Press Release
September 13, 2022

Senator Pia Cayetano commends the 2022 Metrobank awardees
Co-sponsorship speech on the resolution honoring the Metrobank Foundation's Outstanding Filipinos of 2022

Thank you, Mr. President. I would just like to join our colleagues in sponsoring this resolution commending this year's Metrobank awardees.

I actually was a judge also in the early 2000s, in my first year as senator, and indeed, it is very difficult to choose the top 10 because there are truly many inspiring men and women in these fields.

But today, we have 10 of them selected for 2022 and I'd just like to say, your honor, that beyond the titles and accolades that these awardees have received, we all know that they have personal stories and challenges that they had to overcome and deal with, and yet, they were able to serve our country. We may not know what these challenges were, but they're human beings like us, they are family members, and surely, they have made sacrifices. So for that reason, serving the country beyond the call of their duty is something that we commend. And I personally like to congratulate each and everyone of them.

Just to name a few, because these are some of those whom I am familiar with, or whose story I have followed, Dra. Inday Dans - I know her because I've worked with her. Her husband is also a doctor, also a professor in PGH. And beyond the commendations that she's received, I'd like to put on record that during the height of the pandemic, she and her husband took time to brief me regularly, your honors, sometimes twice a week, we would be on the phone at midnight because that would be the only time that they would be finished with their work. So I have been privileged to work with her.

And as Mr. Chito Sobrepeña says, they have the honor, her and her husband, Dr. Tony Dans, of being the only couple that are both Metrobank awardees. Anong year si Tony? 2004, and sabi ni Dra. Inday, kasi matanda na siya. Joke lang. Pero was that the year ba that I was a judge? 2004-2005, somewhere there.

Anyway, I move on to another person. I will not mention all the names, your honors. I will just mention a few. Colonel Victoria P. Juan, an Army chief nurse. Yesterday, and in the days in the past, we talked about the brain drain, the nurses and other healthcare professionals, Dra. Inday and I have had these conversations also in the past, how many of our nurses have left the country, and here we have an awardee, not only serving our country, marami naman ang naninilbihan sa bansa natin, hinahangaan kong health workers, especially at the height of COVID, but she was an inspiration. She worked not just during the pandemic, but even before that, inspiring those around her in their field of work. So maraming salamat din sayo.

And the final person I'll mention, wala ho akong favoritism, namili lang ako ng tatlo kasi baka matitigan na ako nang masama ng ating Majority Floor Leader dahil marami pang gusto magsalita, kaya sabi ko, last na lang ako para I can take a little bit of my time.

But si Colonel Stephen Cabanlet. I've never met you, sir. I've never met him but I've heard about this football for peace program. My daughters are football players. I am an original supporter of the Philippine Women's Football Team. I have brought football programs to different parts of the country, so when I heard of this program, talagang I wanted to be a part of it din, kasi iba talaga ang effect ng sports. Yesterday, I gave a speech on how sports to me has been the easiest way to promote nationalism and patriotism. So gusto ko lang din banggitin yun.

And similarly, when my daughters were playing football, Sen. Bato, you'd like to hear this, I might have told you. When my daughters were still playing football for UP, I had the occasion twice to bring the UP Football Team - Women's Team - to play against the PMA-ers in Baguio. Kasi that was my way of fostering peace. Mga babae, mga lalaki, medyo nga nag-exchange pa ng cellphone numbers. Di ba? So parang years later, kung magkakitaan yan saan man, sana maalala naman nila na many years ago, there were programs like this where we tried to foster friendship and understanding and unity.

So on that note, Mr. President, I congratulate the Metrobank Foundation, its President, Mr. Chito Sobrepeña, has become a good friend and I admire your resilience, sir, in bringing these inspiring people to us and sharing their stories with the Filipino people. And of course, the Ty family, who have made this possible. So congratulations to all of you!

Thank you, Mr. President.

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