Eternal Gardens Lipa gets Business Excellence Award

MEMORIAL industry leader Eternal Gardens has conferred its first-ever Business Excellence Award on its branch in Lipa City, giving it recognition as Branch of the Year for 2016.

A six-foot-tall trophy was handed out to the officers and staff of Eternal Gardens Lipa, led by Branch Manager Jocelyn Ann Buendia, during the company’s Christmas Party on December 6 at Citystate Tower Hotel in Ermita, Manila.

The trophy, inscribed with the Eternal Gardens logo and the silhouetted figure of Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, Eternal Gardens founder and chairman emeritus, was presented by company officers, led by Benjamin V. Ramos, vice chairman of the board; Numeriano B. Rodrin, president and COO; and T. Anthony C. Cabangon, board director.

Edgard A. Cabangon, chairman and CEO, initiated the award in keeping with the commitment to excellence that has been handed down to the company by the ambassador as his legacy.

Eternal Gardens launched the Business Excellence Award early this year to recognize the company’s most outstanding branch as a highlight of the celebration of its 40th anniversary on August 11. The competition aimed to challenge all 10 branches of Eternal Gardens to be the best and exemplify excellence in their overall performance.

Other branches in the company’s network of modern memorial parks are the maiden park in Baesa, Caloocan; the cities of Dagupan, Biñan, Batangas, in barangay Balagtas and Concepcion; Naga, Cabanatuan, Santa Rosa and Cagayan de Oro.

The 10 branches were judged upon for excellence by a committee made up of the department heads in the areas of Sales, Finance,  Operations, Marketing and Human Resources.

The award will be held  for  one  year  by  Eternal Gardens Lipa as the winning  branch. The same  trophy  will be passed  on  to  the succeeding  winners  each year.


(First published in the BusinessMirror on December 8, 2016)

A New Course, A New Horizon: The Sales Managers’ Convention for 2017

The sales managers from the marketing branches of Eternal Gardens gathered in Manila last November 21 and 22, 2016 for their Sales Managers Convention (SMC) for 2017. Entitled “A New Course, A New Horizon,” the 2-day company-sponsored event aims to prepare them for the new marketing year ahead.

Cagayan De Oro Branch

Delegates from the company’s branches in the Cities of Batangas, Lipa, Dagupan, Cabanatuan, Naga, Santa Rosa, and Cagayan De Oro got together at the Citystate Hotel in Manila on Monday evening for their Rock ‘n’ Roll-themed Fellowship Night, where they had the chance to mingle with and get to know their colleagues in the other branches of Eternal Gardens. There had been fun games and an exciting inter-branch dance contest, in which Cagayan De Oro team was hailed the champion.

The event, which was organized by the Sales and Marketing Department, was made even more special by the attendance of the company’s top executives, namely Chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon, Vice Chairman Benjamin V. Ramos, and President and COO Numeriano B. Rodrin. All the branch managers and other Eternal Gardens executives were also present, including Vice President for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera, VP for HRMD Victoria C. Nava, VP for Finance Marvin C. Timbol, and Executive Secretary Rosario T. Lachica.

On the following day, Tuesday, it was business as usual for the delegates as they participated in the convention proper in the morning and their presentation of commitment in the afternoon. The morning session was facilitated by Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officer and Professional Regulatory Board of the Real Estate Service (PRBRES) lecturer Professor Xylexferene L. De La Torre, REB, REA, CPA. Prof. Xy, who is a licensed real estate broker who also lectures in various colleges and universities, talked about taxation, the different kinds of tax in the Philippines, and the different aspects of real estate brokerage.

Ms. Belen C. Frago (4th from left) is presented a Special Recognition for her loyalty and valuable contribution to the manpower of Batangas branches.

After the lecture, a Special Recognition was presented to Belen C. Frago, a pioneering general agency manager of the Batangas City and Lipa City branches of Eternal Gardens. Frago, who will be turning 80 this year, cried tears if joy as she received her plaque on stage where she was joined by some of the agency managers that started from her unit.

The afternoon of day two of the Sales Managers’ Convention was spent evaluating the 2016 sales performance of the branches and setting new goals for 2017.

Eternal Gardens celebrates 40th anniversary

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(from left) Eternal Gardens President and COO Numeriano B. Rodrin, Vice President for Human Resources Management Division Victoria C. Nava, 35-year service awardee Executive Secretary Rosario T. Lachica, Chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon and Vice Chairman Benjamin V. Ramos (Photo by Rudy Esperas)

ETERNAL Gardens celebrated its 40th anniversary last  Thursday (August 11) with a grand festivity  at Citystate Tower Hotel in Ermita filled with rejoicing  over the accomplishments of the past four decades, and fondly remembering and paying tribute to  its  founder,  Ambassador Antonio  L. Cabangon Chua, whose leadership made the success possible.

