Sheila Mae Manalo during her graduation from PUPHere is the next in a series of primary stakeholders of the Lopez Group’s and Lopez family’s CSR and philanthropic initiatives which have impacted their lives years after they received support in cash or in kind.
Sheila Mae Manalo finished her industrial engineering course at Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Sto. Tomas, Batangas with the financial assistance of First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP), graduating cum laude. After her on-the-job training at Nestlé, she was absorbed by FPIP as a regular employee.
Manalo, 21, hails from Pantay Bata, Tanauan City and graduated valedictorian from Pantay Elementary School in 2009. She was also valedictorian when she finished at Pantay National High School in 2013. In college, she was consistently on the dean’s list, a quiz contest participant and a badminton player.
She also became Ms. IE 2018 and Ms. Southern Tagalog Industrial Engineering Seminar (STIES) 2018, evidence of her beauty and brains. “When I was in elementary, I first heard about FPIP from my uncle, Nonoy Platon, who was an employee there. When I was in Grade 6, I received a plaque of recognition from FPIP for being valedictorian of our class,” narrates Manalo. “I would also see some of their employees in our barangay during my childhood days doing medical missions, Brigada Eskwela, conducting quiz bees and essay competitions which I participated in.”
Joining FPIP activities
Manalo continued to join the CSR activities of FPIP during her high school days, when she became president of the youth organization sponsored by the company; this allowed her to attend FPIP’s seminars and programs which honed her skills and attitudes, especially her leadership and project management skills.
“These skills are of vital importance and applications for me when I went to college and up until now in my work. Through these exposures, I also learned how to value the resources that I had, especially time. I learned how to respect my time and that of the people I meet,” she adds.
Through the FPIP CSR programs, Manalo took part in different activities which helped people in many ways, things that would not have been possible if she was alone.
“These activities also helped me to develop my personality and self-confidence. I learned how to adjust and work well with others. I talked with different classes of people which enhanced my communication skills,” proudly says Manalo. “But most important of all, it was a privilege to be an FPIP scholar, a primary CSR activity of the company. Being a scholar is a very precious thing that motivates you to do your best all the time.”
Manalo, who is now reviewing for the engineering board examination, always motivates herself to study hard and be a better version of herself since being an FPIP scholar means that she carries the company’s name and “people around me know that I am a beneficiary.” With this motivation, she became active as a quiz contestant and badminton player representing PUP in different competitions.
What really gave honor to the Manalo family was when she graduated cum laude when she finished her BS Industrial Engineering course.
As a result of her getting a scholarship, Manalo was able to help her parents with her expenses as a student and assist them in supporting her younger brothers.
According to Marco Amurao, FPIP community relations officer, Manalo now even conducts leadership training and values formation for the company. And whenever their office needs a volunteer for clerical work, for example, she is the first to volunteer.
To scholars like her, Manalo gives the following advice: “Study hard and aim high! Never underestimate yourselves because if you believe in yourselves, you can achieve great things that no one can ever imagine. Rest if you must, but never quit. Persevere and do not lack the willingness to achieve more. And, above all, have faith in God for He knows the desires of your heart. Trust Him all the time.” (Story/Photos by: ( Dulce Festin-Baybay)
Manalo (3rd from left), with FPIP community relations officer Marco Amurao and other colleagues, actively took part in FPIP’s CSR activities even before she joined the company