A front-liner’s story

June 28, 2020
THE COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that has challenged all sectors of our society, especially the poor, the marginalized and, more so, the handicapped. But today’s extraordinary circumstances have not prevented Jay Argana Espeleta, from rising to the occasion. Espeleta, a PWD who had suffered from polio, is a front-liner in Muntinlupa City’s fight against COVID-19.

Champion of the street children

FR. ROCKY Evangelista, the Champion of Street Children, just completed his 50th anniversary as a priest. But at 77, he has no intention of retiring from his mission anytime soon. His mission: to continue to get children off the streets and back alleys, off the most unholy places, and bring them to a safe place they can call “home”.

Losers and winners

SURELY, there are many, many losers in this unforgettable experience of our generation - families who lost loved ones, friends who lost associates, huge segments of our population who suddenly found themselves out of job, businesses which suddenly lost their markets, the national economy which has gone into recession. But there are also some gainers – front-liners who have become overnight heroes, devotees who have become more prayerful, families which have become closer, we who can breathe air that is cleaner (that is if we can step out of our homes for a while), we who can witness the skies turning bluer, workers who have found new and more efficient ways of doing their work, families feeling safer because the crime rate has gone down.

Life after ECQ

REGARDLESS of when ECQ is lifted, we can not become BAU (business as usual) immediately. BAU will be possible only when a vaccine against COVID-19 is discovered, tested and approved. Guesstimates of when that will happen range anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

Ayala at the front lines

AYALA Corporation operates a number of businesses that are vital to keep our society and our economy functioning – banking, water, health care, telecommunications, power and manufacturing. All need to continue operating to ensure the delivery of essential services, more so under ECQ circumstances.

Banking during the best and worst of times

April 26, 2020
FOR  the first time in its history, Bank of the Philippines Islands  (BPI) met its shareholders for the annual stockholders meeting in virtual format. Current lockdown protocols have prevented an in-person meeting so last Thursday,  the bank’s directors, officers, employees, business partners and thousands of stockholders listened to the reports of Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala  (JAZA) and President/CEO Cezar P. Consing from the comfort of their homes. Corporate Secretary Angela P. Maramag just had to make sure that prior clearance for the virtual ASM was made with the SEC and that all reportorial requirements were uploaded to the company website prior to the meeting.

Staycation during the time of coronavirus

March 15, 2020
OVER the weekend, I received a text message from my daughter Trisha advising that she would not be able to attend our regular Sunday family lunch. One of latest coronavirus cases reportedly is a resident of the condominium where she and my son-in-law Joy are staying. For this reason, Trisha has decided to isolate herself as much as practicable for an unspecified period.

The deaf don’t have to be mute

March 08, 2020
LAST Wednesday, my daughter Frannie and I watched a stage musical adaptation of “The Lion King” at the Carlos P. Romulo auditorium at the RCBC Plaza. The musical ran for more than three hours but we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. What truly amazed us was that all the student participants – coming from pre-school to Grade 12 – are deaf. By ordinary norms, none of the stage players should have been able to sing and deliver their lines. But deliver they did. And they should not have been able to dance in sync to the beat which they could not hear. But they did.

Muntinlupa’s road to cityhood

March 01, 2020
YESTERDAY (March 1, 2020) Muntinlupa marked its 25th anniversary as a highly urbanised city. When I assumed office as OIC mayor in June 1986, Muntinlupa was still classified as a fifth class municipality. It was earning approximately P28 million per year which was hardly sufficient to pay for the salaries of municipal employees.

BPI steps up bayanihan for Taal

February 23, 2020
IN the aftermath of Taal’s eruption last month, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) immediately responded by distributing relief goods to roughly 3,000 individuals (500 families). But even as displaced Taal families have started to return home, BPI does not intend to let up on its Bayanihan efforts. “Beyond emergency relief operations, BPI wants to help build something lasting, something that will greatly impact the communities affected by the calamity for the long term,” BPI President/CEO Cesar P. Consing said.