It was a night of celebrating our country's cultural heritage and appreciating what our modern day heroes contribute to nation building as City Savings Bank (CitySavings) concluded its year long 50th anniversary celebration with its milestone event themed "Handog Pasasalamat" at the Radisson Blu Hotel last October 23, 2016. The event was created to honor the bank's primary stakeholder and education partners from different public schools nationwide, recognizing the value of teachers both as customers and partners and for being a significant part of the bank's success.
The event was attended by UnionBank Chairman and CEO Justo Ortiz together with members of the CitySavings Board headed by its Chairman, Eugene Acevedo, CitySavings management team as well as the bank's branch business heads and regional business heads. 104 partner schools nationwide were invited to Cebu where 27 of them were awarded as the top school contributors in the region where CitySavings branches are located.
The program started with a vibrant, upbeat dance number to the tune of "Piliin Mo Ang Pilipinas" by the University of San Carlos Dance Troupe and the University of Cebu Dance Company that showcased each region's ethnic dances. In his welcome remarks, CitySavings President and CEO Catalino Abacan who delivered his speech in pure Filipino language, said "Sa mundo ikaw ay tinuturing bilang isang guro lamang subalit sa mata ng inyong mga mag-aaral ikaw ay isang bayani. Kami sa CitySavings ay may kahalintulad ding pananaw sapagkat kami ay naniniwala na sa inyo nakasalalay ang ikauunlad ng ating bansa."
One of the program highlights was the recognition and awarding of top partner schools from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. DepEd Regional Directors and Representatives namely: Dominga Lim (Region 1), Dr. Estela Cariño (Region 2), Dr. Soraya Faculo (Cordillera Administrative Region - CAR), Dr. Lorna Dino (Region 4B). Dr. Ramon Fiel Abcede (Region 5), Dr. Ma. Gemma Ledesma (Region 6), Dr. Juliet Jeruta (Region 7), Dr. Ramir Uytico (Region 8), Dr. Allan Farnazo (Region 10), Atty. Alberto Escobarte (Region 11), Dr. Arturo Bayocot (Region 12) and Dr. May Eclar (Region 13) together with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Director for the Office of Programs and Standards Development Dr. Amelia Biglete and Department of Education (DepEd) Director for Partnerships and External Linkages Dr. Margarita Ballesteros as well as UnionBank Chairman and CEO Justo Ortiz, CitySavings Board Directors Ana Aboitiz-Delgado, Romy Ronquillo, Carlos Valarao and Dr. Tess Dumalanta were called onstage to present the award to the school representatives.
Luz Macairan, Principal from Samar National School gave a brief but heartwarming message on behalf of all the awardees and said that "Your company is a blessing to us. This award symbolizes our good relationship and looking forward to more fruitful years to share. May God bless you more para marami pa kayong matulungan. Mabuhay ang City Savings Bank!"
DepEd Director Dr. Margarita Ballesteros in her closing message said "CitySavings at this point, for 50 long years, the journey may not have been easy. You have partnered with DepEd in particular and I have seen how CitySavings contributed to the 24M students in the Philippines and at the same time touching the lives of our teachers. For 50 years, I wish you all the best! We thank you from the Department of Education (DepEd). To the teachers, principals and regional directors who are here, let us take the challenge to live a simple life and do good to our brothers and sisters who are need."
Multi-awarded Mandaue Children's Choir serenaded the audience and left the crowd in awe and tears with their angelic rendition of Let It Be, The Light of a Million Mornings and What a Wonderful World.