As D. Edgard A. Cabangon,  chairman of the board of Eternal Gardens, noted in his brief remarks, “It is exactly  five months since my  Dad passed  away. I am  sure he is now looking down on us, happy that we are together on this great occasion.”

The  Ambassador bid farewell to Eternalites and the rest of the ALC Group of Cos. on March 11, a Friday, a day  he spent without  fail  going to Quiapo Church in  Manila in keeping with his devotion to Jesus  as  the  Black  Nazarene.

A brightly lit stage splashed a greeting in bold letters extolling the occasion, while an almost life-size standee portrait of the Ambassador  was by the right side of the stage, showing him in confident pose, smiling and his arms folded before him.

“We  best honor and  show our love for him by keeping  alive  his  legacy  of  hard  work,  determination  and  perseverance to reach  our goals,”  Cabangon  told  the Eternalites. The crowd that filled  the grand ballroom of Citystate Tower Hotel included officers  and  staff from  the head  office  in  Makati, and  managers and  representatives from each  of  the 10  branches  of  Eternal Gardens.

Highlighting the occasion  was  the  presence  as  special  guests  of pioneer  officers  and sales  workers  who helped  the  Ambassador  set  up  the company  and  overcome great  hurdles  encountered  in the earliest  days 40 years  ago,  when  the concept of the modern first-class memorial  park was something  new and  unfamiliar with  Filipinos.

Among them  were  former  Mindoro  Oriental Rep. and Gov. Rodolfo G. Valencia, veteran publicist and newsman  Juan P. Dayang, marketing executive  Antonio Lorenzo and  several  sales  agents who pioneered the offering of the products and services  of  Eternal Gardens  to the public.

In  his own remarks, Valencia, who had been  the Ambassador’s  business associate for several years before he left business to join politics, said among the business undertakings where he had worked with the Ambassador,  “Eternal Gardens,  under the direct  leadership of  Pareng Tony, proved  to  be  the most  successful.”  At that time of his younger days,  the  founder was better known  as Col. Tony Cabangon Chua, being a reservist in the Armed Forces.

Valencia  recalled that under the Ambassador’s vigorous management, the pioneering  leaders  of  Eternal Gardens  attracted  many accomplished  memorial-industry professionals to join the fledgling  company. Among them were  Tony  Lorenzo, Gabriel Vida and many other competent  memorial-industry expert  workers.

Four decades after  those  early  struggling days,  Valencia said, he  was  happy  to  see that  “Eternal  Gardens is  one  of the most successful  business enterprises  in  the  country,”  growing from  one  humble  park  in Baesa,  Caloocan,  to  a chain  of  10  memorial  parks in  key places  all  over  the country today.”

Presentation of  the Service Awards  also  highlighted  the  special  event.  A total  of  33 Eternalites were recognized  for their  loyal  service to the company for five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and  35  years,  headed  by  Executive Secretary  Rosario T. Lachica,  a 35-year  service  awardee.

In  her  message,  Lachica  thanked  the  management  of  Eternal  Gardens and the  Cabangon family   “for all  the  opportunities  you  have given me all  these  years.”

Another  important  part  of  the evening  was the unveiling  of the trophy  for the Business Excellence Award  of Eternal Gardens. Measuring  6 feet   in  height,  the  stainless-steel  trophy will  be awarded at  the end  of the year to  the branch  of Eternal  Gardens that  will be adjudged best  in  excellence  in  the areas of sales, finance,  operations, marketing and human resources. The  award will be held  for  one  year  by  the winning  branch  and  the  same  trophy  will be passed  on  to  the succeeding  winners  each year.


This article was first published in the Business Mirror.

Eternal Memorial Chapel and Funeral Services inaugurated


The Eternal Memorial Chapel and Funeral Services at Eternal Gardens Santa Rosa City, Laguna had its Blessing and Inauguration on July 15, 2016.

Local government officials and other special guests joined company executives and staff in celebrating the event, which started with a Thanksgiving Mass at the site.

