Responding with resilience and care to the pandemic challenge
Eternal Gardens celebrates its 44th anniversary today (Tuesday, August 11, 2020) in an unprecedented environment. The coronavirus pandemic gripping the nation and the world has ushered in challenges like no other that it faced and surpassed over its more than 40 years of operation.
The community lockdowns imposed to stem the spread of the virus have led to a slowdown in economic activities. Business groups like Eternal Gardens are faced with the lessened financial capability of prospective clients and limited movement of the sales force.
Despite all the difficulties, Eternal Gardens remains firm in its commitment to adhere to the highest standards of excellence in memorial care and products that it delivers to the Filipino family. It keeps in mind the values of competence and compassion that motivated and inspired its founder, Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, to fulfill his dream of bringing a modern memorial park to Filipinos as the ideal final resting place for the departed.
“By staying faithful to the values of excellence, hard work, perseverance and service imparted to us by our founder, and continued by our chairman and chief executive officer, D. Edgard A. Cabangon, I am sure Eternal Gardens will survive and even thrive amid this crisis,” Numeriano B. Rodrin, president and chief operating officer, said.
In order to pursue its work amid the changes that the coronavirus has brought about, Eternal Gardens has carried out changes in conducting its business. All these changes were made with the safety and wellness of its clients in mind. It has likewise made adjustments intended to support its sales agency force during the lockdown.
To ensure the well-being of visitors to the parks as well as operations and administrative support personnel who have to stay at their posts, Eternal Gardens strictly imposes workplace health protocols set by the Department of Labor and Employment for the duration of the community quarantine. These include the wearing of face masks and a temperature check before entering the park. Staff and crew must also wear face mask or face shield while in their work place, while alcohol and hand sanitizers are made readily accessible. They are also encouraged to practice frequent handwashing.
All areas in work places are regularly disinfected and surfaces regularly sanitized.
Physical distancing of at least one meter is observed at all times, and a limited number of people are allowed to enter an office at any one time. In the case of interment crew members working on the grounds, they are required to wear personal protective equipment while at work.
On top of all these, workers are also discouraged from eating in communal areas, engaging in conversation and prolonged face-to-face interaction with workers and clients.
To give clients more options in settling their monthly dues, Eternal Gardens has partnered with banks and payment centers for online bank transfer or over-the-counter payments.
Among the banks are Metrobank, RCBC (Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation), Security Bank, Banco de Oro, and Bank of Commerce while authorized payment centers include Citystate Savings Bank, SM, Planbank, Bayad Center, Robinson’s Business Center, PayMaya, Visa and MasterCard.
Eternal Gardens opened its maiden park in Baesa, Caloocan City on August 11, 1976. At first it was opposed by the public, but through the efforts of the organizers to explain its benefits, the establishment of the memorial park was eventually accepted and welcomed by the community.
“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,” Amb. Cabangon Chua once told Eternalites.
The humble first park in Baesa, Caloocan was followed by 10 other branches to make what is now a lucrative network of 11 memorial parks in key places nationwide. The second Eternal Gardens park opened in Dagupan in 1983, followed by Biñan, 1984; Barangay Balagtas, 1986, and later Barangay Concepcion, 2013, 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; Greenhills Park in Cagayan de Oro, 2014; and Eternal Gardens Cabuyao City, Laguna in 2019.
In a move to diversify its reach, Eternal Gardens allowed its sister company, Eternal Crematory Corporation, to establish cremation facilities at the Eternal Gardens Baesa site in 1995. Following its success, another crematory at Eternal Gardens Biñan in Laguna province was established, making Eternal Crematory the first corporation to offer cremation services south of Metro Manila.
In response to the growing demand for cremation, which is an economical alternative to ground burial, Eternal Crematory opened three more cremation facilities at Eternal Gardens branches in the cities of Dagupan and Batangas, and more recently in Naga City.
To complete its memorial care offerings, Eternal Gardens formally ventured into the mortuary business when it opened Eternal Chapels Mortuary and Chapel Services at Eternal Gardens Greenhills in Cagayan de Oro City in 2017. Two years later, it opened its second branch inside Eternal Gardens Naga City, and is set to launch its third at Eternal Gardens Cabuyao this year.
These varied offerings, and the company’s unwavering commitment to excellent service, make Eternal Gardens the provider of choice for the Filipino family’s memorial care needs.