Growing in Number, Reaching Farther: SMC for 2019

The sales managers from the different branches of Eternal Gardens enjoyed a fun and exciting Fellowship Night last November 20, 2018, Tuesday, at the Citystate Tower Hotel in Manila. Top company executives, including chairman and chief executive officer D. Edgard A. Cabangon, and director T. Anthony C. Cabangon, were present at the once-a-year gathering for the chance to bond with the hardworking sales managers.

The second day of the Sales Managers’ Convention for 2019 was dedicated to learning and enhancing the skills of the delegates. Giselle L. Barrion, corporate trainer, motivational speaker, and managing director of Great Learnings and Beyond Management Consultancy Services, facilitated the seminar entitled “Ready, Set, Goal! The Art of Re-Energizing A Talented Sales Force,” which was held on November 21, 2018 at the Citystate Tower Hotel.

Later on the same day, the branch managers presented their respective sales commitment for the coming marketing year 2019.

Eternal Gardens now in Cabuyao City

Eternal Gardens celebrated the groundbreaking of its 11th branch on October 23, 2018 at Barangay Mamatid, Cabuyao City, Laguna, with House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the Guest of Honor. Arroyo (5th from left) is photographed with company executives led by chairman and chief executive officer D. Edgard A. Cabangon (6th from left). With them are local officials, and guests, including (from left) Erwin Aala, representative of Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez; Cabuyao Mayor Rommel Gecolea, Eternal Gardens vice chairman Benjamin V. Ramos, Barangay Mamatid chairman Erlinda Alcasabas, Laguna 2nd District Rep. Joaquin Chipeco, Jr., architect Lerma Balolong, Eternal Gardens director T. Anthony C. Cabangon, and Eternal Gardens Cabuyao manager Alexander Atienza. Behind them are president and chief operating officer Numeriano B. Rodrin, former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, and Congressman Dato Arroyo. Photo by ROY DOMINGO

Eternal Gardens marks 42 years

Leading memorial park developer Eternal Gardens celebrated its 42nd anniversary on Saturday, with a simple gathering of its employees at the Cherry Blossoms Hotel in Ermita, Manila. The highlight of the event was the recognition of 42 employees for their many years of loyal and dedicated service to the company.

Leading the list of service awardees were Eternal Gardens President and Chief Operating Officer Numeriano B. Rodrin, and Budget and Compliance Manager Ernesto N. Umali, who have both been with the company for 40 years. Leading the celebration are (from left): Eternal Gardens Vice President for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera, Vice Chairman Benjamin V. Ramos, Director T. Anthony C. Cabangon, Umali, Rodrin, Chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon, Vice President for Human Resources Management Division and 35-year service awardee Victoria C. Nava and Vice President for Finance Marvin C. Timbol.


*First published in the BusinessMirror

Eternalites go to Taiwan

Eternalites took a break from the usual hustle and bustle of selling memorial properties to enjoy their well-deserved reward for all their hard work.

Last April 26, 2017, 51 qualified sales associates from the different branches of Eternal Gardens flew to Taipei, Taiwan for the Asian Tour 2018. Top company executives, including chairman and chief executive officer D. Edgard A. Cabangon, director T. Anthony C. Cabangon, and vice chairman Benjamin V. Ramos, joined the delegates in their 4-day trip to Taiwan. The tour was part of the agents’ incentives for their outstanding sales performance for 2017.

Divided into two groups, the delegates left for Taipei on the morning of April 6, Thursday, one day after the Grand Annual Awards Night. On the first day of their tour, the first batch of Eternalites to arrive in Taiwan visited the Mitsui Outlet Park for an afternoon stroll. They then proceeded to the Vigor Kobo Pineapple Cake Factory where they had baking lessons, made their own pineapple cake, and toured the museum. The second batch of delegates, meanwhile, visited CKS Memorial Hall and passed by the Presidential Palace before going to the Vigor Kobo Pineapple Cake Factory for their museum tour, baking lessons, and pineapple cake making session.

The two groups met up that evening and shared a hearty 10-course meal before turning in for the night at the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel.

On day two of the tour, the delegates headed outside Taipei to experience baking scallion cake, which is a popular delicacy in Taiwan. They also visited the Kavalan Whiskey Museum in Yilan County where they got to taste different kinds of whiskey.

In the afternoon, the delegates went to Shifen Old Street for the Flying Lantern Experience. There, they wrote their wishes on giant lanterns before releasing them in the air. Most of them, of course, wished for more sales this year. The group’s next stop was the Ximenting Shopping area before having dinner at Takao 1972 restaurant.