Leading the inauguration are (from left) Alitagtag, Batangas Mayor Anthony Francis Andal; Santa Rosa, Laguna Vice Mayor Arnold Arcillas; former Santa Teresita, Batangas Mayor Bayani Andal; Santa Rosa, Laguna Mayor Danilo Ramon Fernandez; Grace Andal (wife of Mayor Bayani Andal); Eternal Plans Inc. (EPI) Vice Chairman and CEO Antoinette Cabangon-Jacinto; Eternal Gardens Chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon; Eterna; Gardens President and COO Numeriano B. Rodrin; EPI President Elmer M. Lorica; and Supreme Court Justice Jose P. Perez.

The Eternal Memorial Chapel and Funeral Services is owned and managed by the Andal family.

Photo by Alysa Salen

Our Pillars of Success: The Grand Annual Awards Night for 2015

In the photo are  (l-r) Eternal Gardens president and COO Numeriano B. Rodrin, vice chairman of the board Benjamin V. Ramos, Top General Agency Manager Helen Abesa, Top Regular Sales Counselor Cynthia Leycano, Top Regular Unit Manager Zenaida Calingasan, chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon, board director T. Anthony C. Cabangon, and vice president for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera.

In the photo are  (l-r) Eternal Gardens president and COO Numeriano B. Rodrin, vice chairman of the board Benjamin V. Ramos, Top General Agency Manager Helen Abesa, Top Regular Sales Counselor Cynthia Leycano, Top Regular Unit Manager Zenaida Calingasan, chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon, board director T. Anthony C. Cabangon, and vice president for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera.

Eternal Gardens honored its top performing sales managers and counselors for the previous year during the Grand Annual Awards Night for 2015 held on May 3, 2016 at the 5th floor ballroom of Citystate Tower Hotel in Manila.

Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) commissioner and CEO Atty. Antonio M. Bernardo joined Eternalites in honoring their best and brightest sales associates as Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker. In his very insightful speech, Commissioner Bernardo commended the honors for their great contribution to the success of the company as well as the industry. “You could not have chosen a more appropriate theme for tonight’s Grand Annual Awards than ‘Our Pillars of Success’. Indeed, the men and women we honor tonight are the pillars of success of the company. They are the pillars on which the company has anchored its programs as it continues to build on success after success,” he said.

HLURB commissioner and CEO Atty. Antonio M. Bernardo delivers his special message

HLURB commissioner and CEO Atty. Antonio M. Bernardo delivers his keynote address

Bernardo also cited Eternal Gardens’ role in shaping the current mindset of Filipinos towards pre-need planning. “Your pioneering efforts and advocacy in pre-need memorial planning have benefitted many of your clientele who purchased memorial properties even before there was a need for them. This has helped them prepare in advance and protect their families from future financial concerns and anxieties brought about by the untimely demise of family members and loved ones,” he said.

Although it was a very joyous occasion, there was still a bit of sadness in the air as it was the first Annual Awards of the company after the death of their founder Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, who passed away last March. A short tribute video was played showing the Ambassador during previous Eternal Gardens events.

Before awarding the Sales Drive Winners for 2015, three Hall of Fame Awards were presented to three General Agency Managers (GAMs) who have reached such great feats throughout their respective careers with Eternal Gardens. They were Helen I. Abesa, Gloria E. Sanchez, and Saturnina G. Alcantara. Abesa is also 2015’s Top GAM, joining Top Regular Unit Manager Zenaida Calingasan and Top Regular Sales Counselor Cynthia Leycano, at the top of the list of honorees for the previous year.

Eternal Gardens’ top executives and Atty. Bernardo with the Hall of Fame Awardees

Aside from the Sales Drive Winners, Specialist Awards were also given to Nimfa Doneza, Lawn Specialist; Lerma Catibog, Garden Specialist; Apolonio Abesa, Family Estate and Spot Cash Specialist; and Leonora Belen, Rookie of the Year. The top achievers of Cabanatuan and Dagupan branches, on the other hand, were presented the Producers Award for their outstanding work for 2015.

Adding more glitz to the glamorous event was the presentation of the Star of the Night Awards to the best dressed lady and gentleman of the night. They were Celso Requintina of Naga Branch, Male Star of the Night; and Estella Soriano of Batangas City, Female Star of the Night. After receiving their awards, the winning couple was serenaded by Ms. Ivy Violan as they had their traditional dance. After the dance, the veteran singer continued to showcase her vocal prowess with a powerful set of ballads as well as upbeat songs, to the delight of the audience.

The Stars of the Night being serenaded by Ms. Ivy Violan

The celebration ended with the much-awaited Super Grand Raffle Draw, where one very lucky winner, Ruby Olazo from Batangas City, went home with the grand prize of P60, 000.00.

