In Negros Oriental, slash-and-burn farmers become protectors of the forests they used to mindlessly burn. In Marawi, journalists uncover the stories of a people isolated and displaced by armed conflict. In Leyte, typhoon victims transform from jobless into members of an empowered community who run their own businesses and are able to send their children to school.
These are just some of the remarkable projects and endeavors that won Lopez Achievement Awards (LAA) for their respective teams during the program’s 16th awarding ceremonies on October 10.
As this year’s theme was “Facing up to the Challenge of Disruption,” ABS-CBN chairman Mark L. Lopez (MLL) shared the story of Henry Hu. The twentysomething American developed Café X, a robotpowered coffee kiosk, after noticing he spent too much time lining up to get a cup of coffee.
MLL underscored the importance of “[disrupting] the normal in order to survive and enable our organizations to remain relevant to our customers today and to the generations to come.”
“Innovation is no longer an option nor a luxury but a matter of survival and relevance,” he stressed in his opening remarks.
Achieving ultimate goals
MLL also commended this year’s batch of winners—four from ABS-CBN, two from ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc. (ALKFI), three from Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and one from First Gen Corporation— for “breaking ground in order to achieve ultimate goals.”
The winners received their team and individual trophies from Lopez Group chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez, Lopez Group Foundation Inc. president Cedie Lopez Vargas (MLV), MLL, SKY Cable Managed Services head Jamie Lopez, and Lopez Holdings Corporation executive vice president Mike Lopez.
Claiming the afternoon’s first award, in the Customer Focus category, was “Moonchasers.ph: Mastering TVDigital Integration to Create an Immersive Fan Experience” by the DMD Operations Team of ABS-CBN.
Teams from three companies picked up wins in the Business Management category: First Gen’s Project Terra Team for its entry “Asia’s Largest Voluntary Tender Offer in the Power Sector: The Entry of Macquarie and the Government of Singapore (“GIC”) Into Energy Development Corporation (EDC)”; the EDC NIGBU ASPA Team for “Mitigating Losses Through the ASPA Market: First Geothermal Facility to Successfully Implement Regulating Reserve Ancillary Services in the Philippine Power Market”; and the Dream Team of ABS-CBN for “ABS-CBN’s Unilever Story Studio: The Partnership That Pays Off.”
EDC had the lone win in the Operations Management category for “EDC LGBU’s Return to Service After a 6.5-Magnitude Earthquake” spearheaded by the Leyte Geothermal Business Unit (LGBU) Return-To-Service Team.
Meanwhile, “Beans of Hope: From Kaingeros to Green Warriors” by the NIGBU-CREW of EDC, was the afternoon’s first winner in the Public Responsibility category.
“The transformation of the Baslay farmers from kaingeros to forest protectors would not have been possible without two things: number one, the passion and dedication of our EDC employees in serving our communities and protecting the forests; and secondly, the trust and cooperation of our farmers…,” said Atty. Allan Barcena, Watershed and CSR division head of EDC.
For Jeff Canoy, who spoke on behalf of the ABS-CBN DocuCentral Team, winning an LAA served as an encouragement for them to continue to be champions of truth at a time when their profession is under attack.
“Gaya nga ng sabi ng title ng mga docu namin, hindi kami pasisiil para mapagtanggol namin ang paglayang minamahal,” Canoy said.
The team won for “DocuCentral: Chasing the Truth in the Midst of War.
The story of a community’s transformation is the subject of the winning entry “Kwento ng Pagbangon: The Transformation of Sabang Daguitan Surf Camp” by Bantay Kalikasan in Sabang Daguitan, Leyte.
“Walang bahay, walang pera, walang trabaho, walang makain,” was how Ailyn Caballero, Leyte site specialist, described their community post-Yolanda in 2013. Bantay Kalikasan took the residents in hand, teaching them sustainable sources of livelihood while also protecting the environment.
Today, they have “food on the table, all their [residents’] kids go to school, lahat sila meron nang trabaho, so it’s really a big help… We’d like to thank Bantay Kalikasan for everything,” she said.
Bantay Bata 163 of ALKFI and the Failon Ngayon Team of ABS-CBN complete the Public Responsibility awardees with their entries “Bantay Bata 163: The Hope at the End of the Line” and “Pamana ng Mina,” respectively.
The year’s Unsung Heroes, Bantay Kalikasan project supervisor Jose Pascual Jr. and Genata Holdings Corporation property officer Agustin Zaragoza, were awarded by MLV and Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. president Rina Lopez-Bautista.
Mike Lopez delivered the closing remarks on behalf of Lopez Group chairman Manuel M. Lopez (MML), who was out of the country.
“Your achievements and stories are very inspiring. They did not happen by chance. They are the results of very deliberate decisions, commitments and actions. They tell us how passionate you are, how knowledgeable you are and how dedicated you are to your projects, programs, causes, organizations… We celebrate the Lopez Achievement Awards annually because of teams like yours. You have done an excellent job. Thank you for always raising the bar of excellence,” MML said.
With 130 team and individual winners, 21 special awardees, 12 Unsung Heroes awardees and five lifetime achievement awardees throughout its 16year run thus far, “the LAA has truly shown that we, the Lopez Group employees, are capable of exceptional achievements,” MML stressed.
First Philippine Realty Corporation president Cary Lopez returned as LAA host after a four-year hiatus, with fourthgeneration Lopez Miguel Vargas and actress Jodi Santamaria ably providing support as cohosts. Devin Thomas Lopez, another member of the fourth generation, led the recitation of the Lopez Credo and Values.
Further spicing up the ceremonies were powerhouse performances from Sheena Belarmino; Klarisse de Guzman, Nyoy Volante, Zia Quizon and Sam Concepcion; “Tawag ng Tanghalan” finalists Steven Paysu, Marielle Montellano, Froilan Canlas, Arabelle dela Cruz, Sam Mangubat and Rachel Gabreza; and Esang de Torres and Dulce.
Cedie Lopez Vargas and Rina Lopez-Bautista present the Unsung Heroes
ABS-CBN Lifestyle Ecosystem president Ernie Lopez
Devin Thomas Lopez leads the recitation of the Lopez Credo
host Cary Lopez shares a light moment with his cohosts, Jodi Santamaria and Miguel Lopez Vargas
A power collab between Dulce and Esang de Torres for the afternoon’s finale
Nyoy Volante, Radha, Sam Concepcion and Klarisse de Guzman fire up the audience with a medley of inspiring anthems