Day three of the Eternalites’s Taiwan tour began with their transfer to another hotel, the New Taipei Hot Spring Hotel, where they would be staying until they leave for Manila. Then they went to Taipei 101 where they had lunch at Din Tai Fung restaurant. In the afternoon, the delegates visited Tamsui Old Street, Fisherman’s Wharf for more picture taking and sightseeing. In the evening during dinner, the general agency managers took the opportunity to express their gratitude and appreciation to the management of Eternal Gardens for a very fun tour.

On the last day of the tour, it was the first batch of delegates’ turn to visit the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall and pass by the Presidential Palace, while the second batch visited the Mitsui Outlet Park, before heading to the airport for their flight back to Manila.

It was the first time that the Eternal Gardens delegation visited Taiwan for the Asian Tour, and it was indeed a very enjoyable experience for those who were able to join. The agents particularly enjoyed the dining experiences that they had throughout the trip. And with their carefully planned itinerary, they were able to maximize their time in Taiwan by visiting as many tourist spots as possible.

Next year, the management is eyeing South Korea to be the destination for Asian Tour 2019.

Eternal Gardens celebrates Grand Annual Awards

Eternal Gardens recognized its top producers for 2017 during its Grand Annual Awards Night held last April 25, 2018, Wednesday, at the Citystate Tower Hotel in Ermita, Manila.

Addressing the sales personnel, officers, and employees of Eternal Gardens, Mayor Danilo Fernandez of the City of Santa Rosa, who was the guest of honor at the event, likened the memorial care company to Santa Rosa, saying that both the company and the city have embraced change and innovation in order to bring about improvement.

Santa Rosa City mayor Danilo Fernandez (3rd from right) poses for a photo with Eternal Gardens executives after being presented a token of appreciation for being the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker at the company’s Grand Annual Awards Night. From left: Eternal Gardens Vice President for Finance Marvin C. Timbol, Vice Chairman Benjamin V. Ramos, President and Chief Operating Officer Numeriano B. Rodrin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer D. Edgard A. Cabangon, Mayor Fernandez, Eternal Gardens Director T. Anthony C. Cabangon, and Vice President for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera.

“Eternal Gardens maximizes the use of land space to provide products other than the traditional memorial lot, now there are those apartment-style structures, crematories and chapels. This is the change needed to go on with continuous improvement,” Fernandez said. In the same way, the mayor pointed out, Santa Rosa City has transformed itself from a municipality to a modern city, from an agricultural zone to an industrial zone, to bring about improvement in the lives of its people.

In his own message to the Eternal Gardens sales force, company chairman and chief executive officer D. Edgard A. Cabangon lauded the awardees for their outstanding sales performance in 2017.  “We commend and admire you for your great role in the continuing success of Eternal Gardens,” he said.

Eternal Gardens Board Director T. Anthony C. Cabangon, on the other hand, pointed out that despite possible challenges that the company may meet in the future, the sales force of the company should always strive for growth every year to make it stronger than ever. “We have to excel yearly. We have to grow every year from strength to strength to continue our legacy of excellence,” Cabangon said.

More than 50 sales associates were honored for top sales production in various categories during the Awards Night. They include Helen Abesa, top general agency manager; Nayda Cuenca, top regular unit manager; and Rosemarie Tang Lee Say, top regular sales counselor, who was also named Family Estate Specialist of the Year.

This year’s Rookie of the Year awardees were Juvy Manalo, Regular Unit Manager; and Florencia Mea, Regular Sales Counselor. For the Garden League category, the top awardees were Ma. Theresa Manlapig, top league manager; and Rachelle Anne Aguilar, top sales counselor.

Garden League Achievers with Eternal Gardens vice president for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera (leftmost), vice president for Human Resources Management Division Victoria C. Nava (3rd from right), and vice president for Finance Marvin C. Timbol (rightmost).

Specialist Awards were also handed out to individuals who excelled in a particular area of sales. They were Alita Casinillo, Lawn Specialist of the Year; Mario Jojo Manalo, Garden Specialist of the Year; Apolonio Abesa, Account Specialist of the Year; and Marites Ramirez, Spot Cash Specialist of the Year.

Specialist Award recipients and Rookie of the Year Awardees for 2017 with Eternal Chapels vice president for Mortuary and Chapel Operations Jaime B. Bangalan (leftmost), Eternal Gardens vice president for Finance Marvin C. Timbol, and vice president for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera.

