Tales of fortitude among frontline heroes

2020 March – Heroic acts happen everyday, everywhere. But heroes rise when they are most needed. 

 

As the Philippines and the entire world battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the frontliners—healthcare workers, supermarket attendants, security guards, etc.—carry on despite the challenging circumstances. They remain strong and steadfast at the forefront even as they face a lot of obstacles. They are the modern day heroes who go to work everyday to serve the public.

 

And there are the silent heroes as well. Those who ensure money can be withdrawn from ATMs so that people can buy food, medicines, and other essential items during this health crisis. Those who make sure financial transactions are carried out even if most sectors are at a standstill. They are the bank personnel—the brave men and women of BDO. They do what they do in the name of service, the BDO way.

 

The fateful week that was

 

It was just a little more than a week ago when the country was still taking a passive-aggressive handle of the COVID-19 situation. Yes, there was already a public concern, as reports of an escalating number of people found positive of the virus kept pouring in from different parts of the world. But normal everyday life still pervaded in the Philippines at that time where people freely went to work, visited the malls, dined at restaurants, and rode the public mass transport.

 

All that however ended when Metro Manila was placed under community quarantine midnight of March 15 until April 12, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. The very next day, the entire Luzon was declared under enhanced community quarantine. Meanwhile, provinces outside of Luzon also implemented their own quarantine protocols.

 

From then on, public movement was restricted to only buying food, medicines, and other essential items. Public mass transport was totally stopped. Strategic checkpoints manned by the police, military and health personnel were placed to strictly enforce the order. Only establishments that provide services like food, medicines and financial services remain open. And in establishments that remain open, social distancing and sanitary measures were enforced and implemented. At the barangay level, home quarantine pass was issued to ensure that only one person from every household would be allowed to go to establishments to purchase or avail of the basic necessities.

 

For people who still have to go to work everyday, leave their families behind to provide basic services and travel from home to office and vice versa, they have to deal with the biggest challenge. Not only do they have to do these sans any available public transport, but also face the risk of contracting the virus every time they leave their house.

 

Still, they continue to be the last men and women standing. Meet some of the unheralded frontline heroes of BDO and their stories of bravery.

 

(Note: stories were lifted from their social media accounts)

 

“Call of duty” by Miko Roman, Reconciliation Assistant

 

When our government announced the quarantine guidelines, it’s clear it’s a lockdown but they said banks shall remain open for the public even if public mass transport is suspended. It’s a call of duty for us in the BDO ATM and Cash Deposit Machine (CDM) Reconciliation Department.

 

We have to operate. Our clients need to access our ATMs and CDMs as well. Our open branches will still be serving and will need our support.

 

We have the same minds in our group. Our clients need our services especially their cash in these times of emergency. We have to find our ways to serve them and we’re doing our best. We did things we only did for the first time. We tried to find every single way to report.

 

We risked to ride UV express even if they charged double than usual fares, and even rode tricycles that charged triple. Those with cars fetched our colleagues, and (some) even used a motorcycle to pick-up one colleague after another. We walked for several kilometers from our homes.

 

The lockdown is far from over, but we continue to serve.

 

If we stop our operations, who else in our sector will serve the public? (Safeguard) their hard-earned cash in these times of emergency?

 

Everyone knows that in BDO Unibank, we find ways.

 

“Waxing poetic” by Erica May Gabriel, Reconciliation Assistant

A - Aming ibibigay, serbisyong walang kapantay,
Hindi padadaig sa anumang dagok sa buhay
Sa isang kalaban na hindi nasisilayan
Kami’y humaharap nang Diyos ang
Karamay.

 

R - Regulasyon ng pamahalaa’y aming sinusunod,
Kami’y maglilingkod kahit hirap sa
Transportasyon.
Tanging kinukuhanan ng lakas ng loob,
Ay ang samahang may matibay na
Pundasyon.

 

D - Delikado man para sa aming kalusugan,
Mga  tungkulin ay aming gagampanan.
Sa amin sana’y wag mag-alinlangan,
Hahanapan ng paraan ang inyong mga
Kahilingan.

 

This is for my ARD family who are struggling by walking many kilometers, risking their health and sacrificing their time for their family just to give their best to serve our clients to the best that we can do. We find ways to be strong and capable enough to do our duties.

 

Lockdown is not yet over but we need more power in handling BDO ATMs and Cash Deposit Machines that our valued clients will surely be needing for emergencies in this time of calamity.

 

We may not be frontliners but we are also asking for your prayers that He may give us more strength and courage.

 

Let us all be together as one! We can do it! We can pass through it!

 

“There she goes, there she goes again…” by Sasha Fabian, cousin of Malos Gumarang Sioson, Vice President and Taguig-Pateros Area Head

 

I asked my aunt, “Nasan na si Ate Malos, Tita?”

 

I’ve said this quite a few times during family events. Sa bank kasi nagwo-work si Ate and madalas, pag kailangan siya kahit may party kami, nasa branch sya at nagtratrabaho.

 

Now that we are in quarantine, she still goes out to her branches or on-call, making sure that everything is OK. Natatakot sya I’m sure, lalo na sa for her immediate family. Bunso kasi si Ate, pero hindi sya mapipigilan to do her work.

 

I’m always fascinated about her work in BDO. Before, I always look at her kasi laging nakapostura—epitome or a working woman, ‘ika nga. She’s been with the company for so many years and I always wonder why she stayed with them for so long. When I asked her one time, she said because she loves what she does, her BDO family, and her clients.

 

Whenever I visit her at her branch, I see how she treats not only her team but also her clients, as family. She is always so attentive and sweet to them and I’m happy because they treat her just the same. Every birthday nya, may pasabog ang team nya. May birthday cake at performances, nakakatuwa and I’m sure lalo na for Ate.

 

Saludo ako sa lahat ng frontliners—mga doctors, nurses, caregivers, grocery staff, delivery guys, mga nasa fastfood, call center, at yung mga nasa bangko. Tuloy-tuloy na serbisyo kahit na may panganib, kahit na lockdown. Kung di sila magtratrabaho lalo na sa panahon ngayon, paano na tayo lalo, ‘di ba?

 

#MyBankHero

 

“Pedal to the metal” by King David Javier Agreda, husband of Regine Azereth Trambulo Agreda, Marketing Assistant

 

David shares how his wife opts for an eco-friendly way, albeit tiring, of continuing to serve clients—by biking her way to the office:

 

I just wanted to flex my wife, a frontline in the banking industry under the wing of BDO Unibank. I know that she really wanted to stay home and take care of us in this tough time, but her service calls her to serve and to help people. She consistently recognizes that throughout her activities, the customer is her (their) top priority.

 

I’m so proud of you, all those BANKING INDUSTRY PEOPLE, and other frontliners in this difficult time.

 

I am praying for everyone’s safety and continuous guidance from the Lord. Thank you for the heroic act!

 

P.S. Naisipan pa nyang maghanap ng solusyon na environment-friendly at yung tipong mababawasan fats niya.

 

“#BDO #WeFindWays” by Mark Angelo Uy, Creative Artist, BDO Head Office

 

Mark sums it up perfectly in his tribute post:

 

To all BDO frontliners and those part of our skeletal workforce, who continue to find ways to go to work just to serve our clients, you are our heroes! Maraming salamat! May this inspire you as you face another challenging week. #MyBankHero #Bankyanihan

 

Love (of service) in the time of corona (virus). The men and women of BDO standing tall and brave in this time of crisis.

 

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