PLDT-Smart Foundation President Esther Santos delivers the welcome remarks for the 13th MVP Academic Excellence Awards.
Every year, the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) celebrates academic excellence in all levels of education — special education (SPED), grade school, high school, and tertiary levels with the MVP Academic Excellence Awards. Now on its 13th year, the program continues to provide educational aid to some 243 students who are children of PLDT and Smart employees.
Since its onset in 2004, PSF has invested in these future leaders of our country, ultimately creating a better tomorrow for each of one of these beneficiaries. This year’s theme delves on the many opportunities within the digital age, aptly entitled, “Searching for Excellence in the Digital World.”
PSF President Esther Santos underscored the importance of education as she expressed her gratitude to PLDT and Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan, who she said is truly the heart and soul of the awards. “First, you must value your education and learning, which does not only happen in the four corners of your classrooms but is indeed a life-long journey. Every opportunity we have, we can always learn something,” Santos said.
“In relation to this year’s theme, we are also starting to maneuver in the digital world. We, in PSF, would like to constantly connect with you — the children of our employees. We hope to find ways in which we can work together. Lastly, in a digital world, we are so much more connected. There are more opportunities facing us because of the many good things that the digital world is bringing us,” she added emphasizing how today’s youth can be the ambassadors of good in the digital world, encouraging each one to share and spread good things.
As this year’s keynote speaker, PLDT VP for Digital Marketing Strategy Carlo Ople emphasized the importance of using digital in making dreams happen. “Technology and digital has changed the way we live. This technology is very empowering and it can change the way we do our work,” Ople said.
Ople shared three key messages to the youth present in the audience: to stop consuming and start creating; to have a social media diet in which one controls the things that an individual sees, ultimately prioritizing the things that one feeds their minds; and to follow the 7-1 Principle, which underscores the importance of an individual being at a unique place in his life — one where time, energy, and health can diminish his time.
“The real power of digital is when you become the creator and not the consumer. What’s important is that you are the one creating — you create better worlds for people to live in,” Ople said.
Technology as a helping hand
As the Company continues its leap towards the digital transformation, PSF also launched a social media contest that encapsulates one of PLDT and Smart’s thrusts of finding meaningful connections in the digital age. Emerging winners were Bernice Elyssa A. Soriano, who found the confidence to share her singing prowess to the world; Ma. Hazel Nicholas Mutia, who wonderfully narrated the story of how two siblings found each other and are finally reunited after so many years; and Abraham Sarita, whose entry ‘Gym’ inspired many others to live a healthy lifestyle. Each contestant was chosen by the number of likes and shares each of their posts garnered as well as the positive impact of their social media post — leading each one to win a new SmartBro LTE pocket WiFi.
Beatrice Anne Abendan, a fourth year college student from University of the Philippines-Diliman, is the daughter of Alendry Rafael Abendan of Smart Service Platforms and Network Operations. Abendan expressed her gratitude to PSF for being one of this year’s scholarship grant recipients. She noted that while living in a fast-paced world does have its drawbacks of being complacent and subservient, technology has indeed permeated the lives of many people. It has become a helping hand for many — allowing each one to thrive in the digital world.
“Technology is a tricky tightrope and we must learn how to balance [it]. It has always been a helping hand, and through it, we are equipped and we have come prepared for what is in store for us,” Abendan said. “We give of paramount importance to our education as we continue to grow and aim for success.”
On behalf of the PLDT and Smart employees, PLDT Facilities Management Officer Noel Landingin, whose daughter is a high school scholarship awardee, delivered a message of thanks to PSF. “In my 30 years of stay in the Company, I feel privileged to receive this great blessing. With all my heart, I would like to express my gratitude to the people behind the awards, especially PSF. May you continue to uplift the lives of every Filipino and support the dreams of today’s generation,” Landingin said. CC: