The Fifth at Rockwell in Power Plant Mall played first-time host to the Lopez Achievement Awards (LAA), themed “Playing to Win,” on October 17.
Five teams, an Unsung Hero and a Lifetime Achievement Awardee received LAA trophies from Lopez Group chairman Manuel M. Lopez (MML), First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) chairman and CEO Federico R. Lopez (FRL) and ABS-CBN chairman Mark L. Lopez at The Fifth, the newest event space in town.
Role of Lopez Values
FRL underscored the crucial role of the Lopez Values in view of the climate crisis facing the world today.
Such, FRL said, “will have far-reaching effects not only on weather but on our water supply, agriculture, food systems, marine and terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity, disease vectors, livability of entire regions of the world, and the vulnerability of our cities and urban infrastructure to extreme weather events, just to name a few.”
At the same time, the FPH chairman stressed, “within our lifetimes we will see history’s greatest paradigm shift unfold before our eyes. Armed with a heart for social justice and a pioneering entrepreneurial spirit, let me say that this climate crisis is precisely the kind of challenge the Lopez Group was built for. We have this one great opportunity to be a part of it. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
Five at The Fifth
Customer Focus was an ABS-CBN show as the company came away with wins for two entries—“Dissecting Data (Making Sense of the Numbers)” and “iWant: The Great Shift.”
“Dissecting Data” is a first in the broadcast industry, a pioneer in data-driven reporting and big data journalism by crunching numbers and making sense of the numbers and reporting them in an understandable manner. It is a potent tool in fighting “fake news.”
“Dissecting Data” analyzes and paints an objective picture of the most pressing and relevant issues based on empirical evidence. It enables the audience to make rational and intelligent decisions based on facts.
ANC anchor/managing editor Cathy Yang, speaking on behalf of the Dissecting Data Team, said: “…Data wasn’t always a business, it was for everyone. This is what we discovered in our yearlong journey. This is the pinnacle of it, but it’s just the start… This is such a great opportunity to actually leverage and scale up. Thank you so much. And to my whole team, maraming salamat.”
Being true to ABS-CBN’s vision of becoming an agile company in the digital era, focus shifted to push forward ABS-CBN’s digital agenda.
First launched as iWant TV in 2010, a TV catch-up streaming service for SKYcable subscribers, the platform has been relaunched as iWant, providing Filipinos free access to the biggest library of local content, including original content, through compelling stories and meaningful experiences.
The team created a platform with the Pinoy heart in mind to fit the viewers’ and customers’ viewing behavior
Elaine Uy-Casipit, One OTT head, teased that the win meant added pressure for the team ahead of another run at the LAA in 2020.
“Maraming salamat for all the support. Please download iWant, everybody needs to have iWant here,” she added.
First Gen Corporation continued its winning ways by tabbing a victory in Business Management for “Strengthening First Gen’s Natural Gas Business: Implementing the 6-Year Power Supply Agreement with Meralco for the 420-MW San Gabriel Power Project” spearheaded by the San Gabriel PSA Team.
The San Gabriel Power Project, a 420-megawatt natural gas-fired plant in Batangas owned and operated by First NatGas Power Corporation, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Gen. It was constructed in 2014 with the intention of selling energy to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). However, certain developments in the WESM pricing mechanism worked to upset this expectation.
Hence, the imperative for the team to proactively explore the most feasible alternative—that is, to contract the capacity and energy produced by the plant to Meralco.
The San Gabriel PSA becomes beneficial to its 6.5 million customers because the plant provides clean, stable, reliable energy with the least cost. It also contributes to the mitigation of global warming and climate change because it avoided 1.2 million tons of carbon emission in 2018 by displacing the equivalent energy from coal sources.
“This is very special to us and will certainly motivate us because the next round of PSAs has been announced by Meralco. So, we have a lot of inspiration going forward,” said Maria Aurora Ceniza, vice president for Business Development Group-Gas.
“Knowledge Channel and the Power of Interns” propelled the Knowledge Channel Team of Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. (KCFI) to the top of the Operations Management category.
The foundation led by president Rina Lopez-Bautista reestablished KCFI’s Volunteer Management Program and harnessed intern power to help in animating textbooks used by public school children for the foundation’s Basa Bilang project. Thus, the birth of the Knowledge Channel Internship Program (KCIP) in late 2017 via partnership with 24 schools all over Luzon, which provided 180 college interns who took their inspiration primarily from the commitment to hone their talents and to have their work published for the public good.
This translated to 79,000 man-hours of video production service by the KCIP interns producing P11 million worth of videos and digital educational materials, making it possible for KCFI to continue serving the marginalized learners in various parts of the country.
“Sir, this is for you,” said KCFI head of access, schools and community engagement Doris Nuval, addressing Lopez Group chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez.
In the Public Responsibility category, “Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp: Beyond the Board” enabled ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc. (ALKFI), through Bantay Kalikasan (BK) and Gubatnon for Adventourism Inc. (GAI), to return to the LAA’s win column for another year.
In 2014, ALKFI through BK and GAI, came up with a strategy of developing a sustainable ecotourism enterprise to provide a better future for the next generation via feasible interventions, including sustained livelihood, empowered communities through education, partnerships with key institutions and transformation of the people into environmental stewards, among others.
“Para sa bayan at para sa kalikasan, ang tagumpay na ito ay inaalay namin sa ‘yo, Ma’am Gina Lopez,” said Joy Endraca, site specialist for ALKFI-BK Sorsogon, referring to the late ALKFI head.
“…Kayang-kaya at pwedeng-pwede pala. Baon namin lahat ng aral at inspirasyon mo sa aming paglalakbay. Patuloy naming pagyayabungin ang punla ng pangarap at pagmamahal na iniwan mo sa amin. Maraming, maraming salamat, Ma’am Gina.”
The Unsung Hero
Unsung Hero Ruel de Luna of the Rockwell Club never allowed his being a high school graduate to limit and define his career and his future. He started with Rockwell Club as a messenger wherein he routinely took it upon himself to do extra work at the office; whatever he didn’t know, he would ask his colleagues to teach him. He always tried his best to finish his rounds as messenger by midday in order to volunteer and help the membership relations associates in filing documents, among others, to get their job done faster. The erstwhile messenger’s eagerness to learn, his gracious demeanor in dealing with clients and his extraordinary work ethic and consistent willingness to go the extra mile were soon rewarded with a promotion. Now, he serves as a membership supervisor at the Rockwell Club. Aside from memorizing the names, birthdays and even the membership numbers of club members, together with his team he put up a system where the members’ photos are flashed on the club’s computers on their birthdays; hence, the warm birthday greetings coupled with birthday songs and cakes that have surprised and moved a lot of club members to tears. He became the favorite “go-to” person of club members and the “one-stop shop” for membership support. Thus, he earned the reputation of being the “heart and soul” of the Rockwell Club.
An elated De Luna thanked his mentors at Rockwell Land and Rockwell Club as well as the Lopez family and the LAA for the recognition that made this year his “greatest year ever.”
He also thanked his family, who joined him onstage as a surprise. They are the main reason for his being. He stayed single to support them—his parents, siblings, nephews and nieces.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The 2019 season’s Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred posthumously on ALKFI chair Gina Lopez (GL). The award was received on her behalf by CPI president Ernie L. Lopez (ELL).
“It is particularly poignant and meaningful for the LAA to give [my sister] this award because many of the companies here have been particularly generous and supportive of Gina and her work,” ELL said. “She could not have done her work without your gracious help.”
He said the LAA citation is GL’s sixth posthumous award thus far.
ELL added: “I’ve never been personally exposed to anyone with a purer heart than my sister. She truly had no other agenda than to help people who are in need.”
ELL then shared a passage from Isaiah that he said reminds him of GL: “‘And if you give yourself to the hungry/And satisfy the desire of the afflicted/Then your light will rise in darkness/And your gloom will become like midday/And the Lord will continually guide you/And satisfy your desire in scorched places/And give strength to your bones/And you will be like a watered garden/And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.’
“This quote totally describes Gina and her life, but it applies to us too. Thank you for this award,” he said.
In addition to her foundation’s LAA awards over the years, GL in 2012 received a special award for her accomplishments as managing director of ALKFI, then known as ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.
Setting the bar higher
As he closed the LAA 2019 awards ceremony, MML congratulated the five LAA winners and Unsung Hero De Luna for “setting the bar higher.” The chairman of the Lopez Group also looked back on GL’s life of philanthropy, expressing hope that her passion and dedication will inspire her kapamilya (see sidebar story)
Throughout the three-hour program, fourth-generation Lopezes Martin Vargas and Manna Vargas Morada had the guests on the edge of their seats with their brand of “sibling revelry” alongside cohost “It’s Showtime” hurado and beauty queen Nicole Cordoves.
Another fourth-generation Lopez, PeoplePods Philippines cofounder Daniel Lopez Layug, earlier led the assemblage in reciting the Lopez Credo.
Meanwhile, Kapamilya artists Marielle Montellano, Mitoy Yonting, Lyca Gairanod and Elha; Janella Salvador and K-La Rivera; Gian Magdangal and Robert Seña; and Kuh Ledesma with Kontra Ga-Pi rendered song numbers in between the announcement of winners.
This year’s LAA winners were selected from 11 semifinalists by a panel of judges composed of members of the Lopez family represented by Angela Lopez, head of Operations of Lopez Group Foundation Inc., and Eugenio Lopez IV, head for the Project Management Office of SKY Cable; Lopez Group executives; and external judge Luis Maria Calingo, Ph.D., president of Holy Angel University and the only Filipino member of the board of examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award of the US.
Including the newest additions, the LAA now has 135 team and individual winners, six lifetime achievement awardees, 21 special awardees and 13 Unsung Heroes over 17 seasons.