Aside from the awarding ceremony, there was also a Search for the Male and Female Stars of the Night, which was won by Naga Branch, through their representatives Rodolfo Pacheco, Sr. and Josephine Reyes. During their traditional dance, the couple was serenaded by one of the country’s top performers Randy Santiago, who also entertained the crowd with medleys of upbeat songs and some of his greatest hits.

Another highlight of the evening was the grand raffle draw of exciting cash prizes. The following day, qualified sales managers and agents flew to Taiwan with the branch managers and executives as part of their incentives for a very productive year.

Dalamhati Chapel and Columbarium inaugurated at Eternal Gardens Baesa

In Photo: Eternal Gardens Vice President for Finance Marvin C. Timbol (from left), Vice President for Human Resources Management Division Victoria C. Nava, Vice President for Operation of Eternal Chapels Mortuary and Chapel Services Jaime B. Bangalan, Eternal Gardens President and COO Numeriano B. Rodrin, Eternal Gardens Chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon, Fr. Tony Bayod, Eternal Gardens Vice President for Sales and Marketing Jose Antonio V. Rivera; and Cora Aloran, owner of Evergold Memorial Service, lead the traditional coin shower after the blessing.

THE Dalamhati Chapel and Columbarium at Eternal Gardens Baesa in Caloocan City had its blessing and inauguration on September 18.

Attended by Eternal Gardens Baesa’s funeral partners, former sales agents and company executives, the simple celebration began with a thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Tony Bayod of the Santa Quiteria Parish, Caloocan City.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony, led by Eternal Gardens Chairman and CEO D. Edgard A. Cabangon, and the blessing of the chapel and columbarium followed shortly after the Mass.


Photo by Rudy Esperas

Jesse Robredo remembered on 5th death anniversary

Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, together with daughters Jillian and Tricia, led family, friends and supporters of former Interior Secretary and Naga City Mayor Jesse M. Robredo in commemorating his fifth death anniversary on Friday, August 18. A Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated at Eternal Gardens Naga, where the crypt of Secretary Robredo can be found.

Among the government officials present during the Mass were Sens. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel and Bam Aquino, and Naga City Mayor John Bongat. The Museo ni Jesse Robredo, a museum featuring the life and achievements of the beloved son of Naga, was also inaugurated on that day. It is located at the Naga Civic Center on J. Miranda Avenue corner Taal Avenue, Naga City. Secretary Robredo perished in a plane crash on August 18, 2012.

Eternal Gardens at 41

Memorial industry leader Eternal Gardens marked its 41st anniversary on August 11 with a simple celebration at the Citystate Tower Hotel in Manila.

Attended by more than 150 Eternal Gardens employees, officers and guests, the celebration had the theme “Continuing His Saga of Success”, in honor of its founder, the late Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua. Present during the special event were the sons of Ambassador Cabangon Chua, namely, (from left) D. Adrian C. Cabangon, head of Central Engineering, ALCGC; D. Edward A. Cabangon, president of ALC Realty Corp. and ALC Industrial and Commercial Development Corp.; Doan Dominique Sergio O. Cabangon, vice president for Central Purchasing, ALCGC; D. Edgard A. Cabangon, chairman and CEO of Eternal Gardens; and T. Anthony C. Cabangon, Eternal Gardens director and BusinessMirror publisher.

Eternal Gardens is developing and managing 10 memorial parks at Baesa, Caloocan City; and the cities of Dagupan, Biñan, Batangas (in Barangay Balagtas and Barangay Concepcion), Lipa, Naga, Cabanatuan, Santa Rosa and Cagayan de Oro.


First published in the BusinessMirror on Aug. 13, 2017

Eternal Gardens loyal to Founder’s vision as it celebrates 41st year

Eternal Gardens celebrates its 41st anniversary today, August 11, driven by the passion for success that was the hallmark of the life of its founder, Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua.

Fittingly, National Artist Nick Joaquin entitled the biography of the Founder as “Antonio L. Cabangon Chua: A Saga of Success.”  The updated version by writers Jose F. Lacaba and Eric S. Caruncho echoed the same quality of his life by naming it “Antonio L. Cabangon Chua: The Continuing Saga of Success.”


Amb. Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, founder of Eternal Gardens

The ALC saga continues to unfold today. The ALC Group of Companies that he founded, and is named after his initials, cover more than 20 corporations involved in a wide range of businesses such as financial services and insurance, banking, memorial care, hotels and restaurants, real property development, vehicle dealership, health care and education.

He established Eternal Gardens in a working class community in Baesa, Caloocan on August 11, 1976. Joining him in the venture were like-minded individuals who lent him their support and assistance. “My dream was to bring first-class memorial parks and services to our people to ease the pain and grief of losing a loved one. That was the vision that strengthened us, the pioneering leaders of Eternal Gardens, to persist and persevere,” he had once said in a message to Eternalites.

