Mhyrna Macarasig with her young daughterWithin the confines of the Global Integrated Contact Facilities in Ortigas, one can find customer service agent Mhyrna Macarasig and supervisor Karen Geronia camped at their desks and on the phone, addressing the needs and answering the inquiries of Kapamilya and wouldbe customers, respectively.
On the other hand, it will be likely for kababayan on the US West Coast to see Leonamy Sala either giving away flyers during The Filipino Channel (TFC) events or literally knocking on doors to let Filipinos in on what TFC is—a network beyond news and entertainment.
Macarasig, Geronia and Sala live parallel lives but their lives intersect at a common goal—to serve overseas Filipinos.
They also have another thing in common—they are three of the women behind TFC’s success in 2015. As part of TFC’s key teams, they play a prominent role in terms of service fulfillment.
In the 2015 ABS-CBN Global Dealers Awards (GDEA) and Global Customer Service Excellence Awards (GCSEA), Macarasig won as TFC’s 2015 Agent of the Year for her job knowledge, technical skills, ability to provide feedback and data accuracy. Geronia won for her team’s consolidated efforts to achieve various objectives, especially sales. Sala, on the other hand, won for driving the highest sales for TFC; for driving numbers to Arizona, Las Vegas and New Mexico, she also won 2015’s Most Innovative and the Passion and Excellence awards. While their numbers earned them the top spot, the quality of their work and their passion, resilience and Kapamilya spirit gave Macarasig, Geronia and Sala the edge—the differentiating factor and the X factor, so to speak.
Macarasig became Agent of the Year despite the hurdles she had to overcome. In terms of challenges, she is a true example of resilience. She shared that even when physically incapable at times, her spirit remained willing to perform the course of her work.
“(Susi dito) Iyong pagmamahal sa region mo, sa trabaho. Kasi kahit may sakit ako, kahit may sakit ang anak ko, pasok pa rin ako.
Geronia’s winning stance manifests in how the team persistently aimed for the Team of the Year award. Team Karen had previously been nominated three times.
“Kaya siya special kasi pangapat na attempt ng team namin. Gradual step ito towards success. I am always excited to be recognized again and again. Patuloy pa rin ang performance namin. Di kami titigil sa performance namin.”
Geronia’s team is mostly composed of sales agents and their targets are high, which is why they were able to score only this year. Selling is one of the hardest tasks to complete, but for 2015, Team Karen emerged victorious.
“I think what made our team win is the attitude—not just stopping at what’s expected of them, beyond the performance they need to meet. Nalalagpasan nila lagi iyon. Nag-uusap kami sa strategies. Iyan ang nagpanalo sa amin—ang drive at passion.”
Aside from having the same kind of passion, Sala believes that one of the reasons she won is the fact that she takes the meaning of Kapamilya to heart.
“The word…has so much meaning. Filipinos in the US, I think this is the only race that meets you for the first time, lets you come in and makes you a Kapamilya. I am part of their lives, I am at their birthdays, baptisms, weddings. The word is so appropriate. That’s what we are to them and that’s we become to them.”
While the win is much awaited for Geronia, it’s monumental for Sala. She started selling TFC only two years ago. From sales of five, she now gets as many as 200 By Marianne de Vera subscriptions a month. Her yearend total earned her the top spot.
Beyond TFC subscriptions, she is a Kapamilya through and through. Before selling TFC, she used to ferry Star Kargo boxes along with her American husband Scott, whom she fondly calls her “Star Kargo kargador.”
Sala shared: “Aside from the fact that you try to be the conduit of being home, the feeling of being home to Filipinos abroad who labor every single day to provide a better life for their family, it’s a big responsibility I feel. So you receive validation in winning—your heart is filled with so much joy and fulfillment. There’s a feeling of doing something, a service to overseas Filipinos who are homesick and whose only connection is TFC.”
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there is only a slight difference in the number of female overseas Filipinos (50.5%) and males (49.5%). In the Philippines, there continues to be a slight difference—49.9% females and 50.1% males.
But the GDEA and GSCEA clearly showed that there indeed is equality of the sexes beyond numbers.
Macarasig, Geronia and Sala did not only show the strength in their numbers, but also substance. For this, they won the hearts of their fellow Kapamilya and the Filipinos they serve. (Story/Photos by: Marianne de Vera)
Supervisor Karen Geronia (standing, 2nd from left) with Team Karen
Leona Sala (left) and ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc. chief marketing officer Susan Afan