Jose Pascual Jr.: He has made La Mesa his home and his life for almost two decades
Jose Pascual Jr. is the project supervisor of the Forest Protection Component and former supervisor of Nursery Mangement and Vermi-composting of La Mesa Watershed—the catch basin of Angat, Umiray and Ipo dams, the sources of potable water for Northern Luzon residents.
Hired in 2000, Pascual has consistently shown his professionalism, passion and love for La Mesa. He is considered by his colleagues as their mentor and an expert on agriculture and tree-growing by new foresters and forest employees.
For Pascual, La Mesa Watershed is a labor of love. It is more than work. It has become his life for almost two decades.
Working in La Mesa poses a lot of risks, including abuses by violators and illegal poachers, attempts to swim in the reservoir, etc. Apprehending these violators, Pascual was at one point almost shot. Instead of being scared, he faced the violators, not by force but by calm and peaceful communication.
Pascual is also full of conviction. Some violators were jailed, and he made sure that proper documentation of the cases was filed and in order.
Aside from violators, the forest is at risk for disasters like forest fires. Pascual trains his staff how to properly monitor the forest 24/7.
After 18 years of managing the watershed, La Mesa forest officers including Pascual have successfully reforested a total of 1,552 hectares equivalent to 95,872 endemic forest tree species; protected the watershed by deploying foot patrol guards, especially during summer to prevent forest fires; apprehended a total of 1,878 violators; constructed 125.6 kilometers of stretch roadside and 76,145 square meter firebreaks to prevent forest fires; promoted both the La Mesa Watershed and Ecopark by educating a total of 434,145 tourists and earning a total revenue of P37,769,917; and coordinated with major stakeholders totaling 428 companies and individuals who helped maintain La Mesa.
His dedication and commitment are a testament to his love for his work. Pascual personifies joyful service, passion and love for his job. He looks forward to staying in the forest, managing the seedlings in the nursery and monitoring the forest with his coworkers.
Pascual is also a member of the Knights of Columbus in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.
Demonstrating the value of business excellence, Pascual has consistently given his best as forest protection supervisor and is considered as one of the best nursery supervisors, making the reforestation a huge success. Ninety-two percent of the seedlings planted survived, making Bantay Kalikasan the pioneer in watershed management and protection and a model in watershed rehabilitation and maintenance.
Pascual demonstrates the value of unity via his collaborative mind-set.
He demonstrates the value of nationalism through his genuine love for La Mesa and the environment in general. He believes that every Filipino deserves clean water and air. He shows integrity through his prudent handling of La Mesa’s revolving fund for its daily operations. He accomplishes reports and is very transparent.
Pascual is compassionate. He wants none of his coworkers to be left behind in line with the value of social justice.
Pascual enthusiastically teaches guests how to plant trees and how important these are.
Pascual is married to Virginia Pascual. He has four children: Joel, Jay, Michael King and Jomar.
Agustin Zaragoza, trusted man on the ground in Guimaras
Agustin Zaragoza has dedicated a total of 26 years of his life with the Lopez Group, most of these as the property and administration officer of Genata Holdings Corporation since 2001.
He started his career as marketing assistant and then as an accounting assistant of TREE Inc., the company responsible for the establishment of the mango plantation in the ancestral property of the Lopez family in Buenavista, Guimaras in the 1990s until 1995. Then, he was absorbed by FARM Inc., engaged in the business of mango production and marketing, as its accountant until its closure in 1998. He then moved to Guimaras Agriculture and Aquaculture Corporation, which operates hundreds of hectares of fishponds for milkfish and prawn production, until 2001.
Zaragoza singlehandedly took on the responsibilities of taking care of the remaining milkfish stocks, preserving the company’s assets, facilitating pending transactions, including compliance with government regulations and the settlement of the remaining company obligations.
Zaragoza’s punctuality, strong sense of accountability, teamwork, passion and leadership prompted Jei-jei Gertes, vice president and CFO of Third Generation Holdings, to convince him to join Genata Holdings. His main tasks and responsibilities include ascertaining and properly documenting the Lopez Group’s agricultural landholdings covering approximately 5,000 hectares in Guimaras.
Zaragoza has delivered great work output and has kept excellent work relations with various internal and external stakeholders. Since 2006, he has rendered a considerable amount of volunteer work for other organizations in the Lopez Group.
In 2011, Zaragoza was instrumental in the timely transfer of the title of a piece of donated land to the beneficiary-cooperative (the promised donation of land was one of the main reasons chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez was honored as the Philanthropist of the Year by “Forbes” magazine in 2007).
Zaragoza is the Lopez Group’s trusted man on the ground in Guimaras. He keeps his word and is mindful of always giving his best.
Zaragoza is Lopez Group Foundation Inc.’s alternate representative in Guimaras and he sits on the Provincial Development Council and the Regional (Region VI) Development Council as the representative of the province of Guimaras. He is also affiliated with various church and religious organizations, and community and civic groups.
He demonstrates the value of business excellence by consistently delivering on his key result areas and excelling in the roles assigned to him. He shows the value of unity by way of good cooperation with the companies. He also demonstrates nationalism by overseeing the Kapamilya Caravan during the annual Manggahan Festival in Guimaras which Lopez Inc. has been sponsoring since 2012.
He exhibits the value of integrity by doing his roles and tasks, whether official or ad hoc or voluntary, to the utmost of his abilities even when no one is watching or monitoring him.
Finally, he demonstrates social justice, ensuring that all those who need his help are equally helped by him and that the companies that he is assisting would positively impact the lives of the people of Guimaras.
Zaragoza, 54, is a BS Accounting graduate. He is married to Belly Zaragoza and they have two sons, Bill Justine and Marco Angelo.