The humble first park in Baesa, Caloocan has grown into a stable and lucrative network of 10 memorial parks in key places nationwide. The Baesa park was followed by a second in Dagupan in 1983; Biñan, 1984; Barangay Balagtas, 1986, and later Barangay Concepcion, 2011, both in Batangas City; Lipa, its third in the Southern Tagalog province, 1992; Naga City, 2000; Cabanatuan City, 2004; City of Santa Rosa in Laguna, 2008, and the 10th park to date, Cagayan de Oro’s Greenhills Park which the company took over from former owners in 2014.

Joaquin, in his book, recounts that his love for his mother was behind the strong drive for success of the company’s founder. “He had vowed to himself when very young that he would not rest until he had become a success… not so much for himself as for his mother.” The young Antonio and his mother had only each other, his father having died during the Second World War, and he was aware that “she had suffered so much…. He was in a hurry to grow up and make his way in the world so he could provide her with the luxuries she deserved.”

His journey to success began with him and his mother as partners in various undertakings, starting with a small sari-sari store, followed by a pawnshop that is the cornerstone of what is now known today as the ALC Group of Companies.

Having embarked on the memorial business, he had the foresight to recognize that with the country’s rapidly growing population, the old-style municipal and church-run cemeteries were no longer sufficient to meet the people’s needs. He was also among the earliest proponents of the pre-need concept of preparing for the inevitable before life ends.

With the Eternal Gardens network of memorial parks and the wide acceptance by the people that it is good to acquire a memorial lot before it is needed, he had achieved his goals.

In still later years, the Ambassador was moved by altruistic considerations when he saw how his thriving businesses created employment for the people.

Asked once why he kept on putting up more and more new businesses, Ambassador Cabangon Chua replied: “It is not ambition. It’s more of a challenge to help my fellowmen…. We’re not talking about money anymore. You will live longer as long as you are happy with what you are doing. You are creating job opportunities. You are doing good.”

People in the communities where Eternal Gardens memorial parks are located benefit from the employment generating capability of the company. Park operations require a wide variety of workers drawn from the locality. These include field workers like interment crews, construction and maintenance personnel. There are also office-based support staff for backroom processes like accounting, administrative, human resource development and management and sales and marketing. Finally, there are the members of the sales force who bring the company’s products and services to the people.

In all, the Eternal Gardens chain accounts for the livelihood of hundreds of families through the company’s more than 1000 employees and sales agents.

The employment opportunities it has spawned has made the memorial industry an important economic sector. The opening up and development of memorial parks was seen to offer excellent business potentials, particularly in utilizing areas that are unfit for agriculture, commercial and other uses, generating revenues for self-reliance and nationbuilding.

Eternal Gardens, under the leadership of its founder Ambassador Cabangon Chua, and subsequent management teams, is among the institutions that transformed the memorial industry into a money-making segment of the economy. The modern memorial park meets a basic need that has to be met.

D. Edgard A. Cabangon, chairman and CEO of Eternal Gardens

Having made all these accomplishments, Eternal Gardens is determined to continue its founder’s saga of success and keep growing in terms of market reach and product offerings under the leadership of his son, D. Edgard A. Cabangon, chairman of the board, Eternal Gardens.

While continuing to offer the best memorial products and services in its ten existing parks, it looks out for other places where it can open up other parks.

Eternal Gardens also pursues expansion in its existing parks by way of developing sections that can accommodate more burial lots, as in Biñan park. At Eternal Gardens Batangas and Santa Rosa, adjacent parcels of land were acquired to increase the area of existing parks.

Its expanded operation also includes the offering of cremation services in four of its parks. It has allowed Eternal Crematory Corporation, a sister company, to put up crematory facilities in the parks in Baesa, Caloocan; Biñan, Dagupan and barangay Balagtas in Batangas City. At its 10th park, Eternal Gardens Greenhills in Cagayan de Oro, it formally opened last July 29 Eternal Chapels Mortuary and Chapel Services.

Eternal Crematory and Eternal Chapels Mortuary and Chapel Services have beautiful air-conditioned chapels with complete facilities, including ample space for religious services.

The company also offers beautiful local and imported urns to hold cremated remains. These are made of wood, marble, bronze, steel and glass that come in different sizes. These can be placed in exquisite crypts in the park that can hold up to three urns each.

With all these offerings, Eternal Gardens stands unique today as a one-stop-shop for all the memorialization needs of the Filipino family for departed loved ones.