw this as inspiring but he remained humble and down-to-earth.

“I do try to help my colleagues if I have the means, but I did not think of it as playing a hero. During the pandemic, I offered rides to non-sales employees who do not have a service vehicle,” he said.  “In truth, we are all heroes because we fight life’s challenges every day. There is a hero inside of everyone.”