Truly, it was another unforgettable evening for all Eternalites as they celebrated another victorious year.


Photos by Alysa Salen

Eternal Gardens launches Branch Excellence Award

Eternal Gardens has launched the Branch Excellence Award (BEA) to recognize the company’s most outstanding branch as a highlight of the celebration in August this year of the company’s 40th foundation anniversary.

The competition for the Branch Excellence Award aims to challenge all 10 branches to be the best and exemplify excellence in their overall performance. A six-foot tall trophy will be handed out to the winner and stay with the winning branch for one year, after which it will be transferred to the next winning branch.

Numeriano B. Rodrin, Eternal Gardens president, said the branches should aspire hard to be the very first recipient of the BEA “for the prestige of having your park name inscribed on the trophy, which puts you in the company’s history.” Winners in the following years will have the honor of keeping the trophy for a year, but their names will not be put on it, unlike the very first winning branch.

Heads of the different departments, as members of the BEA Committee, went to the branches to formally launch the Awards, starting with Eternal Gardens Baesa in Caloocan City last January 7, 2016. This was followed by the launches at Greenhills Park in Cagayan de Oro on January 9, Balagtas and Concepcion, Batangas City on January 13; Santa Rosa and Biñan on January 14, Lipa on January 21, Naga on January 23, Cabanatuan on January 27, and Dagupan on January 28.

During the launch at the branches, BEA Committee member and MIS manager Geoffrey Coberos introduced the concept of Business Excellence, which is the basis of the Eternal Gardens Branch Excellence Award. In his presentation, he explained that Business Excellence is about developing and strengthening the management systems and processes of an organization to improve performance and create value for stakeholders.

He also conducted a simple self assessment of the branches to determine whether they are practicing Business Excellence. He presented 10 Business Excellence practices and asked the branch employees to rate each according to what their branch is currently doing. Among the sample practices presented were seeking new ways to sustain and grow the organization, regularly tracking and assessing customers’ needs, requirements, and satisfaction levels; and tracking daily operations and overall organizational performance using a full range of information. Most of the branches got an above average assessment result.

After the presentation of the Business Excellence concept, BEA Committee head and vice president for Sales and Marketing Joey Rivera, related it to Eternal Gardens and shared tips on how the branches can achieve it. Rivera also presented the criteria for judging and the prizes that await the Branch Excellence Awardee. The contest will run from February to November 2016, and the first ever Branch Excellence Award will be given during the company Christmas party in December.

For the duration of the contest, the branches will be rated every trimester in the areas of sales, finance, operations, marketing, and human resources, by the respective heads of the concerned department, namely Rivera, vice president for Finance Marvin Timbol, Administration Department manager Gil Twaño, and vice president for HRMD Vicky Nava. During the launch, they discussed in detail how they, as judges, will rate each branch by presenting specific aspects of sales and marketing, manpower management, finance, and operations, that the branch should work on in order to attain excellence.

Besides the six-foot trophy, a cash prize of P50, 000 cash is at stake. The winning branch will also be publicized in a special feature in the BusinessMirror newspaper, Eternal Glimpse newsletter, and the Eternal Gardens website.

Before the launch ended, the branch managers were given special BEA t-shirts as a sign that they are accepting the challenge and committing their branch to excellence.

Change: Challenge, Adapt, Overcome (SMC 2016)

In preparation for marketing year 2016, the agency managers from the different branches of Eternal Gardens gathered in Manila for the Sales Managers’ Convention (SMC) last November 16 and 17, 2015. The company sponsored two-day event, which also aimed to promote camaraderie and friendship among the delegates, was held at the Citystate Tower Hotel in Ermita, Manila.

Day one, November 16, Monday, was bonding time for Eternalites as they had a fun-filled Fellowship Night graced by no less than the company’s top executives, namely Chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon, Special Assistant to the Founder T. Anthony C. Cabangon, Vice Chairman Benjamin V. Ramos, and President and COO Numeriano B. Rodrin. All the branch managers and other Eternal Gardens executives were also present during the decades-themed event, including Vice President for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera, VP for HRMD Victoria C. Nava, VP for Finance Marvin C. Timbol, Central PR Head Olympia Isabel R. Lazo, and Executive Secretary Rosario T. Lachica.

Highlighting the Fellowship Night was the decades-themed dance competition in which the combined team of Cabanatuan and Dagupan branches won the top prize for their 60s-inspired number. Also adding fun and excitement to the night were the games prepared by the Marketing Department, which organized the whole event.

