About Me

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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

December 13, 2012

10 Years of Valuable Service to the Company

Last December 7, at the Christmas party in our Sucat office, I had the honor of receiving a Plaque of Recognition from First Balfour for my "10 Years of Valuable Service to the Company."
In addition, I was given a First Balfour ring and a cheque. Other employees were also honored  for their 5 years, 15 years and 20 years in the company.

It was a very happy moment for me and I recall the circumstances of the  start of my employment 10 years ago.

In early 2002, I was out of a job. I enjoyed working  for Phelps Dodge, a manufacturing company, in Treasury for 9 years. I liked the culture but Phelps Dodge was in a downsizing mood in the late 90s. I got pirated by wholesale giant  and the attraction was the fact that it was only a kilometer away from our house and the pay was higher. However, I did not get to fit with the culture of this giant. It was ruthless in its negotiations with suppliers, it forgot to be less ruthless in dealing with its employees. So I  "walked the plank."  I resigned.

A few months passed and no job for me. A sick feeling not to have  employment. Then I responded to a recruitment entry in Jobstreet looking for a Treasury Manager. When I submitted, I knew I was applying in a construction company but I had little knowledge of the company (known then as First Philippine Balfour Beatty or FPBB) itself. The following day I got a call from the Finance Head of First Balfour and we scheduled the interview.

The interview was very informative for me as  I got to know more about First Balfour,   especially the fact that it was a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and First Philippines Holdings (FPH). This got me more interested as I knew FPH was part of the Lopez group, a group that I admired and hoped to join when I was taking up my graduate studies at CRC (now UA & P).  

I got an offer from First Balfour  but I also had an offer from another one, from a manufacturing company. I chose First Balfour,  not so much of the industry (I came from Phelps Dodge, a manufacturing company and choosing another manufacturing entity would have been a comfort zone for me),  not so much of the pay (the offer was higher by the other company) and not so much of the location (the manufacturing company is in  Las Pinas and our house is in Paranaque)   but because First Balfour  was part of a group more known, more admired and longer in existence. Another important point is that the Finance Head of FB (Glo Raymundo) was my officemate in Phelps Dodge in the mid 90s. There was a higher level of trust in our interview and I believed her when she told me that the culture they are developing in First Balfour is a culture of empowering its people. I believed her when she told me that I would be making a difference in the company.

That was in June 2002. Glo left FB in 2010 for Canada. Yet, my trust in her, First Balfour, its management  and FPH   has remained high. First Balfour has proven to be an investor in its people. It fosters an admirable culture. FPH and the Lopez Group may not be the biggest, nor the sexiest conglomerate in the country, but it is proving to be the more resilient.  For a marathon man like me, it counts a lot. 

And speaking of the X’mas party, we don’t party that much in First Balfour but when we do as a company, it is a showcase of  the creativity, engagement and beauty of our people. 

Thank you  all.


  1. Pading Vicboy, it is quite interesting to note that we have many things in common, to wit:
    1) I also worked in First Balfour (Oct 2008 to May 2002)
    2) We were classmates in high school (from 1st year to 4th year)- last company / last platoon in CAT...hahahahaha..
    3) Pareho na tayong marathoner (slow runner pala..hahaha - kaya lang ultramarathon runner ka pa pala, that is why I have to strive and become one also to prove that this item 3 is true...hahaha)

  2. Last squad of the last platoon of the last company. The 2 of us were part of that super kulit (not super elite) group. hahahaha..........Kasama natin sa last squad si Omar M. Dapat ma recruit din natin sa pag takbo.

  3. FB made a good decision in hiring you and you made the right decision in joining FB. For 10 years, you have weathered the company's ups and downs and I can say with pride that you have indeed made a difference to FB.

    You are right in saying FB doesn't party that often, but we do celebrate successes - big or small. Congratulations to your 10 years of loyal and unwavering service!