Reynaldo Reyes of Adtel, Farley Cuizon of FPH, Elsa Maria Silvino of FPH, Pablo Fernandez of SKY and Mario Bactol of Lopez HoldingsOften working behind the scenes and under the radar, the inaugural batch of Unsung Heroes was feted by their kapamilya during the Lopez Achievement Awards ceremony on October 15.
The solar guy
Reynaldo Reyes, officer-incharge- Technical at the Solar Department of Adtel Inc., has worked in the company in various capacities for 19 years. After torture-testing handsets for telephony during the boom years of the telecom business, Reyes moved to solar electrification four years ago. From an office environment, he had to work outdoors in far-flung offgrid villages. The challenges of his new assignment escalated last year when Adtel was tapped to deliver the corporate social responsibility project of One Meralco Foundation; that is, to supply solar panels to remote schools.
As head of the installation team, the work involved transporting materials such as solar panels the size of a table, batteries that weighed over 30 kilos each, battery boxes as big as a medium-sized refrigerator and other electrical installation materials. Reyes led the team in overcoming rugged terrain and bad weather during the rainy season in order to reach island barangays. There were times when he and his team would be stranded for weeks in remote areas of Palawan, Romblon, South Cotabato and other provinces because of typhoons or logistical hitches in roll on-roll off schedules and local transportation.
Through Reyes’ leadership, dedication and professionalism, Adtel was able to complete the project on time and earned plaudits and positive word of mouth from the client, leading to referrals and business from similar nonprofit foundations.
The singing specialist
Farley Cuizon, paralegal specialist of First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) with 16 years of service, has put his extraordinarily soothing singing voice to good use at work. As the company’s main liaison with regulators, in particular with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Cuizon has earned a reputation for accomplishing his tasks with integrity and innovative persuasion. At one time, he thought nothing of serenading an examiner in the very halls of the SEC, creating a friendly atmosphere and ultimately getting a favorable decision for FPH.
Cuizon’s role can be daunting as he has to contend with sometimes unreasonable impositions and interpretations of rules. But his naturally amiable nature, reasoned arguments and devotion to duty have won many battles. As the go-to guy when it comes to SEC filings, Cuizon even advanced his own money when a subsidiary of FPH had to apply for an increase of capital stock on the last working day of the year. On that day, all the employees, including Cuizon himself, were on forced leave and there was no more chance to get a corporate cash advance for the required submission.
Cuizon’s quiet labors help pave the way for formalizing FPH’s new businesses, as well as the valid and just avoidance of regulatory impositions.
The iceberg contributor
Elsa Maria Silvino, assistant manager-Legal of FPH, has logged 22 years of service to the company. A single mom who has to work doubly hard to provide for her family, she is known as an iceberg contributor because only a small portion of her work rises above the surface and gets noticed, and the rest is done outside of public view. For example, Silvino prepares minutes of meetings and regular SEC filings. But very few understand the laborious task of actually coordinating the attendance of directors with multiple corporate affiliations to meetings, synchronizing board and committee meetings for maximum attendance, ensuring meeting materials are complete, arranging the menu to suit different tastes, and then documenting everything that happens for a reliable record of events
Silvino’s work at the annual stockholders’ meeting (ASM) is like preparing for a board meeting 50 times over. Apart from arranging all the physical details of venue and food, she must coordinate with Finance, Investor Relations, Corporate Communications and a host of service providers for the smooth conduct of the ASM. She is also involved in proxy solicitation to ensure a quorum at the meeting. On her own initiative, she attended to the request of a small stockholder, leading to that stockholder publicly thanking Silvino for her assistance at the last FPH ASM.
With her meticulousness, determination and focused energy, Silvino is a key contributor to the FPH Legal team’s accomplishments.
The MacGyver of SKY
Pablo Fernandez, marketing assistant at SKYcable Corporation, has worked 22 years for the company’s sales, promotions and marketing communication events. His work spans the gamut from creative (an artist designing the look or motif of an event; a craftsman creating props, sets and decorations) to manual (lifting equipment; setting up TV and laptop demos; building booths, stages and pylons) to managerial (making floor plans; taking charge of ingress and egress for SKY events).
For all his high-quality workmanship, Fernandez has to work long hours, even sleeping in the office for an early ingress. Otherwise, he would leave his home in Cavite at 4 a.m. and work until the next day. Since most of SKY’s promotional events are done on weekends, he has chosen to work six days a week and takes only Mondays off.
Like the TV hero Mac- Gyver, Fernandez works with available materials making Spanish hats out of cartolina, Christmas trees out of paper cones, foil and glue, and hundreds of beautiful handmade snowflakes. His creative genius saves SKY anywhere from P30,000 to P60,000 per event, fees that would have gone to a third-party agency. With his originality, enthusiasm and passion for his work, he has gained the confidence of his colleagues who time and again go to him for their events requirements.
The swimming messenger
Mario Bactol, messenger of Lopez Holdings Corporation, has been working in the Lopez Group for 30 years, including 11 years as an outsource elevator operator in Meralco. Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez (AMML), then chief executive of Meralco, noticed how Bactol never failed to show up for work despite typhoons, earthquakes, jeepney strikes and coups d’état. Bactol became a messenger in Lopez Holdings in January 1996 and earned great respect from his coworkers for his honesty, resourcefulness and dedication.
Part of his duty is to deliver the legal documents and reports of publicly listed companies to the SEC. Despite the lateness of the hour, he always manages to accomplish his task, even walking in the rain and across flooded streets to make sure that his deliveries will still be accepted. His humility and positive attitude have earned for him a good reputation at the SEC and other agencies to which he is sent.
When typhoon Ondoy submerged most of Metro Manila one Saturday in 2009, Bactol saved himself by swimming out of his rented room in the basement of a house and hanging on to a floating plastic water container. He saved another life by sharing the plastic container with one of his neighbors. Despite losing all that he owned to Ondoy’s fury, Bactol conducted himself with great dignity and reported for work the very next Monday. He needed to continue working in order to recover his bearings and continue supporting his siblings. (Story/Photos by: Carla Paras-Sison)