Day two of the Sales Managers’ Convention was dedicated to skills enhancement, personal growth, and learning, as the delegates took part in an enriching seminar by “mind-reprogrammer” and life transformation mentor Veni Flores.

Veni Flores

“Mind-reprogrammer” Veni Flores

Entitled “How to Make Thoughts Happen,” the objective of the seminar was to help the delegates create a lasting change that would positively impact their careers and their life, by re-programming the mind. It was also in line with the convention’s theme, which was “Change: Challenge, Adapt, Overcome,” the company’s rallying call for the coming year that’s expected to be a challenging one.

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The afternoon session of day two was just as productive for the delegates as the morning seminar, as it was spent evaluating their sales performance for the current marketing year and setting their new sales targets for marketing year 2016.

From left: VP for Sales and Marketing Joey Rivera, President and COO Nomer Rodrin, and branch managers Arlin Delos Reyes (Balagtas), Vicky Cayabyab (Dagupan), Liezl Adlaon (CDO), Joan Buendia (Lipa), Romie Sta. Cruz (Baesa), Jeric Mejia (Cabanatuan), Richard Bringas (Naga), Alex Atienza (Santa Rosa), and Niño Robles (Concepcion)

There had also been an open forum between the agency managers and the management of Eternal Gardens, which was represented by president and COO Numeriano B. Rodrin, vice president for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera, and vice president for Finance Marvin C. Timbol, to address the sales managers’ concerns.

Peaceful observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days at Eternal Gardens


Eternal Gardens marked All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days with peaceful and orderly observance at its 10 branches last November 1 and 2, 2015, respectively. Thousands of people gathered at the parks of Eternal Gardens in Baesa, Caloocan City; Biñan and Santa Rosa Cities in Laguna Province, Barangays Balagtas and Concepcion in Batangas City, and the cities of Lipa, Dagupan, Naga, Cabanatuan, and Cagayan de Oro, on these dates to honor and commemorate the life of their departed loved ones.

As early as October 31st, families have started going to the parks, preferring to visit their loved ones earlier to avoid huge crowds. Thus, Eternal Gardens branches have also started their preparations earlier, seeking assistance from their respective local government agencies in deploying additional security and traffic management personnel.

During the two holidays, information booths and first aid stations have been set-up near the entrance or park office of the branches for the convenience of park visitors. Food stalls were also situated at designated areas within the park to serve the park goers. On November 1, masses were offered at the parks for the eternal repose of the souls of our dearly departed and priests and lay ministers went around the parks to bless the tombs.

Aside from their regular preparations for the November 1 and 2 holidays, some branches have also prepared special activities for their visitors. Most of these activities spearheaded by the branches aimed to provide entertainment for the kids as their parents and guardians take part in the solemn observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days.

At Eternal Gardens Santa Rosa the kids were treated to a magic and stage illusion show, a Halloween costume contest, a Sing like Elsa contest, and some parlor games. In Balagtas, Batangas City branch, the children were allowed to go trick or treating in the park. Lipa branch also had a Halloween costume contest and bring me games for its young visitors.

Eternal Gardens Concepcion, Batangas City branch has prepared games for both kids and adult visitors. They also had an Amazing Race family edition. In Naga branch they had a costume and dance parties as well as a maze that were enjoyed by their visitors. A Halloween costume contest and Halloween Fun in the Mask competition were the activities prepared by Greenhills Park in Cagayan de Oro City for its park visitors.

Finally at Eternal Gardens Cabanatuan City, the children enjoyed the face painting activity, clown show, film showing, trick or treat, and Halloween costume contest prepared by the branch.

It has generally been another peaceful observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day at the Eternal Gardens branches, with no report of any untoward incidents in any of the parks. Truly, the company has once again succeeded in keeping this treasured Filipino tradition solemn and organized.

Batangueño Eternalites hold teambuilding activities

Batangas City Eternalites had their teambuilding event last October 10, 2015, Saturday, at the park grounds of Eternal Gardens Concepcion branch. A total of 108 participants, including 63 agents and 45 park employees and officers from Balagtas and Concepcion branches, attended the event, making it the biggest teambuilding event of Eternal Gardens so far in terms of number of participants.

The attendees, who were divided into six competing teams, namely Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Orange, and Violet, decorated their respective tents according to their interpretation of the theme, “Hand in Hand, Together We Stand!” as the opening activity of the teambuilding event. This Brought out not only the creativity but also the ability of the participants to work as a team. After the tent decorating activity, the teams also presented their cheers, before sharing a boodle fight style breakfast.

To warm up the attendees, members of the Events Committee from the Head Office, headed by its chairman Geoffrey Coberos, led an energy-filled Zumba session, before proceeding to the Amazing Race-inspired main event of the teambuilding activity.

Composed of a series of group tasks, the race tested the stamina, cooperation, and strategic skills of the team members. It also brought out the leader in each of the participants, who did their best to ensure the victory of their team.

The exciting outdoor activities were followed by the “Work Attitude, Values Enhancement, and Teambuilding Seminar/Workshop,” facilitated by Recruitment and Training manager Marielle Cabangon, and an inspirational talk by vice president for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera.


The competitiveness of Batangueño Eternalites really came out as every participant in the teambuilding event gave their best in each leg of the race. But in the end, the Violet Team led by Concepcion branch sales administration officer Angela Robles emerged as the champion, followed by the Orange and Blue teams in second and third place, respectively.


Eternalites reach out to the elderly at Anawim


Residents of a home for the abandoned elderly operated by the Anawim Lay Missions Foundation Inc. in Rodriguez, Rizal, join volunteers of Eternal Gardens and Eternal Plans Inc. of the ALC Group of Companies for a photo opportunity during the two companies’ outreach mission to the residence on September 27.

LEADING preneed providers and sister companies in the ALC Group, Eternal Gardens and Eternal Plans Inc., conducted an outreach program on September 27 at the Anawim Lay Missions Foundation Inc., a small facility for poor and abandoned elderly people in Barangay San Isidro, Sitio Tañag, Rodriguez, Rizal.

Anawim is a Hebrew word meaning “God’s poor.” The home was founded by Catholic lay preacher Bro. Bo Sanchez in 1996. Today it has 56 residents—23 males and 33 females—under its care.

With the theme “Contributing to the sustainability of our communities, the ALC way,” the outreach program sought to take part in Anawim’s mission “to build Catholic lay communities that provide Christian homes, evangelization and service to the poor and abandoned in society,” and help them attain their vision “to have 10 Anawim branches in different parts of the country, serving the poorest of the poor: The abandoned elderly, orphans, street children, handicapped, drug dependents, unwed mothers, prostitutes, by the year 2020.”

The two companies’ 25 volunteer employees and officers left early that Sunday morning to bring basic needs, like toiletries, dusters for the lolas and pajamas for thelolos, towels, grocery items and food, and provide afternoon entertainment for the elderly residents of Anawim.

Upon arrival at the venue at around 1 p.m., the volunteers, headed by Eternal Plans President and COO Elmer M. Lorica and Eternal Gardens Vice President for Human Resources and Management Division Victoria C. Nava, were welcomed by the staff of Anawim, headed by Arcie Binohhi, a social worker. Some of their intended beneficiaries were also waiting for them when they arrived and they all seemed very excited to spend the afternoon with their visitors from Manila.

As the volunteers unloaded their donations and got ready for the program, the lolosand lolas started to gather at the multipurpose hall. Nava rendered a special song for the elderly while they were waiting for the program to start.

The program officially started at around 2 p.m. with an opening prayer led by Rolando Bongalon, senior assistant vice president for Marketing of Eternal Plans. This was followed by a brief opening message from Nava, who expressed the group’s joy for the opportunity to spend the afternoon with the residents of Anawim.

“We are very happy to be here with you today. We brought some gifts for all of you and we hope that you will enjoy the short program that we have prepared,” she said.

The residents of the home did seem to enjoy the program, hosted by Guyrich Espeña and Jhe Barrantes of Eternal Gardens and Eternal Plans, respectively. They had the most fun during the games, which included the “bring me” game, a hula-hoop game and stop dance. One of the employees of Eternal Gardens, Arvin Guevarra, also rendered a special song dedicated to the elderly of Anawim. One lola even joined him in a duet to the delight of the crowd.

After the fun program, the elderly residents shared a meal of pancit, spaghetti and sandwiches brought by the volunteers. They were also given souvenirs by the volunteers after their merienda and gamely joined in the photo ops before going back to their respective quarters.

Organized by the Events Committee of Eternal Gardens, headed by MIS Manager Geoffrey Coberos, the outreach program at Anawim is only one of the many charity events sponsored by member companies of the ALC Group.

“This is our way of spreading the generosity of our founder, Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, to our less fortunate brothers and sisters,” Coberos said.

by Ivee Johnson
Published today in the OurTIME section of the BusinessMirror